DigiFest two ladies looking at laptop

DigiFest is an annual event that happens over several days in early September before the start of teaching. The aim is to find inspiration for using digital technologies and media by listening to the ideas and approaches taken by colleagues from across the University.  

We would welcome hearing about the ways you use technology in your teaching during DigiFest. 

ARU’s annual DigiFest ran online between 5-8 September in 2022 with face-to-face workshops on the Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses on 7 September – our Media Day.  

Each day had an early morning and late afternoon session focusing on different aspects of our ‘LMS Ecosystem’ – the digital tools and platforms we use for teaching and learning: Canvas, MS365, the new YuJa media system, and third-party tools.  

As well as looking at quick wins and possibilities, each day featured a space in the afternoon sessions for faculty innovations. Each day we encouraged our staff to get more involved in our innovation communities – opportunities to meet like-minded people, lead, influence and take part in developing practice and supporting colleagues. Follow the conversation #ARUdigifest. 

Monday 5 September: Canvas 

Morning session 9am-10am (online): 
The Canvas session provided an opportunity to explore some quick wins and new features.  
Monitoring engagement with Canvas Learning Analytics, Progress View and Badging as well as graded discussion  
Self-, peer- and team- evaluation using Buddycheck  
Afternoon session 4-5pm (online)
The Canvas session shared three innovative Canvas practices:  
Nicky Milner discussed her use of digital certification and badging in Canvas as part of a CPD course.  
Linda King talked about her use of a co-curricular zero credit module in Canvas to support skills and competencies development.  
George Evangelinos demonstrated different approaches to content templates in Canvas to provide a consistent and efficient approach to learning.  

Tuesday 6 September: Microsoft 365 

Morning session 9am-10am (online)
This Microsoft morning session of Digifest explored Five Quick Wins using Microsoft 365 as part of the LMS Ecosystem to empower students and enhance their digital fluency. The Microsoft applications were useful during pandemic teaching but how can we use them in a face-to-face context to enhance learning? This session gave practical advice, especially top tips and quick wins, on using a variety of different Microsoft Tools within learning and teaching. 
Afternoon session 4-5pm (online)
During this session we gained insights into how academics within the faculties are using Microsoft tools to enhance their learning and teaching. There was a focus on using OneNote Class Notebook as a collaborative tool. 

Wednesday 7 September: YuJa Media 

Morning session 9am-10am (online)
This interactive session explored quick wins to get students to actively engage with media.
Afternoon session 4-5pm (online)
In this session academics shared case studies of how they are using media to enhance learning, teaching and assessment. 

Thursday 8 September: Third-Party Tools and Technologies 

Morning session 9am-10am (online)
We explored how we define Third-Party Tools and Technologies, and how they can be used in practice e.g. to present and share content in a variety of ways (e.g. using a hashtag on Twitter, creating a video on YouTube, or creating a graphic on Adobe Express), to collaborate in real-time (e.g. using a Padlet board), through polling to ascertain views and/or understanding (e.g. through Poll Everywhere and Mentimeter). We also explored which ones are supported across ARU and are recommended, alongside how we can make good judgements when using and selecting them.  
Afternoon session 4-5pm (online)
We heard examples from staff on how they have used Third-Party Tools and Technologies within their own practice, and shared ideas and examples of how they can be used to enhance engagement, collaboration, creativity and bring new functionality to our teaching. This session also incorporated a closing activity to summarise DigiFest 2022 and explored next steps for each theme. 

Banner with a hand holidng a stylus over a tablet, with the text "DigiFest 2022 This year's theme: LMS Ecosystem 5-8 September 2022, 9-10am and 4-5pm Online #ARUdigifest aru.ac.uk/digifest"