The forces for doing so are great, the uncertainties around how to do so are extraordinary, and the risks involved are profound. This article explains the context for the project and what it hopes to achieve.
The Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education project is an opportunity to engage with key facets of this question through collaborative and generative thinking and dialogue. While the ‘socially distanced campus’ is a very broad issue, the focus of this project is on the priority area of student education and experience.
Registrations have now closed
Registrations have now closed to participate in this project. However, you can now register to let us know of your interest in any possible future phases, related activities and resources.
Designed for those with responsibility for planning, leading and managing educational programmes, the aims of the project are:
To enable high quality conversations
To share information, inspiration and intelligence
To co-create solutions to specific aspects of the challenge.
At this critical and precarious stage in the COVID-19 response journey, there has never been a greater need for collective learning, sharing and planning. Around that central question of achieving socially distanced on campus education orbit a number of key areas for close consideration. And student interests must be at the heart of every part of our conversations, along with their need to be valued and part of a community in which they belong. With a clear focus on student education and experience, the five topic areas for the project will be:
Topic 1 - Induction
Topic 2 – Quality
Topic 3 – Inclusion
Topic 4 – Design and delivery
Topic 5 – Space and place
The project will also consider four overarching themes in relation to each topic area that should be threads running through the discussions:
- Wellbeing – students and staff, mental and physical health and wellbeing,
- Communication – with students and staff, including supporting staff development needs,
- Leadership – inspiring collective commitment and achieving focus with kindness, care and compassion,
- Partnership – ‘working with’ rather than just ‘doing for’ students.
Key Project Principles
This project is based on the approach of collaborative enquiry rather than advocacy or advice. To enable this the following key principles will underpin the discussions and interactions:
- The challenge is about people first, not technology,
- Good practice is good practice,
- Well intended measures may have unintended consequences,
- Differentiated approaches will be needed, along with continuous reassessment,
- Balance is key to decision making – balancing the needs of students with the needs and responsibilities of the institution and the needs of society,
- Project participants are experts in their own context,
- Learning is above all else a human relationship (after Carl Rogers, 1983).
About the project
The project comprised a workshop which ran six times during the week commencing 18th May 2020 lasting 3.5 hours: so, six identical workshops. Most of the workshop time was invested in facilitated group discussion amongst peers on a specific selected topic.
Workshop Dates and Times (BST)
- 18th May - 10:00
- 20th May - 06:00
- 20th May - 13:00
- 21st May - 10:00
- 22nd May - 09:00
Advance HE Connect
A group has been established on Advance HE Connect for on-line information sharing and exchange, including outputs from the workshops and links to resources from other organisations and contexts.
Post workshop Leadership Intelligence reports
The workshops at the heart of this project, attended by participants from the UK and around the World, have been focussed on five key topic areas: induction, quality, inclusion, design and delivery, and space and place. Drawing upon the information, inspiration and intelligence generated by these workshops, and following collective engagement and high quality conversations with a wide spectrum of senior colleagues with responsibility for planning, leading and managing educational programmes, a series of short and accessible Leadership Intelligence reports will be published. The reports published so far are:
- Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education Project - Leadership Intelligence Report - Induction
- Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education Project - Leadership Intelligence Report - Space and Place
The remaining reports will be published for those in Advance HE member institutions in the Knowledge Hub in the following sequence:
- Design and delivery
Additionally, a sixth capstone publication focusing on the over-arching themes of wellbeing, communication, leadership and partnership will be produced and will be available to all.
The reports will be published for members from the beginning of June with the final capstone publication (available to all) coming later in the month.