Tracker: information for universities based overseas

Welcome to all universities based outside the UK with an interest in the Student Digital Experience Tracker!

If you missed our recent start-up events, you can still access a recording of the webinar 14th December with information about the development of the project, and how you can get started in BOS. Slides from the webinar are also available separately.

You still have time to sign up to use the digital student tracker in 2018 – if you are not based in the UK (the sign-up for UK universities passed on 30 November). Please complete the sign-up form and the follow-up confirmation form (the link will be emailed to you) to be part of the project. Sign-up closes on 30 April 2018 and all surveys close on 31 May.

Why universities all over the world are signing up for the tracker

international imagesThe Student Digital Experience Tracker allows universities to:

  • gather evidence from learners about their digital experience, and track changes over time
  • make better informed decisions about the digital environment
  • target resources for improving digital provision
  • plan other research and student engagement around digital issues
  • demonstrate quality enhancement to students and other stakeholders

The tracker is now in its third successful year. We don’t believe there is an equivalent survey internationally. The tracker is popular because it is designed around a student engagement process. The questions have been designed in consultation with students, and we encourage you to involve students as co-researchers wherever possible. Students are helping universities to interpret their results and work on priorities for change. While the synthesised data is proving of value to policy makers, organisations own the tracker process and their dialogue with students is at the heart of the project.

What you need to know

  1. The tracker is a survey tool and engagement process to help universities find out how students experience your digital environment for learning, and the digital teaching and learning you offer. You can review the HE survey questions here.
  2. The survey questions have been carefully researched and evaluated through two previous large-scale pilots. You can rely on the questions to provide valid and actionable information.
  3. The survey can be customised to your institutional requirements, for example by changing the name of your virtual learning environment to one that your students will recognise, by including some additional questions that you author, and by grouping students in ways that make sense at your university.
  4. The tracker offers a snapshot of the student digital experience at one point in time. It can be used to compare different students groups, and to monitor change over time.
  5. Some of the survey questions lend themselves to benchmarking against comparable other universities. Providing there are enough universities with enough data to make valid comparisons, you will automatically have access to comparative data from the most relevant benchmarking group.
  6. You will have access to the HE survey and to the survey of online students. Organisations in the UK have access to a number of other question sets, but these ones are most relevant to the needs of universities based overseas.
  7. Any international/European educational organisation signing up before 30 April 2018 will be able to use the Jisc Student Digital Experience Tracker on the BOS platform without charge until 31 July 2018. This includes access to benchmarking data and all the relevant guidance and support. Surveys can be launched at any time from sign-up, which is open now.
  8. Surveys close on 31 May 2018: access after this is only to download and view data. Unfortunately some surveys were sent out with the UK close date (30 April) so you may need to change this manually by going into the ‘Distribute’ area, choosing ‘Distribution Settings’, changing and saving the new date. Don’t worry about the warning that ‘changes to an open survey may result in lost data’ – so long as you change only the closing date, there is no risk.
  9. In future Jisc will charge non-UK institutions for running the Tracker, though will always aim to keep participation and value at a high level. Signing up to run the tracker this year does not commit you to taking part at any other time.
  10. We will ask you to provide feedback  to describe your experiences of using the tracker, and to help us make any further improvements. You may be asked to provide case study material to help others follow the tracker process successfully. There is no obligation to do this.
  11. When you provide your contact details you will automatically be added to a mailing list for discussion of the tracker. You can opt out of this at any time.
  12. You may have access to other support from Jisc, depending on how many universities sign up from your country and/or area. (We actively encourage you to get other universities involved, through your own networks and contacts).
  13. We are able to provide translation of the survey questions into a number of other languages. You will be asked about your requirements when you sign up. We are not able to translate any of the guidance materials at this time.

Key dates

You must sign up to run the tracker using this sign-up form before 30th April 2018.

You can run the survey at any time after you sign up – we recommend a two-week window with the option to extend by a week to get maximum participation. Your survey must be completed and all responses recorded before 31st May 2018, when all surveys close for benchmarking.

You will continue to have access to your data until 31 July 2018 when the pilot project comes to an end. During this time you may be asked to give feedback on your experience.

Find out more

Please take a look around the site, especially the tracker home page and our regular blog posts on tracker topics. You might also want to:

For more information about Jisc’s support for international universities to run the tracker, please contact Sarah Knight, tracker.support@jisc.ac.uk or Helen Beetham.