Higher Education’s Digitalisation: Past, Present, and Future

Murphy, Victoria; Iniesto, Francisco and Scanlon, Eileen (2021). Higher Education’s Digitalisation: Past, Present, and Future. In: Kaplan, Andreas ed. Digital Transformation and Disruption of Higher Education. Cambridge University Press (In Press).


COVID-19 there has been discussion in the media of a digital revolution as across the world universities have been forced to teach at a distance. However, rather than being something entirely new, the move to technology enhanced learning (TEL) is a trend that has been observed for decades. In this chapter the authors present example projects from the Open University’s OpenTEL research group that highlight some of the advances that have been made in terms of lifelong learning, open education, and science education supported by TEL. The chapter ends with discussion on what the digitalisation of higher education could mean post COVID-19. The role of universities is likely to change as society develops different needs and expectations of education. The newly acquired expertise of many higher educational institutes in TEL is likely to create opportunities for entrepreneurial universities, although due consideration must be given to the accessibility-related needs of an increasingly diverse student base.

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