1 University of Graz (AUSTRIA)
2 University of Innsbruck (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 1448-1457
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.0445
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Digital transformation has been affecting the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) for some time now. Although currently many HEIs work on a strategy, very few of them have a real understanding of how to handle digitization. This is, on the one hand, because the term "digitization" is hardly uniformly defined. On the other hand, digital transformation is often accompanied by misconceptions about its effects.

In this paper, we list five common assumptions in the context of digitization which we consider more of a hindrance to the digital transformation at HEIs than contributing to its success.

These assumptions are:
1) We need to deal with digital transformation right now because everyone else is ahead of us (pace)
2) As a brick-and-mortar-university, digitization only affects us marginally (change)
3) The IT-department is primarily responsible for the digital turn (technology as priority)
4) There is an insurmountable gap between digitally competent students and teachers inexperienced with technology (competences)
5) The costs of digitization exceed our budget (financing)

After a brief outline, each assumption is placed in the context of the current digitization debate at HEIs. The authors will examine why these assumptions exist and what (negative) impacts they can have. Subsequently, we deliver counter-arguments, which explain why the assumptions are (at least partly) not correct, and show which conditions are conducive for the digital transformation at HEIs.

Thus, the purpose of the paper is to refute common (but false) assumptions in the field of digitization and to counter these assumptions with examples of supportive measures for a successful digital turn of HEIs. This will be done with the help of a literature review as well as by providing good-practice-examples collected by the authors in their respective scientific communities.
Digitization, HEI, strategy, digital turn, digital transformation.