Lisa Harris

Lisa Harris

Director of Digital Learning @UofEBusiness @UniofExeter. I champion Digital Literacies, Social Learning, Open Access & MOOCs. #PFHEA #JISCsocial50 #Innovator #Disruptor

Location @lisaharris


  • @JodiePhillips that's good to know :-)

  • @LavVatsa @AngelDaniel agreed - it seems a "no brainer" doesn't it? Some companies (Twitter is one famous example) have said publicly that remote working can continue indefinitely, but others (including a well known bank that I won't name!) have summoned staff back to the office like naughty children. Many are taking a flexible "middle ground", others are...

  • @LavVatsa @AngelDaniel glad you enjoyed the videos. It was interesting when I did those interviews, how similar the answers were from the 3 of them, though they had not met beforehand, and came from very different industry backgrounds. Essential viewing to prepare for the contemporary workplace!

  • @WenxuanRen very good points. It would be a real shame to spend a whole year at university without knowing what your colleagues look like! I strongly encourage people to use the technology to help expand and deepen your connections, in whatever way you find useful/practical. This could mean setting up in person meetings, or meetings with some people online and...

  • @MoyaoHan thanks for adding this interesting example. Be careful though, about generalisations relating to age. Saying that "older people are bad with technology" is a bit like saying "everyone is now online" - if you dig a bit deeper, actually it's more complicated. Lots of young people (including some students!) also struggle with technology, some of the...

  • @LavVatsa thanks for providing specific evidence from your own experience of how much is changing. The article is very interesting, because it confirms a key message of this course, that much was already changing in this area pre-pandemic. It would be useful to see a recent review if anyone would like to locate and share one to compare?

  • @AbimbolaAdeleye very good points. And within single countries/regions there can be great variation too (for example Nigeria also has an impressive record in digital entrepreneurship) . This demonstrates how important it is to dig beneath over-simplistic headlines.

  • @LavVatsa Thanks for reminding us of these useful examples of AI that have already become so normalised that we often cease to notice them! You rightly note the positive potential of such developments, which we hear less about than the "scare stories".

  • Thanks for your very useful and thoughtful response. The article you've referenced provides a detailed analysis of employment changes across 3 countries. As you rightly note, it goes beyond simplistic headlines relating to the future of work and acknowledges the impact on individuals and the need for lifelong learning. The applied approach is definitely...

  • @JingLiu very true. That is a key aspect to this module, taking care to consider a range of perspectives on an issue (and reconciling them where possible) - there are no "black and white" answers.

  • @ReshmiRajeshKalyankumar thanks for sharing the NYT article. It provides a great link between the themes of the MOOC, and the more specific topics that we will now be moving onto for the rest of the module. It illustrates one of the key points I keep emphasising to you all - that there is no "one right answer". It's not about anything being simply "online" OR...

  • @ShashankKotmire great post. You might be interested in finding out more about One Young World which brings together young people wanting to make the world a better place: There are many similar organisations around the world, though this is probably one of the biggest. Does anyone have any experience of this kind of...

  • @ThamsanqaMtizira-Nondo apologies for my very late reply, but I am very glad to see that you found it useful :-)

  • @YudiWu Very good points. There's a lot to unpack in what you've said here. It is certainly hard to get people to change if they stand to benefit from maintaining the existing system. Prioritising the "greater good" over individual success is (sadly) not very common. Many high profile entrepreneurs have a very mixed record in this area - Bill Gates is another...

  • @NandaKumarVishvanathan good points, the important thing is having a mindset that accepts the need for ongoing learning. Did you find using this digital classroom challenging? If so, in what ways, and how did you overcome them? What do others think about this? These are good questions to think about for your end of module reflections.

  • @RachaelCawker oooooh, so it's never students who want to stick with the old ways then? :-)

  • @RachaelCawker @ImogenMcCullough great discussion, which nicely illustrates how the answer to so many of these issues in the digital economy is "it depends" :-) Some people and some jobs will be more suited to home working, some to office working, some to a combination of both (which might itself change over time!). But it's great that we increasingly have...

