Module 2: How to encourage academics to embrace change and new academic practices
Landing the Concept
The rapid development and widespread adoption of digital technologies is changing almost every aspect of people’s lives. This phenomenon has seen a dramatic acceleration with the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many Higher Education Institutions to adapt to this technological revolution in an extremely short time. This situation calls for increased digital readiness and a broader set of changes in universities and similar institutions, in order to face the new challenges posed by this rapidly evolving scenario. Merely using digital tools and technologies is insufficient to effect digital transformation, as factors specific to the individual and society must be taken into account.
We propose a brief dissemination paper, included as part of this course, that outlines why institutions should embrace change, along with a brief summary of new academic practices that can be utilized to this effect. We highly suggest reading chapters 5 and 9 of the publication Going Digital: Shaping Policies, Improving Lives  authored by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
You should now have a clearer idea about the motivations behind digital transformation and about some of the new academic practices. What is your university doing about it? We suggest you do the following activities:
- See if your institution has a Digital Transition Office or Manager. Contact them and find out how your institution is doing. Is the process going smoothly? Is there any reluctance to embrace change on the part of the academics? Write down your findings and save them in your preferred bookmarking tool in order to keep the most relevant information organized.
- With some colleagues from your institution, discuss about what can be done to improve the process. Are there any critical points? Do any of you have any suggestions about how to address them? This discussion can happen face-to-face or virtually (web app or any software). Use the comment section below to share your findings.
- Henriette, E., Feki, M., & Boughzala, I. (2015). The shape of digital transformation: A systematic literature review. In Information Systems in a Changing Economy and Society: MCIS2015 proceedings (pp. 431–443). The Association for Information Systems. https://aisel.aisnet.org/mcis2015/10.
- OECD (2019), Going Digital: Shaping Policies, Improving Lives, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264312012-en