Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on a new pilot project setting up a staff Digital Champions scheme for academics working at Regent’s University London. The scheme is to help Digital Champions share good practice across the university on a wide variety of learning technologies from Powerpoint, social media, blogging to email and Blackboard content. The Digital Champions will be allocated a Learning Technology who will work alongside the lecturer to support their project over the course of the academic year.
I started out by trying to clarify what the project was actually trying to do – here is my first attempt at outlining the aims of the scheme:
The aims for the Digital Champion Scheme:
- Help our Digital Champions share good practice across the university.
- Improve lecturers digital literacy and thus improve the quality of the learning materials the students receive.
- Make workflows more efficient for lecturers.
- Strengthen communication and relationships between the Learning Technology Team, Academic Developers and the academic staff.
Next I went on to outline what the scheme will actually provide for the Digital Champions:
What Digital Champions scheme provides.
- 15 hours of dedicated support from a Learning Technologist from the LT team to support your Digital Champions project.
- The facility for each Digital Champion to record their project using different types of media.
- Help to evaluate your Digital Champions project.
- Verification of each Digital Champion’s personal and professional achievements through Digital Champions Certificates.
- The opportunity to present the findings of their project to the end of year Digital Champions exhibition.
- A customised and branded landing page that all of your Digital Champions will see as soon as they log onto Blackboard. You can amend this page as it suits to provide relevant, up-to-date information to your Digital Champion project.
- Enrolment for all Digital Champions on the full collection of our Learning Technology Workshops to increase your knowledge and develop essential digital teaching techniques.
- A Digital champions page on the Regent’s University London website (regents.ac.uk/digitalchampions) providing details of the Digital Champions projects and information about publications based on these projects.
Next I plan to sort out the time scale of when things need to be done by – First I’m planning to get the scheme up and running, posters up, website with application form etc. Hopefully this will involve getting staff to apply at the start of the academic year in Sept/October and then appointing the Digital Champions and moving forward with their projects from mid October onwards.
It would be great to hear from anyone else who has set up a similar scheme in their college or university. What have been the pros and cons? What are the pitfalls to avoid? How best to publicise it? Please leave a comment!