Working with students to co-design a vision for a set of revolutionary new undergraduate programmes.
Edinburgh Futures Institute, University of Edinburgh
Vision, Insights and Recommendations Report
At the time of the engagement, the EFI was in the process of developing its undergraduate programmes. Leadership had a rough sense of what they wanted the programmes to look like and had formulated a series of principles to underpin the programmes. However, at this stage their conversations were focussed on what these principles meant for the programmes in an operational sense — e.g., credit allocations, types of module, and methods of delivery.
They wanted to build out their vision in collaboration with students, drawing from students’ education experiences, gaining a more rounded idea of what these programmes should look and feel like from a student perspective.
The Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) is part of the University of Edinburgh and is developing progressive and non-traditional approaches to higher education. This includes giving students more autonomy over their learning, more choice over whether to study online or on-campus, promoting interdisciplinarity, and working collaboratively with a large range of partners.
Working with the EFI we recruited students from across the University to engage them across two focussed workshops. These workshops used creative visual and scenario-building techniques to understand:
We synthesised the information collected from the students into two key outputs:
An Insight and Recommendations Report
The report outlined the main learnings from the workshops. It spoke to students’ interpretation of the principles, the issues they associated with each principle, and ideas for how these principles could translate into learning content, structure, delivery and other aspects of the student experience as well as other strategic recommendations.
A New Perspective
The outputs from the project helped those developing the programmes to build an undergraduate programme vision informed by more diverse perspectives and shaped by representatives of the community that the vision itself will impact.
After the project the EFI presented their plans for the undergraduate programmes to academics from across the University to invite them to help develop content. The vision was used to help build excitement while ensuring that staff were aligned and working towards a common goal.
The insights and recommendations in the final report directly affected key decisions around the course content, structure, and modes of delivery.
“It was a real pleasure working with such an engaging and professional team. They clearly understood what we were after and the whole process was easy and enjoyable. All outcomes were beautifully designed and are very useful for us.”
Undergraduate Programmes Lead, Edinburgh Futures Institute