Anticipating the near future of teaching

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The ways in which digital and networked higher education futures are imagined are rarely built around the values of universities, students and staff. Too often they are projected according to the values of ‘ed-tech’ industry and aligned policy discourses in which technological determinism, the interests of profit and the instrumentalisation of higher education are taken for granted as the inevitable drivers of change. This paper describes a methodology designed to enable universities to define and ‘own’ their own digital future, and to base it in the values of their communities. Such future visioning can be used as the basis for institutional strategy and planning, enabling us to advocate for resource and institutional policy change from a collectively-defined position. Equally importantly, it can be used to push back on other kinds of ‘inevitable’ futures described for us by agencies whose values are radically different. The paper describes the methods developed at the University of Edinburgh to achieve this future vision. It details the process we devised for defining a set of shared values and how we defined a preferred future for our own university. For the future of digital and networked education to be one that works in the interests of faculty and students, we argue that universities need to develop new, creative and values-based ways to envision and build it.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020
EventTwelfth International Conference on Networked Learning - Aalborg University, Denmark
Duration: 18 May 202020 May 2020


ConferenceTwelfth International Conference on Networked Learning
Abbreviated titleNetworked Learning Conference 2020
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • future
  • anticipation
  • digital education
  • values
  • methodology
  • institutional strategy


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