Digital experience insights Service update

May digital experience insights blog

Welcome to the May digital experience insights blog post. These monthly blogs provide general tips and advice on how to run the insights surveys, latest best practice and guidance, as well other news that relates to the digital experience of students and staff.

  1. Extension to the close date for the professional services staff survey – now 26 June

The professional services staff survey close date has been extended from the 1 to the 26 June. With the added time, please do encourage your professional services staff to complete the survey (as well as your teaching staff – this survey closes on the 3 July). At this particular time staff responses on their digital experiences will be invaluable to your institutions, to support future planning. We’ve had a really impressive response from students this year to the surveys (around 20,000 HE and 17,000 FE students – better than last year). The staff responses this year are progressing, but it would great if we could boost these further (so far we’ve had just over 3,000 teaching staff and 3.600 professional services staff responses).

  1. Join us for the ‘how to analyse your survey data’ webinar on the 14 May

Do join us for our next webinar that focuses on ‘how to analyse your survey data’. This will take place on 14 May 2020 from 11:00-12:00. The webinar will take place in Zoom so use the joining link ( and the password of 104007 to join the webinar on the day.

We look forward to seeing you there!

  1. Gaining additional insight to get an understanding of changes since Covid-19

Several of you have recently contacted us about how you can analyse your DEI survey(s) data, given the potential impact the Covid-19 (C19) situation could have on the sudden switch to remote learning. Your student, teaching staff and professional services staff surveys might be at different stages (i.e. already closed, you are about to launch, or that its currently already open), therefore we have provided guidance below as to the options available to you in relation to the three scenarios.

a. Already closed survey (Pre-C19) before lockdown started

You can now run a second iteration of any of the surveys to collect some Post-C19 digital experiences:

  • To clearly identify these surveys and aid analysis please include POST C19 RERUN’ in the internal Jisc online surveys survey title. This does not have to be in the public survey URL title so respondents will not see this. This is a crucial vital step to aid the analysis process for yourand our analysis
  • The message you send with the survey URL should explain that you would like their responses to be about their current remote context rather than their previous campus experience
  • You can add some of yourown customised questions to pick up on specific C19 issues.
  • Note the responses to this additional survey will not be included in the national report for each survey (we will only include the first iteration of a survey). This is to ensure we don’t include data from the same student or staff member twice in the national report

b. About to launch (Post-C19) – if you have not yet run your first iteration of a survey:

  • DO NOT label ‘‘POST C19 RERUN’. The survey should be named as per the official guidance, i.e. [name of your institution] [‘HE/FE/HE online’ and ‘student/teaching staff/professional services staff’] [2019/20] [insight survey].
  • You can add some of yourown customised questions to pick up on specific C19 issues.

c. Open (mix of Pre and Post-C19) – ie  launched before remote delivery started but not yet closed:

  • If you launched yoursurvey(s) before C19 remote delivery started, the responses will be date stamped, so if you have sufficient numbers you can split and analyse the data pre and post-C19. The date stamp of each respondent will appear when you download the data into Excel from Jisc online surveys. When you do a survey export, you will need to select the option ‘Include date of response submission’ from the customisation options on the Export screen to include the date stamp data.

In terms of close dates for any second surveys, as any data collected in a second survey will not be used in any national reports, these can close later than normal. The date will depend on whether you have already signed up for the service for 2020-21:

  1. For those who have already signed up for 2020-21, you can run your second survey up to the end of August this year
  2. For those who have not signed up for 2020-21, you will need to ensure any second surveys is closed by the end of July this year

If you have any questions in relation to running second surveys, then please email  (putting ‘insights surveys’ in the title) and we will get back to you.

  1. The professional services staff (26 June) and teaching staff (3 July) surveys closing soon – but still time to get going!

Both the professional services and teaching staff surveys close in around a month and a half’s time (professional services staff on the 26 June and the teaching staff on the 3 July). However there is still time to get going. Take a look at our quick six-step guide on how to launch in under an hour. If you have any questions or need help please do contact us at (putting ‘insights surveys’ in the title).

  1. Need ideas for engaging staff?

Our guide on engaging respondents in your insights surveys has some suggestions but please also use the community of practice mailing list to share your own ideas and strategies, what works and what has been less successful.

  1. Reminder for the joint online digital experience insights and building digital capability community of practice – 21 May

A last reminder that the next community of practice takes place on 21 May between 10:00 and 14:30. It will be co-hosted by the University of Northampton and takes place online. The event is free to attend but registration is required.  Visit our event page.

It’s also an opportunity to hear more about our building digital capability and digital experience insights services and understand how these might help you to meet your goals. Details of the programme and registration (opens in new window) are available on our events site and registration is free but booking is essential (places limited to 2 per organisation).

  1. Jisc collaboration with the National Forum Ireland on their digital experience insights surveys

Across all countries and contexts, higher education institutions are confronted with the question of how to adapt and shape higher education in an increasingly digital, networked world. The recent Covid-19 global health crisis and related institution closures have precipitated numerous changes to how we all teach, learn, work and live.

Jisc has been collaborating with the National Forum Ireland (opens in a new window) to support digital teaching and learning in a time of significant change, demonstrating how national and international collaboration has played such a significant role. As the national body responsible for leading and advising on the enhancement of teaching and learning in Irish higher education, the National Forum works closely with those who teach, learn and shape policy and practice across Irish higher education (National Forum, 2019) and is currently working towards rearticulating a national vision for digital teaching and learning that is collaborative, responsive and adaptable to institutional contexts. As a foundation for this work, the National Forum sought in 2019 to survey students and staff who teach across Irish higher education to gather data about their digital engagement, experiences and expectations. After researching various options, the National Forum chose to use and adapt Jisc’s digital experience insights surveys. The Irish National Digital Experience (INDEx) survey was coordinated by the National Forum in partnership with staff and students across the Irish higher education sector; the survey was undertaken in autumn 2019 and the report (opens in a new window) was published in May 2020 (National Forum, 2020).

The Jisc digital experience insights surveys (Jisc, 2016-20) were developed in order to better understand how students and staff use technology and their attitudes towards its use in their learning and teaching. This is different to learner analytics datasets that collect behavioural and achievement data. The approach used in the INDEx Survey was to coordinate at a national rather than an individual institution level. This enabled the adaptation and use of a survey relevant to the Irish higher education context but still preserving many elements of international benchmarking enabled by existing digital experience insights data from higher education sectors in the UK, Australia and New Zealand (Jisc, 2020; Langer-Crame et al, 2020).

Having found out what makes a difference to students and staff who teach in higher education, the National Forum see this work as an important element of responding to complexity in higher education; ensuring that student and staff voices and experiences, in the form of a current evidence base, can inform decision-making at institutional and sectoral levels.

By Mark Langer-Crame

Senior digital experience insights analyst

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