  • @MilesLott good points. The technology is a tool, which as you say, has greatly improved in terms of useability and availability over the past few years. I can remember when online banks were regarded as "low status" (usually by traditional banks, who soon came to regret ignoring the new competition!)

  • @SarahFairbairn @PENGCHENGYAN and of course there is the inspirational Sir David Attenborough, now 95:

  • @AndreasTaffetsauffer thanks for posting - what a depressing article though :-( It would be interesting to see if anyone has any direct experience to share of working for such organisations, or how demand/supply has changed (for better or worse) during the pandemic?

  • @AmeliaNunn @MianAtharSaeed @AdamBannister @AmeliaPreston this is a great discussion with a range of viewpoints and further resources shared. Exactly what is required :-) Later in the module we have a whole week on "digital differences" and the related ethical issues around unequal access to (and use of) digital technologies, so you may wish to re-visit and...

  • @MohammadAliRahimiFardKashani that's a great example (but a very sad one for you!) It confirms the key focus of the module - that technology itself is only the starting point in resolving problems...people and process tend to get in the just because something is possible doesn't mean it will naturally happen.

  • @ZihaoGuo Yes exactly! We are seeing this right now with the uneven covid vaccine roll outs around the world aren't we:
    This article suggests that wealthy countries are more likely to help out others if they too will benefit in some way from...

  • @SarahFairbairn what a fabulous example, the commitment to success really shines through. It puts many so-called "developed" countries to shame. It's interesting that technologies like mobile payments are getting very rapid adoption in countries that are not weighed down by the inertia of established payment infrastructures. Is there anyone on this course...

  • @ElenaMathieu that's a very interesting article - thanks for sharing it. I'm sure it will inspire many different reactions!

  • @AayushShah - spot on, you've raised very interesting questions and I'm glad you like the photo! Don't forget the re-purposing aspect though (defibrillator = a medical device to treat heart attacks. Positioned in remote areas like this for use when an ambulance might be an hour or more away)

  • @PENGCHENGYAN that's a great example where this course enables to compare similar innovations in different parts of the world, based on learning lessons from the early adopters (China, in this case). I'm interested to know if you referring to "extra" levels of theft in these circumstances, as theft has always been a concern for shopkeepers?

  • Welcome @BOJINGSHANG - I see you've made a number of contributions already. I hope you enjoy the course!

  • @AdamBannister @AayushShah good to see that collaborations are starting to take place :-)

  • Hi Aayush, one of the great things about this course is that we have participants contributing from all over the world. There is plenty that so-called "developed" countries can learn from examples from "developing" ones!

  • Hi Saeed, well done on getting going with this course so quickly! I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

  • Lisa Harris made a comment

    Welcome everyone! I hope you enjoy this short course which introduces you to some of the key changes that are already having significant implications for our lives and careers.

    Please note that the Educators will be taking part in the discussions between 9th May and 31st May 2022. During this time a number of University of Exeter students will be joining...

  • @HarryNg @judeongko so how does this MOOC experience compare with the Zoom sessions etc last year?

  • @CharlotteCarty thanks - great to have some support from a fellow "older" person to confirm there's plenty of life in us yet :-)

  • @HarryParkinson I'm glad you enjoyed the course. We do have a whole week on culture change later in the module, which you rightly identify as a major issue. (Though don't forget in this MOOC we established that resistence is not necessarily connected to age!)

  • I'm glad you've enjoyed it and found it useful @RoseHastie :-)

  • @AimeeJoubert @alicesmallman - good summaries. What was fascinating to me when I interviewed Andy, David and Kaitlin was how similar their answers to the questions were, even though they had no prior knowledge of what each other's contributions would be. Also they took place pre-pandemic, with evidences how much the world of work was already changing.

