APPLYING SERVICE DESIGN TO SET THE STAGE FOR THE NEXT TEACHING GENERATION 2030
Having the next generation in class, today’s six-year-old girls and boys, equipped with technical gadgets and skillful in their use, teaching at universities in the year 2030 will definitely undergo huge changes. These changes include major areas of education forcing teachers to re-think their attitude towards their own role and the role of students as well as their skills and methodologies.
University education in the future will face the following amendments:
(1) Information will be delivered by MOOCS, online courses and videos giving teachers the chance to use the valuable contact hours in class for exercises, feedback processes and personalized learning support.
(2) This implies a shift from the traditional teaching role to the role of teachers as personal guides, paving the way through the learning process.
(3) As learning processes are highly individualized, students will turn into their personal information managers, being in full command of creating knowledge.
(4) The extensive use of digital media by this generation compels teachers to apply these media didactically for instruction and even to teach students how to produce digital contents.
(5) Consequentially, traditional lecture halls will be replaced by study labs for work productivity, where the students are able to express their identities within a holistic and emotional learning experience.
Following these five changes, the University of Applied Sciences Burgenland conducted a research project to anticipate in detail a classroom experience in 2030. Without a doubt, teaching can be defined as a service so Service Design seemed to be the appropriate method because it is a creative and practical way to innovate teaching and learning processes. In the course of the research question “How will learning in 2030 look like?” students elaborated on the four stages of the service design process such as exploration, creation, reflection and implementation, applying several tools like storyboards (drawing a future classroom experience), storytelling (imagining future settings under diverse perspectives), personas (characteristics of future students and teachers), expectation maps (video recordings of interviews focusing on future expectations of students and teachers), a day in a life (a students’ day in 2030), and stakeholder maps (stakeholders of future learning processes).
Results confirmed the five amendments to a very high extent:
(1) Students stressed the need for interactive teamwork in small groups discussing recent topics that combine theory and practice, appreciating feedback from the teacher. This immediate “feedback moment” is crucial for successful teaching in future.
(2), (3) As communication is based on coaching, students and teachers are perceived as “colleagues”, even more, students become “teachers” and teachers become mentors. Students themselves improve the teaching processes with no grading at the end but through the entire learning process.
(4) Teachers have to apply a variety of media, like presentations and videos for visual memory. They will work with online/virtual classrooms and online tools providing a playful approach.
(5) Learning has to take place in a comfortable and up-to-date technological environment that allows flexible arrangements including time schedule.
The setting has to follow the topics of teaching, not vice versa. Thus teachers have to be well prepared for the next generation.