Event

Demonstrating digital transformation: enabling flexible learning

Join us at the University of Manchester for the third event in the 2023/24 demonstrating digital transformation series.

  • One day
  • Manchester
  • Free

This event will be held on

About

The University of Manchester is at the forefront of lifelong, flexible learning.  For students to achieve their potential, the way they learn should fit their needs and interests at all stages of life. This is true regardless of background, and whether joining the University after school, later in their career, on campus or online. Manchester is on a mission to create lifelong flexible learning that is inclusive, accessible and international, preparing graduates for an increasingly digital world that demands agility, creativity, and digital proficiency.

The Flexible Learning Programme is an important enabler of the ambitions of The University of Manchester’s strategic vision and direction for teaching, learning and the student experience.  In addition to supporting learners throughout their lifetime, the University of Manchester aims to offer its students increased flexibility – giving them greater choice over where, when and at what pace they learn, to accommodate their individual needs and circumstances.  This comes in addition to a commitment to expand its transnational and interdisciplinary offers.

At this event, you will get chance to hear from the Flexible Learning Programme’s senior leaders and take a dive into the programme’s workstreams.  These have been designed in partnership with staff, students and stakeholders to establish the processes, infrastructure, policies and support that will enable and embed flexible and lifelong learning at the University.

During this event, you will engage with the following themes through roundtable and panel discussions:

  • Enabling lifelong learning
  • Design and delivery by team
  • Facilitating ‘flexible first’ and getting the blend right
  • Adapting policy and processes

This event centres on the following areas of Jisc's framework and maturity model for digital transformation:

  • Knowledge development
  • Knowledge exchange and partnerships
  • Digital and physical infrastructure

Programme

Registration and networking opportunity

Welcome and introduction

  • Liam Earney, Managing director for higher education and research, Jisc.
  • Professor April McMahon, Vice-president for teaching, learning and students.

Keynote

Flexible Learning @ Manchester

In this keynote, Professor George will be presenting the ambitious, yet pragmatic and achievable strategy in place at the University of Manchester for making a more flexible, more inclusive, and more diverse learning community.

  • Professor Danielle George, Associate vice-president for teaching and learning.

Roundtable discussion - Session one

Roundtable discussions will be repeated twice. Delegates to select one of four options.

Roundtable discussion option one:

Design and delivery

Contemporary education demands that educators possess an extensive understanding of both pedagogy and digital technology, more so than in the past. Instructors are expected to to be adept in reaching a varied student base, each with unique requirements, by employing a wide range of tools and methodologies. It is, however, impractical to assume that a subject matter expert will also excel in every other aspect. The question then arises: how can we effectively assemble a team of specialists in these various fields to collaboratively design and deliver educational programmes that play to everyone’s strengths?

  • Professor Stephen Pettifer, university academic lead for digital learning.

Roundtable discussion option two:

Facilitating 'flexible first' and getting the blend right

Successful blended learning consists of a thoughtful and responsive blend of on-campus and online learning experiences that promote active learning. While the choice of individual learning activities should be selected according to what best delivers specific learning aims, consideration also needs to be given to providing a balanced programme of activities that offers the flexibility learners require and maximises their engagement.

  • Dr Jane Mooney, University academic theme lead for digital skills and literacy.
  • Professor Caroline Bowsher, University academic theme lead for digital learning environment.
  • Dr Alison Fisher, University academic theme lead for UCIL (University College for Interdisciplinary Learning).

Roundtable discussion option three:

Adapting policy and processes

With any large-scale institutional change programme, especially those relating to teaching, learning and student experience, there will inevitably come a time when innovative approaches and new practices come up against old processes and policies which might no longer be fit for purpose. It is integral to the success of any change programme that relevant policies and processes are identified as early as possible and to engage stakeholders in the review, amendment and re-approval of any policies in order to maximise the potential for the change activity to have long term impact beyond the life of the programme.

  • Simon Thomson, Professor of hybrid learning & director of flexible learning

Option four:

Tour of Booth Street East

As part of the Flexible Learning Programme at the University of Manchester, we have supported the refurbishment of Booth Street East which includes investment in new innovative spaces for teaching and learning, alongside more traditional teaching spaces.

