Guest post – DigiLearn: From Novice to Advocate
Author: Megan Blease – Lecturer (School of Community Health and Midwifery)
I wanted to reflect on my journey so far within the DigiLearn Recognition Programme. I was added to the Teams space whilst returning to do some keep in touch days during my maternity leave. I must admit my first reaction was one of reservation; I had little knowledge of the programme and felt a little overwhelmed by the process. I was wrong to be so apprehensive of the Programme and feel I have ultimately learned so much on the journey so far. It seemed to have come at a perfect time in preparation for returning to work. Starting the Programme after a period of 10 months out of teaching, I was able to undertake some of the modules and this ignited my passion to be innovative and explore new ideas and approaches to teaching.
Completing my DigiLearn Practitioner status was a great way for me to learn about Teams and use new technology such as Sway and One Note. In turn I had never felt readier to get back into teaching! I am not sure however if I would have found this journey as plain sailing without the fantastic support of Teams, and my team of wonderful midwifery lecturing colleagues. In addition to the support of Chris via Teams, I have been able to progress through from Practitioner into Advocate and it has spurred me to move further through the DigiLearn Recognition Programme. I have found the ‘Communication and Collaboration’ space within the H&W Staff DigiLearn Community, a great source of support. Learning from others, I have developed new methods to support my teaching and ultimately improve student experience and engagement.
The use of Teams has in-turn been valuable for this, introducing shared groups within teams for the modules in which I teach. The impact has been that I have been able to keep in close contact with the students which has meant students obtain quicker responses to queries and often actually answer between themselves.
In addition, I feel Teams has been an excellent addition to assessment support. Having a shared space where general assessment comments and questions are posted means all students are well supported and all students learn from feedback, in addition I can learn from them. The students have flourished with the use of Teams and post daily with current research findings, new media developments and updates on guidelines and policies.