As members of the Bass Digital Education Fellowship program, fellows gain skills in digital education that is applicable across career paths both in and outside higher education. As part of their professional development in the program, graduate fellows develop digital pedagogy, learning design, consulting and project management skills that complement their academic credentials. In addition to working on a project related to digital education, fellows participate in program experiences that allow them to network and explore career paths in digital education and teaching innovation.
A requirement of the program is that all fellows take the Certificate in College Teaching course GS762: Online Teaching and Digital Pedagogy. This course equips PhD students with both the knowledge to understand the digital teaching landscape in twenty-first century higher education and the skills to build their own course materials. As part of the course, professionals from Learning Innovation and the Office of Information Technology (Academic Media Services and Duke Web Services), as well as former Bass instructional fellows, visit the course to offer their own expertise.
The fellowship experience consists of two main components: a hands-on project and a cohort based experience. Fellows take part in a Digital Education Internship. Learning Innovation works with fellows to identify and design projects and provides oversight throughout the internship. (Fellows are able to identify and bring their own faculty-led digital project or select among available Learning Innovation projects). While each internship assignment is determined by fellow interest and career goals, all fellows are partnered with a Learning Innovation project advisor. These internships give fellows practical opportunities to develop teaching and technical skills for an academic semester. No two projects are the same, as evidenced by the wide-range of work completed by past fellows.
In addition to the internship experience, fellows participate in a seminar series (GS772: Bass Digital Education Colloquium) that provides an official designation on their transcripts. The colloquium is taken concurrently with the fellowship, where fellows gain online course design and development experience, collaboratively problem-solve design challenges and explore strategies to overcome them; and engage with Duke faculty and digital education leaders. In particular, these opportunities to connect with professionals feature digital education leaders from outside Duke, located at both varied institutions of higher education. This type of networking empowers fellows by demonstrating just how many career paths are open to them as digital educators, both inside and beyond the world of higher education.
A strong component of this fellowship experience is its direct focus in preparing graduate students for a multitude of careers. Not only do fellows gain knowledge of digital tools and innovative teaching principles, they are also able to put that knowledge into practice through their projects and given insights about how to present these skills during their job search through the graduate school professional development opportunities.