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The future is now:
changes in the world of work
Helen Beetham | @helenbeetham
#UHR2016
What digital capabilities
do University staff need?
What capabilities do staff need
in a digital university?
Images CC Jisc
All universities are digital organisations
‣ Universities depend on
digital systems: they
define the time, space and
value ...
All universities are digital organisations
The digital context we can see...
... and the digital context we can’t.
OERu OL...
Can you see some challenges already?
OERu OL2 0 life cycles by J. Murray / CC BY
The world of work
bit.ly/digitalknowhow (2015)
Digital technologies are driving some significant
changes in the world of wo...
And academic work?
• Friedman (2015) uses teaching
staff to exemplify the gig economy
• disaggregation of professional role...
less secure
Casualisation
Financial constraint
Restructuring and innovation
‘All institutions want to be seen to be doing
...
more entrepreneurial
New initiatives, more
project-based working:
‘Now we have to
deliver on particular
short-term outcome...
fragmented/unbundled
‘Teaching’ =
- course design & validation
- leading module teams
- developing content
- lecturing (on...
uncertainly located in time and space
•hot-desking, flexible working, Bring Your Own Device:
multiple campuses, virtual env...
reputation centred
‘Practices such as blogging... are expected of you.’
‘My online identity is very different from my staff ...
monitored and quantified
imageCCJisc2016
Citation indices, REF, TEF, NSS, ISB, DLHE, KIS,
research income, feedback scores,...
human/machine distributed
‘Some kind of digital capability is essential for virtually
all posts.’
‘I spend more time in fr...
There are new stresses as well as
new opportunities
41% academics work over
50 hours/wk, 15% over 60 hrs
(UCU 2014)
Digita...
What changes have you noticed in the
world of (academic) work?
#UHR2016
Are these changes... 😔
😔
• affecting the quality of
workplace relationships?
• increasing stress?
• fragmenting roles and
u...
The future is now:
planning for change and
challenge in the workplace
Helen Beetham | @helenbeetham
What digital capabilities
do University staff need?
• Staff digital capabilities
identified as a challenge
(consultations 20...
Digital capabilities framework
ICT proficiency (core skills)
Information, media and
data literacy (critical use)
Creation, ...
Digital capabilities framework
distinctive/new features
Data literacy
Expanded idea of
‘innovation’
Inclusion of digital w...
Digital capabilities framework:
current developments
• A series of profiles (librarian, teacher etc) produced
in collaborat...
Findings and conclusions
bit.ly/digitalknowhow
• Digital practice and identity are intrinsic to professional
practice and ...
How are you planning...?
... for the changes and challenges of
digital work? #UHR2016
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The future is now: changes and challenges in the world of work

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Presentation to the Universities HR conference, Brighton, May 2016 in collaboration with ECC.

Published in: Education
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The future is now: changes and challenges in the world of work

