Re-visioning the Student Experience

Using design thinking to build your vision

  • Jacqueline Bates Blackboard
Keywords: learning technology, teaching and learning, student experience, design thinking, change management, strategy




COVID-19 has fundamentally shifted higher education into uncharted waters. It was a tsunami of change pushing courses, students and academics online. Research is now pointing to a student-centered approach that embeds digital for the long term. Luckily, chaos is often where we encounter innovation. So, how do we build on 2020, learn from it and come up with breakthrough ideas that support change? How do we get our teams onboard and leverage the momentum to make the change sustainable?


As a Client Experience Manager for Blackboard I am privileged to get in depth insights into challenges and learnings with higher education clients across Australia and New Zealand. I will share some insights from the institutions that I work with as well as research on the impact of COVID-19 on higher education. We will also look at how to use design thinking, a human-centered approach to innovation, to help you to understand student needs, rapidly prototype new approaches and generate creative ideas. This approach can help you to generate your own wave of change, transforming products, services and processes by combining what is feasible with what is economically viable.



Learning and teaching reimagined: A new dawn for higher education?, Jisc, November 2020, Professor David Maguire, interim principal and vice-chancellor, University of Dundee Chair, learning and teaching reimagined Louisa Dale, director of insight, Jisc Michelle Pauli, Michelle Pauli Editorial


Envisioning the Future of Higher Ed in a Post-pandemic World, Dian Schaffhauser, 10 February 2020, retrieved from


Learning from lockdown: 12 steps to eliminate digital exclusion, Georgina Bowyer, Anna Grant and Douglas White, 2020, Carnegie Trust UK.


Horizon Report 2020, Educause Publications, 2020. Retrieved from

Higher Education Remade by COVID-19, Deloitte Center for Higher Education Excellence, May 2020.



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How to Cite
Bates, J. (2021). Re-visioning the Student Experience: Using design thinking to build your vision. Pacific Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(1), 19.