Developing my skills as a DLA

By Maria de Oliveira Pazzianotto Pinto, Digital Learning Assistant, UEBS.

Last summer I was appointed as a Digital Learning Assistant (DLA) at the University of Exeter. In this role, I had the opportunity of working with many people, from academics to colleagues, doing a number of different things. The best part of this internship has been the opportunity to create video tutorials to help students in the digital environment.

When I first started the internship, I had no experience in creating videos. Last year I had a group assignment in one of my modules which involved creating a video, and the first thing I said to my group was: “I can do as much research as you want, but please don’t ask me to edit the video!”.

However, circumstances changed, and as a DLA, I was required IT skills to help bringing the University’s teaching to the online platform. One of my first tasks was to create a video tutorial for a tool named ThingLink. Maybe it was because I wanted to impress my superiors in my first activity as a DLA. Maybe it was because I had been quarantining for the past 3 months and had a lot of free time. Whatever the reason, I was determined to deliver the best video tutorial I could create. I researched on editing tools, how to record voiceovers, how to add music to a video, etc.

ThingLink video:

At the end, creating the video was great. I recorded the screen as I worked my way through the tool and recorded my voice on top of that. The video was very well received by my Digital Learning Developer (DLD) and after that I was asked to create many other videos. The more videos I made, the better the quality would get.

Now, studying entirely online for my second year in University, half of my modules required video assignments for the mid-terms. What seemed like an impossible task during my first year, now is an exciting and inspiring assignment for myself. Because of the knowledge I acquired as a DLA, I try to deliver creative videos in my assignments, aiming to keep it interesting to who is going to watch it.

This is just one example of how being a DLA has helped me in University. This internship has been an amazing opportunity to develop skills that will be useful for my studies and career.