From virtual reality excursions back in time, to personalised learning and assessment methods and chatbot support, the University of Buckingham has today unveiled a ground-breaking tech-enhanced ‘big history’ course.
Designed in collaboration with the UK’s edtech not-for-profit, Jisc, the course will provide students with a truly personalised learning experience, while providing the digital skills to help them thrive in the workplace of the future.
Subject to funding, the course will encompass an intellectually ambitious view of history, starting with the big bang, and exploring a complete history of the world in parallel with other academic disciplines, such as physics, biology, anthropology, and sociology. The syllabus will investigate the birth of the modern world, using technology like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to allow students to interact with historical figures, and partake in historic events.
Smart technologies will also offer new ways to teach, learn and test. On arrival at university, artificial intelligence (AI) tools will assess current levels of knowledge and preferred learning methods, building a dynamic profile for each student that will adapt throughout their learning journey.
The power of technology will also be harnessed to reduce the administrative workloads of tutors, monitor student welfare and mental health, and develop digital skills and hands-on experiences that are valued in the job market.
Gavin Williamson, secretary of state for education said:
“Using AI technologies, undergraduate history students will gain access to a far more engaging and personalised experience than would otherwise be possible or affordable. This degree is a revolution and a game changer, as it will provide the best possible education for all students, no matter their background or ability.”
Paul Feldman, CEO, Jisc, said:
“We were keen to collaborate with the University of Buckingham to create this ground-breaking course. It represents a step forward for the education sector, as we head towards Education 4.0.
“This is an exciting opportunity for students to gain a tremendous learning experience, with technology at its heart. At Jisc, our learning and teaching reimagined programme aims to support universities to plot their path to the future of higher education, and this course is a sterling example of what the future could hold”
Sir Anthony Seldon, former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, co-author of ‘The Fourth Education Revolution’ and architect of the course, said: “We can do something fundamentally exciting with this course. The collective vision is that, by bringing all of the diverse industry 4.0 technologies and cutting edge 3.0 technologies together, we can see what different aspects work optimally in helping students learn deeply and make connections.”
With funding is in place, the course will launch in 2022.