DGBL and digital literacies

Digital game-based learning levels up digital literacies


My note: excellent Australian article, which presents a very strong point on digital literacies (metaliteracies, see URL below) from educators (versus library) perspective. Connected with game-based learning, it clearly renders the traditional perspective of information literacy as miniscules and the notion of digital literacy being “information literacy on steroids” as obsolete. It clearly shows that the “xxx-literacies” are clearly not a domain of the librarians and if the librarians do not wised up and allow other faculty who are “not librarians” to equally participate, they might well count with those faculty going on their own (as it is transparent from this article).

connections will be made between  digital game-based learning and digital literacies to show that digital game-based learning is a powerful pedagogy that incorporates the elements of digital literacies. Through the adoption of game-based learning, digital literacies can be taught in context. Digital literacies are the skills that connect the learning content (curriculum) and digital games are the platform that these digital literacies can be practised within a meaningful context.

Digital literacies is an umbrella term that includes a combination of literacies – visual literacy, media literacy, collaborative literacy, ICT literacy, information literacy – that are needed to take an active, participatory role in life, now and in the future (Hague & Payton, 2010, p. 2).

Bawden (2008), cites Gilster (1997), who defines digital literacy as “an ability to understand and use information from a variety of digital sources and regard it as literacy in the digital age” (p.18).

Jisc, identify in their Digital Literacy Guide that it is a concept that is contextual and it is not static.  Change is imminent as new technologies develop “at breakneck speeds” (Becker, 2011, p. 76), therefore, it can be inferred the digital literacies required to use these new technologies need to be adaptable and flexible to these changes (Haste, 2009).

Cooper, Lockyer & Brown (2013), highlight this plurality by using the term “multiliteracies” which can be understood as synonymous with digital literacies.  Cooper et al. (2013), explain multiliteracies is required as a “broader view of literacy” (p. 94), is needed as a result of the diverse range of communications tools, therefore, context is implied.  Ng (2012) also highlights this idea that digital literacy is “the multiplicity of literacies associated with the use of digital technologies” (p. 1066).  The combination of multiliteracies and technologies would also suggest that multimodality is an important element of digital literacy (McLoughlin, 2011) .

7 elements of digital literacy in their Developing Digital Literacies Guide (2014), which can be seen below.

DGBL and digital literacy


digital games (Pivec & Pivec, 2011), which can also be called computer games (Whitton, 2011), video games (Turkay, Hoffman, Kinzer, Chantes & Vicari, 2014) or serious games (Arnab et al., 2012) rather than gamification.

Digital game-based learning then is using digital games in the learning environment with the purpose of achieving learning aligned with learning theory.

Cognitive constructivism is a learning theory that game-based learning could be aligned (Orr & McGuinness, 2014; St-Pierre, 2011).  This learning theory builds upon the theories of Piaget and Bruner, therefore, an important consideration in the digital game-based classroom would be that choosing games needs to fit the age and level of intellectual development the students are at (St-Pierre, 2011).

A major focus of the socio-constructivist learning theory is that of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (St-Pierre, 2011).  The learning is designed “just beyond what the learner can do” (Orr & McGuinness, 2014, p. 223) and takes them beyond where their knowledge already exists.

More on digital literacy (metaliteracy) and DGBL in this IMS blog:








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