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Peer Learning To Ignite Digital Skills

Mrs Elizabeth Delacretaz

Deakin University


With so many digital tools surfacing every day, how can staff in higher education keep up with technologies that are relevant to learning and teaching?

One way Deakin University Library is addressing the problem of maintaining and building staff digital skill sets is through an opt-in peer-learning model. Launched in April 2018, the Lightning Talks series gives library staff the opportunity to be collegially involved in learning by hosting short, sharp virtual sessions on digital tools.

The series features staff who have volunteered to showcase, to a receptive audience of their peers, either a new digital tool they are exploring or a familiar digital tool they have expertise in.

Key benefits include:
• Providing HEW 4 – HEW 7 Client Services staff with 
experience in presenting online and to colleagues

• An opportunity for peer-guided learning and knowledge/skill acquisition

• Strengthening the existing culture of skill sharing and support amongst staff

• Enabling collaboration between staff across campuses and teams

• Offering the opportunity for staff to learn about digital tools to support teaching and learning activities

These sessions are recorded for staff who cannot attend the live Skype presentation, and for attendees who want to go back and review the session. Since commencing staff have delivered 5 talks, 114 staff attended and 38 staff viewed the session recordings. As a result of the lightning talks, library staff have shared their knowledge of relevant tools with students and academics, and have developed engaging online interactive activities embedded within the curriculum. Learning online offers many opportunities that aren’t available in traditional learning environments, and many challenges for those who approach it in the same way they approach traditional learning. If we want to deliver new and engaging online activities to students, we need to explore emerging digital tools. Lightning talks o er a better way to stay abreast, and tap in to the skills and experiences of our colleagues.