StrategyHack is an initiative built on the experience gained in the EduHack project and is supported by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union. This project is run by Politecnico di Torino – POLITO , Universidad Internacional de La Rioja – UNIR , Coventry University, Knowledge Innovation Centre – KIC, Association Europeenne D’institutions Del’enseignement Superieur – EURASHE and, Media and Learning Association – MEDEA.
Efforts to curb the outbreak of COVID-19 led to the closure of education and training buildings, campuses and other sites and a forced shift to emergency modes of digital education. In many Member States, most institutional leaders, in particular those in mid-level positions, had little if any experience of organising teaching and learning online or the different infrastructural, human resource and administrative challenges associated with it. The gulf between responses of different institutions to the crisis has shown that leadership is one of the most important enabling factors for a successful move-to-digital. Institutions that had previously invested in building the digital capacity of their management were better prepared to adapt teaching approaches, keep learners engaged, and continue the education and training process. In defining how to move beyond the unplanned and emergency phase imposed on education providers, institutional leaders need to acknowledge that the shift to digital has been permanently accelerated and that institutions that do not embrace it will exacerbate a digital divide in education and the labour market. Students expect institutions to exist within a digital society and recognise that collaboration, socialisation and learning already happen in a variety of physical and digital environments, and to prepare them to thrive in a digital-first economy and society.
Therefore, StrategyHack supports the priorities of the European Commission’s Digital Education Action Plan and focuses on capacity building on mid-level institutional leaders since a resilient transformation requires strengthening the connecting tissue between the high-level management strategy level and the digital-pedagogy level which these personnel provide. We intend to:
- accelerate digital transformation of staff, programmes and institutional processes within Higher Education.
- promote and nourish high quality self-directed personalised learning environments with a strong digital component.
- lock in gains made to perceptions of digital learning during the COVID crisis and using these to promote more sustainable models of digital education.
The consortium will set the scope of the course by using a survey of institutional leaders, followed by focus groups to identify the problems institutional leaders currently face, the reasons why the digital strategies fail to promote positive change to their full potential, and the elements of these which might be solved through training of institutional leaders.
We will design the events as intensive online events, with participants over several sessions identifying a problem, sharing best practice on potential solutions, and then working in small groups to propose solutions. While the topics will be finalised through a mixture of the needs analysis and the requirements of the institutions/persons participating, examples of challenges which could be used as event topics include:
How do I conduct assessment remotely and securely for my institution?
How do I map and develop staff’s digital competence?
How to move my institution’s diversity and inclusion policy online?
How do I repurpose my physical facilities to support digital learning?
How to develop new revenue streams online?
Over the course of the project we intend to run 6 online events, each gathering around 15 institutional leaders. The methodology for the events will be published as a handbook, and further promoted through the EduHack Network.
We will develop a set of model documentation in the form of a thematic ISO 21001-aligned Educational Organisation Management System (EOMS) to support the implementation of digital learning within institutions at faculty/department/school level. This may include, as deemed needed, examples of:
Leadership documents to integrate digital learning into the institution’s identity & brand, such as mission and vision statements; quality principles and policy statements; quality objectives and methodologies to define, monitor and achieve them.
Strategic approaches to manage risk and sustainability, such as methodologies to identify and monitor internal and external contexts; stakeholders’ needs and expectations; nonconformity,
risks and opportunities.
Methodologies to manage resources efficiently, including infrastructure, knowledge and people;
Tools and techniques to tackle the most challenging operational activities in digital education.
Frequent asked questions (FAQ) and objective, practical replies to them.
We will distil the expertise of the project into a management system which can be implemented by any educational organisation moving to digital education. We will ensure impact by widely disseminating it via educational institutions and standardisation organisations.