January digital experience insights blog

Welcome to the January digital experience insight blog post! These monthly blogs will provide general tips and advice on how to run the insight process, latest best practice and guidance, as well as the latest news in and around the area of staff and student digital experience insights.

Digital insights developments

  1. Revised date for the next insights community of practice (moved from 13 June to 22 May)

Please note that the next insights community of practice has a new revised date. It will now take place on the 22 May (and not 13 June as previously advertised) and will be held in Birmingham.

If you are not already signed up to the insights community of practice mailing list please subscribe by visiting

The aim of this community is to further our understanding on how to effectively engage staff and students in the development of their digital environment, and to facilitate the sharing of practice and approaches across colleges and universities.

  1. Get involved – new digital insight surveys in development!

Jisc are working hard to ensure that the digital insights service continues to meet your needs by developing additional surveys:

Professional service staff – to compliment the teaching staff survey, members have requested an equivalent survey for professional service staff so that institutions can see a fuller picture of how their digital environment is being experienced by more users.

TNE students – do offshore students get an equivalent digital learning experience as their UK peers? You can find more information about our 2019 TNE pilot here

Researcher – Does your digital environment support your researchers’ needs? This is a more complex question than it might first appear, and we are looking for UK and international universities to work with us to unpick what this means. You can find more information about our 2019 research pilot here

If you’d like to help develop question sets and/or be part of the pilots for any one (or all) of these new digital insight surveys then please get in touch with Ruth at

  1. Results of the 2017-18 Australia/NZ pilot digital insights surveys

The results of the 2017-18 Australia and New Zealand student insights survey will be published in January and available from

The report will discuss the findings of students studying at Australian and New Zealand universities and also explore the similarities and differences compared to our UK students’ experiences.

  1. Still time to sign-up to insight surveys

There is still time to sign up to participate in the 2018-19 insights surveys for staff and students. If you are interested in participating and would like to find out more information, please complete the form:

  1. New digital insights institutional case studies

Digital insights offer a range of case studies of different FE and HE institutions who are using the service. Take a look and find out how others have implemented the surveys, engaged target audiences and analysed their data here The latest case studies are from Aberystwyth University, Kingston Maurward College, The University of Queensland and London South Bank University. We will keep you updated when new case studies are released.

Upcoming events:

  1. New digital insights community of practice webinar – 23 January 2019

We will be holding a new digital insights service user webinar on the 23 January (12.30-1.30 pm). This will be an opportunity to share ideas and ask questions to the digital insights team, as well as the wider service users of digital insights in an open format session. It will cover topics such as:

– support in getting started

– hearing how you are engaging users

– discussing sampling strategies

The webinar will be via Zoom, so you just need to click on this link to enter the webinar:

The webinar will be recorded for those who cannot make this date.

Although this webinar is for service users of digital insights, members of the wider community of practice are more than welcome to attend as well.

Please do let us know if you’d like any other topics to be covered. You can email Mark at

  1. Digital insights community of practice event – 22 May 2019 – note revised date

As mentioned previously, the next community of practice will take place on 22 May 2019 (note revised date) in Birmingham so please do add this date to your diary.

  1. Digifest – 12-13 March 2019

Our annual Jisc conference will take place on the 12-13 March in Birmingham. You can register for the event here and submit an idea for a session on your use of insights.

  1. Change agents’ network 29-30 May 2019

The 8th annual Change agents network conference will take place on 29-30 May at the Open University, Milton Keynes. This event supports the sharing of practice of student and staff partnerships. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for a session see by the 21 January.

Hints and tips in using Jisc insight surveys

  1. Naming your insight survey(s)

Can I remind you all to please include the following in your survey name: [name of your institution] [HE/FE/HE online/FE online student and/or teaching staff] [2018/19] [insight survey]. You will need to do this for each of your surveys.

If you’re using the Welsh version, please indicate either by putting the title in Welsh or adding “(Welsh)” into the title.

  1. Creating test / practice surveys

Some of you have created a test survey to practice with. Please can we ask that once you have finished with this you delete it, as we can see all insight survey copies made in this account, and we need to clearly find each of your “real” insight survey(s) in the master dashboard in order to put you in the right benchmarking groups.

  1. Getting started on your insight survey(s)

For those of you who are about to start on your surveys (and for those who are starting to think about it), this guidance is an essential starting point, covering topics such as thinking about your rationale for using the insights service, establishing working groups, resources in terms of time and people and deciding who you want to survey (

  1. Tip and advice for engaging staff and students

We see the insight surveys as a way for you to engage – not just monitor – your staff and students.

Staff and students are increasingly concerned about surveys that are imposed on them without explanation, so it is important for you to explain clearly why your insight survey can help improve their teaching and learning experiences.

To help with this, you might want to:

› Engage respondents in planning & communicating the project

› Identify student leaders/union representatives and ask them to look at the insight surveys, and consider positive promotion within their networks

› Engage staff and students in other conversations about their digital experience

› Work in partnership with staff and students to respond to the findings

Additional tips and advice are:

#1 Have a conversation with your staff and students whilst your survey is live

Our experience has shown that one of the easiest but most powerful things you can do to increase staff and student engagement and response rates is to feed back anonymous results whilst your insight survey is still live. So, for example, last year we saw some institutions who put the result of single questions onto screens around campus. Here is an example:

“80% of you rate the quality of this university’s digital provision as good or better than good” … what do you think? Join the discussion by adding your thoughts on digital provision via our insight survey at <insert your insight survey link here>”

You can do this by logging into your Jisc online surveys dashboard and looking at the data as it comes in via the Analyse area. More information is available at

#2 Read about what others did last year

Distribute promotional materials via Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, or posters/screens around your institution. The graphics of the four areas of the tracker that you might want to include on any communication materials you produce can be found here (for staff and (for students

#3 Read about what other institutions did last year

This guidance contains some useful ideas for engaging staff and students

#4 Plan how you will share your insight findings, and continue the conversation with your staff and students

Why not plan some events for around next May/June that allow you to liaise with your staff and students to discuss your insight survey findings?

#5 Share your examples of staff and student engagement at CAN2019

If you already have some good examples of staff and student engagement practices then why not submit a proposal for the Change agents’ network conference, to be held at the Open University on 29 and 30 May 2019. This is a network of staff and students working in partnership to support curriculum enhancement and innovation. For more information about CAN2019 submissions see

Additionally, you can keep in touch by joining the mailing list: and follow it on Twitter @CANagogy

#6 Share your examples of student engagement on these mailing lists

We would like to encourage you to share any of your ideas here on this mailing list. There are over 150 subscribers who work across HE and FE. Your ideas can help others and help you to connect with like-minded people out there, in roles like yours.

  1. Reminder to launch survey

For those of you who have yet to launch/market your digital experience insight survey(s) – don’t worry: the majority of our institutions are yet to go live, so you’re in good company!

Now’s the time to plan for your launch. It’s always better to collect some data if you can – it gives you something to compare with the national benchmark (released in May for the student survey) and to track your progress in future years.

  1. Link your insight surveys to a wider event

Some institutions plan to run their insight surveys alongside wider initiatives, for example running a ‘Digital February’ where they also run additional support desk drop-ins, advice tweet discussions or subject-specific focus groups that discuss how digital is used on campus, in a subject, or within a faculty. This year some institutions plan to run their tracker in the week of 5th February with Safer Internet Day

By Mark Langer-Crame

Senior digital experience insights analyst

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