This week I worked from home. I did think about heading into our office in Bristol, but in the end with no in-person meetings, I decided to have those at home, rather than sit in an office.
I found this WonkHE article, The challenge for HE leaders – wellbeing and inclusion in the age of blended learningrather interesting.
Our research suggests that for leaders the pandemic raised or intensified serious strategic questions – on wellbeing, on digital infrastructure, on pedagogy – but offered few conclusive answers.
The leaders we engaged with expect a significant degree of change in learning and teaching in the next five to ten years, with changes anticipated to staffing, technology, the physical estate, administrative infrastructure, culture, and resourcing.
Despite the rhetoric from politicians, there was a positive view of blended learning.
Four in five (80 per cent) agree that post-pandemic most institutions will aim to adopt a more blended approach to learning.
The one constant that comes out from the article is that there will be change and then some more change, and that as well as that challenge
… most leaders are wrestling with the tensions between their aspiration for every student to experience their learning as personally enriching, within a supportive learning environment, and the challenge of building cross-institutional systems that can achieve this at the scale required, with the resource available.
I don’t think I’ve done an online presentation for some time, probably July last year. This week I delivered two online presentations.
The first was at The Future of the Higher Education Estate 2022 conference where I was presenting on the connected campus.
The abstract for the talk was
The Decline of Location, The Rise of Digital Infrastructure: Delivering the Connected Campus
- Developing a smart campus strategy that leverages unified platforms to deliver a consistent university experience
- Delivering joined a joined up digital architecture between teaching provision, student services and the estate
- Eliminating the digital infrastructure boundaries between being on and off campus
- Examining the roles of data analytics to inform estate usage, demand and the needs of service users
I talked about the student experience and the possibilities of the intelligent campus.
The second was for the Business School at the University of Exeter. There I did an updated version of a talk I have done before on moving from translation to transformation.
We have been interviewing students and staff about their experiences across the pandemic and what practices have worked and what hasn’t worked. As part of Jisc’s work in looking at the challenges in delivering teaching remotely during this crisis period we have been reflecting on how teaching staff can translate their existing practice into new models of delivery that could result in better learning, but also have less of detrimental impact on staff and students. In this session James will describe how many universities who translated their practice are now reflecting on how they can transform their practice to enable an enhanced approach to digital teaching and learning.
I got some positive feedback, and the experiences of other universities echoed the experiences at Exeter.
I attended The Future of the Higher Education Estate 2022 conference as well as presenting there. It was interesting to hear from presenters about their thoughts about the future of the university campus. I did think very little thought though was given to the potential impact of universities moving towards a more blended delivery model.
My top tweet this week was this one.
List 5 famous people you've either met or have been within a few feet of, but ONE is a lie. Then let your friends guess which one they think is a lie.
Queen Elizabeth II
— James Clay (@jamesclay) February 6, 2022