  1. 1. The future is now: changes in the world of work Helen Beetham | @helenbeetham #UHR2016
  2. 2. What digital capabilities do University staff need? What capabilities do staff need in a digital university? Images CC Jisc
  3. 3. All universities are digital organisations ‣ Universities depend on digital systems: they define the time, space and value of academic work ‣ Students’ first and last experiences of university are typically digital ‣ Digital technologies, media, practices and ideas originate and thrive in universities ‣ Digital technologies have generated a global market in learning and learners, in knowledge and research. Image CC Jisc
  4. 4. All universities are digital organisations The digital context we can see... ... and the digital context we can’t. OERu OL2 0 life cycles by J. Murray / CC BY Image CC Jisc
  5. 5. Can you see some challenges already? OERu OL2 0 life cycles by J. Murray / CC BY
  6. 6. The world of work bit.ly/digitalknowhow (2015) Digital technologies are driving some significant changes in the world of work, and are deeply implicated in others. C21st work is likely to be... less secure more entrepreneurial fragmented uncertainly located reputation-centred monitored, quantified distributed human/ machine LatrellG:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMWPLYKFLAVGSuTFCbj2kGQ
  7. 7. And academic work? • Friedman (2015) uses teaching staff to exemplify the gig economy • disaggregation of professional roles (Coppola) • insecure terms of employment (Standing) • constant restructuring and reskilling • 'Digital Taylorism' - the potential to standardise and automate intellectual labour - 'rises up the value chain' (Brown et al. 2015)
  8. 8. less secure Casualisation Financial constraint Restructuring and innovation ‘All institutions want to be seen to be doing something innovative - looking for new markets, changing the teaching model...’ ‘We have had to be extremely flexible and open to change. And we will be even more so because the new employees coming in are so used to the pace of change.’ CC Quinn Dumbrowski https://www.flickr.com/people/53326337@N00
  9. 9. more entrepreneurial New initiatives, more project-based working: ‘Now we have to deliver on particular short-term outcomes – things like student employability, student satisfaction, retention’. New roles (‘new professionals’) e.g. learning technologists: •identified with institution and its systems •mandated innovators / intrapraneurs, ambiguously located •‘The digital plays an important role in being entreprenueurial’ Image CC Jisc
  10. 10. fragmented/unbundled ‘Teaching’ = - course design & validation - leading module teams - developing content - lecturing (online & face to face) - supporting small group work - supporting individual learner development... ‘Traditional teaching practices can be seen as costly and inefficient.’ CCJonasBergstenhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Bergsten
  11. 11. uncertainly located in time and space •hot-desking, flexible working, Bring Your Own Device: multiple campuses, virtual environments... •Digital connectivity as a demand to be 'always available' to students and colleagues. •The feeling that there will 'never be enough time' to catch up and keep up with digital technologies. Image CC Lally/Sclater InterLife project
  12. 12. reputation centred ‘Practices such as blogging... are expected of you.’ ‘My online identity is very different from my staff biog page [which] probably doesn't represent me and therefore the institution as well as it could’. ‘Peer recommendation is a really interesting thing. If you want someone to build a wall you find someone who has had a wall built and see what they have to say. Technology can really support that.’
  13. 13. monitored and quantified imageCCJisc2016 Citation indices, REF, TEF, NSS, ISB, DLHE, KIS, research income, feedback scores, learning analytics... ‘individuals are now increasingly expected to not just access the data but to update and manage and use it for all sorts of monitoring purposes’ ‘more and more of the job roles... are about managing data’
  14. 14. human/machine distributed ‘Some kind of digital capability is essential for virtually all posts.’ ‘I spend more time in front of a PC than in any other activity.’ ‘Digital capability is ... changing the whole mindset of what it means to be working.’ ‘How do you say to a professor that you have to become your own IT support?’ image CC Jisc 2016
  15. 15. There are new stresses as well as new opportunities 41% academics work over 50 hours/wk, 15% over 60 hrs (UCU 2014) Digital communications are a significant source of workplace stress (Pignata 2015) Fears expressed about: • Changing quality of relationships with students and colleagues • New ways to fail e.g. IPR, reputational damage • Being stalked or shamed online (student-facing staff)
  16. 16. What changes have you noticed in the world of (academic) work? #UHR2016
  17. 17. Are these changes... 😔 😔 • affecting the quality of workplace relationships? • increasing stress? • fragmenting roles and undermining professional identity/autonomy? • tipping the balance towards performance measures and targets? • creative, liberating? • meritocratic • making staff more agile, responsive to change? • flattening existing hierarchies, creating more fluid structures? • efficient, productive?
  18. 18. The future is now: planning for change and challenge in the workplace Helen Beetham | @helenbeetham
  19. 19. What digital capabilities do University staff need? • Staff digital capabilities identified as a challenge (consultations 2014-15) • Work commissioned to understand what digital capabilities are needed now and in the future • Develop a shared framework and understanding
  20. 20. Digital capabilities framework ICT proficiency (core skills) Information, media and data literacy (critical use) Creation, scholarship and innovation (creative production) Communication, collaboration and participation (engagement) Learning and self- development Identity and well-being
  21. 21. Digital capabilities framework distinctive/new features Data literacy Expanded idea of ‘innovation’ Inclusion of digital well- being with digital identity Applicable to all?
  22. 22. Digital capabilities framework: current developments • A series of profiles (librarian, teacher etc) produced in collaboration with professional bodies • Case studies from institutions adopting/adapting • Discovery tool for individuals, producing a profile and leading to... • ... a playlist of content resources to support development
  23. 23. Findings and conclusions bit.ly/digitalknowhow • Digital practice and identity are intrinsic to professional practice and identity • Accreditation, appraisal and CPD processes should interface better with personal technologies/digital ID • Organisations need to develop digital specialists alongside generic digital capabilities for all • Recruit, retain, reward and recognise digital talent, across all roles • Effective digital leadership means leadership in a digital landscape, not (only) leadership with digital tools • Be a workplace that fosters digital wellbeing
  24. 24. How are you planning...? ... for the changes and challenges of digital work? #UHR2016

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