Digital Wellbeing – conference workshop by BU colleagues

At the Association of Learning Developers in Higher Education (ALDinHE) annual conference last week three Bournemouth University staff led an interactive workshop on Digital Wellbeing.

The workshop, led by Ben Goldsmith (FLIE), Debbie Holley (HSS) and Anne Quinney (FLIE), had been originally designed for a face-to-face scenario and was re-designed when the conference moved fully online after being postponed last year.

The UK (Jisc) and EU (DigiComp) frameworks have been updated to include digital wellbeing and the workshop sought to explore the technical versus human model of digital wellbeing and technical connectivity versus human connections, in the context of learning design and the current online delivery modes. We discussed the potential for relational, humanised, life-world led student-centred pedagogies in, for example, health related disciplines; the opportunities for developing social presence online; and the importance of carefully considering what the images representing digital wellbeing might convey to the audience.

As this was a workshop format, opportunities for interactivity and creativity were designed into the session. Taking the tree metaphor from a Jisc (2020) workshop, delegates were invited to write on an image of a tree, hand drawn or a downloaded photograph and to join us in creating a forest of ideas. On the branches were the challenges learners face in learning online, and on the roots the positive contributions that learning developers can make to support learners in an online learning environment, with the aim of promoting digital wellbeing. Completed trees were tweeted or emailed and the collective co-created forest will be submitted to the LearnHigher Resource Bank.


One tweet, using the conference hashtag, read:

Brilliant session at #ALDcon21 with @debbieholley1 and @annequinney making trees of digital wellbeing @bengo1379

LearnHigher is a network for promoting and facilitating the development and dissemination of high quality, peer-reviewed resources for learning development in the higher education sector. It aims to support the development of such resources as well as conduct and disseminate research into the use and effectiveness of learning development strategies and materials. Here is the link to their website.

The workshop slides can be access using this link.

Goldsmith B, Holley D and Quinney A. 2021. The mechanics of digital wellbeing in HE: Beyond Google garage. Workshop delivered at the ALDinHE online conference. April 7-9.


EU Digital competence framework

Jisc Digital capabilities


Issue 20 of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education has now been released and is free to access here:


Anne Quinney, Principal Lecturer, FLIE.

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