Transforming Personal and Professional Digital Capacities in Teaching and Learning Contexts: A Collaboration between Social Policy Educators, Students, and Learning Technologists
Project Lead: University College Cork
Project Partners: Institute of Technology Tralee, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Waterford Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Carlow, Cork Institute of Technology
While many social policy educators are digital enthusiasts, many feel insufficiently knowledgeable about the possibilities of digital technologies for enhancing student learning. This project is led by the School of Applied Social Studies in partnership with the Office of the Vice-President for Teaching & Learning (OVPTL), with the aim of expanding social policy educators’ digital capacities and improving their confidence in integrating digital skills into curricula. Educators will be transformed into ‘Digital Champions’, whose journeys will be documented throughout the process. This will provide a map for others who wish to follow in their footsteps.
The project is based on shared values between the discipline of social policy, the OVPTL, and the National Professional Development Framework, namely, inclusivity, authenticity, public scholarship, learner-centredness, and collaboration. The project’s evaluation phase involves the collection of data from social policy educators about their current digital skills, and data from staff and students on ‘ideal’ digital literacy standards. Results will inform the development of a continuum of educators’ digital literacy needs, incorporating the Professional Development Framework’s four types of learning and its five domains. Social policy educators and learning technologists will work together in designing and implementing staff development and training initiatives that maximise the use of digital technologies in advancing teaching and learning.
Training and support materials will be sourced via previous National Forum-funded projects, including All Aboard, TEL Tools, and Transformation Through Collaboration. ‘Digital Badges’ will acknowledge and award social policy educators’ engagement in continuing professional development (CPD) and the application of acquired digital literacy skills in teaching and learning contexts. As a consequence of their engagement, staff will be better positioned to incorporate digital technologies into their practice, thereby maximising the student experience through exciting technology-enhanced teaching and learning approaches, and positively impacting the experiences of educators and students alike.