Different conceptions of literacy place different emphases on competence and performance. The former is associated with skills and/or knowledge that is presumed to be repeatable or transposable between contexts; the latter is concerned with non-repeatable events or utterances. A shift in attention from traditional, analogue communicative environments—paper-based books and libraries, museums that are physical places, celluloid film—to new digital media—hypermedia, the internet, digital video—also seems to carry changes in emphasis between within and between the categories, competence and performance. This module is concerned with the exploration of these contrasts and developments in a range of technological contexts and with their implications for pedagogy and for education generally.

A Yahoo Group has been set up in association with the module. All participants are required to subscribe to the group and be active participants in its discussions. It is also intended to generate a distributed web resource during the running of the module. Participants should establish their own web space on which they are able to post web pages which they can link to the pages of other participants, exchanging urls for links via the yahoo group. Participants are not expected to have advanced web-literacy, it is sufficient to be able to construct and save a web page in Word and be able to post it and, perhaps, movies and still images on a suitable server.

In addition to participating in the Yahoo group discussion and posting web pages, participants are required to complete all essential preliminary reading, to attend and contribute to the ten f2f seminars and to complete the coursework according to the remit on the assessment page and the schedule on the deadlines page. The attendance page is the official record of attendance and also provides links to coursework summaries and drafts produced by participants.