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Students’ perspective on blended learning and digital solutions in higher education 


Eddie Plaskitt, ULIP Students’ Union President, delivered a presentation on blended learning and digital solutions in higher education during the latest Experiences in Digital Learning webinar. 

On 20 April 2023, ULIP President of the Students’ Union, Eddie Plaskitt, reflected on his experience of studying at the University during the pandemic and presented several key observations from the students’ perspective. His contribution on the rapid digital transformation and adaptation that began in 2020 complemented the presentation delivered by Dr Donna Smith, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Deputy Associate Dean Teaching and Students at the Open University, who presented on working with ‘students as partners’ approach in learning and teaching. 

In addition to his current position, Eddie, who is in his third year of BA French Studies with Business, has also held the Education Officer role. He participated in the University's response to the pandemic, its impact on education, the implementation of digital learning technologies and the implications of these transitions on students as well as staff.   

Despite the fact that digital tools were extensively utilised at the start of the pandemic and their current extensive use in our day-to-day lives, he noted that there is now a chance to think more thoroughly about how these technologies offer different levels of learning. As the student perspective underlines the relevance of both physical and digital learning options, it may also be necessary to investigate the remote teaching options in terms of developing relationships between students and faculty.  

While Eddie's reflection cautioned against overusing digital technologies due to its potential adverse effect on the development of important skills like critical thinking; it is possible too that digital technologies will change the way in which assessments are conducted and learning materials are prepared. Students' professional goals may benefit from better experience and understanding of employing tools such as translation software and Artificial Intelligence as these tools have the potential to transform higher education as a sector and the way in which we receive information in society. Finding a balance between experience and overreliance will be the primary challenge in this scenario because matters of academic integrity and ethics must be upheld. Eddie’s contribution emphasised that collaboration between students and staff may be the best course of action to achieve better understanding. 

The full recording of the webinar is available here.

Experiences in Digital Learning is a series of webinars from the Centre for Online and Distance Education and ULIP which provide the opportunity to explore the rapid innovations and changes we are seeing in digital learning, teaching and assessment.