  • Good points @LouisS - as we progress through the module you will increasingly find opportunities to make valid connections between the topics covered as you've done here. It's a very useful way of preparing for the final reflection task.

  • @VirginiaCassani @SebastianJohnson @ollywiggin @Vinsensius Gregoraja Octaviano Purba in view of this discussion you may be interested in this new development in physical Amazon stores from the BBC news today:

  • @AndersNorheim that's probably two of the most unusual applications of AI I've ever heard of! Do you have any video or articles which would provide us with more information about these fascinating examples?

  • @AlfieWillis @ClaraTerpolilli I'm glad you found it useful :-)

  • @JudeLangley a great summary :-)

  • @KateAngus agreed - I see trends towards keeping "in person" events for "special occasions", while acknowledging that a greater number of "ordinary" events can be attended online to reduce time/cost of travelling, while enabling flexibility of access, multi-tasking opportunities etc.

  • @YasmineBowman @ChibuikemUgo-Ngadi this is an excellent discussion, if a rather depressing one :-( We are seeing this currently with vaccines, whereby some rich countries seem to be reluctant to share even their excess resources. One argument put forward for sharing is that vaccinating everyone protects everyone (and the same can be said for wealth more...

  • @ClaraTerpolilli quite possibly/probably. Hence the importance of acquiring skills with an eye to the future rather than to the past,and then being flexible and adaptable if things turn out differently!

  • @EvanFleet @BellaMoore great discussion, highlighting another key theme which gives lots of scope for enhancing your work on this module (and beyond). We've a whole week on ethics later in the term.

  • @AnnabelleKnivett @EvanFleet I'm glad you found the photo useful in visualising some of the key themes of this course. I was walking the dog up and came across the scene purely by chance - I happened to be writing this course at the time so my photo went straight in :-)

  • @EllaCantlay @EmilySpellman very good points. That might be something you could do some further research in (and all useful for the "reflection" section of your portfolio!) In fairness, schools are constrained by a set syllabus in a way that universities are not. There is often talk of changing the focus of what is taught in schools, but largely sidelined by...

  • Good question @BellaMoore. Young people are clearly going to be in the workforce (probably in a variety of roles and formats) for much longer and therefore have a bigger "stake" in the future. Some people with "established reputations in their disciplines" (as you say) often see change as a threat to their knowledge/positions and try to resist it. As senior...

  • @WilliamEvans that was a lot more negative than your previous comment :-) As (a long time ago) I once worked in banking, I find it very easy to believe that lessons have not been learned. It's still the case in many organisations that power resides with people who've built successful careers reinforcing "the old ways" of doing things. But for how much longer...?

  • @HirokiIkuta thanks for providing equivalent stats from Japan. That's quite a change around isn't it?! I expect the retirement age will need to be raised a lot further.

  • @GeorgiaHurley agreed - in the interview with Prof Mark Thompson he talks about the current massive duplication of effort (even within one country) with multiple hospitals/police forces etc operating in isolation of each other, with often incompatible systems that have evolved over time and poor cross-boundary communication. And of course (especially at the...

  • @WilliamEvans thanks - I'm sure that those of us outside the finance industry are pleased that it's becoming more efficient and safe, that thought is perhaps not so pleasant for the employees concerned though! As we've seen already in this course, applying principles of "intelligence augmented" in the finance context might be a way forward.

  • @WilliamEvans what do you believe are the implications of this for people like you wanting to work in finance? Bearing in mind your comment about our hopelessness with predictions (!) in what ways have you seen the opportunities and challenges for finance professionals already changing?

  • Welcome @BellaMoore - I'm glad you found Mark's advice helpful. He talks a lot of sense :-)

  • That's good to know @NicolaReid - I'm glad you enjoyed the course and you are planning to share it with others :-)

  • @AnnabelleKnivett that's a great example. I like the way the article clearly lists the advantages and disadvantages. As it's two years old, it would be interesting to do some more research. That's a long time in "digital" terms. Perhaps the price of the printers has since reduced? Maybe Mink is now a global player, or alternatively sunk without trace! It would...

