Digital Decisions Research Data

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Sean RE

SMT for Digital Education at South based institution
Has been there for 21 years and this was the first time I was able to get a sense of the connectedness of the institution. He mentioned how his team sits with the quality and teaching people as well as contacted the library etc and IT staff so there was a variety of roles. The communication here was spot on and I mentioned vocational uni but he said it was career orientated.
I asked about the students and he mentioned it was varied and they had a lot of home students. They supported them quite well once there but I couldn’t get a sense of before they arrived and how they were prepared for the culture of a university. But saying that, X is very much more like a college than a university so that would be interesting to analyse how each group of universities approached their support in terms of digital.
X seemed very strategic and I think that was good. In terms of the focus on students and introducing technologies. They have their set of institutional tools but additional to that if staff wanted something to teach wiht that they had not already got then they needed to satisfy GDPR and security etc. This is good and they also check when they have a request how it will be used and to see if they have something else already, may not be the same but it may be enough.
Student Hub and welfare teams are well connected to the EdTech teams (it would appear) Also the timetabling teams. They also do alot of external teaching spaces work so recording lectures may not always be practical.
There was a lot of support for online things and they also provided policies for staff. I felt that there was probably quite a bit of pushing staff towards having to use certain things rather than choosing which was interesting.
he mentioned that pre arrival they did how to use the VLE (nbot sure if these were actual sessions or an online course) for students and new staff have an induction module which covered the systems
Challenges for them are the resources and keeping everything up to date. The digital estate was what separated the universities he said so like the chap from Kent, that was interesting. Yet the platform providers he said were becoming more prevalent and looming over their institutions.
Networks good for him as he is chairing various things and so will probably be able to influence through those rather than the institution. UCISA and he chairs something and they are trying to be a bargaining kind of procurement group which means they can drive decisions en masse. Probably restricting providers which I am never a fan of. HeLF he also plays a part in so he also throws some shade with them.
He mentioned if everyone uses the same providers for everything in their institution and they go under or get taken over then that is a risk to the institution. Mentioned Turnitin as an example, but then I thought about how we are asking students to use it because we have it and it somehow reassures us that they have not copied it from elsewhere.
NB: when I marked students work I could see what they had copied and what they hadn’t so I am guessing how we are losing that personalisation aspect to the mass teaching.
Student apps feature refresh he mentioned that. Adobe creative campus (why this makes them special?)
VLE continually improving but overall theme despite saying that they are in control they use an awful lot of tech and influence so much of the students data into them. He mentioned using the data to identify at risk flags which were then explored deeper etc.
Students as Inclusive curriculum consultants - including decolonising activities which I am unsure of too.
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