Kortext is celebrating its 10th birthday in 2023. To mark a decade as pioneers of digital innovation, we held a free in-person event for the higher education sector.
‘Kortext Live — digital education: the future now!’ took place on 25th April at Imperial College London.
Many attendees (including university leaders, librarians, academics, publishers and HE policy analysts) joined us for a day of talks, panel discussions and breakout sessions with expert speakers drawn from institutions across the UK. You can see the full agenda here.
“…[an opportunity] to connect with colleagues across the sector, to explore the art of the possible, the application of new technologies in the process of teaching and learning, and how that’s going to better support students in the future” — James Gray (CEO & Founder, Kortext).
Higher education is going through a period of rapid change and facing many challenges
“We know that over the next decade, there’s going to be more students wanting to come to university in the UK — some of those will be international, some will be home — and we know that digital technology is going to be part of the solution to making sure those students are engaged…that they progress, and have interesting careers” — Debbie McVitty (editor of Wonkhe).
Kortext Live offered attendees a forum to meet colleagues across higher education in order to exchange ideas and share best practice.
“…a chance to meet a wide range of people, all the way from university Vice-Chancellors [and] the future chair of Universities UK, through to a real-life student, and to hear from…all sorts of people who have different perspectives on what faces the sector…” — Philip Carpenter (Pro-Chancellor, University of York).
There were two key topics dominating conversations during the day: artificial intelligence and student data
The morning sessions at Kortext Live looked at, amongst other topics, the impact of artificial intelligence on pedagogy and assessment.
“Everybody is talking about [AI]. I want to get a sense from the people here as to whether or not they’re thinking this is going to be the biggest disruptive event for civilisation as we know it, or whether it’s just we’ve got another tool in our toolkit” — Professor Kelly Coate (Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students), University of Sussex).
The afternoon sessions focused on student data and how it can be used to address student retention, wellbeing and progression.
“I’m really interested in the student engagement piece and how Kortext is going to work with Solutionpath. We’re a Kortext user, we use KeyLinks as well, so how can we bring all those products together, and aggregate them and see how we can use them for a better student experience” — Libby Homer (Director of Student and Library Services, Anglia Ruskin University).
We were honoured to have Professor Dame Sally Mapstone sharing her vision for the future of higher education in the final talk
“I was hoping to gain insights into how revolutionary the advent of digital in a major way in UK higher education really is….colleagues have been willing to think broadly, to think ambitiously, to talk about their own experiences, and to be honest about their fears, as well as their expectations” — Professor Dame Sally Mapstone (Principal & Vice-Chancellor at the University of St Andrews and President Elect of Universities UK).
We spoke to Dame Sally before Kortext Live; you can read the interview in our blog post.
Our speakers and attendees appreciated the benefits of an in-person event
“Events like Kortext Live are so important when you’re talking about digital issues, because nobody really knows what the future of digital in education is going to look exactly like. So if you can bring people together to talk those questions through, you end up with a much deeper understanding than you had at the beginning of the day” — Nick Hillman (Director of HEPI).
“I think the value of Kortext Live is bringing together people across the sector that are genuinely interested in what the future looks like in a mixed-modal society and a mixed-modal learning environment. These events allow people to have conversations, to share interests, also to perhaps create new partnerships, and think about new opportunities” — Professor Simon Thomson (Director of Flexible Learning, Manchester University).