by Jess Humphreys, University of Warwick and Co-Chair of ELESIG and Denise Sweeney, University of Nottingham
Are you looking for a way to support your emerging research practice in the area of digital education, or perhaps you might be interested in sharing your experience to support someone else who is just beginning on that journey. The Scholar Scheme is an innovation mentoring scheme to bring those with experiences and skills to share (advisors) with those who are in need of a little more support (scholars).
What is the Scholar Scheme about
The Scholar Scheme is a facilitated, reciprocal mentoring scheme for people involved in learning technology who are interested in developing and strengthening their capacity in research and evaluation. Mentoring is important because it provides individuals with valuable guidance, support, and feedback to develop their skills and knowledge, navigate challenges, and achieve their personal and professional goals. ALT ELESIG want to share and develop research and evaluation skills within this community to help us all benefit from a better understanding of where educational technology is heading.
How the Scheme will work
We want you to apply using the form provided. If you are selected you will be invited to five group workshops facilitated for all participants, and be placed in an advisor/scholar pairing which will be expected to meet together 4 times (approximately 4 hrs of one-on-one engagement in total). The majority of this work will take place between September 2023 and January 2024. This year’s iteration of the Scheme is inspired by the ‘Change Laboratory’ model. This process is a collaborative approach used in organisations to identify and transform systemic challenges. It involves bringing together diverse stakeholders to critically examine existing practices, uncover underlying assumptions, and co-create innovative solutions that address complex problems and drive positive change. You will learn the basics of this model during the sessions. This does require a commitment from you, and although the process is free, we would like you to think carefully about the workload and what you want to get from the scheme, whether you join as advisor or as a scholar.
For this version of the Scheme, we want to work with a smaller group of advisors and scholars in order to maximise the support we can offer. This is why we are asking you to write something about yourselves and your ideas to help us select a group that we believe will work well together and will remain committed to the scheme.
This is an interesting and novel scheme, and ALT ELESIG will conduct research to help understand the issues involved in supporting the development of educational technology scholars and how to further improve the scheme. Participants will be fully informed of any research activities being undertaken.
- 5 group meetings:
- Launch : There will be an initial launch meeting at the end of June to discuss the scheme, get a chance to meet the others on the scheme and share ideas and any concerns. We will also discuss advisor/scholar pairings.
- Three workshops : These facilitated group sessions will use the ‘Change Laboratory’ model to get you to work with others to explore your key interests. These will run at the end of September, October and November 2023.
- Summary meeting : At the end of January the group will meet again to share ideas and experiences.
- Advisor/scholar roles and pairings:
- Advisor: Those working in an advisor role will commit to meet with the scholar independently, discuss their research interests and share their understanding and experiences of trying to evaluate and research in this area. Their role is not a ‘supervisor’ such as you might have on a PhD, but to be a supportive listener to help the scholar to reflect and offer guidance in moving their ideas forward.
- Scholar: We aim that those working in the scholar role will be working in the learning technology field and interested in developing their research and evaluation skills. However, they will often lack local support to progress their aims. They may have tried to do something in this area but struggled to move it forward. They would not, for instance be close to finishing a PhD or have published several articles successfully already.
- In our model, successful advisor/scholar pairings are not built on an area of research knowledge or skills. Instead, they are about building safe spaces to air issues and reflect (for both parties) on their work. We will be careful to place you in pairings that do not have a potential conflict of interest but we are happy to change pairings where they are not working. Once you have been paired, we would like you to make time to meet at least 4 times during the scheme.
Register your interest in becoming an advisor or scholar here – https://forms.gle/64v38JUuJizmuDCN6
Did you enjoy reading this? Then become a member of our community. See Membership details here https://www.alt.ac.uk/membership