UCL Association University Administrators (AUA)


The Digital Department

The Digital Department is a JISC-funded project based at UCL which aims to investigate and develop digital literacy skills of teaching administrators (TA) and establish a sector-wide certification framework for TAs in digital literacy in conjunction with the AUA and possibly other professional organisations.

This is a very timely project because as the complexity of providing education in an increasingly digitally-rich HE environment has grown, a new cadre of well-qualified teaching administrators (TAs) is now emerging as critical 'change agents'. TAs provide a range of 'just in time' support to academic colleagues. They often manage Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) resources, communicate directly with students and facilitate key educational processes such as assessment, feedback and consistent quality standards.

Although TAs contribute directly to the student experience, their specific digital literacy needs have so far been rarely recognised or addressed. The Digital Department will therefore analyse the diverse skills and abilities needed in a modern 'digital department', and explore how can we can benchmark, develop, share and evaluate best teaching administration digital practice across UCL.

In parallel with the certification framework the project will explore how technology can enhance the business efficiency and educational effectiveness of academic processes. Achieving consistent quality of teaching and learning support is important to students but is undoubtedly challenging, particularly in large and diverse universities. By developing a common framework of digital literacies among a committed staff group and by engaging students, support staff and academic colleagues throughout the process, we believe we can establish a practical, sustainable model of institutional change which can be applied to other staff groups across our institution and the wider HE sector.

The project is now well under way having already gained some valuable contributions from TAs, students, support staff and academics at UCL as well as having established a cross faculty and services Digital Department Steering Committee to gain valuable input from senior management levels in UCL as well as the AUA.

Please contact Ciaran Moynihan at cfhd@ucl.ac.uk with any ideas or suggestions, or to find out how you can get involved.

You can keep up with the project via http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/the-digital-department/