Digital Decisions Research Data

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Nick (DC)

review of interview
Digital Decisions in HE (first interview)
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Wednesday, August 31st 10.15
Attendees: Fiona Harvey, Nick DC
Teams (Lancaster)
East region
Discussion topics
Introduction and explanation (agreements)
Types of student support (transition, accessibility)
How are decisions made institutionally
Influence of networks (HeLF, UCISA)
Influence of EdTech in decision making


Mostly animated when we got to the influence of EdTech. Also about the third space where he was basically saying that his role is taken seriously now. Where before it was IT he is in the space like I am where he has an understanding of the tech and can apply it to pedagogy so that its not just there but is there for a reason.

Student Support

Coming from X he was familiar with Accessibility as he was working with Ben Watson (UCL now Head of Digital Accessibility) but the socio economic aspect of inclusion was not mentioned. I asked about what happens before they come to uni in terms of support but there was little he mentioned and it may be that it was the role of IT services to support the technical aspect of how to use MS Office which he did mention. I don’t think anyone is thinking about the confidence of using software and how reosurces and kit were important to students.
What he did say was the institutions are changing how they percieve their digital estates. Whereas before the pandemic they were focussed on buildings and how shiny they were, there was a drive to have the better technology to provide a better connected expereince for students.
He is interested in critical theory for his PhD and so he had a lot to say about the motivations for institutions using edtech and how they are being made to believe that they need to have something in place which may or may not be of real value but played on the fears of reputation for online not being high quality and the way to counter that is to have procturing software. The example he gave made me think about how EdTech companies are constantly trying to find their way into HE (where they think there is a lot of money) and they can tie them into subcriptions but then we end up spending lots of money trying to redevelop their systems.
said it was OK to get in touch for clarification if needs be

What I could have done better

I was thrown because the camera didnt work so need to check the camera before hand.
I also started talking too much and didnt follow my own plan of introduction. I had checked ahead of time that I had permission from him but I felt I wasn’t as structured.

What I did well

The topics were all covered. I wanted to know about strategic decisions and he basically said that he influenced but didnt make the ultimate decisions which were done higher up. He is new in the role though.
I kept to the exact time. and I said thank you and have changed the expiration of the video to not to expire.
Reference re transcript:

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