IDEAS (Inspirations for Digital Engagement Activities) to support the teaching practice of early career academics

Colaiacomo, Silvia and Havemann, Leo (2022). IDEAS (Inspirations for Digital Engagement Activities) to support the teaching practice of early career academics. Postgraduate Pedagogies, 2(1) pp. 156–171.



The Covid-19 pandemic has provided both challenges to established patterns and also opportunities, such as for new collaborative approaches between different teams to support education within online or increasingly blended environments (Havemann & Roberts, 2021). This paper discusses one such collaboration which involved a group of UCL academic development and digital education staff who co-designed and developed a collection of open educational resources entitled Inspirations for Digital Engagement Activities or IDEAs (Walker et al, 2021).

The IDEAs are ‘recipes’ for activities which are designed to scaffold and support teaching in online or blended contexts, and perhaps particularly useful to those newer to teaching, such as postgraduate teaching assistants (PGTAs). The collection of IDEAs comprises a set of activities that can be used to enhance active learning (Prince, 2004), and to encourage engagement and participation (Gourlay et al., 2021) in a flexible and playful way across disciplines. Each IDEA comes with a set of instructions about how to adapt it to different learning scenarios, planning time and relevant digital resources.

The IDEAs are disseminated via interactive workshops which introduce our dedicated blog ( The blog is organised in such a way that IDEAs can be browsed based on their pedagogical aims. The blog is also an open resource where we invite PGTAs to contribute their comments and examples of activities so to develop a community of ‘early’ practitioners beyond disciplinary environments. The use of resources such as IDEAs in professional development can support a new generation of educators by sharing and modelling good practice. At the same time through scenarios and activities in the workshop we problematise taken-for-granted assumptions about lack of participation and the nature of active engagement (Kuhn et al., 2021) taking a student-centred approach (Trinidad, 2020).

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions