Digifest, 10-11 March 2020
Registration and exhibition opens.
Opening and welcome
Opening keynote - TBC
Morning break and refreshments.
- Robin Ghurbhurun, managing director, further education and skills, Jisc
- Fiona Lynch, global digital learning manager, Coca Cola (Hellenic Bottling Company)
- Chris Parkinson, head of learning and development, TSB Bank
- Susan Easton, head of digital learning and skills, Learning and Work Institute
This panel debate will explore how leadership and the work environment is being transformed by digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning and impacting our future work landscape.
With this transformation comes the rare opportunity to fundamentally improve work and the nature of employment to deliver a lifelong learning approach to empower people with a mix of skills to succeed in a digital world of work.
Tools to support your accessibility audit
- Tom Tomlinson, teaching enhacement technology, University of Hull
- Emily Armstrong, learning technologist, University of Hull
Quick-fire practical demonstrations of open source tools to support accessibility audits:
- UDOIT - the Universal Design Online content Inspection Tool
- Silktide – Disability simulator
- Wave – Web accessibility evaluation tool
- Designing for diverse learner’s checklist
An evidence-based journey of digital transformation
Speaker: Gavin McLaclan, vice-principal, chief information officer and librarian, University of Edinburgh
In this session participants will hear more about the university's digital transformation programme including the key components that we feel are needed for a long-term successful digital transformation.
We will also talk about the ‘three steps to digital maturity’ model and examples of specific activities we are engaged in and the impact these are having. These include removing barriers and fears of digital transformation through such activities as appointing a full time e-safety officer, use of local digital champions and the introduction of highly automatic and intuitive technology that require no prior knowledge to use.
Putting people at the heart of digital strategy
Speaker: Paul Riley, director of library and information services, Cardiff Metropolitan University.
This session will outline the consultation involved in developing a strategy, the themes of the strategy, and the programme approach to delivering the strategy.
It will acknowledge that focusing on both staff and students is a key theme of the digital strategy, what this has meant and how this has progressed to date. It will also look at how to measure its success when it finishes.
This session will cover topics such as leadership, culture, storytelling, communities of practice, and resourcing.
Virtual reality – making it accessible, inclusive and safe for all
- Kiona Player, learning technology coordinator, Wiltshire College and University Centre
- Michelle Capes, online learning development officer, Wiltshire College and University Centre
Virtual reality has never been more popular, with developments in hardware and apps making it more affordable and easier to use at home, in the classroom and workplace. The possibilities for teaching and learning are enormous, but with VR often being an individual experience, ensuring everyone can benefit from the opportunity VR provides is crucial.
Wiltshire College and University Centre has been exploring the use of VR in education for over three years and are passionate about providing experiences that are accessible, inclusive and safe for both individuals and whole class groups. From supporting wellbeing and social skills, to inspiring creative writing and discovering how the body works, VR as a learning tool is here to stay.
This session will share the college’s journey to embed VR into the curriculum, explore the lessons learned around user interaction and accessibility and demonstrate how they ensure their practice is safe and inclusive.
Speaker: Gary Henderson, director of IT, Millfield School.
Our students are already digital citizens, using technology on a daily basis. As they grow older and enter the world of work their usage of technology is likely to grow and so are the opportunities which technology will enable them to access.
Paired with this, however, the risks associated with technology use will also grow. As educators, it is our responsibility to ensure students are prepared for the digital world.
This session will examine how we might prepare our students to be effective and safe digital citizens.
Creating a culture of curiosity through the application of edtech
- Dom Thompson, higher education manager, Havant and South Downs College
- David Galloway, teaching and learning coach, Havant and South Downs College
In order to break, as Schulman (1993) labels it, the “pedagogic solitude” visible in education, Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) have fostered, through practitioner initiatives, a culture of research, investigation, development and innovation through the application of edtech.
Following Fielding’s (2005) joint practice development (JPD) concept where initiatives are designed from the ground up rather than enforced “top down”, projects such as the Teacher's Takeaway, the HSDC design studio, investigations into AR/VR/AI (the use of merge cubes and Curiscope t-shirts) and the passion to drive Google forward (with two staff now being Google Innovators) has created a culture of curiosity across the college.
Many of these projects have been funded by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) as part of the Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) project and the National Collaborative Outreach Programme. Staff are completing funded MA’s and MPhils with Sunderland’s Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (SUNCETT).
This session will discuss how this culture shift has reduced staff apprehension with edtech and worked to embed technology across HSDC. It will identify opportunities for funding that delegates can make the most of. It will also give a platform for listeners to share their experiences of action -ased research using technology and identify areas of good practice and also mistakes made that others can learn from.
Developing an edtech ecosystem in order to support learner analytics and personalisation of learning
Speaker: Ian Dunn, provost, Coventry University.
This session will explore the role of innovative startups within today's education world. It will look at how they're changing the nature of learning, how to put the ecosystem together and personalisation of the learning journey and social learning platforms.
Meeting the challenge of delivering a Gen Z relevant digital literacy course
- Catriona Matthews, student as researcher officer, University of Warwick
- Richard Perkins, academic support librarian, University of Warwick
In the world of digital literacy, things move fast. What once was new, novel and quite possibly shocking a year ago is now old news and results in sighs and disengagement in the classroom. How then, in this fast-paced sphere can we ensure we are teaching our students the skills they need to thrive during and beyond their time at university?
This session will chart the evolution of a first-year voluntary digital literacy course, co-designed and delivered by Warwick University library staff and academics, in two interdisciplinary departments.
We will explore a number of the challenges we have faced over the years including, but not limited to; finding a balance between the skills students want and need, navigating the diverse literacies that students arrive with, and traversing a rolling cast of academics, each with their own understanding of what digital literacy is and should be. Based on our experiences, we offer examples of how we have met these challenges and suggestions for future consideration.
SCULPT content for accessibility
Speaker: Helen Wilson, digital designer, Worcestershire County Council.
This session will explore SCULPT, new guidance created at Worcestershire County Council for staff to create accessible material.
It focuses on the six basic things to do to make a document accessible. This is ideal for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) awareness when documents need to be uploaded to websites and VLEs.
In the changing future of work, how can universities prepare students for future careers?
- Ann Thanaraj, head of online learning, Teesside University
- Paul Durston, digital learning manager, Teesside University
Teesside University has a reputation for educational innovation driven by its Future Facing Learning (FFL) strategy, a unique strategic approach to learning and teaching that provides students with the skills, knowledge and expertise to thrive in complex and uncertain futures.
This presentation seeks to develop a narrative towards critical digital skills and literacies as a frame of reference which can be employed across curriculum in universities to equip students with skills and literacies that will serve them for the fourth industrial revolution.
With new competencies and new sectors of work emerging, this session will question whether the digital skills and literacies we claim to be equipping students with are fit for purpose.
Digital impostor syndrome in pracademia
- Theresa Marriott, digital learning technologist, Bishop Grosseteste University
- Kate Bridgeman, teaching enhancement officer, University of Hull
Many teachers, lecturers and academics are familiar with impostor syndrome, and it is currently a popular topic within social psychology.
Theresa Marriott’s PhD research and research carried out for the Higher Education Academy on cross-sector perceptions of outstanding provision have provided findings that link to teachers and lecturers unknowingly suffering from impostor syndrome, and some subsequently suffering from digital imposter syndrome.
During the session, we will discuss strategies for supporting staff to manage their symbiotic identities and provide examples of positive outcomes with staff suffering from digital impostor syndrome.
Degree apprenticeships - meeting the technical and teaching challenges
Speaker: Andrew Taggart, online course developer, University of Portsmouth.
Since their introduction in 2015, the number of degree apprentices has grown rapidly, especially in the business school. For the University of Portsmouth this growth has led to new opportunities and challenges, challenges that are pedagogical, administrative and technical in their nature.
Unlike traditional undergraduates, degree apprentices are working full-time and, for many of them, this will be their first encounter with education for many years.
We also run degree apprentiships for the military, many of whom are operating in difficult circumstances requiring teaching staff to question the methods they have traditionally adopted in delivering undergraduate programmes. This is the backdrop in which we are seeking to deliver successful degrees in a changing landscape.
Protecting your networks from phishing campaigns – and why it’s so much more than user awareness
Speaker: Hannah H, National Cyber Security Centre.
Educating the educators
- Aaron Crozier, learning consultant, Queens University Belfast
- Jennifer Reid, digital learning consultant, Queens University Belfast
The VLE pedagogy support team at Queen’s University Belfast has delivered personalised learning to over 82% of academic and support staff members in the last 18 months through many flexible means with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
In this talk we will see how the team considered every stage of rollout an opportunity to adapt the delivery. The team developed multiple means of engagement such as live online streaming, recorded sessions, in-classroom attendance, 'chunking' of workshops and one-to-one advice. The team adapted the delivery method to provide more tailored provision (just in time training) moving away from the restrictions of a formal training programme schedule. Often such an approach is seen as being resource intensive and difficult to plan but we will demonstrate that although the delivery method may change, the core content can remain constant.
In addition, by introducing staff to digital methods, their digital skills were enhanced and their positive experience with the technology made them more likely to use it within their own teaching. The rollout was not without challenges and we will see how the team turned these into positives such as a drop-in with no attendees that was turned into an impromptu 'live-online' session with 44 attendees.
Opportunities for networking.
Bridging the skills gap: a novel approach to delivering academic skills support
Speaker: Catriona Matthews, student as researcher officer, University of Warwick.
In October 2019 the University of Warwick ran a pilot programme in a core undergraduate classics module, to bridge the skills gap during student’s transition between college and university. Academic and library staff worked in collaboration to embed twenty minutes of active learning at the end of a two hour core lecture programme to offer timely and iterative skills support at relevant points in the curriculum. They consolidated a flipped approach using TEL active learning in order to foster peer to peer support, self-reflection and to build student’s confidence.
Catriona will also expand how the programme supported a departmental professional portfolio initiative, and helped to bridge the perceived gap between academic and employability skills.
The keys to e-success: staff and student engagement
- Katie Butler, West Kent and Ashford College
- Vicky Mason, West Kent and Ashford College
Librarians at West Kent and Ashford have broken down barriers across their organisation to ensure the entire institution understands the importance of digital learning and technology through their promotion of e-books for FE; a collection of over 500 free, curriculum-mapped e-books for the UK FE curriculum.
Their usage of e-books for FE has shown a dramatic increase over the last academic year, and two speakers from the library will share valuable advice to fellow FE librarians about how they have managed to engage staff and students with this digital technology, and the benefits this has brought. The librarians will discuss two key factors to ‘e-success-: staff engagement and student engagement.
Teaching staff are a key stakeholder with e-books for FE and are often a difficult barrier to break – this talk will outline how the librarians managed to convince tutors of the benefits of using e-books. The talk will then give an outline of the innovative work that has gone into promoting titles to students across the college. The talk will provide delegates with clear take-home advice and solutions to implement in their college, and increase student success through e-books
Globally networked learning in practice
- Dr Paul M Holland, head of the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Centre, Swansea University
- Noémi Hilaireau, project manager, Swansea University
Globally networked learning courses offer new educational and funding models. They effectively combine synchronous and asynchronous tools to provide deep experiential learning opportunities for students. Many HEIs want their students to have global competencies to provide them with the skills for successful careers but not everyone can afford to travel.
This workshop will explore the elements of a successful globally networked learning course through the lens of a module delivered by four HEIs in the US, Brazil, France and the UK. Splitting into teams, you will tackle a global design problem to understand why the students taking the module are embedding vital skills.
Becoming a digital citizen: research, opinion and fairytales
- Susan Halfpenny, teaching and learning manager, University of York
- Stephanie Jesper, information services, University of York
In this presentation Susan and Stephanie will explore the opportunities and challenges presented by digital services and technologies: how have our perceptions of public and private changed? What is the impact on our security and freedom? Does technology present a threat to our democracy or open us to a global community of information-sharing and collaboration?
Join them as they travel the utopian and dystopian landscapes of the digital world in search of the answer to how we might all become empowered digital citizens.
Teesside University’s digital transformation journey towards educating students for the future
- Ann Thanaraj, head of online learning, Teesside University
- Paul Durston, digital learning manager, Teesside University
Teesside University has embarked upon one of the largest digital transformation projects in the UK HE sector, gaining recognition as a sector-leader through a mandatory digital development programme for all teaching staff which, to date, reports a 96% satisfaction rating from participants, enabling the university to accrue the largest concentration of Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEEs) in the UK.
Set against the backdrop of the fourth industrial revolution, significant benefits have already been realised from this project, including measurable impact on student learning, enhanced staff digital capabilities and a revised approach to collaborative working between IT and learning and teaching functions within the university. With digital empowerment at its core, they will present their digital transformation journey, re-positioning the narrative of digital change and transformation away from technology and towards people, culture and leadership, showing how the university brought about deep culture, workforce and technological change that afforded new value propositions and business models for the university.
Through a series of innovative developments such as their introduction of learner analytics to transform personal tutoring and their online learning courses, they will discuss Teesside University’s digital transformation journey, sharing the importance of strategic governance, agility, flexibility and cross-university alignment to the vision.
Clash of the generations: How do we cater for/support generational difference in HE and FE
- Simon Vaukins, faculty graduate school manager, Lancaster University
- Claire Povah, consultant
This session is about understanding Generation Z, the characteristics of this generation and how this can help organisations, often made up of previous generations, to thrive and survive as we move into the fourth industrial revolution.
Reflecting on their 2017 article Generation Z is starting University – but is Higher Education ready?, Claire and Simon will provide insights into this generation which will support delegates in re-thinking how to develop and re-design their organisation’s core offer to ensure that all generations are involved. They will consider how Generation Z, the digitally innate generation, can help and support the education of other generations, especially in terms of digital skills.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that this session will focus on all things digital, the session will focus on culture and people. They will look at innovative developments in the field of education which are often driven to meet the needs of Generation Z. So bring your curiosity and a desire to understand how the generations can work together to ensure an improved educational experience for all.
Digitalising accredited skills capture using PebblePad
Speaker: Mark Hancock, HEFi digital partnership and development manager, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham.
The University of Birmingham HEFi (Higher Education Futures Institute) digital team have worked in collaboration with Medicine Academics in developing a digital alternative to a paper-based Clinical Skills Passport (CSP) used by all MBChB students.
There had been very little development on a large scale in any institution other than Liverpool, who themselves had developed their own version of the passport in PebblePad using previously developed functionality which had quickly become dated and required a high level of student interaction. Research demonstrates the need to innovate in this particular field and the requirement to remove the reliance on paper based systems. We developed and worked in collaboration with PebblePad and the Birmingham Medical School to design and develop a digital passport which met the specific requirements of the University of Birmingham.
This presentation will demonstrate the design approach and functionality of the digital resource using Pebble+ and the Pebble Pocket App collections functionality. This approach could be adopted to meet requirements in other subject areas requiring regulatory skills accreditation.
Leveraging tech to close student support gaps
- Ben Hallett, co-founder and CEO, Vygo
- Ian Dunn, provost, Coventry University
Westminster Council’s Urban Lab
- Dr Sophie Johnson, research manager, Westminster City Council
- Nic Wells, data and intelligence analyst, Westminster City Council
- Katie Hodges, Smart Cities project manager, Westminster City Council
Westminster City Council is developing opportunities for data science students to apply their technical skills to real world problems and opportunities. They’ve worked with students at UCL (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) and KCL (Centre for Urban Science and Progress), actively facilitating MSc dissertations focused on urban challenges and, in most cases, sharing our (or our partners’ data) to generate new insights.
The outputs and outcomes from this work have informed policies, campaigns and service delivery. Students have tackled a diverse range of issues, working directly with officers - including modelling the demand for EV infrastructure, describing the demographics of our sports and leisure centre users, as well as assessing prevalence and impact of short-term letting (eg Airbnb).
We’re excited that many of the insights associated with these projects have been actionable, but we’re especially motivated by how this partnership working has catalysed culture change at the council. It has offered a flexible opportunity to invite in new methods and perspectives on old problems, challenged officers to rethink what is possible and de-mystified what ‘smart’ approaches entail.
All carrot, no stick. Getting teachers to love the accessibility challenge!
- Tom Tomlinson, teaching enhancement technology, University of Hull
- Emily Armstrong, learning technologist, University of Hull
This highly-interactive session demonstrates a range of practical tools and strategies to engage staff in meaningful discussions around accessible learning materials.
The workshop describes strategies trialled by the digital learning team at the University of Hull (with limited resources available) and is split into three district parts:
- Lego Serious Play accessibility session plan
- A curated list of open-source tools to support institutional accessibility audits
- Access to an online collaborative workspace, for institutions to share accessibility initiatives
TechAbility Standards: benchmarking accessiblity
- Neil Beck, lead assistive technologist, TechAbility
- Fil McIntyre, lead assistive technologist, TechAbility
The TechAbility Standards have been created to provide guidance around what colleges/centres should be striving towards. The aim is to demystify assistive technology and, although created for the specialist sector, the content is relevant for accessible technology in mainstream education.
This session will introduce users to the standards and help them assess their organisation, with everyone leaving with a set of priorities to take back. Expect interaction, discussion and a chance to make real change.
No prior knowledge is required, the standards are designed to be used by anyone in education.
Getting students ready for the changing workplace
Speaker: James Maltby, learning technology manager, Plumpton College.
Plumpton College is an early adopter of the new apprenticeship standards across its national work-based learning provision. Providing a modern technical education which is flexible and personalised has required the college to embrace emerging digital learning technologies, including blended and immersive curricula.
In this workshop, James will share case stories of digital transformation from across the college's provision and give delegates the opportunity to develop their own curriculum design strategies that can help embed both current and future digital tools and skills.
Disabled students’ experiences with technology
- Robert McLaren, head of health, Policy Connects
- Ben Watson, accessible information adviser, University of Kent
- Robin Christopherson MBE, head of digital inclusion, AbilityNet
Disabled students consistently report lower satisfaction with their university experience than their non-disabled peers. The cross-party think tank Policy Connect is conducting a parliamentary inquiry into disabled students’ experience of HE and early findings have revealed the central importance of technology to this issue - both as a barrier and an enabler.
This panel discussion will explore how disabled students encounter technology in HE and how providers can enact universal design as part of Education 4.0. The session will address key questions including:
- What are students saying about how technology - as used by themselves and staff - impacts on their experience?
- Some students are eligible to receive specialist technology via Disabled Students Allowances (DSA)- how can universities’ own provision of technology ensure that students get the most value from their DSA?
- What does Universal Design for Education 4.0 look like when students needs are so diverse?
We’ll hear from experts from universities, technology service providers, and disabled people’s organisations. The session will be chaired by Megan Hector, senior researcher for Policy Connect’s Higher Education Commission, which is conducting an inquiry into the experience of disabled learners.
Leaders guide to a technological transformation within the learning environment
Speaker: Nick Barker, higher and further education specialist lead consultant, Clevertouch.
Edtech has two clear roles: to prepare young people for a technological future and to support teachers in better being facilitators of learning in 2020.
Accessibility - more inclusive learning for all students
Speaker: Andy Holohan, head of marketing – Europe, Blackboard.
An introduction to digital accessibility requirements with insights into how some of our FE and HE customers are tackling them, the benefits they are seeing and how they are looking to build on this.
AI and NLP in the field of higher education
Speaker: Fabian Beringer, co-founder and CEO, e-bot7.
Education will be fundamentally altered by the rate of technological growth, not just what is taught but also how it is taught. The focus of this lightning discussion is on the latter, and how artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) can be integrated into the daily lives on campus to facilitate the student and staff experience.
Afternoon break and refreshments.
Day one closing keynote - digital transformation: the bear in the room
Speaker: Lindsay Herbert, author of Digital Transformation.
Real transformation comes from tackling problems that matter, and yet too often time and resource is wasted on ‘elephant in the room’ type problems.
To create lasting innovations with wide-reaching impact, you have to instead tackle ‘the bear in the room’.
In this talk based on her internationally acclaimed book Digital Transformation, Lindsay is determined to set the record straight about what real transformation is, and how every organisation can achieve it.
Lindsay will reveal the three critical rules for achieving real transformation success. In each, she'll share her own hard-won lessons leading major innovations globally, as well as from company leaders worldwide.
You’ll leave with practical advice, inspiring examples, and the cautionary tales needed to turn your organisation into one capable of tackling bears and adapting to change itself.
Drinks reception for all delegates.
Registration for day two opens.
Welcome and opening keynote - the hidden filter
Speaker: Hayley Mulenda, international speaker, author and change agent.
Students have learned to use many filters for their social media but everyone uses a filter to hide what they're truly going through, it's time to break it down.
In her keynote, Hayley challenges the stigma around vulnerability and shares her experience behind mental health issues as a student.
Hayley shares her story as well as key nuggets on how to sustain a healthy mental wellbeing whilst being a student and working professional.
Morning break and refreshments.
- James Clay, head of higher education, Jisc
- Sharon Kindleysides, co-ordinator, Cities Forum
- Liz Bacon, vice-principal and deputy vice-chancellor, Abertay University
- Kirsten Zeller, research programme lead, Westminster City Council
This panel will explore how smart education can be a key ingredient to smart city development, uncovering what roles universities and community colleges, e-learning infrastructure and innovation in education technologies could play in defining a smart city.
It will look at what the university and college role may look like to improve cities for the people who live, work and visit there and as the need for lifelong learning increases, how can smart learning environments be equipped to meet people’s demands?
Using mobile scavenger hunts, AR resources and VR to promote retention
Speaker: Colin Smith, learning resources manager, Cornwall College.
In this session, Colin will explore some of the practices his team have been working on in the areas of mobile scavenger hunts, to look at dry subjects such as Prevent lessons.
He will also look at sessions where they have used AR to re-enforce common skill sets in students via video creation and poster design, and finally at how they are looking at using Oculus go and 360 imagining to make distance learning more inclusive for students with mobility and health issues.
Education 4.0 and Industry 4.0: what it means for FE and skills
Speaker: Paul McKean, head of further education and skills, Jisc.
This session will explore the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on the current and future workplace and will explore what this means for FE and skills in practice.
Thinking about data?
Andrew Cormack, chief regulatory adviser, Jisc.
We’re used to hearing how commercial organisations use our data “to improve our services”, “to provide you with relevant things”, or just “in exchange for providing free stuff”. This has led to individuals being described as “silkworms” or “the product” in a new world of “surveillance capitalism”. As educational organisations, is this how we should be thinking? This talk will suggest an alternative.
Whereas commercial organisations benefit directly from these secondary uses of data, and may choose to share some of that benefit with their users, in education it’s the other way around: institutions’ main benefit comes from more satisfied, better performing students and staff. If we can see ways to do that by making more effective uses of data, we should be discussing those with the intended beneficiaries. They may be able to identify even greater opportunities, or point out problems we hadn’t thought of.
Jisc has developed toolkits to help institutions make constructive use of data to improve learning, wellbeing and the campus environment. This talk will introduce these toolkits and help you start using them to get more benefits from the data you already have.
- Sarah Knight, head of change - student experience, Jisc
- Nora Senior, commissioner, College of The Future
- Deborah Millar, group executive director of digital learning, TEC
- John Hill, head of library and digital learning, University of Derby
- Kiu Sum, doctoral researcher, University of Westminster and Jisc student partner
- Alfi Howard, performing and production arts student level 3 year 2, Harlow College
Technology is transforming the workplace and society we live in. There is a well-recognised need for colleges and universities to prepare learners for the digital world.
National and global research highlight concerns about mismatches between the skills employers need (now and in the future) and how a lack of digital skills is harming business (European Commission, 2017). The World Economic Forum (WEF) identifies skills gaps among workers and organisational leaders as having the potential to ‘significantly hamper new technology adoption and therefore business growth’ (WEF, 2018).
So how can colleges and universities prepare their students for a digital world of work? The panel will have representatives from the Commission of the College of the Future, sector leaders from further and higher education and students, sharing their views on how to address the skills gap and ensure UK graduates have the skills to thrive in a digital world. Delegates will have the opportunity of questioning the panel and will take away ideas and approaches on how to support the development of digital capabilities of staff and students in their organisations.
Calling all agile leaders - education needs YOU!
Hazel Hynd, senior lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University.
The world is changing - rapidly. Expectations of education are changing and traditional degree structures face competition. Simply maintaining business as usual is no longer enough, it does not resonate with being imaginative, or change-orientated.
Education needs change agents that are integral to changing organisations for the better. We need motivational influencers so that teaching teams and online developers can meet and exceed their targets.
We need change agents to translate new ideas into actions and intercept issues before they become problems, and ensure continuous, agile change initiatives. We need collaborators and net-workers to pull together digital and pedagogical knowledge in new ways – to be fast, slick – responsive to changing demands.
Learning analytics; the next chapter
- Dr Christine Couper, director of strategic planning, University of Greenwich
- James Hodgkin, university librarian, University of Gloucestershire
- Martin Lynch, head of teaching and learning platforms, University of South Wales
Three institutions, University of Gloucestershire, University of Greenwich and University of South Wales, have been working collaboratively with Jisc to co-design and deliver a learning analytics solution over a number of years, whilst retaining their uniqueness of their own institutional needs and strategic drivers.
They will reveal three different ‘vignettes’ on the various journeys they have undertaken, the current ‘state of play’ and where they think learning analytics might go in the near future. They have interesting insights into the value of engagement with learning analytics and how readiness for the implementation can be critical.
They will share the lessons learned during pilots, tips on how to successfully embed learning analytics from a cultural perspective and what it’s like to be in full service and developing the use of new and innovative data sources to support the learners of the future.
Exploring digital wellbeing
Speaker: Alicja Shah, product lead, Jisc.
Jisc is supporting organisations with a holistic approach to developing the digital capabilities of staff and students through building digital capability. As part of the service, we have been exploring digital wellbeing.
This workshop will present our new definition of digital wellbeing with a focus on how organisations can support their staff and students with their digital wellbeing. We will explore what challenges organisations face in that area and what the possible solutions to those challenges are. Participants will also be encouraged to share their top tips on improving their own digital wellbeing.
Throughout this interactive workshop participants will be reflecting on the topic, building up “digital wellbeing trees” in groups. We are hoping that this colourful and participatory workshop will contribute positively to the delegates wellbeing!
Digital neuroscience 101 and the importance of empathy in digital experience design
Speaker: Rachel Drinkwater, senior business analyst, digital transformation specialist, Coventry Univeristy.
"Technology is Making our Kids Stupid”, “We Now Have the Attention Spans of Goldfish”, “Mental Health Epidemic Caused by Social Media”, “Digital Platforms Cause Loneliness”, “Children as Young as Seven are Sexting”.
These are familiar, if rather sensationalist headlines. The media and researchers alike often adopt a negative rhetoric associated with digital device use, with particular focus on younger generations.
In this session:
- We will explore how digital device use can affect the brain – and particularly the brains of those who are engaged in academic study and subsequently how this causes behavioural change
- We will consider whether the messages we see in the press are founded and what this means to us as professionals in the education sector
- We will also explore why and how we need to incorporate this information when we are designing systems and experiences for our students
- And finally we will discuss the importance of empathy in our systems, experience and cultural design, but also in taking responsibility for the impacts of the technological products and the experiences we design and develop
Practical approaches to building the digital capability of staff and students
- Lisa Gray, senior co-design manager. Jisc.
- Elizabeth Newell, senior librarian (digital literacy), University of Nottingham
- James Kieft, group learning and development manager, Activate Learning
In the session we will hear from colleagues in further and higher education working with the Jisc building digital capability service who will share their practical experiences of building the digital capability of their students and staff.
They will outline the approach they’ve taken and identify benefits, lessons learnt and next steps.
Preparing our learners for the information age
- Alastair Robertson, director of teaching and learning enhancement, Abertay University
- Liz Bacon, vice-principal and deputy vice-chancellor, Abertay University
Abertay is a relatively small, modern university (undergraduate population of around 4,000) with a wide portfolio and a diverse student population. It has strong links with the local community and is the Scottish HE sector’s leading university for widening access.
Over the past six years the university has transformed its pedagogic approach in terms of curriculum design, assessment and feedback and technology-enhanced learning and is now entering a new strategic planning phase.
In order to continue to fulfil its purpose, digital technologies will be central to all of their teaching in whatever form. It will be used to support both existing and new approaches to pedagogy as well as supporting a range of study modes and interactions. This session will reflect upon the journey so far, future ambitions and challenges.
Big challenges facing HE and small innovative solutions
Speaker: Sue Attewell, head of edtech, Jisc.
