The Near Future Teaching project ran between 2017 and 2019, with the goal to develop a values-based vision for the future of digital education at the University of Edinburgh. The project used futures-thinking and design-based methodologies to work with more than 400 students, staff and others in the co-production of this vision. Over the two years, it applied the collective agency and creative insights of the university community to the design of a preferred future for our teaching and learning.
It advocated for the idea that the University community should take stock and actively shape a preferred future for teaching based on shared values, at a time when technological change is accelerating and often assumed to be driving the future of learning. We ran workshops and events which drew in over 250 students and staff. We ran short interviews with 50 people and edited them into short thematic videos. We reviewed the key trends, developed plausible future world scenarios and worked intensively with our task group to map a future for university teaching responding to these. We tested our emerging ideas with another 50 staff and students, and also tried them out on 57 students still in school.