SUMEC: Building the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Programme into HE Staff Development

Francesca Brown-Cornwall, Matt Coombe-Boxall


This poster presentation will convey the findings from a Pilot study into the Staffordshire University Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Coaching Programme (known as SUMEC). This first of its kind staff development coaching programme supports staff towards applying for and obtaining Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert status, whilst simultaneously enabling staff to focus on their own personal goals with using technology to enhance the experience of their learners at the university. According to the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (2020) coaching and mentoring is an approach which can be used to help learners accelerate their careers, their development and successes. The Department for Education (2020) acknowledge the significance of coaching and mentoring within education and signpost the education sector to resources which encourage an ethos of coaching and mentoring in and amongst colleagues in educational establishments. Race (2020) highlights that purposeful coaching is a useful component is effective learning in Higher Education and reminds us that to be a principle fellow of the HEA an individual must demonstrate strategies for supporting and promoting others giving mentoring and coaching as explicit examples of such effective practice. Therefore, it is identifiable that programmes of CPD whereby coaching s the vehicle are desirable in education and specifically in HE CPD. Similarly, digital skills and innovation in teaching is at the forefront of the HE agenda, with JISC (2021) reporting to have a 2030 vision that will see HE providers respond to student feedback which identifies that they appreciate online/digital learning, but that sometimes approaches are unengaging and more fatiguing. For HE staff to maximise on the positive aspects of digital learning, teaching and wider student experience, it is important staff seek to continually improve their digital capabilities to ensure students remain fully engaged and involved. Therefore, it is arguably timely that the SUMEC pilot project combined coaching and digital skills into a single programme.

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