Like many other people, I started to venture back into the world of in-person meetings. From this experience, I wanted to share some of the key messaging, conversations, and challenges discussed in UK-based Higher and Further Education (HE, FE). Education Leadership Summit in Cheshire brought together a range of speakers from across the HE and FE space and it was amazing to have the opportunity to mix and speak to people in a face-to-face setting. The two-day event covered a whole plethora of topics; from these, I wanted to highlight some key themes that resonated with this audience, around how the way education is changing and what this might mean for academics and students alike.
- Micro-credentials – Whilst this term seems to have grown in popularity in recent months, how it was discussed in this setting revolved around upskilling an already working population to allow for mid-career transition. It also included discussions on skills outside of a student’s core field of study to improve employability in the post-education, working world.
- Digital Strategies – Encompassing a whole range of topics, this was the biggest theme discussed over the course of the event. Some examples included the need to address new and anticipated cyber risks, enabling people-centred technologies, and exploring ways to deliver courses outside of traditional settings by exploring hybrid and immersive techniques.
- Usable Data – Again, a topic that institutions within the HE and FE space alike have had on their agenda for a number of years. In this case, there was a heavy emphasis not only on ‘big data’ but providing a clear purpose for using data; to aid decision making, and improved data collection based on feedback. This method provides an effective way to influence the student learning experience, whilst also enabling academics to use it effectively.
The conversations that stemmed from these speaking points led to a natural alignment between Möbius, an online platform used specifically in STEM subjects, and specific teaching challenges faced by this audience.
How effective is it? How can it be used in both a formative and summative way? And one key recurring addition – Authentic Online Assessment.
How can this be measured, are the current data points we collect sufficient to show a ‘true’ picture of engagement, and finally what can be done to positively impact engagement levels in an increasingly online learning environment.
Pre to post Covid transition
How to address the ‘forced migration’ to emergency online learning during the time of Covid, which now has a permanent place in teaching institutions.
I spoke with several heads of HE and FE institutions during the event, and one thing became clear to me: with changing circumstances and all of the potential options, institutions need good tools to support their instructors and students, whether they are teaching face-to-face, entirely online, or in a hybrid format. I recommend you read our eBook, Your STEM Courses, Your Way, an excellent resource that explains how our platform can help you regardless of the format you find yourself teaching within.