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The Future of Digital Learning and Teaching


ULIP and Goldsmiths jointly hosted a webinar on "the Future of Social, Creative and Experiential Digital Learning" on June 23 2020, which gathered a panel of five interdisciplinary experts and practitioners and was chaired by Linda Amrane-Cooper from the University of London’s Centre for Distance Education. It was attended by 120 participants, who were given the possibility to interact during a Q&A session.


The speakers’ views on our industry’s recent adaptation to the Covid-19 situation, as well as their diverse respective experiences, gave the audience a chance to grab some of the many challenges and opportunities the momentum has given way to. 

A few topics among many that were discussed: 

  • the opportunity to truly build from the collaborative nature of the web, and to create a higher education model in which students build their knowledge for themselves 
  • the innovation prompted by the Covid-19 context, with creative examples of how the Royal Veterinary College or Jefferson University’s medical and design programmes dealt with moving practical courses, such as prototyping in a studio, or giving a physical exam, online 
  • the rising role of instructional designers as change agents, and their essential position in shaping the future HE programmes, whether they take place fully or partly online 
  • the challenge of student engagement in situations where they might not have initially chosen a full-online delivery; but also the opportunities pseudo-synchronous or asynchronous learning brings forward 
  • the relevance of interactive and co-creative tools such as mind mapping, both for learners and teachers. 

All drafted a picture where higher education remains first and foremost a human experience, a social and experiential forum building on human communications, with the student learning journey at its centre. The panel stressed that Higher Education should stay acutely in tune with what happens in the online world - use of social networks, new reading practices, virtual reality - to guarantee a high-quality learning experience, in line with learners’ expectations and changing habits. Finally, they raised a few caution points: faculty and course designers burnout, solid need for campus-based experience, digital divide - these will require addressing before digital learning follows a smooth path. 

We warmly thank our panel for their passionate contributions. In attempting to reconceptualise what learning is in this new world, they pointed at several strongly engaging leads that will no doubt enrich the ongoing discussion among professionals and learners alike. 

Following the event response and rising interest in the subject of online education, ULIP and Goldsmiths are happy to launch a series of additional talks with this panel’s experts, starting in the fall. Stay tuned for calendar announcements.

Watch our recording:


  • Matt Dane Baker: Senior Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs – Jefferson University 
  • Sam Brenton: Director of Education, Innovation and Development – University of London 
  • Whitney Kilgore: Co-founder and Chief Academic Officer - iDesign 
  • Thierry Koscielniak: Chief Digital Officer – Le CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers) 
  • Ayona Silva-Fletcher: Professor in Veterinary Education at the Royal Veterinary College 


  • Linda Amrane-Cooper: Head of the University of London Centre for Distance Education and Director for Strategic Projects