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Being as good as you are online as you are in person

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020, 17:54


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Rebecca Galley, Director, Learning Experience and Technology, Open University.

linkedin.com/in/rebecca-galley-16021b149 

  • It is hard for an organisation to deliver online until it changes how it does things offline. 

  • Two years ago a failed attempt at digital transformation began again looking at everything from first enquiries through to alumni. It wasn’t possible to implement the change required where there were so many silos in the organisation. It required a very different approach, an holistic one, that integrates marketing, business, IT, Data Security … 

  • Co-design with students to improve the experience, not with the different business units. To adapt to suit their expectations. Students want simple, elegant and intuitive

  • Activities on site must be complemented by experiences online and work together.

  • All units must be working towards the same aims otherwise you end up with a very fragmented and unsatisfactory student experience.

  • An enterprise approach to digital, data and data governance to enable seamless integration in order for students to be successful and happy online. 

  • Work to horizontal value chains, not KPIs to particular units which result in a fragmented experience. 

  • Take a UX, or service approach, so that you have a very clear understanding of the what the personalised student experience will look like rather than buying off the shelf and plugging everything into it. Rather understand what you want your UX to look like and build it. An enterprise approach is to make it as simple as possible: a single data hub for all university dataL various content stores managed in a consistent way, and then you can be flexible in the way it is offered to students. 

  • Chatbot being used across universities for all courses and throughout the course, not just part of it, because that’s what students expect.

Look at how the Open University do it. Simple! Students have what they need to study on one page without the need to click through multiple times or having to use a search function for anything. 

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You do not start at the Open University Home Page, or a Student Hub. What you see relates to what you have studied and are studying and the links to support you need for this.

  • A simple student experience is very complex ‘under the bonnet’, with clear calls to action, clear accessibility … 
  • Have a firm idea of what the student experience should be, then build to achieve that.
  • Listen to the students and act on that.
  • Work with agencies who bring the capabilities and objectivity that we don’t have ourselves. 
  • Support a mix of student types and know who these are and build for them. 
  • Studying online has been found to be BETTER than face to face for demographic and student types

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Heleny Campoy, Monday, 30 Nov 2020, 16:43)
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Design Museum

How do you get students to engage online?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020, 17:57

Digital Transformation in action : Part of WONKHE@Home Online Summit 

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Patrick Mullane, Executive Director, Harvard Business School Online >  linkedin.com/in/pjmullane

We teach digital transformation, it is NOT about platforms but about everything that wraps around it. The Covid experience may set us back as so many institutions rushed to get online and created a poor experience .

  1. Pedagogy > the way you teach when it is technology enabled. Lectures are dull in person, deathly online. Simply putting what you do face to face online will be dreadfully boring. 

  2. Leadership commitment > not a dip of the toe in the water, but a commitment to the path with money and time. 

  3. The Core competencies you need online are different to online> If you do not make digital marketing a key competency within the university you will not succeed/ There must be a robust marketing facility internally to let students know what there is. We made incredible platforms and spent a lot of money expecting students to turn up and they did not.

  4. Legacy > have realistic expectations. It won’t change overnight. It won’t reduce cost.  

  5. Restructuring for the new world > it is not enough just to have the technology. If you are doing something new it will be better to do this somewhere else. When successful, fold it back into the current structure … which may have to be blown up so that you can start again. 

You will be planning a path where there will be failure. 

Having a technology department is NOT the same as having people who understand pedagogy and can design student centred learning.

Harvard used the ‘Aristotelian - the case method’ in which a tutor leads a discussion and with the students you reach an ‘aha’ moment. Inductive learning required ways for students to take part, to challenge each other … 

Interaction is essential. 

A lot of support, in the community, makes for the overall learning experience. 

Simplicity for the students creates complexity in the backend. But the end objective has to be the simplicity for the student.  

Students know how to crowdsource answers to questions so once the platform has been created the faculty can walk away. 

Don’t let complexity get in the way.

Bespoke platform built by Harvard Business School online.

Have a clear idea of what success looks like at each stage and build on that. Commit to two or three experiments. Either commit and do it well, or fail. Certificates for example are inevitable.


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