Agility: The new business as usual

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Agility: The new Business As Usual
Introduction. 2020 has been a year of complexity, challenges, and chaos in the delivery of university education. The existing world-view of academia is no longer the traditional view. Academics are required to be agile, be experts in the delivery of curricula across all modalities of education, and switch between these modalities with little or no warning. This is the new BAU!
Aims. The paper provides an overview and as such an exemplar of a successful response to the impact of COVID-19 at a regional university with distributed campuses. Agility was the overarching (and ongoing) core capability for academics.
Methods. The weekly professional development program entailed a rolling schedule of topics to upskill academics in online learning and teaching such as Zoom, online engagement tools and developing online exams. To measure the impact, progress rates and student evaluation surveys data within the COVID-19 timeframe were interrogated and compared with pre COVID-19 data sets across 843 subjects across the two main teaching sessions.
Results. Upskilling our academics with over 4500 academic attendances allowed the university to rapidly and successfully transition to online learning, including developing and delivering on-line laboratory classes, practicals, and exams. Despite the rapid move to online learning there was little change in student satisfaction (80% positive responses in 2019; 77% in 2020) or subject progress rates ( 85% vs 84%).
Discussion. The paper establishes that by being student-centre, evidence-driven, and with the addition of engaging and targeted professional development, academics are able to demonstrate agility and be effective in all learning/teaching modalities. A key challenge was to, at times, have academics ‘un-learn’ their existing ways to be open and engage with different modalities, pedagogy and digital technologies. Having a focus on agility as a core capability is the way to future proof quality higher education curricula delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventHERDSA 2021 Annual Conference (cancelled) - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 07 Jul 202110 Jul 2021 (Conference abstract book)


ConferenceHERDSA 2021 Annual Conference (cancelled)
Abbreviated titleProfessional learning for academic practice
OtherConference cancelled. Abstracts included in abstract book (link below) were accepted in the program at the time the conference was cancelled. As the conference was cancelled, the abstracts were not presented.
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Agility: The new business as usual'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this