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Fit for the Future: Enhancing and adapting practice for new paradigms of higher education

This member benefit aims to help members adapt to rapidly evolving markets and novel environmental shocks by exploring innovative and unconventional approaches to how higher education is structured and provided.

The HE landscape is shifting and diversifying to meet the changing needs of students and employers. Post-pandemic changes to student expectations, experiences, and prior learning combined with external factors, including the cost of living, globalisation, student mobility and graduate employment, necessitate changes to how higher education is structured and provided. Students ask for more flexibility in approaches to engaging with their learning, peers, and higher education provider.  

Fundamentally, how we learn has remained constant; we need motivation, opportunity, and time. However, what students need to know and the competencies and values required to succeed are changing. Providing diverse HE models can help ensure that personalised, quality learning opportunities are accessible to all. In 2023/24 we will be exploring how we can adapt key areas of our education practice to these new modes of higher education.  

 Dr Kay Hack, Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching), Advance HE introduces the project below

This project is relevant to: All members

Job functions: Academics, Academic Developers, Programme leaders, Heads of schools or departments, Deans, PVC/DVC (education and student experience), Quality Assurance.

Explore the individual projects


Modes of Assessment

This project will develop two guides designed to help educators:

1. Design authentic assessment instruments that promote academic integrity and desired learning behaviours.

2. Use multi-modality to enhance teaching, learning and assessment

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Leading digital transformation 

This project will bring together those leading digital transformation within their institutions to connect, share good practice and solutions.  

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This project will support educators to reflect on how they can guide students through their own academic and personal/professional journeys, emphasising growth and self-empowerment.  

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Output 1 - Assessment of Higher Order Learning: A Practice Guide

Building on the Modes of Learning Practice Guide published in 2022, this new practice guide is for course teams designing authentic assessments that encourage academic integrity and provide flexible and inclusive opportunities for students to showcase how they have achieved learning outcomes.

Output 2 - Multi-modal Learning: A Practice Guide

Multimodal teaching, learning and assessment taps into the diverse ways in which individuals want to receive, process and share information. By integrating various modes of communication such as text, speech, visuals, audio, movement, colour, and style, educators can create rich and inclusive learning environments that enhance comprehension and engagement, providing opportunities for students to engage with disciplinary knowledge in innovative and creative ways. This approach promotes active participation, critical thinking, and a deeper connection to the subject matter. This guide will support educators incorporate multimodal learning in content creation, developing learning activities, and assessments, applicable to a range of learning contexts and educational settings.


Dr Kay Hack (PFHEA)

Lead Consultant (Learning and Teaching)
Advance HE
Dr Kay Hack
Dr Kay Hack (PFHEA) is the Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching) for Advance-HE. Her role includes developing, managing and promoting excellence in teaching and learning, both generally and within STEM disciplines. She delivers a range of services to the HE sector, including supporting strategic leadership and change in HEIs and building and maintaining strong relationships with the STEM community, PSRBs, government and other organisations and individuals.

Vic Stephenson

Senior Consultant - Education
Advance HE
Vic Stephenson
Vic is a Senior Consultant at Advance HE, designing and delivering support and training on inclusive pedagogy approaches and leading a range of collaborative projects to enhance quality, student experience and outcomes. She has over 25 years of experience in education as a teacher, teacher trainer, academic manager and assessment specialist. Vic’s main interests are in international education, inclusive curricula and assessment design and technology-enhanced learning.
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Output 1 - Roundtables

Two roundtable events will bring together thought leaders in HE learning and teaching to explore best practices in leading digital change, review and discuss relevant outputs from the sector, discuss current strategic priorities, highlight the impact of digital investment, and explore the challenges and opportunities of talent recruitment.

Roundtable 1

Date: 17 January 2024 

Time: 7-8:30 am GMT

This will focus on best practices in leading digital change and highlight the impact of digital investment. 

Register here

Roundtable 2

Date: 14 February 2024 

Time: 7-8:30 am GMT

This will focus on exploring the challenges and opportunities of talent recruitment, and we will review and discuss relevant outputs from the sector.

Register here

Output 2 - Network

Traditionally, a knowledge gap has kept senior staff from fully grasping the intricacies of digital transformation and leadership. Often delegated to others, this vital knowledge remains dispersed across the organisation, leaving leaders ill-equipped to steer this essential facet of institutional growth.

This is where the Leading Digital Transformation Network steps in. We understand senior staff and executives seek more than expertise; they require a dynamic community fostering dialogue, showcasing excellence, and championing their efforts.

We aim to launch the network in June 2024, following consultation with the sector.


John Sumpter

Senior Consultant in Education
Advance HE
John Sumpter
As a senior consultant, he has an impressive track record of driving positive change at the international, national, and government levels. With an extensive work experience that includes tenure at three universities and two national sector organizations, Jisc and Advance HE.
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Output 1 - EnvisionED: Where 'becoming' is at the heart of education

The endeavour of nurturing becoming in higher education is driven by several high-level objectives that collectively seek to enrich the educational experience and empower both educators and learners. Nurturing ‘becoming’ in HE reflects a commitment to growth, self-awareness, transformative and lifelong learning, and the creation of inclusive communities of practice (Flint et al, 2022). By weaving these into the fabric of education, members are empowered to lead examined lives and flourish as active participants, proving to be valuable investments for higher education providers.

In this introductory thought piece, sector experts Juliette Gaunt and Mark O’Hara will consider the critical reflection and self-awareness required for transformational learning, and the role of educators in enabling this.
Read the thought piece

Output 2 - Creating Transformational Learning Environments

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to explore aspects of belonging/mattering and consider how they can develop their own practices fit for their own context.


Juliette Morgan

Senior Consultant (Student Success)
Advance HE
Picture of Juliette Gaunt
Juliette Morgan is a National Teaching Fellow and Collaborative Excellence Award winner. Juliette’s current role is Senior Consultant (student success) with Advance HE. Her interests include student success, mental health and wellbeing, student enablement and leadership in Higher Education.

Professor Mark O'Hara

Senior Consultant, Education
Advance HE
Mark O'Hara
Professor Mark O’Hara has over 30 years of experience in Higher Education in a wide variety of roles including programme leader, Head of Student Experience, Associate Dean and Associate PVC. His current role is as a Senior Consultant (Education) with Advance HE. Mark’s interests include student enablement, staff leadership development and inclusion in Higher Education.
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The Knowledge Hub, our eNewsletters and Advance HE Connect are great ways to keep up-to-date on the work of Advance HE.

Knowledge Hub

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An Advance HE member benefit

Member Projects are part of Advance HE's member benefits for the 2023-24 membership year. Click below to see the full range of benefits available.

See this year's projects
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