Dr. Doug Belshaw

Doctoral thesis

📃 What is 'digital literacy'? A pragmatic investigation

On Monday 3rd October 2011 I submitted my doctoral thesis to Durham University. After successfully defending it in my viva voce and making some minor changes, I graduated in April 2012.

I wrote my thesis in the open, on a wiki at neverendingthesis.com which now redirects here. The thesis has a CC0 license which means I have donated my work to the public domain.

Just before graduating, I had the opportunity to give an overview of the findings from my doctoral work in a TEDx talk at the University of Warwick. This was an important opportunity for me to explain complex things in a simpler way.

Subsequently, I rewrote and updated my thesis as an ebook entitled The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies with v1.0 being finished by mid-2014. This has been used as a set text on postgraduate courses in (to my knowledge) Canada, the UK, and Australia.

These three artefacts: my thesis, ebook, and TEDx talk are collected at the top of this page, and also together on the Internet Archive. A snapshot of the wiki on which I wrote and originally published the thesis can be found here.

I continue to consult and present on digital literacies and am particularly interested in how disinformation is propagated online — as I discussed in a keynote entitled Truth, Lies, and Digital Fluency.

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