This report is split into two sections. The first section focuses on summarising the major strategic challenges the sector is facing, analysing the current state of the most relevant emerging technologies and then mapping where the emerging technologies could help with the strategic challenges.
The second section consists of a horizon scan of mental health and wellbeing. In that section we attempt to predict how the challenge may develop in the near future and make a series of suggestions for actions that should be taken now and how we can begin to shape a more comprehensive response for the future.
From a JISC News Release
The Horizons report, which launched today at Jisc’s Digifest event, provides welcome insights and suggestions. Outlining strategic challenges facing UK universities and colleges, from finance to cyber security, Horizons also addresses the mental health challenge in detail, offering suggestions for how technology may help better support students and staff.
Technology is already playing a role in the wellbeing agenda. Learning analytics are increasingly being used to support students, identifying those at risk and enabling early intervention.
Chatbots are now entering this space too. Bolton College’s chatbot, Ada, is able to answer high numbers of ‘mundane’ enquiries, freeing up staff time by responding to questions around timetabling, for example, or directing students to their classroom. Ada’s developer, ILT manager Aftab Hussain, explains:
“If a student is struggling with stress or self-harm, the chatbot service will respond with links to appropriate online information and the contact details for the college’s mental health team. We are also improving the service so that our mental health unit is automatically notified when students are seeking further advice and support on these matters.”
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48 pages; PDF.
Direct Mental Health and Wellbeing Challenge in FE And HE
13 pages; PDF.
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