February digital experience insights blog

Welcome to the February digital experience insight blog post! These monthly blogs 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. Call for volunteers for expert review panels

We are looking for volunteers to join our annual expert review panels for both the student and teaching staff surveys.

Review panellists will be among the first to see the analysis of data from the Jisc digital experience insights surveys. The panel members and will:

  • discuss how to make sense of the findings, including any that are controversial, unexpected or unclear
  • explore what further analysis would be of value
  • discuss how best to communicate the findings, including headline messages for key stakeholders and opportunities for promotion, publication and presentation
  • work with the Jisc team on recommendations for the relevant sector bodies and education providers.

The benefits to participating are the:

  • chance to feed into and influence the final reports and recommendations
  • chance to engage with other institutions who have undertaken the insight surveys and share best practice
  • opportunity to learn about latest developments with digital insights surveys
  • opportunity to develop and add to own CPD.

In terms of time commitment this will involve attendance at two, one-hour webinars. Members will be asked to review a data report before the meeting and review at least one externally-facing report after the meeting.

We will be advertising how you can apply to become an expert panellist via JISCMAIL in the near future.

  1. Survey close dates

For those that haven’t yet launched their surveys, we wanted to give you a heads-up of when the surveys will close. Remember you’ll need to allow time to plan your survey, including engagement and marketing, before launching the survey. We then recommend you keep the survey open for around 2-4 weeks (for more information please see our relevant guidance on planning to use insight surveys). The close dates for all the insight surveys are:

  • UK student: April 30, 2019
  • UK teaching staff: June 28, 2019
  • International: July 31, 2019
  1. Help influence the development of the new digital insight surveys

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.

ANZ 2019 pilot – we are following up on the 2018 pilot with a 2019 student and teaching staff pilot. If you are an Australian or New Zealand University and would like to participate, please complete this short online form and we will get in touch.

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 insights surveys, then please get in touch with Ruth at Ruth.Drysdale@Jisc.ac.uk

  1. Findings from the 2018 Australia/NZ pilot digital insights surveys

The new digital experience insights survey of Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) students has just been released. This can be found here.

This pilot survey received an impressive 21,095 responses and included ten Australian and two New Zealand Universities (representing approximately 30% of all the universities in the two nations).  Findings as compared to UK universities were extremely similar in many areas, which may reflect the robustness of the survey instrument and the underlying concept of the ‘student digital experience’ or it may reflect the structural and cultural similarities of the two higher education (HE) sectors.

Nevertheless, the report found three statistically significant differences:

  • ANZ students take part in significantly more digital activities than UK students, both on their courses and while studying independently
  • They are significantly more likely to agree that the use of digital technologies has a negative impact on their studies, especially on their distraction and attendance, even though this is still a minority view
  • They are significantly more likely to want digital technologies to be used less on their course. Free-text comments supported and added detail to this finding.

In addition to this Ruth Drysdale has just posted a very interesting and informative blog about her workshop at the ASCILTE 2018 conference on ‘understanding the student digital experience – national and international insights’. The blog can be found here.

As mentioned above, we are running a follow up ANZ pilot in 2019. If you would like to participate, please complete this short online form and we will get in touch.

If you have any other questions about the findings of the 2018 ANZ report or the ASCILITE conference, you can email Ruth at Ruth.Drysdale@Jisc.ac.uk

  1. Speaking loudly with a foreign accent – defining digital capability

Our digital experience insights survey reports for 2018 identified that 18% of staff and students said they considered assistive technologies as vital to their work or studies or chose to use them optionally.  That’s nearly a fifth of our staff and learners.  This blog post by Alistair McNaught (Jisc subject specialist on accessibility and inclusion) outlines why accessibility and inclusion should be considered as an integral aspect of digital capability.

  1. Still time to sign-up to 2019 insight surveys

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

Hints and tips in using Jisc insight surveys

  1. How long should you run your insight surveys?

With the right launch strategy, it’s possible to collect lots of data in 2 – 4 weeks, allowing you to avoid other surveys or initiatives. For example, Emma @ Oxford Brookes ran a soft launch to test the insight survey process, and told us that:

“We softly launched the survey in mid-November and kept it open for 4 weeks. We posted it onto two of our internal student-facing channels, offering 4 x £25 Amazon vouchers as an incentive. We closed at 642 responses. We plan to launch the survey earlier next year (to avoid encroaching on the NSS campaign), and to build on the response rate with targeted promotion.”

  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. Removing 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. 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 http://bit.ly/DEIengage

#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 students).

#3 Useful ideas for engaging staff and students

This guidance contains some useful ideas for engaging staff and students http://bit.ly/DEIengage

#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 Visit CAN2019 for inspiration on staff and student engagement

Why not attend the Change agents’ network conference, which is being 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. More information about CAN2019 can be found here.

Additionally, you can keep in touch by joining the mailing list: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/CAN and follow it on Twitter @CANagogy

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

JISC-INSIGHTS-SERVICE@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (for Jisc digital insights service users)

JISC-DIGITALINSIGHTS-COP@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (for Jisc digital insights community of practice)

JISC-INSIGHTS-ANZ-SIG@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (for Jisc digital insights ANZ community)

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.

Upcoming events:

  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.

  1. Advance-HE Surveys and Insights Conference 2019 – 08 May 2019

The Advance-HE Surveys and Insights Conference 2019 will be taking place on the 08 May 2019. They have extended the deadline for submissions if anyone is interested in presenting about their insights journey and the impact it has made. More information can be found here.

  1. Digital insights community of practice event in Birmingham – 22 May 2019

As mentioned last month, the next community of practice will take place on 22 May 2019 in Birmingham. The registration page is now live and can be found here.

14. 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. Book now to take advantage of the early bird registration offers and find out more from the conference website.

Past Events:

  1. Presentation by digital insights at Data Matters conference on 16 January 2019

Ruth and Mark from the Jisc digital insights team, as well as Marieke Guy and Alex Norris from the Royal Agricultural University, and Marc Griffith from London South Bank University presented on the topic of ‘using data to support the student digital experience’. Presenters from both universities were able to give a really useful ‘hands-on’ view of using the insights service, so will be of interest to many of you. Thanks Marieke, Alex and Marc for taking the time out to do the presentations! The presentation can be found here.

  1. Digital insights webinar on 23 January 2019

The digital insights webinar took place on the 23 January 2019. There was some really useful input and feedback from participants across a range of universities, so for those who took part we want to say thank-you. A recording of the webinar can be found here.

Also, the presentation can be found here, which also includes a useful quick guide to getting started.

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