Chapter 29: Digital education: less change and more change than predicted
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This chapter explores some of the reasons why learning and teaching will change less than often predicted, despite experiences of learning and teaching online during the COVID-19 pandemic, and why professional services will change more. Technology can make it possible for more learners to participate in higher education, resulting in improvements in who can access higher education, and can enhance student engagement and achievement. Nevertheless, learning and teaching have been, and will continue to be, enabled by technology rather than transformed by it. Place-based higher education with face-to-face learning and teaching, augmented with digital, will remain a highly valued and the preferred model. On the other hand, university professional services will increasingly deploy digital systems to become more fit for purpose and efficient. To do this effectively, they will need to undergo fundamental and revolutionary changes, in culture and structure. The first half of this chapter discusses why learning, teaching and assessment will change less than many predictions have claimed, and the second half will consider why professional services will change more, with a case study to illustrate some of the drivers and some of the challenges.

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