This post was contributed by Jude Williams (Senior Consultant, Learning and Teaching, Learning Futures).
Diletta Luna Calibeo from Griffith Sciences has become the first member of staff to receive a digital badge in the new micro-credentialled Teaching for Learning Program. Her badge was awarded for completion of the Understanding Learning module, which is part of a suite of seven digital badges that make up the program and lead to Associate Fellowship, HEA and credit into the Graduate Certificate of University Learning and Teaching.
We asked Diletta a few questions about the Understanding Learning Digital Badge, its supporting module and the Teaching for Learning Program in general.
Here’s what she had to say.
Why did you enrol in the Teaching for Learning Program?
I have been interested in HEA Associate Fellowship (through Teaching for Learning) since last year, when I first heard about it. At the time, however, the program seemed a bit overwhelming to me, considering I had just finished my PhD and was so new to teaching. I wanted to know and learn more about how to be a good educator, as opposed to someone who would just give a lecture in class.
What was your experience of the Understanding Learning module?
I found the first module in the program truly interesting. I also appreciated how the module content was organised, and found the workload appropriate and manageable. The information provided was also useful: I know I will be using some of it with my students. In fact, I applied something that I learnt in the Understanding Learning module today at my first lecture for the trimester. At the end of my lectures I usually have a summary slide with the main points of the lecture. Today, instead of going through that last slide, I asked each group in my class to share with the others one thing they remembered about our lecture. Ideas kept on flowing, and the students ended up remembering more than what I had in my last summary slide.
I found today’s experience quite fascinating. Maybe it is because I am still new to teaching, but I was pleasantly surprised at the potential impact that one very small, but strategic change can have in relation to engaging students more meaningfully with content.
What is the value of earning a digital badge for your efforts?
The idea of having a digital badge is nice for a couple of reasons. First, it is a good reminder of where I am at with my progress in the course, and a way to feel encouraged to collect the remaining ones, too. Second, it publicly shows I am committed to achieving my goal; in a way, it makes me feel part of a ‘community’ of educators that like me are working hard toward the same goal.
Diletta also said:
I am glad I started this program, even if this means feeling a bit uncomfortable sometimes or stepping out of my ‘comfort zone’. The idea, for example, of video-recording a lecture or having someone external assisting to one can be challenging. But I am increasingly seeing the value in it and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn new ways to improve myself.
If you are interested in the digital badges that are part of the Teaching for Learning program, click here for instructions on how to access the online modules and get started.