Driving digital transformation in education
Education & Culture
Services
Insights & Concepts
Innovation strategy
Applied Methods

→ Qualitative user interviews
→ Expert interviews
→ Co-creation workshops
→ Vision blueprint

Digital tools
Duration

3 years, ongoing

client
challenge
Digitalisation is quickly reshaping the way we teach and learn. Schools like the ZHAW are being challenged to re-evaluate their core structures, and implement an approach to education that enables them to become a future-oriented institution.
Process
Strategy Development
Skills Research
Co-creation Workshop
Qualitative Research
Design Sprints
Continuous Refinement

Strategy Development

To embark on this transformational journey the project team needed to first agree on a common vision. We explored questions like: Why is digitalization essential for us? How could we approach this change? What are the specific aspects we should address?

Over the course of several workshops we helped the project team develop a common vision and roadmap for driving digital transformation at ZHAW LSFM. By putting students at the centre of their vision, they were able to develop a strategy that over time, could adapt to the schools three P’s: processes, people and places. This strategy would enable them to become thought leaders in education.

Skills Research

Through intensive theory and field research we explored the major trends affecting education and the role of universities in shaping them. Together, we identified seven major skillsets students will need in the future.

Co-creation Workshop

We invited a diverse group of over 50 stakeholders (students, teachers, experts, etc.) to participate in an open-day workshop with the aim of developing new concepts that would foster the major skills we identified during our field research.

By contributing their diverse experience and knowhow on education and digitalization, they enabled us to build concepts that put the learners and their skillset at the centre, but also considered overarching societal and technological trends as well as the university context in regards to feasibility and viability.

Qualitative Research

During a second exploration, we analysed the challenges and opportunities of implementing such transformation strategies in an education context. We looked at the best (and worst) practices with respect three categories: people, places and processes.

Design Sprints

Concepts from the open-day workshop and insights from the research formed the basis of focus projects, for example for ‘redesigning the schools physical and digital spaces into a blended learning environment’, to be explored in dedicated design sprints.

Continuous Refinement

During several strategy sessions we continuously refined ZHAW LSFM’s blueprint for digitalisation and created internal initiatives for digital change agents within the university to pursue.

"One key insight for digital transformation at ZHAW was re-envisioning how the organisation operates in order to understand how to drive change. We had to address this challenge as one of management and people, not just technology."

Linda Armbruster, Managing Partner at Spark Works

8

Expert interviews

13

Stakeholder interviews

31

User interviews

outcome

The team created a shared vision built on in-depth research which identified and informed potential areas of change. To spread an agile mindset across the ZHAW, a wide range of participants were invited to co-create new concepts focused on preparing the organisation for digital transformation. Initiatives that focused on people, places and processes where created and carried out.

Project Lead
Michael Augsburger
Business Consultant
Michael has a background in Environmental Sciences. His research focuses on the use of human-centered innovation processes for policy design. Believing in the benefits of interdisciplinary work, he has experience in coaching student teams to develop and push forward their own innovation projects. At Spark Works, he supports our team in the execution of agile work sessions with our clients through workshop facilitation.
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