How will Education 4.0 influence learning in higher education?


  • Alan Richard Williams University of Derby
  • Richard Windle University of Nottingham
  • Heather Wharrad University of Nottingham



Higher education at the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, 2015) is undergoing unprecedented change because of the opportunities revealed through the use of digital technology. Though societies throughout time have undergone seismic change, it is the speed and magnitude of change now because of technology that is challenging higher education. The changes include access to knowledge, how that knowledge is shared and the increasing demand by students’ for their voice to be heard in their education and to be integral to the design of their learning. The opportunities revealed by the use of digital technology can lead to good and bad effects and it is essential academics and higher education investigate the design of learning objects used by students in higher education.

Author Biographies

Alan Richard Williams, University of Derby

Dr Alan Williams is Academic Lead for the Nursing and Perioperative Practice programmes at the University of Derby Online Learning. He is a registered nurse with over 20 years’ experience in the NHS before moving to higher education as an Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham in 2006. He completed his doctoral thesis in 2018 investigating the design of learning objects, under the supervision of Dr Windle and Professor Wharrad and now applies his knowledge and experience to support online students across the globe.

Richard Windle, University of Nottingham

Dr Richard Windle is an Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, Faculty Digital Learning Director and a Principal Fellow of the HEA. Ever since appointment as a Lecturer in Health Sciences in 1999, he has had a passion for exploring how digital learning technology can be used to support learner-empowerment and ownership in order to address the learning needs of his students.

Heather Wharrad, University of Nottingham

Heather Wharrad is a Professor e-Learning and Health Informatics at University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK. She is academic lead for the HELM - Health E-learning and Media group and the research group in Education and Technology for Health in the School and has been principal investigator on many externally funded national and international projects on e-learning pedagogy, evaluation and research in health.




How to Cite

Williams, A. R., Windle, R. and Wharrad, H. . (2020) “How will Education 4.0 influence learning in higher education?”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (17). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi17.572.



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