Smells like Team Spirit - a new team’s adventure in Digital Learning

Gallagher, Edel, McDonald, James, Walsh, Aine and Farrell, Orna (2021) Smells like Team Spirit - a new team’s adventure in Digital Learning.


Over the last 10-12 months the way we work, learn, absorb information and communicate has changed significantly. New technologies and models have been introduced to tackle the challenges surrounding online learning and new teams and jobs have been created to help reduce the stress that comes with how we now learn and retain information. In 2020, Dublin City University (DCU) established a new Digital Learning Design Unit; a team of 10 people tasked with supporting lecturers to transition to a new way of working, and to help address the challenges of pivoting online.

We are approaching our fifth month together as a team, we all work remotely and not one of us has met the other physically. So far we have worked with over 176 lecturers and have enhanced 164 Moodle course pages. This of course has its own challenges for us, so we meet almost daily, for that social interaction, but also to update on the projects we are working on, and to offer support if needed.

We feel that we work well together, which is imperative for supporting the wider University staff group. We have learned to utilise a range of technologies to collaborate, which aid our work with academic staff. These technologies range from Zoom, Google Apps, H5P activities to Moodle tools, such as quizzes and Moodle Books. As well as this, the team participates in a range of team building activities, including weekly reading circles and regular virtual coffees and team quizzes.

In this session, we will describe our work practices and the technologies that have supported us to cultivate a collaborative team environment in a fully online space. We will also discuss how this team spirit, and our own sense of wellbeing, can help us to empower lecturers to try new things with technology.

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