Beyond the Technology: demonstrating digital transformation - rethinking learning and curriculum design at the University of Northampton

  • Rob Howe
  • Shan Wareing
  • Kate Coulson
  • Jim Harris
  • Elizabeth Newall



Elizabeth Newall and staff from the University of Northampton discuss their innovative approach to rethinking learning and curriculum design in higher education.


In this episode of the Beyond the Technology podcast, Elizabeth Newall, senior consultant in the Digital transformation of learning, teaching, and assessment at Jisc, welcomes a panel of experts from the University of Northampton. They discuss their innovative approach to rethinking learning and curriculum design in higher education.

The conversation begins by discussing the University of Northampton's unique setting. Shân Wareing, deputy vice chancellor, and Rob Howe, head of learning technology, share how their Waterside campus allowed them to consolidate facilities into a more sustainable space. This campus was designed for blended learning, offering laptops to eligible students, and featuring various learning spaces.

Shân discusses the university's evolving digital strategy with the creation of an artificial intelligence group to address academic integrity concerns and to explore AI's educational potential.

The podcast delves into the challenges of supporting staff in learning and curriculum design. Jim Harris, a learning designer, highlights the fear of change as a significant hurdle. Jim emphasises the importance of considering staff members' various levels of understanding and comfort with digital processes and learning design, ranging from basic introductions to advanced publishing.

Kate Coulson, head of learning and teaching enhancement, discusses the pivotal role of students in curriculum design and learning. Kate advocates for a "give and take" model, where students become co-creators of the curriculum rather than passive recipients, emphasising the importance of investing time and resources.

Lastly, Shân shares her vision for digital transformation at the University of Northampton, highlighting that the focus should remain on how students learn. Shân underscores the importance of culture, creativity, and patience in the process, as well as the need to prioritise people over technology.

Period30 Aug 2023

Media contributions


Media contributions


  • Jisc
  • Digital Transformation
  • Curriculum Design
  • Technology
  • Change
  • learning