Our principles for digital education

Digital learning is reshaping education in unprecedented ways. The ways in which students learn are changing rapidly due to advancements in technology.
Over time, the digital education team at Heriot-Watt Online have developed a set of principles that guide our practice. These articulate out from Heriot-Watt University's desired graduate attributes (as demonstrated in the centre of the diagram), were created in dialogue with our institutional values and strategy, and were refined through reflection, scholarship and discussion with online students and colleagues over many years.
Professionally educated, globally employable graduates
Heriot-Watt Online principles for digital education
These five principles, shown in the dark-blue ring of the diagram, articulate our shared values and ambitions. 


We are committed to ethical, sustainable and scholarly practice
We are committed to helping our students be global citizens, critical thinkers and ethical practitioners. Likewise our own practice is grounded in kindness, sustainability and a critical mindset. 


Our global community inspires collaboration and co-creation.
Heriot-Watt Online is a diverse community of students, digital specialists and teachers that spans nationalities, cultures and boundaries. By fostering collaboration in digital spaces, we can nurture global conversations around key contemporary issues.


Our flexible approach to digital education is inclusive, applied and globally relevant.
Digital education on a global scale provides new opportunities to create more inclusive and accessible learning spaces. This is reflected in our pedagogy, our technologies, and how we communicate. And by designing assessment that is relevant to life beyond graduation, we are helping students sustain learning throughout their lives.


An authentic sense of space, place and people makes digital education more meaningful, regardless of scale.
We want our online students to feel a tangible connection with Heriot-Watt University’s people, spaces and places. We embrace the possibilities of the digital to help academics' passion, knowledge and personalities shine through.


We strive to increase equality, diversity and inclusion.
Through critical consideration of the dialogues between education, technology and society, we will create digital spaces that are diverse, inclusive and respectful. We are passionate about making access to education more equitable. 

Of course, for principles to have meaning they must translate into actions. The outer ring of the diagram shows how the digital education team are already putting these principles into action: for example by embedding kindness, equality and inclusion in our pedagogy; and by developing an even richer sense of space, place and community through our enhancement projects. 

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