We’ve recently completed interviews with a total of 40 university senior managers to identify their most pressing priorities over the next 1-3 years. These will be published in a report at the end of February 2020.
This presentation and interactive Q&A session will look at these priorities, creating opportunities for attendees to share feedback based on experiences from their own institutions.
Throughout the session, we will share new and unique first-hand insights from university senior managers. We will also highlight some of the potential edtech startups that have innovative solutions in the priority areas.
Ethics 4.0: responding to the new digital reality
Speaker: Dom Fripp, Senior metadata developer, Jisc.
This session will provide four different perspectives on the ethical implications of new digital reality that the HE and FE sectors are facing over the next 5 to 10 years.
Each speaker will spend five minutes talking about ethics in their professional context and how they see it impacting on the world over the course of this decade. The session will continue with the experts answering questions from the audience on how these ethical considerations might apply to the HE and FE environment and how staff might deal with change and adapt their practice to meet new requirements.
The prescient topics we expect the audience to raise and engage with are:
- Artificial intelligence
- Surveillance and privacy
- Data exploitation
- Market-driven education
We will be briefing our panel to elicit responses to these main themes in order for us to capture a snapshot of the sector’s thinking and needs, and enable Jisc to identify opportunities to provide thought leadership in this space.
Levelling the educational playing field for programming in STEM
- Mark Everitt, director of studies and senior lecturer in quantum control, Loughborough University
- Ben Davies, researcher, Loughborough University
We have investigated the use of Apple’s “everyone can code” programme as an intervention aid to support struggling students and a student with specific learning difficulties.
We report our observations and how we plan to develop our future delivery, share what we have learned and move towards a strategy for delivering high-standard programming for physics students in HE.
This session will address:
- Levelling the playing field for cohorts with diverse backgrounds and abilities
- Improving accessibility in HE – supporting students with disabilities and mental health issues
- More efficient teaching of basic computational skills and good practice
Future of assessment
Speaker: Andy McGregor, director of edtech, Jisc.
How will assessment change over the next 5-10 years? Will it change to be more accessible? More secure? Will it be more closely aligned to what a learner will experience in their career? Will automation play a role? Will we see more and new forms of continuous or even lifelong assessment?
Jisc is releasing a report in early February that explores these issues and what role Education 4.0 technology might play in changes to assessment. During this workshop, delegates will generate and explore practical ideas for what individuals and institutions can use to ensure the future of assessment is fit for purpose for students, teachers and employers.
Finding the path to Education 4.0
- Paul Bailey, product lead, Jisc
- Tom Davey, user experience specialist, Jisc
Airbus and geospatial data: spatial data from university to business
Speaker: Hannah McNally, Airbus.
This session will cover the importance of spatial data in business. One of the graduates currently on the Airbus graduate programme will discuss how MSc coursework at uni helped prepare for the world of work and working with geographic information system (GIS) data and software.
There will also be a short live demo of geospatial data and how this tool is beneficial to students, researchers and academics.
The degree playlist and the infinite university - scaleable and sustainable innovation in Education 4.0
Speaker: Kurt Weideling, director information systems and digital services, The Manchester Metropolitan University.
Digital disruption is contributing to certain macro trends within HE that have the potential to be genuinely transformative. The approach of our sector to date could be described as digital optimisation rather than digital transformation (an arguable point).
Various future scenarios will require differing responses from the sector. Thinking about these scenarios/responses can be a useful approach to planning for the future. The sector is traditionally good at innovation, but not always on a sustainable and scalable basis - what can we do to change this?
Personalisation principles - ethical approaches and happy users
Speaker: Richard West, senior digital content and UX manager, Jisc.
Personalisation is a massive trend with the power to delight and the potential to disgust. This talk will touch on the risks and rewards personalisation can bring, and share our principles for (hopefully) getting it right.
Supporting student wellbeing through our virtual learning platform
- Sharmen Ibrahim, Activate Learning
- Kim Blanchard, Activate Learning
In this session, Sharmen and Kim will introduce how Activate Learning have used their VLE to support their learners in their journey in the college.
They will shed the light on the different dimensions of wellness and how the online component is complementing the pastoral support for our learners. They will also cover the engagement we had from their learners, their feedback on the online modules and how this is helping them at times of stress and exams.
How are students and teaching staff actually using technology?
Sarah Knight, head of change - student experience, Jisc.
Understanding how students and staff use technology is essential to inform colleges and universities with the development of their digital environment. Organisations invest large sums of money into their digital environment. But how do we know that this investment results in staff and students using the technology and infrastructure effectively?
Jisc developed the digital experience insights surveys (2016-2019) to support organisations to gather staff and students’ expectations and experiences of technology. This session shares the findings from the 2019 student and teaching staff surveys which 61 UK universities and colleges, 30,000 students and 6,500 teaching staff participated and how we can better support staff with the development of their digital skills and capabilities.
