Online Learning Futures: An Evidence Based Vision for Global Professional Collaboration on Sustainability
Published December 2023

Online Learning Futures: An Evidence Based Vision for Global Professional Collaboration on Sustainability focuses on the rapid shift online during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has put online learning firmly on the agenda of universities everywhere and to realise fully the transformative potential of online learning. This book argues the need for an evidence-based design approach. The evidence comes from the experiences of online learners who are professionals: educators, engineers, medics and researchers. Designbased research, learner contributions, survey responses and interviews with these learners demonstrate that open, online, collaborative learning experiences are not only feasible but effective for building professional community knowledge.

Innovative online learning of this kind can help universities contribute to the global public good by achieving high quality learning at scale. The open online platforms being used in the book widen global access to professional education and create more porous boundaries between universities and the wider community. This is critical for achieving, for example, the full impact of the current policy discussions on the UN SDGs, such as climate and inequality. The evidence-base shows how co-designed, transformative digital education can be mobilised to support professionals such as teachers in crisis contexts, government officials investigating renewable energy solutions, or medics adapting treatments to local conditions. It also shows how to scale up professional development in areas where expertise is urgently required. The book concludes that scaled-up online learning can enable HE to deliver on the UN SDGs by equipping citizens and communities with the knowledge and skills needed to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

The Bloomsbury Higher Education Research series provides the evidence-based academic output of the world’s leading research centre on higher education, the ESRC/RE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE) in the UK. The core focus of CGHE’s work and of The Bloomsbury Higher Education Research series is higher education, especially the future of higher education in the changing global landscape. The emergence of CGHE reflects the remarkable growth in the role and importance of universities and other higher education institutions, and research and science, across the world. Corresponding to CGHE’s projects, monographs in the series will consist of social science research on global, international, national and local aspects of higher education, drawing on methodologies in education, learning theory, sociology, economics, political science and policy studies. Monographs will be prepared so as to maximise worldwide readership and selected on the basis of their relevance to one or more of higher education policy, management, practice and theory. Topics will range from teaching and learning and technologies, to research and research impact in industry, national system design, the public good role of universities, social stratification and equity, institutional governance and management, and the cross-border mobility of people, institutions, programmes, ideas and knowledge. The Bloomsbury Higher Education Research series is at the cutting edge of world research on higher education.