The Digivisio pilot has tested the introduction of podcasts and videos onto the shared tray – co-development opens up new perspectives

Digivisio is building the future of learning. The change will require new thinking and shaking up of old frameworks. The higher education institutions involved in the co-creation and piloting of the Release Component 1.0 have jointly developed a tray for continuous and flexible learning. The focus has been on introducing non-formal and informal content, such as podcasts, blogs, videos and webinars, onto the tray.

We have considered matters from many angles, and a large number of experts from higher education institutions have participated in the meetings. We have discussed topics such as learner-driven descriptions of the educational offerings, classification data on the education on offer, guidance and advice provided to learners, online learning quality criteria, management of disturbances and service requests, and the impacts of changes.

Internal processes in a key role

At Xamk, the assessment of change impacts and the development of internal processes have been part of the pilot work from the very beginning. Our RDI personnel have been strongly involved in the development of internal processes, as the development projects in particular generate a wide array of non-formal and informal educational offerings. Together, we have discussed what changes the Digivisio tray could bring to our practices and processes, and how we could make better use of the work carried out in the projects, for example, in the field of open higher education and continuing education.

The co-creation conducted in the pilot has been rewarding. We have noticed that the other higher education institutions are reflecting on the same matters as us – such as what role the non-formal and informal offerings play on the tray, and how the internal processes should be developed to support the anticipated change. Together, we have also pondered how the higher education institutions should profile themselves in relation to the tray, what incentives may be set for higher education institutions in the future and, on the other hand, how the learner can select suitable alternatives from the huge number of learning opportunities.

Product development leads to a clear and easy-to-use tray

As pilot universities, we have had the opportunity to participate in the reviews conducted by the product development teams working on the Digivisio technical release component. At the events, the teams have reviewed the issues developed over the past two weeks. This has given concrete form to the reality of how much work is required solely for the technical development of the tray.

In April, we had an opportunity to test the first version of the tray, that is, to enter information on what is on offer. We noticed that the tray is very easy and clear to use. Of course, technical development is still needed in order for the tray to serve its users optimally. It has been great to notice that the comments made during the testing have already been taken into account during the testing period and concrete changes have been implemented into the tray. 

Higher education institutions participating in piloting the 2.0 Technical Release Component will be involved in developing the transfer of formal educational offerings, that is, open university education on offer, onto the tray during 2023. The intention is that the tray will have interfaces to different systems in the future. This would require a minimum amount of manual entering and enrichment of data on the educational offerings. Of course, this is also what Xamk wants. It will be interesting to see how the tray will change as a result of the development work.

Communication and understanding of the big picture are important

In addition to the pilots and co-creation, various different activities are taking place in Digivisio. It takes a lot of effort to perceive how the different parts are linked to each other. Consequently, it is crucial for those who participate in the development work in different roles within the higher education institution to meet regularly and discuss matters together. This ensures the flow of information and confirms that the development progresses in the same direction. It is also good to contemplate together what kind of changes the services produced by Digivisio will bring, and who will be affected by the changes in your organisation.

The introduction of the continuous and flexible learning tray will result in major changes. The end result will undoubtedly be good if we invest in co-creation while also examining the internal processes and impacts of changes within the higher education institutions!

Noora Juuti

Development Coordinator, Pilot Coordinator

South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Xamk