In this post:
- A summary of the 2023/24 question sets for students/learners, teaching and professional services staff
- Webinars and community events
What’s new in the question sets for 2023/24?
The 2023/24 surveys were launched on 16 October and are now open. Key dates for the surveys can be found on the digital experience insights website
Each year we review the survey question for the digital experience insights surveys, taking on board feedback throughout the year, the ever-changing environment affecting universities and colleges, and with input from subscribers, sector stakeholders and subject experts.
Maintaining a strong core
It’s vital that we maintain a strong core set of questions to support year-on-year progression monitoring but also that the question sets adapt to recognise changes in technologies and practice. It’s also difficult to separate our focus on the digital and technological aspects from other aspects such as wellbeing, cost of living, societal and the concept of supporting learners in particular to bring their ‘whole selves’ to their learning (2023 Educause Horizon Report).
Getting the balance right can be a challenge, as is establishing an optimal number of questions – enough to get the data you need but not so many as to make the survey too onerous and put participants off. So here is what we have changed or introduced this year and why:
- Context is vital – we have included brief introductions to each of the four survey themes to help orientate participants and included examples to help clarify terminology that may be unfamiliar to some or to illustrate the sort of technologies we are enquiring about
- Sensitive questions – we gather a small amount of demographic data in the survey such as age, gender, ethnicity and ability. This is to help us to measure how representative our data is and to address whether any participants face disadvantages or issues of equity. All of our questions are optional and we have reinforced this message clearly within the surveys. We have also taken advice on the most appropriate wording from leading experts
- International students – building on the work of Jisc’s HE and research directorate, we have incorporated some of the questions used in the pilot survey on the digital experiences of international students (those who have travelled from another country to study in a UK university/college) into this year’s question sets to extend the data set and provide you with additional information. These questions will only appear to international students – a feature of the new Jisc online surveys platform. This section is also extended to further education this year
- Accessibility and/or productivity – we know that participants use a range of technologies both to support accessibility and productivity. This year, we are trying to drill down a little more to clarify the main reasons why participants may use some of the features commonly found in everyday software
- New and emerging technologies and practices – use of generative artificial intelligence in education is one example of a technology where rapid adoption and use is raising issues. Our new question sets enquire about both use and support to engage with these and the ethics of doing so
- Cost of living – is the cost of living impacting on access to and use of technologies in learning/teaching and work? Free text comments in previous years data, and reports of students taking on more employment whilst studying (HEPI Student Academic experience Survey 2023) and the proportion of student maintenance loans being spent on rent (Unipol and HEPI 2023) suggests this may be so. We have included questions that may identify issues here in this year’s question set
We hope these changes will provide you with valuable additional insight.
Subscribers to the service will receive a full copy of the questions for all surveys when they are onboarded, together with a mapping documents highlighting any difference between this year’s question sets and the previous year. We are only able to share the question sets which are protected under Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND with subscribed users. If you are not yet subscribed but would like to talk to someone about the service or the question sets, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (putting digital experience insights in the subject line) and we will arrange a Teams call with one of our consultants to discuss your queries.
Our service site has much more information about digital experience insights and how to get in touch.
Events and community activities
We look forward to sharing the findings of the 2022/23 teaching staff and professional services staff surveys with you in a series of webinars for both further and higher education sectors over the next few weeks. And our next joint community of practice event with the building digital capability community service will take place online on 29 November 2023. Details of these events and how to register can be found on our community of practice and service webinars page.