I spent the week working from home, there was a combination of factors which influenced this decision, from home-schooling, builders, and plumbers. Next week I am in Manchester for the UCISA Leadership conference.
I spent some of the week working on a new sector group that can provide feedback to Jisc. This group will advise on Jisc’s strategic direction in the support of learning, teaching and assessment, and the student experience in higher education, and help to inform and shape the implementation of the HE sector strategy:
- Advising on the current state of play and future direction of learning, teaching and assessment in the HE sector
- Reflecting the views and user needs of senior managers in learning, teaching and student experience, as Jisc members and stakeholders
- Helping to define the kinds of (digital) products, services, support, and sector engagement/advocacy which will be most beneficial to universities.
The Office for Students (OfS) launched their new strategy targeting quality and standards.
The OfS’s work on quality and standards aims to ensure that students receive a high quality academic experience which improves their knowledge and skills. Much provision in the English higher education sector is excellent – the focus of the OfS will be on challenging provision that falls short, and taking action as needed. On access and participation work, the OfS will encourage higher education providers to work in partnership with schools to raise attainment. These two areas of focus are mutually reinforcing, with effective regulation of quality helping to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the support they need to succeed in and beyond higher education.
From my perspective in supporting the OfS strategy is how digital and technology can support improving the quality of the student experience and widen participation in higher education.
OfS has also commissioned a report on the quality and impact of blended learning. I found this Wonkhe articleinteresting on how David Kernohan still hasn’t got over the last one
A notably independent review chair has been asked to produce a report drawing on evidence from the sector and from the wider literature. Because we need to know what “good” looks like in this mode of provision, so the regulator can ensure students are getting value for their fees.
David reminds us that a year ago the OfS published Gravity Assist.
Michael Barber could cite literature suggesting that blended learning may lead to better learning outcomes than in person alone, but as far as the national conversation is concerned this is now a deliberate ploy by universities to educate students on the cheap.
Enter Susan Orr. Shortly to take up a Pro Vice Chancellor role at De Montfort University, and a creative arts educator and researcher of some repute, she – alongside an expert panel with membership yet to be determined – will report in the summer on: concerns that the poor quality of the online experience for some students during the pandemic has undermined the positive potential of mixing in-person and online course delivery
David’s conclusion is that Michael Barber must have got it wrong.
I had a meeting about updating the Jisc guide to the intelligent campus. We originally published the guide in 2017. This was at the time well received by the sector and continues to be the core guidance in this space. Since then, universities across the UK have been exploring how they can make their campuses smarter and intelligent.
Dr Kris Bloomfield (at the time CIO Durham) said of the guide This is an outstanding piece of work and massive kudos is due to those that contributed to the development and publication of this document.
As well as the guide there were numerous use cases that showed how the higher education sector could benefit from the intelligent campus concept.
Though I changed roles in March 2019, I have been talking about the intelligent campus space at various events. In July 2021 I spoke at the QAA conference with a presentation entitled: How will the growth in online learning shape the future design of learning spaces and our campuses? Last month I spoke at The Future of the Higher Education Estateonline event.
Obviously the covid pandemic had a huge impact on the university campus and how it was and will be used in the future. In last few years I have written some more posts about that aspect.
Intelligent Campus and coronavirus planning was a blog post on how the concept of the Intelligent Campus could help universities in their planning. I was reflecting how if the concept of the intelligent campus was further advanced than it is, how potentially more helpful it could be to support universities planning for a socially distanced campus.
The Intelligent Learning Space was a post based on my experiences on the Intelligent Campus project. As we design learning spaces, we can add sensors and mechanisms to collect data on the use of those learning spaces. It then how we analyse and use that data that allows those spaces to be initially smart and then intelligent.
Since the guide was published, there have been many changes to the landscape, as well as the covid-19 pandemic, there have been advances in smart campus technologies, and a new range of use cases. We know from sector intelligence, member voice and Learning and Teaching Reimagined that the future of the campus is an important component when it comes to digital transformation. This has shown the need for Jisc to update their advice and guidance in this area.
This work would:
- update the guide to reflect current thinking
- add additional case studies from current practice
I expanded on my previous post on personalisation by looking at Jisc’s sector strategy perspective of personalisationand what Jisc may do in this space. So why is this space important to the sector? When we developed the HE strategy, we listened to what the sector was saying, what it was telling us, what we saw, and we also looked at the wider sector context, the regulatory space, the political space and importantly the student voice in all this.
My top tweet this week was this one.
I see a donkey https://t.co/co0ofWUJ3G
— James Clay (@jamesclay) March 20, 2022