September – new year, new challenges

As we’re returning from leave, most of us going to less exotic locations than normal I’m sharing an image of one of my favorite locations the Port hills, above Lyttleton NZ, a place I was lucky enough to revisit in Nov 2019.

In co-design we wanted to take a take step back at the beginning of a new year to ensure we focused our activities around key transformative themes.  We identified the following six themes for our work this year and everything we do will move us forwards in one of these areas.

LEARNER EXPERIENCE – ensuring all learners can access a personalised learning experience that will appropriately and equitably prepare them for the next stage of their journey be that further learning or employment.

Supporting more flexible delivery and ensuring students gain the relevant skills, knowledge and experience to progress and succeed on their chosen path whilst supporting their wellbeing and reducing feelings of isolation.

STAFF EXPERIENCE – supporting staff by reducing workload and ensuring they have the tools and skills needed to deliver a personalised blended learning experience.

Supporting staff with the changes to working practices and growth in innovative technologies and workign to reduce staff workloads and improve wellbeing.

OPEN RESEARCH – accelerating the achievement, delivery and monitoring of the journey to open research. The vision is for the process and outputs of all research to be as open as possible, as early as possible, so that the research can provide the maximum possible benefit to all.

Supporting the growth in open research practices e.g., open publishing, drivers from UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) for open publishing of research outputs, improving reproducibility and environmental impact measures as part of funding requirements (UKRI).

LEADERSHIP, CULTURE & GOVERNANCE – supporting the sector to engage and embed Education and Industry 4.0 principles making it easier and inspiring them to innovate. Increasing understanding and exploitation of innovative and transformative technology to make UK institutions world leading

Supporting the changes in working and learning models such as the drive for micro credentials, the growth in student numbers and increasing retention and achievement.

UNDERPINNING TECH & INFRASTRUCTURE – supporting the development of a seamless student experience on-campus and remotely. Helping universities and colleges achieve their net zero targets

Supporting the drive for digital and physical estates to work together so that they are responsive to personalised student journeys following the pandemic and helping institutions need to meet their digital targets around net zero and environmental sustainability.

Our main initial focus will be around Curriculum Development

CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT – helping providers design and implement learning spaces and practices that successfully blend the physical and online learning experience.

We’re looking at the transformation of assessment practices initiated by the pandemic such an increased use of digital assessment to replace f2f exams, a need to address the challenges of essay mills and student cheating/collusion – “Limit the use of technological solutions as much as possible and instead work with instructors to redesign assessment”

The curriculum changes required to support hybrid and blended learning and embedding environmental sustainability into the curriculum and creating adapting learning environments.

We are exploring this theme and building our understanding of the issues and priorities of our members in this space and looking at how things have changed during covid and continue to change as we move forward.  The aim is to identify a longer term transformative goal and break it down to ideas we can explore further and developed as new products or services.

If you have something to share on one of our themes and in particular, curriculum development, please get in touch.

Sue Attewell and Paul Bailey

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