By Marta Bernabeu and Desirée Gómez
From 19 to 21 June, the Next Generation Student Success meeting was held in Barcelona, jointly organized by DXtera Institute, Strada Education Network and German Alliance for Education (Bündnis für Bildung) and sponsored by the eLearn Center of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The main organizer, DXtera is an American non-profit consortium founded in 2016, being the UOC its European hub. The members of DXtera have participated in the symposium and it has counted with the assistance of several actors from the leading European institutions, with the objective of finding mechanisms to improve student success. The UOC joined at the end of 2017 to help universities optimize the use of this data and find shared and innovative solutions to overcome these technological barriers.
Tuesday began with the presentation of the Research Director of the eLearn Center, Antoni Pérez Navarro and the Director of the DXtera Institute, Dale Allen. Both highlighted the importance of working in the future of digital environments, Learning Analytics and Business Intelligence to ensure the best development for education for the next generation as well as for the industry and the professional field. The presentations of professionals such as Andy Durman (Emsi Data), Christhian Büttner (City of Nürnberg) and Óscar Cubillo (Fundación Universidad Empresa) gave way to the Breakout Sessions where the university-business relationship and the needs of societies and citizens of the future concerning education were discussed.
Giving way to the second day, the Vice-Chancellor of strategic planning and research at the UOC, Marta Aymerich, welcomed the audience on Wednesday, where she wanted to express her gratitude to those attending the symposium, defining it as “the joint result of people from different organizations having the opportunity to listen to international experts to do translational research in institutions”.
Next, the UOC Rector Josep A. Planell in his speech about Next Generation Digital Learning Environments (NGDLE) stated that the informational society is changing the paradigm of Higher Education and focused on how the University can help the citizens of the 4th Industrial Revolution’s society and how the UOC is preparing for that.
The day continued with the presentations of experts Jeff Merriman (MIT, DXtera Institute), Vijay Kumar (MIT) and Jordi Conesa (UOC) among others, emphasizing Data Analytics and their correct selection and processing. Steven Vosloo (UNESCO) highlighted the use of Chatbots in educational tasks and Hae Okimoto (University of Hawaii System) spoke about the use of Learning Analytics in the student pathways.
On Thursday, the 21st, the last day of the symposium, the speech focused on the NGDLE and better access to digital information by the experts Cristina Anguiano-Carrasco (ACT), David Burge (George Mason University) and Venkat Srinivasan (EnglishHelper). The discussion group, the conclusions and the next steps to follow have put the finishing touches to the day.
The collaboration of the UOC with Dxtera Institute is foreseen is assuming different projects for each year and obtaining support from it in advice on trends and educational innovations and technical assistance to integrate the consortium’s IT solutions.