This keynote is a four-part conversation between STARS Fellows and with conference delegates. It builds on Kerri-Lee Krause’s keynote address in which she suggests that both blue-sky thinking and educational anchor points are needed when planning for the future. It addresses three commonly identified influences of student success: student engagement, technology and employability.

Student engagement has become one anchor point in conversations about student success. It has produced many ideas for improving learning for all students, particularly those from diverse backgrounds. Blue sky thinking about student engagement could lead to new ways to stimulate and appreciate students’ contributions to knowledge and society as critical and active citizens in an ever-changing world.

For decades now we have been conjuring with technology as both a higher education anchor point and an uncritical enabler of all blue sky thinking around the student experience. But when we take the meta view of all that has been transacted under the banner of technological enhancement, what do we see? In the context of constant agitation to re-think how our institutions work, let’s have the hard conversation about the good, the bad and the ugly of higher education technology adoption from the perspective that most matters – that of student success for all students, across each of the academic, social and administrative domains.

Could employability also be an educational anchor point in student engagement? Understandably, increasing students’ prospects of employment is likely to enhance their motivation, commitment to their learning and, consequently, their success. It also fits with current societal and political expectations of higher education. But are there other perspectives we could consider? What are they and how might they affect our views of employability as an anchor point for the future?

The fourth part of the keynote will use technology to give delegates an opportunity to engage in the conversation, with the ideas presented and with the Fellows.

Presented by the STARS Fellows
Professor Sally Kift, Dr Linda Leach, Dr Ron Oliver, Nick Zepke