Session Proposal

Proposal for a Session at the
56th Annual Conference of the
Council for the Study of Community Colleges
April 3-5, 2014
Washington, DC 

I. Presenter Information

Principle Contact Information
Jamison R. Miller
Ph.D. Student, Higher Education
College of William and Mary
School of Education
PO Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187

Other Presenters
Richard Sebastian, Ph.D.
Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies
Virginia Community College System

II. Title of Presentation

Basic skills for the information age: Incorporating digital competencies across curricula

III. Presentation Format


IV. Presentation Description (abstract)

From programs in Geographic Information Systems to Game Design and Website Development, community colleges are responding to workforce demands for specific digital skills. However, all workplaces are increasingly imbued with digital technology. In this session we will discuss what digital literacies are—and will be—needed by community college graduates across careers, especially in vocational training programs that have not previously stressed digital skills. Further, how can community colleges promote digital literacy and help students build the skills that are applicable to a wide variety of careers.

V. Proposed Content and Activities

Computer and digital skills programs are proliferating in community colleges across the country. From Geographic Information Systems to Game Design, Website Development, community colleges are responding to workforce demands for digital skills. Additionally, scholars have been examining the importance of information literacy in higher education for academic success (Anderson & Horn, 2012; Lloyd, Dean, & Cooper, 2007; Wallace & Clariana, 2005), but fail to consider which of these skills are most crucial for workplace preparedness. All workplaces are increasingly imbued with digital technology, and community colleges should be providing digital skills for both academic success as well as the 21st century workplace.

  • What digital skills are most important today, and into the future?
  • How are community colleges promoting information literacy?
  • How can community colleges better integrate digital skill development?
  • What kinds of faculty development and pedagogy can facilitate information literacy?

We seek to start a discussion around these topics, gaining insights from community college stakeholders around the country and to begin to establish the landscape of digital skill development. Our goal is to sketch out some research questions and directions for taking these ideas closer to implementation.

Objectives and outcomes
The session aims to promote interactions with session participants and presenters and has the following objectives:

Objective #1: To engage a wide variety of community college faculty, staff, and administrators in a thoughtful, productive discussion of digital literacy across community college curricula

Objective #2: To raise questions around what skills are most important and how to build them

Objective #3: To document the discussion in a collaborative wiki, and provide all participants with access to that document

Objective #4: To elicit research questions and methods for further investigation of digital literacy

Structure of the Session, Facilitator Strategies
The session will open with a brief overview of the session format. The co-facilitators will present an overview of the topic, briefly outlining some of the programs, ideas, and research regarding digital literacy in community colleges (5-10 minutes). The presentation will culminate in a short list of discussion questions to direct the conversation (35-40 minutes). The roundtable will close with a brief overview of the ideas and questions generated, outlining directions for further investigation (5 minutes). Miller will concomitantly document the discussion in an online wiki, and a link to that wiki will be emailed to all participants for further reference, reflection, and review.


Anderson, B., & Horn, R. (2012). Community colleges in the information age: Gains associated with students’ use of computer technology. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 47(1), 51–65. doi:10.2190/EC.47.1.c

Lloyd, J. M., Dean, L. a, & Cooper, D. L. (2009). Students’ technology use and its effects on peer relationships, academic involvement, and healthy lifestyles. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 46(4), 695–710. doi:10.2202/1949-6605.5040

Wallace, P., & Clariana, R. B. (2005). Perception versus reality: Determining business students ’ computer literacy skills and need for instruction in information concepts and technology. Journal of Information Technology Education, 4, 141–151.