This report is the result of a five-month higher education initiative to understand the response to COVID-19 and explore the future of digital learning and teaching.
It involved high levels of engagement with more than 1,000 sector leaders, staff and students through webinars, roundtables, consultations, focus groups, surveys, interviews and case studies.
In this report we explore the experience of 2020 and changing aspirations of the nature and shape of learning and teaching for the next academic year, 2021/22, and 2030.
Based on our research we make the following recommendations for universities, sector agencies and government:
- Universities to use their strategic and structural planning processes to effect the digital transformation of learning and teaching, ensuring that sponsorship is provided by governing bodies and executive teams
- Universities to review their strategic investment in digital learning and teaching
- Universities to make investment plans to mitigate the heightened cyber security risks that arise from greater dependence on digital technologies
- Universities to think radically about the scale and scope of their learning and teaching activities, prioritising blended learning approaches wherever possible
- Universities to accelerate the adoption of blended learning, with close involvement of students in all aspects from design to delivery
- Universities to ensure inclusivity and accessibility are integral considerations in curriculum redesign
- Universities to ensure their professional development plans include digital training, peer support mechanisms and reward and recognition incentives to encourage upskilling
- Universities and sector organisations to establish research to remain in step with the changing digital preferences and expectations of prospective higher education students
- Universities, government and funders to provide additional funding or means to reduce digital poverty as a barrier to students accessing higher education