My role as a Course Ambassador: a Q&A with Olivia Pineau
Course Ambassadors are students employed by Learning Enhancement and Innovation on a casual basis to assist individual Course Coordinators, teaching teams, and teaching support teams in supporting the University’s efforts to deliver remote learning opportunities. Course Ambassadors aid teaching staff in the use of MyUni and the implementation of learning experiences for remote learners, including collection of engagement metrics, support for virtual tutorials, discussion board monitoring, and population of weekly remote learning plans.
To find out more about the role of Course Ambassadors, we spoke to 2nd year student and HMS Course Ambassador, Olivia Pineau. She outlines exactly how the role works and how teaching staff can benefit from engaging with a Course Ambassador.
What sparked your interest in becoming a Course Ambassador?
As an international student, I am always looking for good opportunities for employment in Adelaide. I don’t have a lot of spare time during normal business hours, so the idea of a flexible online position was amazing! It is also so secure knowing you are working for an institution like the University of Adelaide where you won’t have to worry about any issues. It’s so nice being able to put my experiences as a student to good use, and hopefully improve the learning opportunities and outcomes for others.
What types of tasks can you be booked for?
There are a wide range of tasks that Student Ambassadors can assist with. Basically, Course Ambassadors are on hand to assist Course Coordinators and teaching staff with any issues or tasks relating to MyUni. I can update course modules, pages, groups, find new methods to deliver information online, structure remote learning workshops, handle all the technical difficulties and back-end headaches which will free up Course Coordinators and Lecturers to focus on their material and their students. I am also up for a challenge so if you have a cool project or idea, I would love to help with it!
What are the benefits of using Course Ambassadors?
First off, I absolutely want to help! The benefits of engaging with Course Ambassadors are that we approach the learning experience from a completely different perspective. As students, we have first-hand knowledge of what the best online experience can look and feel like. We’re tech savvy, quick and knowledgeable about the platforms being used – since we interact with them on a daily basis. As the model for teaching is being rapidly changing in today’s environment, Course Ambassadors can offer our advice on how to keep students engaged in the material remotely and ways to make the online platforms work for you.
What are some misconceptions that you’ve encountered about Course Ambassadors?
I think time is the biggest misconception out there right now, specifically how long you need to use us for. Meeting times can be between 2-8 hours but that doesn’t mean we have to be on Zoom the entire time! Often, Course Coordinators or teaching staff can quickly explain what they need done and I can pick up the rest. Through online platforms it is easy for Course Coordinators to see what I’ve been able to accomplish throughout a day, as well as keep in touch. Course Coordinators may think that they don’t have enough work to offload onto a Course Ambassador, but as online learning is dramatically increasing, we can significantly help ease the transition and be a welcome resource for as little or as long as you need – Just ask!
What is your favourite part of being a Course Ambassador?
Along with many, many others, I recently found myself out of a casual job and worrying about the future. Being a Course Ambassador has allowed me the flexibility of working from home when I have time between my own studies. But more importantly, it has allowed me to stay connected to my University community and expand my network even further. I am so happy that I can help even one other student, or a faculty member navigate this extremely confusing time and play a small role in keeping classes going. Not only can I put my existing skills to good use, but I have learned so much so quickly about what goes into the delivery of classes and programs. I have become a MyUni whiz!
About Olivia Pineau
Originally from Canada, Olivia is a Course Ambassador and 2nd year student in the Masters of Global Food and Agricultural Business at The University of Adelaide. After completing her studies, Olivia hopes to do policy work with governments or NGOs, helping to ensure the future of food globally.
Interested in engaging with a Course Ambassador?
If you’re a Course Coordinator or Lecturer looking for assistance with the use of MyUni and the implementation of learning experiences for remote learners?
Find out how to book a Course Ambassador here.