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Digital Proficiency

Digital Proficiency

Sawyer Digital Proficiency Initiative

Along with the changes in our society related to the development and use of technology in all disciplines, the scholarship skillsets of our faculty and students are evolving.  This evolution has affected the educational continuum from the learning tools of instruction to the end-products of scholarship.  Both faculty and students need resources to be continually educated on this continuum.  Our students upon graduation must possess such skills in order to compete in the employment marketplace and those who do stand out.  

Recognizing this changing factor in the higher educational environment, the strategic plan of Messiah College includes a focus on digital proficiency while preparing "educators to cultivate appropriate teaching and learning outcomes that meet the needs of a changing student body" in Theme 3, Goal 3. The Information and Web Technology Plan includes a similar focus with action steps toward implementation of a digital repository (Theme 4, Goal 1) and programming approaches that "improve the digital proficiency of educators and students" (Theme 4, Goal 2). This initiative supports these strategic plans.

This three-year project includes:

  • Faculty Fellows (15 full-time teaching faculty – selection will consider balance between schools, ~3/school)

  • Digital Scholars (students)

    • Interns (Students partnering with Faculty Fellows) – also eligible to participate in the certificate program

    • For digital proficiency certification (up to 100 students participating in Certificate program/year, 50/semester)

    • Digital Proficiency Geniuses (year 2) – outstanding certified digital proficiency scholars or other capable students, hand selected to be part of a support group beginning year 2. 

  • A list of equipment/technology to assist in this initiative

  • A Digital Repository – Software to host collection(s) of online resources from faculty, students, the library, and potentially other areas of the college

  • A Steering Committee

Faculty Fellows

Open to all full-time teaching faculty. Fellows apply and agree to:

  1. Develop a new academic experience for students in a course that includes activities involving technology that engage learners toward improved digital proficiency.
  2. Participate in a summer intensive week-long program where they work with digital tools.
  3. Join and attend a professional learning community on campus based on the digital proficiency initiative.
  4. Implement and disseminate their results with a larger campus audience.


Digital Scholar Intern Grant (Students)

Open to all full-time students who will be returning to Messiah College in the fall of 2018, 2019, or 2020.  

Faculty Fellows may recommend and include an interested student as part of the fellowship throughout the redesign phase and potentially for the subsequent implementation phase. In addition to partnering with a Faculty Fellow, Digital Scholar Interns may participate in the digital proficiency certificate program (under development).  The student receives $575/semester, two semester maximum, for up to 75 hours of work per semester as an intern.  The work of the student can be wide ranging but must at least include the student learning and applying for themselves the digital skills that are a part of the project.  


Digital Scholar Genius (Students, beginning Year 2)

These students require proven proficiency on various aspects of the certificate program and beyond and would assist with technical aspects of projects with both faculty and students.  These students would be deployed from the Innovation Zone (possibly from the Library or Digital Humanities Lab) depending on where digital proficiency spaces are located.  Learning Technology Services who already deploys work-study students will attempt to include such students as part of their existing budget if possible to make both supervision and finances sustainable.  This requires some exploration.  


Digital Scholars for Certification (Students)

Open to all full-time students who will be returning to Messiah College in the fall of 2018, 2019, or 2020.

Up to 100 student scholars per year will agree to participate in a digital proficiency certificate program (under development).  Students may elect to highlight this certification on their resume.


Digital Repository

Supporting both faculty and student research/scholarship, a digital repository will distribute, make accessible, and protect the scholarly information resources of faculty, students, and the College. Artifacts included in a digital repository accessible to anyone with an internet connection include: theses, honors projects, capstone projects, and scholarship developed through this Digital Proficiency Initiative.

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