Shaping the future of digital education at Oxford

The new Digital Education Strategy aims to articulate a vision for digitally enabled teaching and learning at Oxford which recognises the distinctive student experiences of tutorial, small group, and college-based teaching.

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A draft of the new Digital Education Strategy was sent to divisions and colleges in Week 7 Michaelmas term 2021 for consultation. It was also circulated for university-wide consultation by all staff and students in Hilary term 2022.

This consultation has now finished and the Digital Education Strategy Working Group is reviewing feedback received.

The University's current Digital Education Strategy was endorsed in 2016. It established a framework for engagement in digital education by setting out the structures, resources and approaches to enable the University to bring about a step change in our use of technology in teaching and learning.

Since then, we have made extraordinary progress in the use of technology to support learning and teaching across Oxford – progress which has been dramatically accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new strategy aims to articulate a vision for digitally enabled teaching and learning at Oxford which recognises the distinctive student experiences of tutorial, small group, and college-based teaching.

Working Group

A Working Group has been established, led by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal of Jesus College and Professor of Computing Science.

Working group membership comprises representatives from colleges, the four divisions and Department for Continuing Education, representatives from Oxford SU and experts and innovators from the Oxford Internet Institute, Department of Education, Saïd Business School, Department of Computer Science, Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Education Policy Support.

Sub-groups have been established to look at four major areas:

  • Adapting flexible and inclusive teaching post pandemic
  • Understanding students’ digital experiences at Oxford
  • Sustaining and developing digital infrastructure
  • Demand for online courses.

Draft strategy

A draft of the strategy was presented to Education Committee in Week 5 Michaelmas term 2021, where it received unanimous support.

The draft has been informed by reviews of practice here at Oxford and elsewhere.

It also draws on extensive surveys of students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic (survey reports can be viewed on the Centre for Teaching and Learning website), and on feedback from staff who participated in two consultation events in Trinity term 2021. Staff at each event responded to a range of questions from the consultation team, and provided feedback on additional issues they felt important to the future of digital education at Oxford.

The draft strategy went to divisions and colleges in Week 7 Michaelmas term 2021 for consultation. It was also circulated for university-wide consultation by all staff and students in Hilary term 2022.

This consultation has now finished and the Digital Education Strategy Working Group is reviewing feedback received.

Following appropriate consultation, the new Digital Education Strategy will be presented to Education Committee and then to Council.

iTransform is a University initiative to plan what future investments are required in digital services and IT infrastructure at Oxford. It will develop a proposal for a digital transformation programme that, if funded, will provide a step change in how the University is supported digitally. It will include a list of prioritised activities to enhance support for education, as well as for research, outreach and administrative activities, over and above the existing IT Development Plan.

A scoping phase, under the auspices of the University’s IT Committee, is underway which includes engagement activities with stakeholders around the University to understand their experiences and views on strategic priorities.

Findings from this phase that relate to digital education will be shared with the Digital Education Strategy Working Group and help inform the final Digital Education Strategy.

You can find out more about iTransform at the iTransform SharePoint site (SSO required).

To receive occasional updates from the Working Group about the new Digital Education Strategy, join the mailing list.

To do this, send an email to digital-education-strategy-review-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk from the email address from which you wish to subscribe. This is an automated email, so you won't need to include a message or subject.

You will receive an email back asking you to confirm your subscription.

In Hilary term 2022, students were invited to enter the Imagining the Future of Digital Education writing competition by submitting news articles telling fictitious stories of the future of digital learning at Oxford.

The competition was open to students at any level of study at the University. View the competition guidelines.

The competition has now closed, and we are pleased to announce the winners.

All competition entries are contributing directly to the new Digital Education Strategy.

If you have any questions about the new Digital Education Strategy, or the consultation process, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

FIT - Flexible and Inclusive Teaching

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