2,691 teaching staff from 30 UK further education or sixth form colleges participated in our annual digital experience insights survey. The survey took place between November 2021 and July 2022.
Using technology effectively in teaching practice
While the majority of teaching staff (69%) rated the quality of the online learning environment as above average (best imaginable, excellent or good), it is also apparent that individual experiences when navigating the evolving digital landscape varied and that not all of these were positive. This, in turn, will impact on learners’ ability to benefit from a wide range of digital opportunities, to learn to their full potential and gain skills that will aid their future employment.
- Teaching staff come equipped with mixed experiences, skills and personal circumstances. While this creates a rich environment for learners, it also exposes inequalities which will are likely to become wider without consistent and ongoing investment
- 78% of teaching staff had access to a laptop and 70% had access to a desktop computer but far fewer had access to a smartphone (35%), additional screen (35%), additional microphone or headset (25%), additional camera or webcam (25%) or tablet (19%)
- More than half of staff experienced problems when trying to teach online. 38% said they had poor wifi connection, 17% were without a suitable computer/device and 16% had no safe, private area to work
- Two thirds (66%) of teaching staff said they did not use accessibility tools or features such as screen readers, spelling and writing support, screen magnification, captions or transcriptions on videos, dictation tools or alternative ergonomic devices. It is no surprise that this low uptake is mirrored by FE learners, 77% of whom said they did not use these tools in our corresponding learner survey published in September 2022. Learners look to their teachers for guidance and inspiration in using digital tools, so support for staff in this area is also likely to directly benefit learners
- When asked what one thing would improve the effectiveness of online teaching, the responses from teaching staff revealed three main themes:
- Enhanced staff development
- Improved learner support
- Greater access to technology with an improved digital infrastructure
- The full report gives a detailed analysis of our findings and guidance on how colleges can address the issues raised.
Let us know if you'd like to find out more about Jisc’s 2022/23 digital experience insights surveys for learners, teaching staff and professional services, which are now open.
About the authors
I work in the business intelligence unit at Jisc, primarily on the digital experience insights surveys for students, academic staff and professional services staff. The focus is on supporting members across further and higher education to enrich their student experiences by providing powerful data to inform strategic planning and investment.