Student Story: Catherine White
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Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your career?
I’m working with the Health Services Executive (the largest employer in the Republic of Ireland) for the last 30 years. I started with them as a staff nurse and have worked my way up from a local to a regional level, and now I work at a national level with the office of nursing and the proof of services director.
I’m currently a project manager for designing, implementing and working on a specification of requirements for the implementation of the learning management system. We currently work with a classroom management system and now expanding that to scope out a learning management system.
I decided to do the diploma in digital learning design to enhance my education and my knowledge in that sector because I had recently moved into the role of project officer and I felt the need to be credible in my understanding of digital learning design.
What do you think the impact of doing your diploma with the Digital Learning Institute has been?
It has certainly given me more confidence. I certainly feel more credible in what I have to say about digital learning design. I’m no longer afraid to speak up with my opinion on something because I feel I have the factual evidence behind me now.
I think that’s the most exciting thing about digital learning design, it is constantly changing. One of the things that I’m really grateful for from a DLI perspective is that it was never just about the program or it was never just about the projects. It was always about expanding your horizons and going on to the next phase.
Our mentors/tutors were always enthusiastic and generated great excitement and discussion, and we were always encouraged to expand our knowledge onto the world’s platform, to go way beyond what we currently know. For me, that was going way beyond healthcare and the HSE, looking at how eLearning has transformed in private industry and other organisations worldwide.
We had a particularly good session on immersive technology and immersive learning and that really excited me from a health care perspective. I think the program delivers far more than just what’s on the curriculum. What you see on the curriculum generates excitement, and that really enhanced my satisfaction with doing the program.
How much do you think it’ll help you in your role in the next 12 months?
I’m really only at the beginning of my digital learning journey. Who knows what will happen in the next twelve months? for me, I really have no idea. That’s the bit that excited me the most about this program, knowing that I don’t have to worry anymore because I feel credible in what I know. I feel that whatever new things happen or whatever new opportunities emerge, I feel I’m in a space now where I can manage those quite effectively.
What area do you feel you got the most value from?
I certainly think the projects were good. We had four assignments to do in quick succession, so there was a lot of pressure on us to deliver on those assignments. I think they kept me grounded and they kept me focused on what I needed to know and what I needed to do from the digital learning perspective and make sure those boxes ticked.
I think what really excited me about the whole program was the expansion of learning. I just found that really valuable because I will always be looking out for the next opportunity and looking for the next resource that can support me in my work and my role.
How likely are you to recommend the diploma from the Digital Learning Institute?
Well, I think anyone with an interest in digital learning should sign up for this program. I really think it’s entirely up to you what you want to get out of it. I think you have to have a focused mind and an open mind. You have to allow yourself time to get through the program.
There is a lot of learning in it, we were recommended to allow 5 hours a week to complete the program. I easily could have doubled that because I just became so immersed in it, I just wanted to know more and more. I think anyone would have a basic interest in learning more about the digital landscape.
Absolutely I would really recommend it as the learning is something that will sit with me and stay with me forever.
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