Envisioning a smarter digital learning future for UNSW


Published 7 December 2022

Envisioning a smarter digital learning future for UNSW

Heading towards the end of the year, the six Education Technology for the Future strategic working groups covering synchronous online classrooms, hybrid learning, ePortfolios, data ethics and privacy, technical and data interoperability, and emerging trends, have just finished their final reports, ready to be synthesised into a strategy for our digital education future. 

The project team comprises over 100 academics, professional staff and students from all faculties and teams such as PVCESE, IT, RaSS, and Future Students on the steering committee and working groups that are working in partnership to create an agreed upon vision for UNSW. 

The working groups began by analysing the current student and staff digital education experience, with several common themes shining through across the groups: 

  1. Balancing the desire from students for flexibility and choice in learning modes with ensuring sustainability and more consistent experiences  
  2. The need to re-prioritise support, community and care for students regardless of delivery mode, as well as revisiting staff education and tech support to suit emerging teaching practices 
  3. Simplifying and improving the ed-tech experience to put the focus back on learning 
  4. An awareness of the potential of big data, but also its pitfalls and considerations 
  5. The importance of meaningful assessments and showcasing learning and achievements throughout the learner journey 
  6. The need for appropriate governance and management of technology, systems, services and data 


Education Technology for the Future Strategy

Over the last five months, the groups have also identified short and long-term recommendations for projects and programs of work to realise the ideal future experience from a technology, processes, people and support perspective. There is significant and consistent alignment across all the groups, with many insightful observations and well-considered projects proposed to position UNSW as a leader in digital education. 

Importantly, the education insights generated from the Education Technology for the Future strategy development are already critical inputs into other strategic work occurring throughout UNSW, including the Academic Excellence working groups and the IT Blueprint.  

Thank you to all the staff and students in the Education Technology for the Future working groups, as well as those that have contributed their ideas and comments through focus groups and open consultation rounds.

Emergent Themes and Implications PDF

In the next stage of the project, our central team will begin to synthesise the working group outputs and staff and student feedback into a draft Education Technology for the Future strategy. We will have an open consultation round in February 2023 to collect feedback on this draft, with the final strategy scheduled for release in March. 

This strategy will include an analysis of the current experience for staff and students, a future vision for UNSW, and a high-level education technology roadmap that plots a path to realisation through a series of quick-win projects and longer-term programs of work that is co-designed by PVCESE, faculties, students, RaSS, Future Students and IT. 

The next few years will be genuinely exciting as we jointly work towards a world-class student and staff digital educational experience, underpinned by a simple to use, integrated learning ecosystem that provides a singular consistent digital experience and adapts to students’ needs throughout their entire lifecycle across undergraduate, postgraduate, and lifelong learning. 

Education Technology for the Future Strategy Overview

For any questions, contact A/Prof. Simon McIntyre (Director, Educational Innovation).  


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