As an Academic Digital Champion the University expects you to:

  • Share digital practice and specialist knowledge of technologies with others at the University
  • Work in partnership to develop digital practice and the digital services at the University
  • Spread the word about digital practices and the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) agenda at the University

In return, the University will recognise this work sharing a list of academic champions and providing regular reports of activity to Heads of Department and College deans. Digital Badges for activity will also be awarded along with an annual award for the most inspirational and influential Academic Digital Champion.

Sharing Digital Practice

There are a number of existing opportunities at the University where you can share your practice and encourage others to share theirs. These include presenting or co-presenting a session on the Academic Practice Programme, presenting at the annual Learning and Teaching Conference or you could present your ideas at external conferences.

You may also want to set up a college based event to help share practice across your subject area and the TEL team are happy to support the organisation and delivery of these events. Support may also be provided at away days at all levels (subject, department, college) helping to run specific events around an area of digital practice.

The sharing of specialist knowledge of a technology is also important to the University, especially in relation to software, tools or techniques which meet the needs of subject areas such as SPSS, AutoCAD, creating infographics and we are interested in collecting information together on the specialisms which exist within the university and specifically the academic digital champions.

Working in partnership

There are a number of ways in which you can work in partnership with TEL and the student digital champions. We are continually looking to hear the academic voice in making improvements to the digital experience of both staff and students at Derby. By providing feedback to TEL on new and existing technologies you can help us to ensure we consider these voices in the decisions made at the university and the developments we require from the suppliers of our learning technologies.

You can also work with us by helping to develop our digital practice handbook, adding pages for different approaches and technologies as well as information on case studies which might be useful. This will help us with our work to provide a consistent and easy accessible set of help materials as well as the work we carry out to encourage programmes to embed digital practice within the curriculum.

We also want to promote the work of Student Digital Champions and you can help us to do this. We want to recruit student champions from all Colleges and use them to support university wide initiatives, gather feedback from students on technologies and services as well as work alongside academics on curriculum developments. Some of these academic led projects will receive funding through the TEL development fund which provides support to research innovative use of technology or learning and teaching approaches which enhance the digital student experience.

Spreading the Word

We also want you to disseminate the work of TEL as well as Academic and Student Digital Champions. This can be done through internal networks at the university and where appropriate external networks and via social media. This will help to promote initiatives as well as celebrate the work of both student and digital champions. As staff are overwhelmed by the number of emails, sometimes the informal networks which can be used to disseminate information can be more effective and that is why the role of Academic Digital Champion is so vital to the University.

TEL Development fund

The TEL development fund has been created to encourage a culture of innovation, experimentation and action research, providing funding for programmes to trial new technology and learning and teaching approaches which improve the student’s digital learning experience. This supports Goal III in the TEL Strategy (2017-2021) where the University aims to ensure Research-informed innovative pedagogies form part of a holistic and high quality digital student journey, leading to enhanced physical and virtual learning spaces.


For any further queries, please contact the team via