The tour will give participants an opportunity to visit a number of spaces including:

  • Hyflex teaching space
  • Emulated Lecture Theatre
  • Technology Playground
  • Tech Free Zone
  • Lifelong Learning Suite
  • Podcasting Studios
  • Virtual Reality Pods
  • Video Theatre / Green Room

A number of these spaces are being used to help inform longer-term estate planning as well as developing staff in using new technologies and spaces for learning and teaching.

Students also have access to these spaces for content creation but also as part of our work to evaluate the effectiveness of these spaces for learning and teaching and to directly inform future plans.

Roundtable discussion - Session two

Roundtable discussions will be repeated twice. Delegates to select one of four options.

Roundtable discussion option one:

Design and delivery

Contemporary education demands that educators possess an extensive understanding of both pedagogy and digital technology, more so than in the past. Instructors are expected to to be adept in reaching a varied student base, each with unique requirements, by employing a wide range of tools and methodologies. It is, however, impractical to assume that a subject matter expert will also excel in every other aspect. The question then arises: how can we effectively assemble a team of specialists in these various fields to collaboratively design and deliver educational programmes that play to everyone’s strengths?

  • Professor Stephen Pettifer, University academic lead for digital learning.

Roundtable discussion option two:

Facilitating 'flexible first' and getting the blend right

Successful blended learning consists of a thoughtful and responsive blend of on-campus and online learning experiences that promote active learning. While the choice of individual learning activities should be selected according to what best delivers specific learning aims, consideration also needs to be given to providing a balanced programme of activities that offers the flexibility learners require and maximises their engagement.

  • Dr Jane Mooney, University academic theme lead for digital skills and literacy.
  • Professor Caroline Bowsher, University academic theme lead for digital learning environment.
  • Dr Alison Fisher, University academic theme lead for UCIL (University College for Interdisciplinary Learning).

Roundtable discussion option three:

Adapting policy and processes

With any large-scale institutional change programme, especially those relating to teaching, learning and student experience, there will inevitably come a time when innovative approaches and new practices come up against old processes and policies which might no longer be fit for purpose. It is integral to the success of any change programme that relevant policies and processes are identified as early as possible and to engage stakeholders in the review, amendment and re-approval of any policies in order to maximise the potential for the change activity to have long term impact beyond the life of the programme.

  • Simon Thomson, Professor of hybrid learning & director of flexible learning

Option four:

Tour of Booth Street East

As part of the Flexible Learning Programme at the University of Manchester, we have supported the refurbishment of Booth Street East which includes investment in new innovative spaces for teaching and learning, alongside more traditional teaching spaces.

The tour will give participants an opportunity to visit a number of spaces including:

  • Hyflex teaching space
  • Emulated Lecture Theatre
  • Technology Playground
  • Tech Free Zone
  • Lifelong Learning Suite
  • Podcasting Studios
  • Virtual Reality Pods
  • Video Theatre / Green Room

A number of these spaces are being used to help inform longer-term estate planning as well as developing staff in using new technologies and spaces for learning and teaching.

Students also have access to these spaces for content creation but also as part of our work to evaluate the effectiveness of these spaces for learning and teaching and to directly inform future plans.

Lunch and networking

Baselining your digital maturity

A group activity based on the maturity model

Demonstrating digital transformation panel

Enabling lifelong learning

  • Professor Susannah Quinsee, Vice-president (digital and student experience) at City, University of London.
  • Anna Dawes, Board of governors at The University of Manchester, representing further education.
  • Paul Rogers, Product director at MOL.
  • Samuel Hanes, Director of performance at Faculty.
  • Leila Guerra, Associate provost for digital lifelong learning at Imperial College.
  • Simon Joos, Work and skills specialist at Manchester City Council.

Close

Other events

You may be interested in joining us for a similar event hosted by Ulster University.

Who should attend

Senior leaders responsible for digital transformation, and particularly those enabling flexible learning within their institutions across HE.

This event is aimed at members of UK higher and further education organisations.

Contact

For further information, please contact events@jisc.ac.uk.