• xTalks: Digital Discourses

The xTalks series provides a forum to facilitate awareness, deep understanding and transference of educational innovations at MIT and elsewhere. We hope to foster a community of educators, researchers, and technologists engaged in developing and supporting effective learning experiences through online learning environments and other digital technologies. To sign up for the xTalks mailing list, click here.

This event has passed

Hamish Coates: Innovative Approaches for Enhancing the 21st Century Student Experience

Hamish Coates

Everyone engaged in higher education wants students to succeed. Yet existing research into student success is vexed and at risk of stalling. Entrenched rituals for garnering evidence are yielding diminishing returns. Dated myths are used to identify who students are and how they experience higher education. People lack data to help plan the really meaningful experiences which flowed serendipitously in smaller and more regulated systems.

Drawing from 15 years working with hundreds of institutions in around 50 countries, this seminar presents insights from a work program executed to bring about sustained enhancement of the student experience. It concentrates on findings from recent Australian innovation which has defined new concepts for understanding higher education students, identified new data sources and assessment approaches, and engaged institutions in enhancement work and new conversations about students.


Hamish Coates is a Professor of Higher Education at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE), University of Melbourne. He was Founding Director of Higher Education Research at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) from 2006 to 2013, and between 2010 and 2013 also Program Director at the LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Leadership and Management. Hamish completed his PhD in 2005 at the University of Melbourne, and executive training at INSEAD in MBS. Through research and development Hamish focuses on improving quality and productivity. Interests include large-scale evaluation, tertiary education policy, institutional strategy, outcomes assessment, learner engagement, academic work and leadership, quality assurance, tertiary admissions, and assessment methodology. He has initiated and led many successful projects, and was Founding International Director of OECD’s Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO).