Join Wonkhe and Adobe as we dive into the ideas, insight, and projects that are reimagining higher education teaching and learning.

At our regular online event we’ll bring together higher education leaders, academics, practitioners, and change makers to share the latest thinking on how fostering digital literacies can unlock curriculum and pedagogic challenges.

Together we’ll explore what’s inspiring the pedagogic community, and share ideas and examples of change in action, and – crucially – how to bring that change about.

Past events

Thursday 23 May, 12.00 – 1.00pm, Creating the conditions for education change to flourish

Higher education institutions have a lot of freedom to make decisions about curriculum and pedagogy. But the internal strategies they adopt and external quality frameworks that apply create the context for efforts to transform curriculum and pedagogy – and beliefs and cultures around education change that can enable, or create barriers to, innovative practice. In this Education Espresso we’ll explore how institutional strategies around education can navigate these potential tensions and create practical space for education change. And we’ll take a look at the tangible effects on pedagogy of different national models for assessing academic quality.

Co-hosted by Wonkhe editor Debbie McVitty and Adobe Education’s Mark Andrews, with Eve Lewis, director of student participation in quality Scotland (sparqs), Graham Wynn, pro vice chancellor for education at Northumbria University, and Sam Hackney, education officer at Keele Students’ Union.

You can find Debbie’s slides here and Graham’s slides here.


Thursday 29 February, 12.00-1.00pm, Mobilising place as the context for developing students’ skills

Universities exist in places, and make commitments to realising their educational and research mission through engagement with their places. At the next Education Espresso we’ll hear from educators whose teaching is embedded in places, creating opportunities for students to develop a range of valuable skills, as well as a deeper connection to and sense of belonging in, their locales.

Hosted by Wonkhe editor Debbie McVitty and Adobe Education’s Mark Andrews, with Mark Peace, professor of innovation in education at Manchester Metropolitan University, Juliette Wilson-Thomas, senior lecturer in education at Manchester Metropolitan University, David Overend, lecturer in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Edinburgh, and Sarah Bradshaw, architecture student at the University of Huddersfield.

You can find Juliette’s slides here, David’s slides here, and the chat text here.

Tuesday 12 December 2023, 2.00-3.00pm Making space for creative thinking and pedagogic innovation

Innovation often happens when diverse perspectives come together to tackle shared challenges. And success in adopting digital tools and developing innovative digital pedagogic practice takes time and space – yet time, space, and opportunities to collaborate can be in short supply in higher education.

In our final Education Espresso of 2023 we’re asking how universities can make space for educators to be creative, grow in confidence, and develop new skills and ideas – and what sort of physical and conceptual spaces can best support that work.

Hosted by Wonkhe editor Debbie McVitty and Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews, with Stephanie Speicher, Digital Fluency Faculty In Residence, Weber State University and Jo Hendy, director of learning enhancement, Cardiff Metropolitan University.

You can find Debbie’s slides here, Stephanie’s slides here, Jo’s slides here, and the chat text here.

Thursday 28 September 12.00-1.00pm How do students want to learn about AI?

AI is set to transform the world that students are graduating into, whether it is creating new jobs or reshaping those that already exist. Graduates across the disciplines will need to know how to mobilise their knowledge in the context of an AI-infused world, as well as make effective and thoughtful use of digital tools and technologies that have AI integrations. Concern about how to assess students in the era of Chat-GPT is evolving into a wider conversation about how building students’ AI literacy might integrate into existing curriculum frameworks and assessment strategies.

Students are generally aware of these shifts and eager to know how they can use AI tools appropriately in their learning and assessment. Drawing on insight from students, this Education Espresso event explores how universities are rethinking pedagogy and assessment in the context of AI.

Hosted by Wonkhe editor Debbie McVitty and Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews, with guests Mark Simpson, Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at Teesside University, Helen King, Director of Learning Innovation, Development and Skills at Bath Spa University, and Frank Longdon, Student Insight and Voice Manager at Lancaster University Students’ Union.

You can find Frank’s slides here, and Helen’s slides here.

Thursday 22 June 12.00-1.00pm: Future proofing the curriculum for student success

Universities are grappling with equipping students for an unknown future where they will be confronted with novel situations, fast-paced evolution of technologies, and complex environments. Transforming curriculum isn’t just about making the changes that are needed now for student success, it’s about building cultural “change capacity” into the university itself.

In this Education Espresso, we share the interim findings of our work to understand how universities are approaching curriculum change and, supported by expert interlocutors, explore the characteristics of a curriculum and learning environment that are fully future-proofed. We also asked for feedback and ideas from our Education Espresso community.

Hosted by Wonkhe editor Debbie McVitty and Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews. With Mark Peace, professor of innovation in education at Manchester Metropolitan University and Louise Holt, Associate Dean (Education & Student Experience), School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Loughborough University.

You can find Debbie’s slides here, Mark’s slides here, and Louise’s slides here.

