We’ll start this session with a set of assumptions: that all the university strategies and high ambitions put forth at the moment will be realised in 10 years. Based on a short survey of trends in the strategic visions of UK HE institutions, we’ll travel to 2028 to visit a university that has, among other things, much more flexible and personalised student journeys, more blended provision, and a longer student journey.
Together, we’ll think through the implications of these changes as they are reflected in initiatives that help support a longer and more flexible learning journey. How, for example, can we make sure students still feel part of a community as they each follow their distinct path? What are the kinds of things universities can offer their students to stand out from the crowd of other institutions and alternative providers?
To make these changes concrete, we’ll compare the student journeys of Jeppe, a current PPE student who will attend the session, with that of his younger sister Sophie, a modern learner, in 2028. In small groups, we’ll map out Sophie’s journey in order to discuss what support she will need and which innovative ways it may be delivered.
We’ll go through our ideas together and draw out some of the key challenges faced in keeping the university community lively as students leave campus and how technology may help solve these. The session will conclude with a short discussion about how the ideas that have been discussed in the session can feed into initiatives being undertaken in the present. What has reflecting on the future university taught us about how we can be two steps ahead in building a competitive future university?
In line with the conference theme around Collaboration for Learning Technology, this session deals with collaboration of two kinds: between different departments within an institution as they work together to support the student journey, and across institutions as we work together to think about common challenges. All material for creating the thought experiment will be provided and the discussion structured by the organisers.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
The session and the questions being asked spring from the context of a project currently being undertaken at Ravensbourne, a creative arts university in London. The project explores how to strengthen the university community and integrating it into students’ digital experience. Opportunities and challenges will be laid out in the introduction, and it is hoped that the participants’ contributions will help propel the project forward as well as get participants thinking about how they can achieve similar outcomes at their institutions.
Through the mapping of Sophie’s support during her student journey, the session aims to prompt interaction and reflection amongst session participants on how the university can compete by capitalising on their current strengths – and what role technology has in this. The aim is that ‘zooming out’ and having the opportunity to reimagine the student journey will yield ideas for changes that can be implemented not just in 10 years, but within a year or two.
AdmitHub and S. Burke. (2017). Case Study: How Georgia State University supports every student with personalized text messaging. [Online] AdmitHub.com. Available at: http://blog.admithub.com/case-study-how-admithub-is-freezing-summer-melt-at-georgia-state-university [Accessed 25 May 2018].
Blumenstyk, G. (2018). Workers in the Spotlight, Higher Ed on the Sidelines. The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 24. Available at: https://www.chronicle.com/article/Workers-in-the-Spotlight/243996 [Accessed 27 August 2017]
Crow, M. (2018). Designing a Future for the Universal Learner. Keynote at ASU-GSV conference, April 18, 2018. [Online video] YouTube.com. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXLah4tA3d8 [Accessed 25 May 2018].
Jacklin, A. and C. Robinson. (2007). What is meant by ‘support’ in higher education? Towards a model of academic and welfare support. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 7(2), pp.114-123.
Newman, T., and H. Beetham. (2017). ‘Student digital experience tracker 2017: the voice of 22,000 UK learners. Jisc. Available at: http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6662/1/Jiscdigitalstudenttracker2017.pdf [Accessed 25 May 2018].
Phipps, L. et al. (2018). Next generation [digital] learning environments: present and future. [Online] Jisc. Available at: http://www.aftabhussain.com/JR0090_NDGLE_REPORT_FINAL.pdf [Accessed 25 May 2018].
Thomsen, D., M. Sørensen, and T. Ryberg. (2016). Where have all the students gone? They are all on Facebook Now. In S. Cranmer et al (eds.), Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Networked Learning 2016 (pp. 280-299). Lancaster: Lancaster University. Available at: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/60652355.pdf [Accessed 25 May 2018].
Vonburg, J. (2015). The loneliness of the long distance learner. Guardian, 8 December 2018. [Online] theguardian.com. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2015/dec/08/you-work-in-a-vacuum-the-loneliness-of-the-long-distance-learner [Accessed 25 May 2018].
Resources for participants
Collaboration will be done online via Padlet, and the link will be shared with participants as well as by Twitter and LinkedIn to those that couldn’t make the session but are interested in the outcome.