Hacking the Distance Learning Experience: student-led technology development

Universities are changing, and as digital technologies increasingly become part of everyday educational activity, students are able to participate in fully online courses, at a distance from the campus.

The learning community at the University of Edinburgh is becoming much more diverse and dispersed, with many students now participating from distant countries who will never physically attend the campus.  This provides an opportunity to think creatively about new kinds of connections and community activities that can bring people together, no matter where they are located. This project aims to create innovative technologies that can do precisely this; build positive social experiences for this new learning community, by connecting them to each other, and to the campus and the city of Edinburgh.


To create innovative technologies that connect new distance students with the University of Edinburgh learning community

To foster student leadership and co-development of social and community life in the future university

The project will run three multidisciplinary ‘hackathons’, drawing together students, coders, designers, and teachers, tasked with co-developing and building prototype Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the future university.

Research areas
Data Society
Research team

Dr Jeremy Knox

Dr Michael Gallagher

Dr James Lamb

Ana Hibert (Digital Education Hack)

Key contact
Dr Jeremy Knox

£1908 Student Experience Grant


Related news