The University of Buckingham have announced the proposed launch of a pioneering undergraduate History degree programme driven by 4.0 technologies, designed in collaboration with the UK’s edtech not-for-profit, Jisc.
The world's premier Ed 4.0 driven undergraduate degree, the project will see the creation of a new two-year programme in History where education 4.0 technologies will provide a more expansive, engaging and personalised educational experience than would otherwise be possible – or affordable. Designed from the ground-up to take advantage of new education technologies, the course will be taught with a blend of traditional methods and innovative solutions including flipped classrooms and online teaching, as well as the use of augmented, mixed and virtual reality to create an engaging and effective learning experience and maximise teacher-student interaction.
The course will encompass an intellectually ambitious view of history, starting with the big bang, and exploring the history of the world in parallel with other academic disciplines, such as physics, biology, anthropology, and sociology. The syllabus will investigate the birth of the modern world, using technology like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to allow students to interact with historical figures, and partake in historic events.
Funding is currently being sought for this initiative and the programme is anticipated to start in January 2022.
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A recording of the launch event can be seen below:
Click here to register your interest in this course
The programme will augment the relative strengths of tutors and technology to:
• Offer a personalised learning experience that adapts to individual preferences and abilities
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be used to create personalised and adaptive course content tailored to each student's specific abilities and learning methods. The degree has been carefully designed and fine-tuned by Buckingham’s team of experienced and high-calibre academics to create a coherent and distinctive programme. Students will also have a free choice of units to take from a wide range of subjects, including those taught in other Schools of the University.
• Deliver content in innovative and immersive ways.
On arrival at University, the AI assisted tools will help assess each student’s current level of knowledge and their preferred learning methods. The adaptive learning environment will regularly suggest new content targeted to a student’s specific needs.
Alongside traditional content, new interactive technologies, including state-of-the-art immersive applications such as AR and VR will give students a unique perspective, allowing them to visit historical sites, witness and participate in historical events and interact with historical figures in new and engaging ways.
• Reduce administrative workload on the tutor, freeing up time for personal interaction, guidance, encouragement and pastoral care.
AI and intelligent platforms will monitor student engagement and understanding, helping staff to see where students are falling behind or need more materials to aid their learning. This enables tutors to focus on developing tailored personal learning plans. Digital assistants and chatbots will be used to help reduce administrative workload on both students and University staff. They will remind students of upcoming events and make sure they have correctly prepared for lectures and seminars, while simultaneously answering simple queries.
• Monitor student welfare and mental health.
AI routines can flag up at-risk students and alert University staff to those that may need extra attention by integrating multiple data streams from across the student’s programme such as academic performance, engagement with course materials and other students, and drawing information from chatbots.
This means that student wellbeing and pastoral care becomes more pro-active than reactive with the aim that any problems can be identified and addressed before they have an impact on the student’s health or academic progress.
• Develop digital skills and hands-on experiences that are valued in the job market.
The key practical technological skills taught on this programme will allow students to leverage a wealth of digital material in new and innovative ways. Having a historical perspective enables people to make sense of today’s rapidly changing world. Studying History also teaches students to think for themselves, to work under pressure, and to construct a coherent argument from the evidence.
We can do something fundamentally exciting. We’re bringing everything together in one place, and the collective vision is that by bringing all of the diverse 4.0 technologies and cutting edge 3.0 technologies together we can see what different aspects work optimally in helping students learn deeply and make connections.
Key to our vision is a transformation in the way teaching happens. We are really pleased to be partnering with the University of Buckingham on this course. This is an exciting opportunity, one we expect students to enjoy and for them to gain a tremendous learning experience, as well as helping us and the sector best use these technologies to their best defence.
We are able to harness the power of AI in ways that looked like science fiction only a short time ago. AI facilitated learning has the power to provide continuous personalised support for every student. Technology cannot replace a great lecturer but it can, and will in this AI taught degree, deliver content in immersive ways.
This is a revolution, a game changer, and one that is going to help unleash the potential of all our young people whatever their abilities and whatever backgrounds. Changes that build on our Higher Education sector’s world renowned reputation, shown by the fact that the UK continues to be a magnet for students from across the world.