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Aldinhe keynote: Divination and Forecasting the Future of Higher Education


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Keynote presentation for the ALDinHE conference held at Queens University in Belfast in April 2011.

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Aldinhe keynote: Divination and Forecasting the Future of Higher Education

  1. 1. Divination and Forecasting: What Will Happen in the Future of HE?<br />Becka Colley<br />Dean of Students<br />National Teaching Fellow<br />
  2. 2. The Runes They Say…<br />
  3. 3. By the end of this keynote I predict that…<br />Chris might finally have started to relax<br />Eloise will have knitted a sexy jumper for everyone in the audience<br />Ed will snigger every time I mention technology<br />3 people will fall asleep<br />Matches and gas lamps will have made a comeback, but only in booths in the Crown<br />I will have spoken too fast, again<br />And it will all still be Nick Clegg’s fault<br />
  4. 4. Areas of Focus…<br />Changing nature of student population and expectations about HE experience<br />Impact on institutions of new funding regime<br />Role of Learning Development<br />
  5. 5. But first!<br />Let’s do some shared thinking… <br />not really ;-)<br />
  6. 6. Card sort instructions<br />To get you thinking…<br />In groups, discuss the student quotes<br />Decide if they are related to issues of:<br />social<br />academic<br />professional service<br />organisational<br />What would you do to support the student? How would you do this?<br />5mins! <br />
  7. 7. Students 2.0?<br />Who/what are modern students? <br />A vision of students today(Wesch, 2007)<br />Engaging Students at Bradford (Currant, 2009)<br />What issues do they face? <br />What challenges does this pose for us?<br />How do we respond to differences from the ‘norm’?<br />
  8. 8. Stating the Obvious But…<br />…Higher Education is changing:<br />“The university system is in need of ‘radical change’ to provide a better deal for taxpayers and students” (Willetts, 10 June 2010)<br />How is the sector going to respond?<br />What will you do differently?<br />How can Learning Development support this process?<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. The Impact of ‘massification’<br />Over last 20 years Higher education has undergone radical and unprecedented change (Education Act, 1992; Dearing Report, 1997; Roberts Report, 2003; Leitch Report, 2006; Browne, 2010; CSR, 2010)<br />Learners are entering with different expectations and assumptions about their experiences<br />The student body has become dramatically more heterogeneous and has fragmented in some cases<br />
  11. 11. What will happen to HE?<br />
  12. 12. Go Back to Basics??<br />
  13. 13. Become Futuristic??<br />
  14. 14. Universities 2.0?<br />Diversity of entry routes<br />Issues of dealing with developing autonomy<br />Earning whilst learning<br />Disengaged learners seeking qualification<br />Pressures on the system and individuals<br />Changing processes within an inflexible system<br />Tradition and history<br />
  15. 15. £9000 a year fees will be the exception not the rule.<br />
  16. 16. In the context of…<br />“Certain tutors appear arrogant and unwilling to listen to student's views. Tutors are often unable to make lectures interesting and/or teach the subject matter in a way that clearly communicates the information and is stimulating. £3,000+ per year definitely not worth it.” [quote from NSS]<br />
  17. 17. How long to see the impact and effects?<br />And how long before even more change??<br />
  18. 18. Outcome = Mixed (imho…)<br /> Those that can, will and those that can’t, will (struggle…)<br />What does this mean for<br />Staff<br />Students <br />Institutions<br />Society<br />Learning Development<br />You???<br />
  19. 19. Universities need to become less fragmented but not turn into a unstimulating vanilla experience or a corporate collective…<br />
  20. 20. It’s All About Expectations…<br />Expectation management is key<br />Support<br />Integration<br />Transition issues<br />Success<br />Awareness<br />Personalisation within a complicated and fragmented system<br />
  21. 21. How do students think they learn best?<br />“I prefer practical learning as I like to do things and get bored when just listening to someone talking. I do quite well when working in a group as well as it gives me more ideas and opinions” <br />“Through repetition. I like to study independently initially but then to consolidate the learning I like to discuss it and have feedback on it. I have a low attention span and so find a lot of reading and quiet time very hard work. I like to interact with people and so the discussion and debate of ideas appeals to me greatly” <br />“I learn best from doing things or thinking through a problem with other people or by writing something down, drawing it. I don't learn much by just reading something”<br />
  22. 22. The Traditional Curriculum…<br />University of X provides per module:<br />Lectures x 2 hours x 12<br />Seminars x 1 hour x 6<br />Group tutorials x 1 hour x 3<br />Group work (with assessed presentation)<br />100+ hours of independent study (aka the library) per module<br />Assessed by coursework and 3 hour exam<br />
  23. 23. And if they’re really lucky they get…<br />
  24. 24.
  25. 25. And the students say…<br />“I do not get enough contact time. I am paying over £3000 a year and this semester I will have no lectures. This is not value for money!”<br />“We are paying a lot of money to gain a degree only to be let down time and time again!”<br />“More lecturers for the money I'm paying”<br />“Too much self-directed studies, not enough help from staff, not sufficient lecture hours, too much money paid for not enough hours.”<br />“The tuition fees are really expensive and they don't give us enough lecture time and I don't know what we are actually paying for.”<br />
  26. 26. (and that’s before £9000 for September 2012…)<br />
  27. 27. Ten Ways to Change Undergraduate Education<br />Make Research-Based Learning the Standard<br />Construct an Inquiry-Based Freshman Year<br />Build on the Freshman Foundation <br />Remove Barriers to Interdisciplinary Education<br />Link Communication Skills and Course Work<br />Use Information Technology Creatively <br />Culminate with a Capstone Experience<br />Educate Graduate Students as Apprentice Teachers<br />Change Faculty Reward Systems<br />Cultivate a Sense of Community<br />The Boyer Commission on<br />Educating Undergraduates<br />in the Research University: REINVENTING UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION<br />Boyer, 1999<br />
  28. 28. What role does Learning Development have in all this?<br /> Who is the most senior person in your institution that <br />supports<br />knows about<br />understands (and champions) Learning Development?<br />(VC, DVC, PVC, Dean/Director, Head of Department, Head of the Unit??)<br />What relationship do you have with senior management? Academic staff?<br />
  29. 29. How many of your Units were mentioned in your University’s access agreement?<br />
  30. 30. How do we work with academics?<br />
  31. 31. Organisational system<br />HE system<br />Academic system<br />Social system<br />Student relations<br />Student engagement & belonging<br />Professional services system<br />Dispositions & capacities<br />May & Thomas, 2010<br />
  32. 32. How do programmes become ‘grounded and nourished’?<br />What does your institution do to welcome students & support with transition? <br />How do you provide social interactions with teachers/staff and other students?<br />How do you embed course advice and support services?<br />Where does Learning Development feature in this?<br />
  33. 33. Intervention level: Core principles<br />
  34. 34. Buzz Word Bingo…<br />VFM<br />USP<br />Collaboration<br />Collegiality<br />Sustainability<br />Effectiveness<br />Efficiency<br />Individualisation<br />Personalisation<br />Strategic direction<br />Mission<br />Access agreements…<br />
  35. 35. The role of learning development is crucial<br />To help staff succeed, we are vital<br />To help students succeed, we are vital<br />To help institutions succeed, we are vital<br />Position to influence<br />Keep fighting!<br />
  36. 36. “I think things have changed so much since I started working in LD in 2006 - we have so much more confidence as a professional community now, but we do still need to be reminded of the importance of being pro-active and not reactive.”<br />
  37. 37. Remember…the only certainty is uncertainty.<br />
  38. 38. The Runes Said:<br />Poerdh: time of crisis, many choices open but what choice is made will affect you and others for a long time to come. This rune is a danger sign…<br />Thorn: updating of thoughts and opinions, think carefully about what is wanted.<br />Os [r]: misjudgement, outcome disaster if action not changed.<br />Rad [r]: challenge the way things are seen.<br />Hoel: struggle and effort needed, victory can be won but at a cost. Conflict can not be avoided, destruction of obsolete, removal of the irrelevant.<br />Nyd: great opportunities at hand.<br />Ehwis: strength, courage, tenacity, perseverance.<br />Ing: wisdom and advice from others, gathering of friends. Laying of foundations that will last for a long time, good time in life, approval of others.<br />Interpretation: it’s gonna be hard but we’ll get there…!<br />
  39. 39. Any Questions?!<br />
  40. 40. <Thank you!/><br />