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Reimagining online learning through innovation

26 March, 2020 | by Matt Parker

Rapid growth, transformation and embracing disruption have become synonymous with success. However, in the rush for businesses to adopt the latest technological advancement, the basics of innovation – applying better solutions to solve new and existing problems – can be overlooked.

Since inception, innovation has been embraced at OES as a fundamental behavioural value of our organisation. Our employees are rewarded and celebrated for displaying innovation. As an early pioneer in the online delivery of education in Australia, innovation was, and remains, pivotal in informing how we serve students throughout their journey with our university partners.

Innovation at OES doesn’t necessarily mean implementing the latest piece of technology, however. Sometimes, it’s not even about technology at all. Rather, it’s the process of consistently striving to brainstorm, test, refine and implement imaginative solutions that solve real problems. Often these solutions don’t involve new technologies, but can be a more effective or cleverer application of things you are already doing.

Innovation – two different ways

Beyond embracing innovation as a behaviour at OES, we drive innovation in two different ways.
The first is by adopting an empathetic mindset and putting ourselves in our student’s shoes to hear, see and experience all aspects of their journey to in turn understand any problems or frustrations they may be experiencing, or to understand the possibility to amplify any great things they are experiencing. This empathetic mindset and user centred design approach is crucial to understand the crux of a problem and find the best and most useful solution.

Secondly, we have also sought innovative solutions proactively by remaining global and broad minded, and sometimes looking outside the education sector for inspiration. Through seeking innovative ideas and solutions this way, we are often able to realise opportunities or find solutions to enhance our student’s experience where a problem may not have been so obvious. When we do so, we ensure we remain firmly planted in the needs of students in supporting them through their journey.

The education sector itself has been a stalwart for innovation over the course of history. Underpinned by research, universities have led the way in ground-breaking thought leadership, debate and discovery. OES is fortunate to partner with truly innovative universities and our approach is to collaborate with our university partners to drive innovative solutions.

As our world becomes increasingly digitised, things like data driven insights, advances in automation, and the applicability of solutions like Artificial Intelligence are rapidly providing new opportunities to rethink how we support students from first planning study to graduation – and increasingly making tertiary education accessible to more people.

In the coming months, we will dissect how we foster innovation at various touchpoints of our students’ journey, taking inspiration not only from our industry but global trends. The series will cover a range of topics from predicting and enhancing student success through data, to the use of more innovative mediums to teach students, to the integration of Artificial Intelligence in the online learning environment, and share insights from leading global conferences for innovation in education.