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UCD TEACHING AND LEARNING / Projects
Module Enhancement
UCD Student Digital Ambassadors
Student Digital Ambassador
Project: UCD Student Digital Ambassadors
Project Team: Leone Gately and Yvonne Emmett
Collaborator(s): Internal: A cohort of 22 Student Digital Ambassadors (1st, 2nd, 3rd year undergraduate students from across UCD), UCD Students’ Union, Access & Lifelong Centre, Teaching & Learning, Library, IT Services, Student Advisers. External: All Aboard Project Team representing NUI Galway, UL and MIC

Funding:

All Aboard: Digital Skills in Higher Education through the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

Timeline:

Timeline: November 2015 - December 2016
Student Digital Ambassador
background:

As part of UCD's involvement in the All Aboard Digital Skills in Higher Education national project, we have launched the UCD Student Digital Ambassadors (SDAs). This  initiative aims to provide students with the skills necessary for learning and working in a digital environment. While the initiative aims to enhance participants digital skills, it will empower them in the UCD Digital Ambassador Role to share those skills with their peers and the wider university community through various channels. 

Engagement of students as partners at institutional level in All Aboard: Digital Skills in Higher Education has been highlighted as one of the key priorities of the project and this also aligns with the key principles underpinning the National Forum’s Digital Road Map. The initiative aims to provide students with skills necessary for learning in a digital environment, thus enabling them to thrive rather than survive in the digital world.

Aligned to the overall All Aboard project aims and outputs, within UCD it is envisaged that the pilot will align with any current or ongoing appropriate implementation activities under UCD’s strategic initiative of Defining Educational Excellence. This initiative is inspired by models at the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh; LSE Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy, Digital Footprint Project at University of Edinburgh which have been implemented successfully.

Student Digital Ambassador
goals:
  • The project aims to prompt students to reflect on their own digital skills, and how the application of these digital skills may vary in personal, professional and social contexts.
  • It also aims to promote the student voice and support communication between students and staff about their digital learning needs.
  • It should contribute to enhancing the student digital learning environment and experience in UCD and beyond.
  • The initiative expects to gain a greater understanding of the student voice in terms of their current digital experience vis a vis their expected/desired digital experience.
  • It should also inform more widespread and sustainable staff and student initiatives in this area.
Student Digital Ambassador
Methods:

In the development of this initiative a student partnership approach has been employed and the voice of the student themselves has informed the themes of the digital skills/content creation workshops and some of the ambassadorial activities. From the outset student digital ambassadors were asked to identify elements of the National Digital Skills framework they were most interested in and what digital skills they felt they and their peers needed to develop. Therefore, the focus during this year long initiative was on digital identity/well-being and the use of social media while ambassadors were also offered content creation and digital skills sessions on video creation, blogging, podcasting, images/infographic creation and presentation skills and tools.

Through various activities and events SDAs provide peer support for fellow students by acting as ambassadors for digital skills and sharing their learning with others. They are expected to promote digital skills to the wider UCD community and beyond through a variety of channels; this may include participation in student or staff events, facilitating/co-facilitating workshops, and the creation and sharing of content/resources, including effective use of discipline-specific digital tools.

Student Digital Ambassador
Results:

To date the initiative has been enthusiastically received by both students and staff at UCD. A number of partners across the University have collaborated with the coordinators to support this initiative by providing ambassadorial activities and avenues for the digital ambassadors to make a real contribution and impact in raising awareness of the importance of digital skills, and the importance of growing our collective digital capacity across UCD and within the wider higher education sector. If you are interested in finding out more about the current events, activities and resources created by UCD Student Digital Ambassadors see the initiative website or follow @UCD_SDA on Twitter (both of which are maintained and updated by the ambassadors themselves as the initative progresses).

This report outlines the implementation and evaluation of the UCD SDA initiative: UCD Student Digital Ambassador Evaluation Report June 2017

Student Digital Ambassador
Next Steps:

November 2015 - January 2016: Recruit cohort of Student Digital Ambassadors
January 2016: Launch of Student Digital Ambassador Initiative/Welcome Session & Digital Identity Workshop
February 2016: Digital Security & Social Media Session
March 2016: Content Creations Training Sessions for Ambassadors;

  1. Content Creation; Images, Infographics & Poster Creation.  
  2. Content Creation; Blogging and Podcasting

February - April 2016: Digital ambassadors participate and contribute to various  activities and events throughout the semester.
September 2016: Welcome Back Session for Student Digital Ambassadors
October & November 2016: Digital Skills Training Sessions for Ambassadors;

  1. Digital Skills Session: Video Creation
  2. Digital Skills Session: Presentation Skills & Tools

October/November 2016: Digital ambassadors participate and contribute to various  activities and events throughout the semester.
26 January 2017: Celebration Event (conclusion of UCD SDA Initiative)
February 2017: Review & evaluation of the UCD SDA Initiative

This report outlines the implementation and evaluation of the UCD SDA initiative: UCD Student Digital Ambassador Evaluation Report June 2017