IT Futures

University of Edinburgh

Conference 2021

Hybrid and Other Teaching Changes in a Post-COVID World

Friday 10th December 2021, McEwan Hall, University of Edinburgh

After a one year absence due to COVID the University of Edinburgh IT Futures conference is back!!  We are bigger, bolder and will now be in full hybrid – allowing both digital and in person attendees. This year we will locate the conference in the beautifully restored McEwan Hall.

The subject of this year’s conference is  “Hybrid and other teaching changes in a Post-COVID world” . As usual we will look to inspire, challenge and look into the future as we face and embrace some of the extraordinary changes shaping higher education teaching. Technology, digital pedagogy and the adoption of both accelerated during the pandemic with many innovative approaches and experimentation. We have a full day packed with fascinating and innovative speakers as we contemplate teaching changes in a post-COVID world. The Principal will address the conference; Professor Sian Bayne, as our Keynote, will talk about the latest thinking and research in this area; Professor Rhona Sharpe, Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Oxford, will speak about her thoughts on the future; and we have many others who will share their thoughts, ideas, trials and successes.

Registration will open in the coming weeks. I hope you will join our conference and I look forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes,

Gavin McLachlan Vice Principal, Chief Information Officer and Librarian to the University

Conference Programme

08:45-09:30Registration in person/online (with refreshments for those attending in person)
09:30-09:35Welcome
Professor John Lee – Professor of Digital Media, Director for Design and Digital Media, University of Edinburgh and Dr Jessie Paterson – Lecturer in Student Learning, University of Edinburgh
09:35-10:00Opening address – Professor Peter Mathieson
We are delighted to have the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh open the conference this year.
10:00-10:45Keynote: Configurations of the future for digital higher education
Dr Sian Bayne – Personal Chair of Digital Education, University of Edinburgh) and Dr Ben Williamson – Chancellor’s Fellow, Centre for Research in Digital Education and Edinburgh Futures Institute, University of Edinburgh.


This talk will focus on the various digital futures that are being imagined for universities, drawing on the conversations that are taking place across the research, policy and corporate spheres. It will analyse a range of possible trajectories for the sector, and drill down into the key issues that we need understand as we collectively configure the future for our own university.
10:45-11:05Refreshment break
11:05-11:35Title – TBC
Professor Colm Harmon – Vice Principal Students, University of Edinburgh
11:35-12:15Title – TBC
Professor Rhona Sharpe – Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Oxford
12:15-13:15Lunch
Meet the Speaker sessions (12:50-13:15) – delegates will have the opportunity to join a virtual question and answer session with Professor Peter Mathieson, Dr Sian Bayne, Dr Ben Williamson, Professor Colm Harmon and Professor Rhona Sharpe – Further details regarding the format of this session will be provided nearer the time.
13:15-13:30Summary from ‘Meet the Speaker’ sessions
13:30-14:00A Moving Experience: challenges, successes and lessons from ‘pivoting’ a large class and teaching team.
Dr Ashley Lloyd – Senior Lecturer, Business School, University of Edinburgh
14:00-15:15A series of short presentations from University of Edinburgh staff discussing “Experimenting in Teaching during COVID”:
14:00-14:10Professor Tim Drysdale presents, ‘Remote laboratories for flexible, pratical work’.
14:10-14:20Dr Neil Speirs presents, ‘Digital Triumphalism – a cautionary tale’
14:20-14:30Celeste McLaughlin and Dr Cathy Bovill presents, ‘Learning together in a global pandemic: Practices and principles for teaching and assessing online in uncertain times’. Read the abstract at Abstract
14:30-14:40Dr Jane Hislop and Brian Carlin presents, ‘Consideration of lessons leanred from the MSc in Clinical Education around engaging students and using technology’ in an online environment during COVID, in relation to the context of hybrid teaching’. Read the abstract at Abstract
14:40-14:50Dr Denitsa Petrova presents, ‘A Flipped Classroom in the Virtual Studio’
14:50-15:15Question and Answer Session
15:15-15:30Refreshment break
15:30-15:50COVID Impacts on the student experience: Ups, Downs and Unresolved
Lara McGowan – University of Edinburgh Student, Business with Marketing
15:50-16:20Hybrid Classrooms (exact title to be confirmed)
Craig Paterson – Communications Officer, University of Edinburgh
16:20-16:30Closing remarks
Gavin McLachlan – Vice-Principal and Chief Information Officer, and Librarian – University of Edinburgh

The Accessibility Statement for IT Futures Conference Webpages