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Keynote speaker – DigiFest Conference - Cambridge

Jitse van Ameijde

Jitse van Ameijde

We were delighted to welcome Jitse van Ameijde of The Open University as our keynote speaker at the conference day in Cambridge.

He spoke on 'Designing for student retention: The ICEBERG model'.

His presentation and a recording of his keynote will be available shortly.


Student retention is of increasing concern to many Higher Education institutions and educators face pressures to retain as many of their students as possible. Although there is extensive literature exploring the antecedents of student retention and interventions to promote it, few studies have focused specifically on how to design curriculum from the outset to promote student retention.

This session covers a project conducted at the Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology which aimed to uncover some of the design-related factors which impact on student retention. The main outcome of the project was the development of the ICEBERG model, a model covering seven principles of designing for student retention focusing on Integrated, Collaborative, Engaging, Balanced, Economical, Reflective and Gradual curriculum. The presentation will cover both the nature of the study and the resulting ICEBERG model, including a number of design tips for educators.


Jitse works as a Senior Learning Designer in the Learning Design team of the Open University while also being employed part-time as an Associate Lecturer in Systems Thinking in Practice in the STEM faculty. He has been involved in several different research projects focusing on his research interests in the design of effective pedagogies, student engagement and student workload as well as distributed leadership. His educational background is in social and organisational psychology, philosophy and computer science. In his spare time, he runs his own web development company focused on developing cloud-based productivity tools.

DigiFest Conference - Cambridge