Building Digital Capacity in Higher Education
Principles and first insights from the sectoral consultation ‚Äì with preliminary¬†recommendations and actionable first steps
The work of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning must be genuinely¬†consultative. We commit to seeking views and mobilising expertise across the entire sector. This is one of¬†the key values that has underpinned the work of the National Forum since its initiation ‚Äì and it is why I am¬†so pleased with the tremendous response that we have had from all institutions in the sector to the call for¬†consultation that has preceded and informed this document. Building digital capacity is a vital part of the¬†National Forum‚Äôs work plan, but it is not the only part. It must be strongly linked to the other dimensions
of enhancement that the Forum is working to facilitate, including professional development, scholarship¬†in teaching and learning, rewarding and celebrating excellent teaching, and the development of strong¬†partnership and collaboration.
What has become increasingly clear during our consultations is that the challenge of building digital capacity¬†is something that the entire sector must embrace together. It is a challenge that will not be met unless all¬†parts of the higher education sector are involved, and unless different kinds of expertise and activity are¬†integrated to create an education system that is characterised by the fullest and most impactful use of the
potential that digital technology presents.¬†We have also learned that while there are legitimate concerns about aspects of digital technology and how¬†best to use it in higher education teaching and learning contexts, there is also a widespread commitment to¬†utilise its potential to support and engage students and their learning. Our challenge now will be to address¬†these concerns and realise the potential. It is encouraging to see similar priorities emerging in discussions¬†on primary and secondary education too.
This document articulates an emerging national vision. It states why we must build digital capacity and¬†highlights what next steps we should take to utilise digital technology in the best ways possible ‚Äì in order¬†ensure a creative, engaging exciting and effective learning environment for our students. It also sets the¬†context for the allocation of the enhancement funding in this area ‚Äì funding that the sector so badly needs.¬†This call for funding proposals will be released shortly.
I commend the members of the National Forum team led by Dr Terry Maguire for the energy that they have¬†brought to this work. I am deeply appreciative of all the National Forum Board members and our panel of¬†international advisers for helping to guide and shape this process. Mostly, I am grateful to the very many¬†of you who have made time to contribute to this emerging vision and to all our institutions who share a¬†determination to make teaching and learning in higher education the best that it can be.Professor Sarah Moore
Chair, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education