Tuesday 4 April 12.00-1.00pm: Curriculum for the whole person

Academic subjects are what students come to university to study. But graduate attributes such as citizenship, global outlook, or entrepreneurship – and graduate outcomes of persistence, completion and employability – require the development of the whole person. Traditionally the academic curriculum has focused on mastery of knowledge and encouraged students to engage with a wider experience at their discretion – but is that still enough?

In this Education Espresso event we explore approaches to curriculum that seek to engage the whole person and ask how to make that aspiration a reality in learning and teaching. Hosted by Wonkhe’s Debbie McVitty and Adobe’s Mark Andrews, with guests Tom Ward, pro vice chancellor education at Newcastle University, Karen Heard-Laureote, Director of Solent Learning and Teaching Institute, Solent University, and Helen Fenwick, Associate Dean for Education and senior lecturer in Archaeology, University of Hull.

You can find Karen’s slides here, and Helen’s slides here.

Tuesday 6 December 12.00-1.00pm: Reforming Assessment

Consider reforming assessment with Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews and Founder & Editor in Chief of Wonkhe, Mark Leach, with additional guests Professor Mary Richardson (Professor of Educational Assessment, UCL IOE) and Professor Sam Elkington (Teesside University). You can find Mary’s slides here, and Sam’s slides here.

Thursday 10 November 12.00-1.00pm: Student perspectives on curriculum for a complex world

With Adobe’s pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews speaking on recent research developments, hosting alongside Aaron Porter of Wonkhe, with guest Dan Chevalier (Vice President Education & Welfare, Winchester Students’ Union), and student guests Sarah Bradshaw and Kiran Scott.

Tuesday 11 October 12.00-1.00pm: Skills to thrive

With guest Professor Shân Wareing (DVC, Northampton University) and Clare Dyson (Associate Professor Digital Literacies, Swinburne University). Hosted by Wonkhe director of partnerships Aaron Porter and Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews.

Thursday 21 July 12.00-1.00pm: Giving people the clever tools they need

With guests Rachel Dodd, Senior Lecturer in Digital Journalism, Teesside University; Mimi Harmer and Jean Sarunporn students. Hosted by Wonkhe director of partnerships Aaron Porter and Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews.

Thursday 30 June – Telling the story of changing pedagogy

With guests Cara Aitchison, Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff Metropolitan University; Emma Leech, Director of Marketing & Communication, Nottingham Trent University; Ashmita Randhawa, Honorary Research Fellow at the SKOPE Research Centre at the University of Oxford. Hosted by Wonkhe’s Founder & Editor in Chief Mark Leach and Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews.

Pedagogy and playfulness – 27 May 2022

***Apologies for the technical problems on this recording***
Our collective first experience of learning is through play – trial and error, experimentation, and learning through practice. Early years and primary pedagogies use play to make learning experiential, creative, and fun. But play can be serious, too – fostering competencies that allow students and graduates to cross disciplinary boundaries, practise innovation, and build effective bonds for collaboration. How might higher education (re)discover and harness the power of play?

With guests Susannah Quinsee, vice president (digital and student experience), City, University of London; Isaiah Wellington-Lynn, lead on coaching and integration, London Interdisciplinary School; Claire Hughes, head of undergraduate and partnerships, Solent Business School, Solent University. Hosted by Wonkhe director of partnerships Aaron Porter and Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews.

You can access Claire Hughes’ slides used during the event here.

Co-creation for innovation – 26 April 2022

Working with others – students, employers, or colleagues in other disciplines or professional areas – can be a powerful stimulus for fresh thinking. But it also demands a change of approach – often from assuming the mantle of expertise, to being a novice (again) – and a close attention to the subtle power structures that shape professional interactions. We’ll be discussing the pedagogic practice and competencies of co-creation, and how taking it digital can enlarge the possibilities.

With guests Sam Grogan, pro vice-chancellor, University of Salford; Michelle Darlington, head of knowledge transfer, University of Cambridge. Hosted by Wonkhe editor Debbie McVitty and Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews.

You can read Adobe’s article on Co-creation for innovation: Enhancing pedagogic strategy through student expertise here.

Changing assessment – 31 March 2022

Among the many changes to learning and teaching brought by the pandemic, universities have accelerated moves to rethink assessment, including adopting more of a programme level approach, introducing more student choice in assessment, and linking approaches to assessment more closely to students’ wellbeing, success, and post-graduation aspirations. We’ll be discussing the sticky issue of changing something so totemic in pedagogy, and exploring how bringing digital literacy into assessment thinking can infuse energy and creativity into the curriculum.

With guests Tansy Jessop, pro vice chancellor for education, University of Bristol; Sam Elkington, principal lecturer (learning and teaching), Teesside University; Leah Henrickson, lecturer in digital media, University of Leeds. Hosted by Wonkhe editor Debbie McVitty and Adobe pedagogical evangelist Mark Andrews.

You can read Adobe’s article on Changing assessment: embedding pedagogic innovation in a post-pandemic world here.

You might be interested in…Wonkhe and Adobe’s recent series of interviews with leaders of learning and teaching on how assessment is changing.