Professor Debbie Holley’s vision on the changes and challenges that technology brings to universities

Professor Debbie Holley, Professor of Learning Innovation and the Head of CEL, has published an article on Wonkhe “Everything you think you know about universities and technology is wrong” to discuss the changes and challenges that technology brings to universities.

“The drivers for change are evident”, according to Debbie, and being “digital” has become “a natural part of an emancipatory pedagogy – with tools to discover and enable student voices and student power”. However, this change has been “juxtaposed against a tickbox set of competence frameworks and a backdrop of student feedback about their perceived lack of preparation for the digital workplace”.

Considering these, Debbie provides visions to the future “digital workplace” from two perspectives: personalising student experience and easing financial pressures.

On the one hand, some of the easily programmable artificial intelligence programmes, for example, text message, email, website, the VLE, instant messaging and social media “are already being designed into curricula, and as pedagogy and learner analytics unfold, small incremental changes will take place to embrace and welcome the difference of Individual learners.” Therefore, personalising student experience is “a solvable challenge – and on the near horizon”.

On the other hand, as Debbie pointed out “with Brexit pushing research and educational collaboration down the agenda the political and financial pressures facing all…”. Technology therefore does not only offer a very different kind of personalisation, but also makes it possible to be in different places simultaneously. The benefits of accrediting worldwide open access courses ensure that academics and students can access, curate and create materials and share, they also can find interesting people to work with across the globe. In this case, a physical presence is no longer needed, and the previous beautiful buildings in campuses, serve the needs of the local community.

Click here for the article:

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