Digital Unite’s online courses make people feel like they are Digital Champions and give them new ideas and techniques for helping people to get online and stay online, according to a survey among those who had completed the Quick Start course and/or the Digital Champion ITQ.

It’s been less than a year since Digital Unite launched their online courses to help develop Digital Champion skills but already they are making a difference in helping to develop knowledge, confidence and teaching techniques among those who teach others to use computers and the internet. As a consequence many more new learners are being engaged and supported to make digital technology a part of their everyday life.

Some of the findings from Digital Unite’s survey among those who had completed the online courses between March and September 2012 showed that:

  • Only a third (36%) considered themselves to be Digital Champions prior to taking either our course. Now, having completed their course, all of them (100%) feel that they are.
  • 8 out of 10 say their course has given them new ideas and techniques for helping people to get online and stay online.
  • 9 out of 10 say the course has made them more competent in their job/volunteer role.
  • Over half (55%) have seen an increase on the number of people they helped prior to the course. The top two reasons cited for the increase are:
    • I have more confidence in my role as a digital champion using my skills with others (83%)
    • I can plan and deliver training better (83%)
  • 7 out of 10 said they and/or their organisation have introduced new digital initiatives as a result of the course. These include a Tuesday IT Club, 2 x 2hr monthly sessions, and signing up other colleagues and volunteers to run sessions on their behalf.
  • 9 out of 10 would recommend the course to others.

Digital Unite currently offers two courses:

A short, self-study online course for people who are looking to help others get started with using the internet on an informal basis. For example, they might be helping their friends or family or maybe they would like to become a computer buddy in their local library. The course covers how to create the right learning environment for beginners, what hardware, software and websites to use and how to create and maintain learner interest.

Unique in the marketplace, the Digital Champion ITQ is accredited by City and Guilds and helps people develop a wide range of personal digital skills in a formal and structured way. It gives learners an understanding of how to use those new skills to inspire others and how to engage with local communities through digital learning activities. Crucially, by developing people in this way, it can help organisations build their own capacity to deliver services digitally.

Participants of the courses come from a variety of organisations including social housing providers, councils, libraries, trade unions, charities and community groups. General feedback included comments such as ‘the course gave me lots of confidence and a wealth of ideas to share with people. It was great to be pushed out of my comfort zone and try areas such as Facebook and Twitter.’  To read more from some of our learners follow this link.

Emma Solomon, Managing Director of Digital Unite said: “Getting people to use and keep on using digital technology is an enormous challenge, particularly among older people and those living in social housing. With Government agendas such as Welfare Reform and Universal Credit driving people to access services and benefits online being digitally enabled has never been so important.

“At Digital Unite we firmly believe that helping people to help others and themselves is the only way we can realise scale and longevity to achieve better digital inclusion and it was with that in mind that we developed our online courses. It is all well and good appointing people to the role of Digital Champions, or hoping they’ll self-appoint but if they’re not equipped with some essential digital and engagement skills then their potential will never be fully realised and their confidence and enthusiasm will waiver.

“It is hugely gratifying to see from this research that our Digital Champion courses are achieving what we hoped they would and we will ensure they continue to evolve through bespoke content for specific audiences and course updates to reflect the latest technology developments. We look forward to seeing many more course graduates in 2013.”

For more information about our online courses visit

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