The session will highlight the issues students and teaching staff are experiencing with their use of technology for example, the development of their digital skills, concerns over the use of their data and digital wellbeing, as well as recommendations for colleges and universities on how to support an excellent digital experience for all students.
Opportunities for networking.
How to accelerate your digital learning strategy
- Vikki Liogier, national head of edtech and digital skills, Education and Training Foundation
- Darren Kirwin, head of quality, Waltham Forest College
- Steven Hope, head of independent learning, Leeds City College
The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) provides a range of free, bite-size training resources mapped onto the Digital Teaching Professional Framework to help teachers, trainers and assessors to upskill in use of technology.
The framework provides an easy-to-use approach for assessing staff skills and structuring CPD programmes. Now there is a management dashboard facility to help track and support staff development using the free edtech training resources provided on the Enhance digital teaching platform.
This session will show how providers have been using these tools to drive forward their digital learning strategies.
Toolkit to support new or incoming students to use
- Clare Killen, content curation manager, Jisc
- Mark Langer-Crame, senior digital experience insights analyst, Jisc
- Ruth Drysdale, senior co-design manager, Jisc
This session will provide an opportunity to discuss issues and share approaches on supporting incoming students with their digital experience and skills with colleagues.
You’ll hear examples of effective practice that can be adopted or adapted for other organisations, and be given access to resources including the FE and HE toolkits and ‘at a glance’ survey findings.
SEN multimedia for good
Speaker: Simon Barnett, multimedia SEN tutor, The National Star College.
In this session, Simon will demonstrate the impact that technology has on the lives of the young disabled people he works with. To do this, he will bring along students from the college who will share their experiences and the skills they have developed to live more independently.
He will also provide a hands-on and thought provoking view on the way technology can be made more inclusive through the introduction of small changes that support the individual.
Five steps to launching a successful digital content program included in tuition for under-represented students
- Mark Christensen, director of marketing, BibliU, University of Leicester
- Joanne Dunham, associate director: resources and information, BibliU, University of Leicester
Attendees will learn University of Leicester’s five practical steps to build a digital learning materials program included in tuition during the opening presentation section. Time will be allocated for attendees to present strategies used to meet the needs of under-represented students.
- Individual participation - 10 mins
During the individual reflection, participants will be guided and have time to fill out the provided "digital content needs for under-represented students" rubric to determine levels of competency of their institution
- Group participation - 15 mins
Time is given for participants to be guided in drafting an initial implementation roadmap for their institution. Identifying project teams, specific roles, and timelines that meet the unique needs of their institution. This section is collaborative
- Wrap up - 5 mins
The Q&A/group discussion will provide participants time to share out and engage in open discussion of their unique institutional challenges and goals providing an opportunity to pinpoint implementation best practices
Creating digital escape rooms
- Michelle Capes, Wiltshire College and University Centre
- Sean Randall, learning technology coordinator, Wiltshire College and University Centre
Escape rooms have become an engaging pastime where a team of people are locked in a room and must solve a series of puzzles in order to get out. A digital escape room takes the concept and uses it for teaching and learning and works well both in a classroom and for individual study.
This practical session, including best practice advice and examples from Wiltshire College and University Centre teaching staff, will give you the chance to escape one of our digital escape rooms as well as showing you how to plan and build a digital escape room of your own using Microsoft OneNote.
Experiential and digital delivery to develop skills for the workplace
- Penny Langford, head of e-learning, Milton Keynes College
- Charlotte White, e-learning, Milton Keynes College
- Valerie Brown, e-learning, Milton Keynes College
This workshop will help delegates experience an active, collaborative, digital delivery which supports the development of the essential skills needed for the world of work. The workshop will highlight activities used in a new project-based curriculum supported by employers and so far delivered to 800+ students.
The bulk of the delivery has taken place during the students’ first half term at college and has seen them having to act as if at work, use unfamiliar technology and create mostly digital products as an outcome of their study. Working closely with and informed by feedback from industry, the programme has been design to ensure that students can develop the attitudes, skills and behaviours needed for industry placements and work experience.
As a result of this style of delivery and fully integrated with the efforts of work experience coordinators, within three months 200+ students have embarked on full industry placements as well as hundreds of others on extended and general work experience.
The modern institution: preparing students for life in the modern workplace
Speaker: Andy Powell, cloud CTO, Jisc.
We all want to work in organisations that are collaborative, open, have flatter more agile structures, are data-driven and that provide internal tools and services that align with the modern digital (web, mobile and voice) experiences we are used to in the wider world.
If this is the kind of modern workplace that our students will be entering when they leave university or college, then one way of helping them prepare is to digitally transform ourselves into 'modern institutions', using the latest cloud technologies to increase agility, collaboration, data sharing and re-use, both in the way that teaching and learning are undertaken and in the way that students and staff interact with the organisation day-to-day.
Closing keynote - details TBC
Digifest 2020 closes.
All timings are indicative and subject to change.