Back in April we ran the Jisc Student digital experience tracker and are now ready to share the data more widely.
The tracker is a brief (10 minute) online survey that all our students were invited to participate in. The survey gathers data on students’ expectations and experiences of technology at their institution. It is run annually and each institution’s data is available for that institution to use, the data is also benchmarked against other institutions.
We asked all our students (in all year groups) to participate. They were sent the link by email, the survey was also advertised on the Student Facebook site and other social media, by posters and by academics. 218 of our students responded to the tracker (18 % response rate), this breaks down into:
- Male (44%), female (56%) gender split (Q2)
- 1st year (56%), middle year (15%), final year (18%), Masters/postgrad (10%) stages of study (Q3)
- 20% self-identified as needing to use assistive technologies (Q6)
We are really happy with the response rate and the make up of students seems representative of the University. We also had a good split across centres.
Our key metrics were interesting. We are clearly at the start of our digital transformation with lots to do but the metrics show clear priority areas: 1) digital as part of learning and teaching 2) digital and data literacy of our staff and students.
The key findings were that:
- The amount of technology available at RAU is fine – students want us to make it more user-friendly and get better at training staff and students in how to use it
- Wifi is very important to students but they actually think our coverage is OK
- Students like consistency – on Gateway, in lessons, in tools
- Students want us to prioritise online, free, up-to-date resources
- Students don’t feel they are getting the right amount of digital training in tools they need for their course or in the skills they need for the work place
- Students like computer rooms, printers and charging points
- Students want more multimedia – videos (of lectures) and images
- Students appreciate IT support and would like more help with technical issues
We have been working on an action log which takes the form of a ‘You said. we did’ spreadsheet. Highlighted areas are given a response in the following way:
- We did (current resolution)
- We will do (future resolution)
- Why we can’t do it (explanation)
The log covers areas from accessibility, communication and data, to digital literacy, digital spaces and library resources.
We will be sharing these with students over the next few months.
Academics have also been invited to look at more detailed analysis of the data if interested – this includes further benchmarked data (against other institutions and GuildHE institutions) and a summary of all the free text responses. Potentially the raw data could also be distilled and analysed at the centre level.
There has already been agreement that the survey will run again. Hopefully earlier in the academic year (November?) so as to not coincide with the NSS.