In my last post, I explained why and how we at Barnet & Southgate College, set-up a Digital Helpdesk (DigiDesk). In this post, I would like to explore the projects that our students were involved in.
Being a DigiDesk Advisor was not just about answering IT related queries and logging them on the helpdesk.
Our DigiDesk Advisors had a range of jobs that evolved over the course of their work experience and as their confidence grew that were closely related to enhancing teaching and learning, quality and staff development. They did the following projects:
- Moodle Audit of course content
- Create Video feedback for learner voice
- Staff Training
- Editing their own Moodle course
DigiDesk Advisors were involved in our Quality processed with quality checking courses in an audit.
The audit was carried out over 2 weeks and 8 DigiDesk Advisors were given non-editing teacher access to view course content within all Moodle courses. They were asked to audit a specific area that they did not study in and look for key criteria in each course e.g. no. of topics displayed, the course format, whether it was being used actively or not and other aspects.
This information was collated and shared using Google Docs and then formed a part of an E-Learning Audit.
Learner Voice – Moodle feedback
DigiDesk Advisors used iPads to capture feedback on 5 criteria within our Moodle teaching courses and to gather comments on how it could be improved. This revealed some insightful views from students around the college. This video was then shared with our leadership group and managers and the feedback enabled us to develop our e-learning provision to meet the needs of learners.
Staff Professional Development (CPD)
We have 2 different types of computers within our college, PCs and MACs. Whilst MACs are available for student use within our LRC area and whilst they are very powerful computers, their full potential is not realised as staff supporting students are not overly familiar with the navigation of MACs as they themselves do not use MAC computers so in some cases, find it difficult to answer technical questions about using a MAC for printing or changing settings as well as carrying out some of the functions.
So, the DigiDesk Advisors worked closely with LRC staff and carried out a 1 hour MAC Basics tutorial with all LRC staff at our Wood Street Campus which was very well received.
Additionally, DigiDesk Advisors delivered training on topics such as Prezi, OneDrive, using Twitter, creating QR codes and using Moodle.
Some DigiDesk Advisors even carried out workshops at our staff conference on Learning Technologies and the E-Factor conference.
Editing their own Moodle course
All DigiDesk Advisors were given access to a sandpit area where they were given Teacher Access and had full editing rights where they could learn how to change the settings and experiment with the possibilities of how a course could be developed. There were soime excellent examples where advisors had changed the theme to accommodate for accessibility issues as well as changing the format to grid format. They explored the use of social media type features such as WIKIs and forums.
Advisors went and training staff and their own teachers on how to improve their own blended courses.