Digital Education Assistants providing local support

During consultations for the Digital Transformation programme and the Digital Education Strategy, University colleagues reported that getting the basics right is a priority, and to do that, extra help is needed. Local teams need support with optimising and embedding processes that work for them, and deliver real benefits.

Photo of Saverio Carrera, Dr Stephen Eyre, Nithya Ramadoss, Joshua Lowe (Digital Education Assistants)

From left: Saverio Carrera, Dr Stephen Eyre, Nithya Ramadoss, Joshua Lowe (Digital Education Assistants)

In response, the Canvas Enhancements/Inclusive Teaching Enhancements 2 project funded four Digital Education Assistants to work in divisions for 12 months from June 2023. The assistants work with faculties and departments, course teams and Centre for Teaching and Learning colleagues to identify and implement improvements to the use of Canvas and associated digital education technologies.

Supporting all four academic divisions, plus Continuing Education and GLAM, the assistants have so far worked with 35 departments, providing practical help in improving their use of digital education tools to support flexible and inclusive teaching and learning. Achievements include:

  • Working with colleagues to identify and implement improvements to hundreds of Canvas courses – such as redesigning Canvas homepages for Medieval and Modern Languages to make them more consistent, attractive and accessible, and helping the Clinical Neuroimaging Course move from PDF to Canvas calendars 
  • Developing process documentation to help new and existing staff build local knowledge and get the best from digital education tools – such as in Chemistry, Physics and Engineering - to ensure institutional knowledge of Canvas is not lost with staff turnover 
  • Designing and facilitating an ‘Empowering Oxford Educators - Digital Education Workshop’ with customised divisional versions 
  • Liaising with colleagues in the Paediatric Infectious Diseases programme and Philosophy, Politics and Economics to customise demonstrations and workshops on targeted topics, including Canvas enhancements, the Ally accessible content tool and the Digitally Supported Inclusive Teaching Toolkit 
  • Consulting with colleagues to help ensure the development of Canvas and inclusive teaching enhancements met user requirements, such as the new Canvas page design tool 
  • Promoting and supporting improved use of the Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO) and Panopto Canvas integrations, such as in the School of Anthropology & Museum Ethnography and the Sleep Medicine Programme. 

During their remaining term in office, the assistants aim to work with as many departments as possible, ensuring that outputs are embedded within local teams and digital education services, so they will continue when this initiative ends. 

If you would like to find out more, or engage a Digital Education Assistant in your area, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning at

You might also like to read what students told us through the 2023 Digital Education Technologies Student Survey, and how our colleagues, including the Digital Education Assistants, are helping to respond.