80th International Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia, 24 January - 18 February 2022, pp.1
Today, almost all higher education (HE) institutions are on the digital transformation (DX) journey initiated by various factors, such as meeting the changing needs of today’s students, adapting to the changes imposed by the disruptive technological innovations, attaining high-quality education with new creative pedagogic approaches, and creating a dynamic and innovative university system that can compete globally. While the DX process in HE began years ago, it has recently seen significant acceleration due to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and captured the attention of many educators and researchers. Beyond simply updating or enhancing existing technologies and processes, the DX in HE implies a more complex and multidimensional process that involves optimising and transforming an institution’s strategic directions, operations and value proposition via a series of deep and coordinated workforce, technology and culture shifts. It specifically indicates profound changes in the core areas of HE, including administration, teaching and learning, student services, and academic research. Therefore, it is seen crucial for HE institutions to develop and implement a DX strategy that involves intentional, transformational and ongoing process which places the experience and success of students at the centre, takes advantage of the new technologies, as well as addresses the core areas of HE. In line with this consideration, this study proposes the Student-centred Learning Ecosystem DX (SLEDX) model that takes into account the contemporary educational approaches and the essential dimensions of DX process in HE. Suggesting an iterative and flexible implementation process, the SLEDX model specifically consists of six main elements, including (1) inclusive online learning approach, (2) new technologies, (3) online digital competencies, (4) online student services, (5) technology-empowered research, and (6) security and privacy. It is our hope that the SLEDX model can support and guide universities across the globe in their Dx planning and implementation processes.