Digital Exemplars for Teaching & Learning: Student Bursary Scheme

This new scheme is aiming to create a network of Student Digital ‘Ambassadors’ from across the University who will work on specific project within their department to develop the use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning.

Each student will receive an £800 bursary and will be supported by:
• an academic from their department,
• support staff from the faculty, ISS or the library as required,
• student ambassadors from other departments.
The expected deliverables of each project include:
• A summary of each project will be posted on the scheme’s website / blog, with progress being shared by the students.
• An evaluation of the project, in the form of a case study, project blog, video etc.
• The Digital Ambassador and academic associated with each project will be expected to give a presentation about their project in a ‘sharing practice’ day (or series of days) towards the end of summer term.

We are currently inviting departments to submit proposals (using the online submission form) for pilot projects. The deadline for submission is the 18th December 2015).

More about the scheme:

• The bursary is available to any student, undergraduate or postgraduate.
• Each proposal must be supported by an academic who will oversee the work of the student and be responsible for measuring impact and reporting on project outcomes.
• If additional support is likely to be required (e.g. from ISS, the library, OED, learning support officers) this should be outlined in the initial request.
• Although this is a bursary it should fall under the same rules as paid work in terms of the hours per week that a student is allowed to work (i.e. the student should not spend more than 20 hours a week on the project – or less if they have other paid work).
• We are expecting that the total time spent on the project by the student across the project (including development time, implementation and production of the final evaluation and presentation) should be around 80 hours.
• We are expecting that the project should run in Lent term, and be evaluated and summarised during summer term. If more than one submission is received from any department the Head of Department will be asked to prioritise any submissions .
• Bursaries will be paid to the student in two instalments – £400 at the end of Lent term, and £400 after the sharing practice day, which will take place in summer term.

Possible themes for projects:

Projects may build upon current activities or focus on the implementation of new uses of digital technologies within teaching.  Examples of possible themes are given below, noting that this list is by no means exhaustive.

  • New applications of technologies for online collaboration and participation.
  • Developing resources to help students with their use of discipline-specific software tools and acting as a facilitator for students to support themselves (we would be particularly interested in applications to trial a new online peer-support application).
  • Identifying areas of the curriculum where students struggle with the use of technology, or working with students to identify skills gaps.
  • Providing a pilot for the use of online collaboration tools (WebEx, Skype for Business, Box etc.) to build effective working relationships within groups, and/or to support distance students.
  • Offering additional workshops to develop students’ digital capabilities.
  • Building on centrally provided digital resources (e.g. from the library, ISS, learning support etc.) to integrate them into the curriculum.
  • Using digital technologies to make materials & resources more accessible, for example to support students with reading disabilities.
  • Trialling a particular tool or piece of software to help an individual student with specific accessibility support needs.
  • Developing innovative digital resources to address issues that arise for new students moving into HE (such as plagiarism, referencing, understanding academic texts etc.).
  • Using digital technologies for assessment (online marking, audio feedback, video assessment submission, to facilitate peer review etc.).
  • Integrating the assessment of students digital capabilities within the curriculum.

5 thoughts on “Digital Exemplars for Teaching & Learning: Student Bursary Scheme

  1. A couple of questions: there’s an implicit set of assumptions here that students will be f/t, on-campus, UG.
    How would off-campus, p/t, PGRs contribute?
    E.G. will there be asynchronous access to the sharing practice day if students are in a different time-zone? Will distance presentation and participation be enabled?

    Can a group of students work together on this rather than an individual with the payments being divvied up accordingly e.g. if 8 students came together to run online sessions with support each would each receive £100 in two instalments?

    • Hi Steve,

      No assumptions made. How the pilot/project works is up to the department. If there is an idea that works but requires input from multiple students then it will be assessed alongside all the others – although it might be more difficult to co-ordinate and to capture the learning. But all realistic proposals are welcomed. The student(s) chosen will need to work with an academic, but they can be UG or PG part-time or full-time, so long as they have the time to invest in the project.

      Learning from the project must be able to be shared. The idea of a sharing practice day is just one idea – in reality we’ll probably need a mix of events / sharing mechanisms. If we need to bring in people over videoconference or whatever I don’t see why we couldn’t. Equally some areas might suggest the development of video case studies etc.

      Does that answer your questions?

      • Many thanks Rachel – that helps clarify possibilities and scope and that some of the initial ideas being bounced around and the people potentially involved may at least be feasible.

        The outline time expectation of 80 hours across a term is potentially quite exclusive – having worked part-time and tried to balance that with PhD study i can attest to how *anything* on top can be the last straw, meanwhile those working full-time in demanding roles are even more stretched. As such distributing the student commitment would make it much more possible to engage and for the learning to be a more collective endeavour – which i think has benefits that outweigh the increased complexity of “capturing” that learning.

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