Author: Chris Melia – Centre for Collaborative Learning, University of Central Lancashire

“The DigiLearn programme provides a bespoke learning pathway for the digital development of colleagues from any discipline. It is both inclusive, and developmental for colleagues of all digital competencies. So, whether you’re entering the digital community as a novice, or as an experienced practitioner, you will find the network of support to be invaluable!”

Andrew Sprake – Lecturer in Sport and Physical Education | Digital Development Coach, UCLan

As we reach the end of another academic year at UCLan, we invite our existing DigiLearn Champions to reflect upon their digital engagement and activity – in order to revalidate their achievement and remain a current Champion on the University’s DigiLearn framework.

The revalidation process was first introduced last year – with feedback continuing to highlight its importance, particularly as we look to maintain the initiatives’ currency and value moving forward.

A special congratulations to each of our newly awarded/revalidated DigiLearn Champions for 2021-22!

Awarded colleagues:

Alice Thompson (School of Sport & Health Sciences) 

Andrew Grice (School of Humanities, Languages & Global Studies) 

Andrew Sprake (School of Sport & Health Sciences) 

Dr Claire Mellor (School of Psychology & Computer Science) 

Debi Spencer (School of Sport & Health Sciences) 

Hannah Tizard (School of Community Health & Midwifery) 

Jane Fitzgerald (School of Sport & Health Sciences) 

Jenny Lamb (School of Social Work, Care & Community) 

Dr Jess Macbeth (School of Sport & Health Sciences) 

Louise Speakman (School of Community Health & Midwifery) 

Maria D Iglesias Mora (School of Humanities, Languages & Global Studies) 

Neesha Ridley (School of Community Health & Midwifery) 

Nicky Varley (School of Nursing) 

Sam Pywell (School of Sport & Health Sciences) 

Sarah Johnson (School of Community Health & Midwifery) 

Steven Seymour (School of Social Work, Care & Community) 

2020 also saw the introduction of the DigiLearn Champions podcast series, with each episode highlighting our Champion’s top tips for the successful adoption and application of technology-enabled approaches. The response to this resource has proven extremely positive – both from the listening audience’s perspective (over 5,600 listens to date!), and from those who personally took part in the facilitated discussions.

Another recent development has seen the creation of a new Digital Development Coach role at the University. This Faculty pilot is set to build upon the success of the DigiLearn programme, with particular emphasis on providing coaching and mentoring encouragement to other colleagues. Two of the newly appointed Digital Development Coaches – Andrew Sprake and Sam Pywell, recently featured in a webinar hosted within the University’s external DigiLearn Sector community. This featured a discussion segment, highlighting both colleagues’ early thoughts/aspirations regarding their new roles as Digital Development Coaches (see video below).

Looking ahead to the 2021-22 academic year, the Centre for Collaborative Learning are once again excited to work with our growing team of inspirational DigiLearn Champions. Their ongoing partnership, support and authentic perspective continues to prove invaluable, as we look to drive forward a number of important agendas across the University.

“Champion recognition has given me the chance to cement my knowledge, from which I can continue to develop further. The community has given me so much and I think now is the time for me to give back by helping other colleagues, so that they can also embrace innovation through technology-enabled practices. It’s a continuous circle.

Having so many different practitioners from different disciplines, has given a really valuable dimension to my CPD. It’s opened up opportunities for collaboration with colleagues from other Schools, and even other universities – through the DigiLearn Sector.

You get almost immediate feedback and continuous encouragement throughout. What more could you ask for? I feel really empowered!”

Maria D Iglesias Mora – Lecturer in Hispanic and Global Studies, UCLan

“We have to consider DigiLearn as a community, and not at an individual level. This is a community of passionate people, who support each other and share practice. It is, in a sense, a community of innovators that have allowed me to share my inclusive approach to using technology.

There are many motivating factors for getting involved in DigiLearn. From forming part of evidence for Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), to curating efficiencies and providing access to knowledge and support.”

Andrew Grice – Lecturer in International Business Communication, UCLan

“DigiLearn has allowed me to have the confidence to at least try, and I know I have the support behind me if I need to ask for it.

There is so much to gain from joining this programme: skills, confidence, and increased student engagement… I would really encourage others to take the plunge!”

Dr Claire Mellor – Lecturer in Cell Biology, UCLan


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