Last year 20,000 students from higher and further education told us about their digital learning experiences in further and higher education. This year we’re back with the results from over 37,000 students and 83 organisations, in our digital experience report set to be published next week...
But publication isn’t the end of the road for the data, as those who piloted the digital experience insights service (formerly the student digital experience tracker project), are now taking forward the findings and working in partnership with their students to build a better digital environment.
What makes this survey so different?
Well, it’s the only survey that focuses on students’ use of technology for their learning, and as technology is absolutely integral to the learner journey it’s essential for college and university leaders to have insights like these. The data is uniquely valuable in allowing organisations to explore the digital experiences of their students, highlighting what makes a real difference to them.
Our digital experience insights service enables colleges and universities to collect evidence from students and staff about their digital experience, compare their data over time enabling better informed decisions to be made about the digital environment and targeting resources for improving digital provision. The service also supports organisations to demonstrate quality enhancement and active student engagement to external bodies and to students themselves.
What we’ve been up to since last year
Ahead of this year’s report findings, I thought it timely to celebrate some of the work we’ve done with universities and colleges over the past year. It goes without saying that we’re greatly looking forward to releasing our new report next week, and are hugely impressed by all the work done by organisations involved.
Canterbury Christ Church University
Their findings are enabling Canterbury Christ Church University to make improvements and take the blended learning agenda forward in a way that works for their students. Quick wins in response to their data include reviewing and improving wifi coverage across all campuses, redesigning VLE templates to make navigation via mobile devices easier and more consistent and fast tracking the introduction of a new lecture capture recording system.
The approach taken by Canterbury Christ Church University is ensuring the democratic student voice is heard in full – all students on all campuses have an opportunity to let the university know about their needs and expectations and how well these are being met.
“The data we have from the insights service makes a significant difference to where we are moving digitally as an institution. This lends a credible voice to decisions being made and provides us with a level of confirmation that we are taking actions that are of direct benefit to students”
Project lead: Duncan MacIver, technology enhanced learning (TEL) manager
City of Wolverhampton College
City of Wolverhampton College wanted to take the views of their students into account when making decisions about the development of their digital strategy, and the learning environment and resources provided by the college. They wanted to know the impact of initiatives already in place, and whether these initiatives were achieving a positive return on investment.
Using the data the college has been able to:
- Work with curriculum managers and teams to identify more opportunities for digital activities within the curriculum and learning activities
- Increase chances to develop the digital skills of students, with the planned introduction of a workshop on the digital aspects of learning (for all full time students during the first six weeks of their learning journey at the college)
“Learners and staff now have a voice in decisions in purchasing and improving the digital experience for everyone in the community. We can show that we have taken forward suggestions in terms of practice as well as software, hardware and equipment.”
Project lead: Conrad Taylor, e-learning manager