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Future models of higher education in Scotland: Can collaborative, technology‐enhanced learning offer solutions?

Andrew Comrie (Kerson Associates Ltd, Perth, UK)

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Article publication date: 30 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss and provide examples of different collaborative models that are emerging and to argue that a technology‐enhanced, socio‐constructivist approach to future collaborative curriculum design and delivery enables partnership working and provides curriculum design solutions that supports delivery in different ways. The paper seeks to argue that the driver for motivating programme teams to work collaboratively and embed technology into future programme designs comes both from a changing economic and funding climate and a pedagogic driver to offer value to the learner. The paper aims to present exemplars of using technology to transform programme delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

Outcomes and deliverables from different technology‐enhanced learning projects and the work of the Edinburgh, Lothians, Fife and Borders Regional Articulation Hub (ELRAH) have been examined to establish whether technology‐enhanced learning, teaching and access models could enable universities and colleges to work collaboratively to provide a more flexible and accessible model of HE in the future. The paper uses examples of technologies and professional development that is being used to support technology‐enhanced, collaborative HE programme development, and, while the paper focuses specifically on the debates taking place in Scotland, the insights provided are relevant to similar debates taking place in the rest of the UK.

Findings

The paper argues that “edgeless universities” are needed to achieve the reforms needed to deliver an HE system that offers the flexibility of access and efficient delivery required in the future. A future higher education system that demands efficiency and more flexibility through partnership and collaboration must use technology to form partnerships if they are to generate radical changes to future programme designs that enable flexible access. The paper argues that a traditional “one size fits all“ model for tertiary education does not meet a vision for wider access to HE. Institutions will need to adopt different strategies for engaging staff in collaborative curriculum developments and need to provide strong leadership to direct engagement.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is that it presents ways in which FE and HE institutions can work collaboratively to create a more radical, technology‐enabled, collaborative approach to future HE curriculum development in Scotland.

Keywords

Citation

Comrie, A. (2011), "Future models of higher education in Scotland: Can collaborative, technology‐enhanced learning offer solutions?", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 250-257. https://doi.org/10.1108/10650741111162725

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited