Active Digital Design 2.0? and ADD working group

ADD student & staff survey – needs & wants in Hybrid Education

After successful implementation of ADD across Surrey Business School, we surveyed all students and staff in the beginning of Dec. We wanted to know how they experienced and perceived ADD in practice to support the delivery of Hybrid Education. Please find here a reduced and edited visual version of the results of both student and staff survey.

Students welcome the visual and guided nature of the learning spaces. They particularly like the module maps and opportunity to access on-demand lectures. It is clear though that the current situation leaves a lot of students distanced from others and socially isolated. Thus, the common theme that emerged from the findings was the need for more social and peer learning opportunities. Being part of a community and a sense of belonging are vital for students to not just learn effectively but stay motivated. Most virtual learning environments do not support peer and social learning per se or in the way students would find it beneficial. Yes, there are discussion forums and opportunities for leaving comments but maybe we need to think further about how we can create learning bubbles that foster social and peer learning within modules and are in addition to online live seminars and link to assessment too. Interestingly students emphasized that they would prefer online engagement to be assessed. Clearly, more research is needed in this field to identify ways of supporting students and particularly how this can be achieved at scale in a way that doesn’t increase the administrative load of the management educator. Maybe this is where AI comes into play? Christine Rivers and Anna Holland are currently writing a book chapter on this topic for a book called The Future of Management Education – more info to come soon.

Staff also emphasized that they feel more distanced this year from their students in comparison to pre-Covid times. Some even shared that they question their profession and what is left of it – creating content, student management, but teaching? Clearly this new approach to learning and teaching initiated by Covid has led to questions of identify and who we are. Creating learning experiences and particularly engaging learning spaces has been found to be a challenge. It requires new skills and ways of communicating, more attention to detail and effort. However, staff mentioned that they felt well supported in creating their spaces and that students positive reactions towards their spaces has motivated them too to deliver an outstanding student experience. For some the ADD has helped to enhance their learning and teaching skills too and given them an opportunity deliver their module in a different way that would not have been possible pre-Covid.

It seems there are many positives and also challenges but most importantly learning and teaching continued for all in an equitable format. We will continue working on refining ADD in collaboration and partnership with our students and staff and other business schools. For this purpose we are in the process of setting up a working group. If you would like to be part of the ADD working group please get in touch with or if you want to learn more about ADD please contact Dr Christine Rivers, or Anna Holland,