Learning Literacies - Overview

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Learning Literacies

Digital Learning Literacies is a new online course. There will be ample opportunity to practice many study skills while working through the assignments and participating in discussions. Activities include digital literacy - research, communication, presentation, discussion; learning literacies - self-directed learning, inquiry-based learning, collaboration; and reinforcing basic skills - reading, writing, math.

  • develop skills for using technology, specifically, the DeAnza Catalyst course management system, study skills and learning practices to be successful lifelong learners and digital citizens.

We will be using Catalyst - the DeAnza course management system for most of the work, so you will also be learning to learn in this online environment.

  • learn the main functions of the Catalyst course management system and how they are used in relation to course assignments

Welcome to the DeAnza Learning Literacies!

I am looking forward to working with you and sharing this exciting learning experience.

  • The course starts right now. Begin work on the course modules immediately.
  • You can work on the assignments in any order. However, the discussion have close dates - no more postings can be made to any of the topics within the discussion. The Use it module is the first to close..
  • Check for notices and information at the top of the main Learning Literacies page in Catalyst and in the course News forum.
  • Discussion are all text so you can post and reply anytime within the discussion period. But you must participate for credit.
  • If you have questions or suggestions, please let me know. This course is all about you - helping you to be a successful learner academically and lifelong.

Your responses to assignments will be graded for college-level writing. Spelling and grammar matter. Late submissions are accepted but points will be deducted, unless you request an extension prior to the due date. Complete and thoughtful replies that demonstrate original thinking and personal experience are necessary for full credit.

  1. Read the Syllabus - Learning Literacies. There is a lot of important information in the syllabus.

  2. Read Learning Literacies - Overview section below. It describes how the class works in detail and answers many questions that you might have about the course structure, participation requirements and requesting help.

  3. Catalyst tour - Read the Introduction to CATALYST (aka Moodle) and look through the course information. Learn about Catalyst functions - discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, and how they will be used for the course. Try out the options and become familiar with the links. Find where your grades are recorded so you can check to see how you are doing. Be sure to review the section on managing emails from discussions.
    We use discussions a lot, so learn to control the display of posts in discussions.
    Look for the little "?" links throughout Catalyst - they indicate that helpful information will appear in a popup window if you click on the "?".
    Learn to use Catalyst NOW.

  4. Review the Discussion participation notes as there will be ongoing discussions. For each discussion activity, there is a detailed description of the activity in the Assignments page. To complete the activity, post your response to the prompts and respond to the posts of other students. All discussions are open at the beginning of the course. Check the schedule for discussion close dates.

  5. Complete the Pre-Course Survey - DeAnza College is very interested in learning more about our students, especially students like you who are enrolled in the Learning Literacies course. At the end of the course there is another survey, so we can learn more about your Learning Literacies course experience.

The course starts NOW! Please start working immediately.

  • Check in frequently. You will get the most from this course if you login and work on the activities every day.
  • Contact me if you have questions. Look forward to working with you.

Have a great trip through the learning activities and discussions.



Learning Literacies

Learning to learn is just as important as taking courses in specific subjects like English and Chemistry. This Learning Literacies course will help you develop the skills and practices you need to be a successful student using the technologies available to students and lifelong learners. Topics include

  • study skills - learning styles, media preference
  • educational technologies - search, presentation
  • personal organization - time management, motivation
  • lifelong learning practices - self-directed learning
  • digital citizenship - privacy, copyright

Academic Success

To be successful in a formal education setting, students are required to show that they understand the subject of a course and can use the information to answer broader questions about the subject. There are some basic ways to learn the information and show what you have learned. These are often called "study skills". These include:

  • organization - deadlines, calendar, due dates, consequences
  • sense-making, understanding, applying
  • practice
  • analysis and demonstration - essay, report, presentation
  • test preparation, test-taking

Course structure

The Learning Literacies course is structured to allow you to work independently on the technology assignments and participate in online class discussions directly communicating with the other students and the instructor.

  • Online discussions are scheduled and take place over a specified number of days. Discussion participation is REQUIRED.
  • Assignments are self-directed. You can do them in any order. You must do some assignments out of each category throughout the course period and turn in assignments each week.
  • There is a weekly schedule and course outline for students who prefer having a specific guideline.

For this course, there are assignment activities and online discussions. When you have completed all the activities you will have practiced all of the six digital literacy skills - Use, Find, Protect, Solve, Make, Share.


“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening.” ~ Larry King

Everyone participates in all discussions. The online discussions are written - a series of connected text messages that everyone in the class can read and reply to. Discussions take place over several days. Everyone gets a chance to participate. This is a big difference from classroom discussions where time is limited and only a few people contribute. Everyone has an opportunity to provide feedback or continue the discussion if it is interesting. Discussion participation is an important part of learning online so the discussions are graded.

Each discussion activity description provides specific information about the type of discussion and how you are to participate.


For each of the Learning Literaties, there are several activities. These include research, discussions, quizzes and hands-on technology activities. You can complete these in any order at your own pace. However, you must complete some activities every week for credit.

Personal Learning Network

For the assignments, you will access informational web sites and use online tools. Many will be new to you - we want you to experience lots of technologies and use a broad range of online resources. Some will be more helpful than others. As you find things that work for you, keep track of them. This is the basis for your Personal Learning Network - your personal set of tools and resources that you can use for other courses and learning. We will also look at some online communities - online places where you can find people with similar interests to get information and exchange ideas.

Learning outcomes

  • understand the Learning Literacies course structure and participation requirements
  • explore the use of technologies for learning
  • use online discussions to share individual work and ideas, and comment on the work of other students
  • reinforce basic study skills required for academic success
  • use online resources as additional sources of information
  • guided practice


literacies, lifelong learning, academic success

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There is no textbook for this course. There are lots or links to web resources that provide information and guidance. Make a note of the ones that are most helpful to you. Visit them often as you progress.

There is lots to learn. Try to learn something new everyday.

Free Online Tutoring for DeAnza Students

Need help? DeAnza has a new free online tutoring through Smarthinking, available in Spring.