Exploring the Digital University: Developing and Applying Holistic Thinking

  • Bill Johnston
  • Sheila MacNeill
  • Keith Smyth
Part of the Digital Education and Learning book series (DEAL)


This chapter outlines the evolutionary process of discussion, research, and practice upon which the insights, arguments, and constructs used in the book are based. The process is founded in notions of discursive construction (Jones and Goodfellow, Int J Learn Media 4(3–4):59–63, 2012) and praxis (Freire 2005). A number of key development stages are described, including engagement with the educational community via blog posts and presentations, preparation of conference and journal papers, and a project to explore a university’s Digital Future. The main analytical constructs detailed in the chapter are (i) a model of a new way of conceiving the dynamics of academic and organisational development in universities, (ii) a matrix illuminating the key aspects of each element in the model, and (iii) a graphic representation of an initial clustering of elements from the first two constructs combined with additional elements derived from the university project. These constructs are presented as analytical and practical tools for academic and organisational development of the digital university.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Johnston
    • 1
  • Sheila MacNeill
    • 2
  • Keith Smyth
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Psychological Science and HealthUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Academic Quality and DevelopmentGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Learning and Teaching AcademyUniversity of the Highlands and IslandsInvernessUK

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