  • @EvanFleet tricky isn't it?! We have a whole week on ethics later in the module. But in terms of "technology" being a force for good or evil, there are always going to be pressures in both directions. In my view, the role of education (in a very broad sense) is to help shift that balance in the right direction. By the way, please note that you need to join...

  • @JakeWoods interesting points - are you able to share a link to that study you mentioned please?

  • @AnnabelleKnivett that's a great example. Historical comparisons are really informative and thought-provoking, so always encouraged - sometimes "technology" is not as new and different as we might think, and may evolve in mysterious ways. What do others think? For example, do you consider the pen or the typewriter to be "technologies"? And why do some endure,...

  • Welcome @ChuyiXing it's great to see that so many different countries are represented in this module, providing lots of scope to share and compare examples.

  • Welcome @HirokiIkuta it's great to see that so many different countries are represented in this module, providing lots of scope to share and compare examples.

  • @JontyMartin spot on - it is deliberately written to provoke such debate :-) Achieving culture change at the level of the individual, the organisation and of societies as a whole are key themes we will be exploring throughout the module.

  • @JontyMartin that's a great example. What factors do you think would a) encourage construction firms to explore these possibilities? and b) discourage them from doing so?

  • @BeltranPernas thanks, you are a star! I have great admiration for anyone studying in a second language and I hope the :-) in my message came across positively :-) (again)

  • @JamesFountain there's still the need to get the products to the customer though. Recently by means of a growth in local delivery hubs which might reduce the volume of delivery vans :-) But there's also drones to factor in:

  • @BeltranPernas have you googled "defibrillator"? It might change your view...I'm very sorry to pick on you after all your interesting and helpful comments but they save lives :-)

  • @JamesFountain interesting - check out this short video where the robots support the farmer (and the cows!)

  • @AbigailRender that's interesting. Was your school in the UK? I believe there have been very different responses from individual schools, (and universities) with some developing very creative and helpful solutions, but others less so. The "digital divide" clearly showed in the variable age/quality of online learning systems in different schools, and the very...

  • Hi @JoeBarber - very good points. There's definitely been some progress, but certainly we still have a long way to go. One problem is that changing structures and processes is rarely a "neutral" decision, even when the need for it is obvious. There will usually be "vested interests" in keeping things as they are...

  • Lisa Harris made a comment

    Welcome (especially!) to the University of Exeter students who are joining the course this week. Please note that the Educators will be taking part in the discussions for the next few weeks and responding to some individual comments (perhaps not to every single one though, as there are several hundred of you!) We very much encourage a strong learning...

  • Lisa Harris made a comment

    Please note that the Educators are not currently taking part in the discussions themselves or responding to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focused around debate and discussion - supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you...

  • @ConstantinosChiotis good question. Caitlin Gould gave a great repsonse to this in her video - basically she's saying that just because something entirely new is possible, it doesn't mean it has instant acceptance / practical application. "Reality lags behind and doesn't look so cool". See

  • Hi @PrashantNair - we "spoke" by email earlier. Good to see you in here :-)

  • Welcome @JeffLester I hope you enjoy the course! Given all that experience, it will be great to hear your reflections on the changing workplace.

  • @RobertBarnsley I'm glad you found the course useful. Best wishes for a happy and successful future :-)

  • @RobertBarnsley - a great post, thank you. I have no idea either :-( But it's certainly one of the "big questions" of our time that we collectively need to address. In many countries, (not all of them, I know) because there has been an increase in the standard of living over the past 100 years, people expect their children to have a higher standard of living...

  • @NwakaegoOgueri-Onyeukwu that’s interesting what you’ve described about the mediator role - do you have any more detail on how this might help address the possible issues of exploitation mentioned in this discussion?