Student Digital Insights Survey

At the end of last year we ran the Jisc Student Digital Insights survey.

This is the second year we have run the survey so we were both nervous and interested to see the impact some of our ongoing work has had on the students experience.

Louisa Gostling, studying on the MSc Business Management course was the lucky £50 Amazon voucher winner selected from RAU students who completed the survey

Louisa Gostling, studying on the MSc Business Management course was the lucky £50 Amazon voucher winner selected from RAU students who completed the survey

We are waiting on the bench marked data which will allow us to compare ourselves with other institutions but there are clearly some positive trends that we are happy to see. There is also still lots of work to be done!

  • We got 168 responses. This is a little lower than last time but still a reasonable response.
  • We have tried to do some comparisons with the previous survey data. Quite a few questions have changed but there are a few direct comparisons. Some significant increases include (2018 data is in bold). We can pat ourselves on the back for these!:
    • Reliable wifi 88% agree [80%]
    • Teaching spaces are well designed for technology use 52% agree [40%]
    • I am told how my personal data is stored and used 43% agree [12%]
    • VLE – reliable 80%  agree [62%]
    • Overall, how would you rate the quality of your organisation’s digital provision (software, hardware, learning environment)? 82% [74%]
    • Overall, how would you rate the quality of digital teaching and learning on your course 78% [57%]
  • Themes from the free text analysis include:
    • Request for more lecture capture and video content, or voice recordings of lectures
    • Staff training – especially on new CleverTouch screens
    • Student training – for those other than 1st years, outside of lessons, on industry tools, on assistive technologies, building on study skills sessions, on a multitude of areas including O365
    • Rooms – more sockets, updated tech, more study space
    • There is still work to do on CELCAT, myRAU, Gateway (getting better but still improvements can be made – mainly around content) and the student portal.
  • We also asked students about the tools they use and the training they would like on them. While some students may not actually recognise what tool they are using (for example Panopto) this is helpful in identifying areas for us to prioritise.

toolsWe will be sharing more results from the survey when all the bench marked data has been shared by Jisc.

Student digital insight survey

Yesterday we launched our Student digital insight survey for this year.

The student Insight survey is a national survey run by Jisc which aims to find out more about how students use digital technologies and how this affects their experience of learning.

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We last ran this survey (or the previous version of this survey) in April 2018. You can read more about the results and see a presentation we gave at the Data matters conference in January 2019.

Changes to the last survey

The majority of questions are the same as the last survey we ran and we will be very interested in comparing results. Have we made improvements? Or are there still clear indicators of work to be done?

We have however added in a few new questions. These have been shamelessly stolen from feedback in webinars and mailing lists (apologies I can’t recall which institutions they are from). The first new set of questions relate to digital skills. They ask our students about how important different skills are and how they would like to learn them.

skillsThe second set of questions are about the tools we use e.g our VLE, video system, tech in teaching and study spaces etc.

toolsPromotion

We are taking a softly, softly approach to the survey but will be promoting through the following mechanisms:

  • Email to all students
  • Ticker bar on Gateway (our VLE)
  • Digital screens
  • Through the myRAU app as a banner and a news item
  • Information on social media sites
  • Posters
  • Through the OurRAU news
  • By sharing slides with our academics so they can mention the survey in lectures

We will report back next month on how it has gone.

Staff digital insights surveys

Earlier this year we ran two RAU staff digital insights surveys – one for academic staff and one for professional service staff. The surveys were managed by Jisc and are part of an annual survey programme. They complement the student digital survey that we ran last year. The academic staff survey asks teaching staff across higher (HE) and further education (FE) about their experiences of digital in their institution and in their teaching practice. This year the Professional Services staff survey ran as a pilot and the RAU was part of the pilot group. The results from the surveys are benchmarked and compared with other institutions in the sector.

Jisc survey

Below are some of our key findings.

Response rates

Academic staff Professional services
Response number 24 67
Percentage of staff ~ 50% ~ 25%
Time at RAU Even split between ‘4 years or more’ and ‘less than 4 years’ Even split between ‘4 years or more’ and ‘less than 4 years’
Department From all four schools
2 from Capel
Operations (43%) Student services (31%) Commercial and Business Development (21%) & others

Key metrics: Academic staff

  • 21% rate the quality of their digital provision (software, hardware, learning environment) as good or above
  • 92% can access reliable Wi-Fi whenever they need it
  • 50% agree it is easy to design & organise their course materials in the VLE (Gateway)
  • 54% rate the support they get to develop their digital role as good or above
  • 21% agree software for teaching is industry standard and up-to-date
  • 8% agree they are informed about ensuring students behave safely online

Key metrics: Professional services staff

  • 58% rate the quality of their digital provision (software, hardware, learning environment) as good or above
  • 87% can access reliable Wi-Fi whenever they need it
  • 27% agree that our online systems support working as a team
  • 34% rate the support they get to develop their digital role as good or above
  • 43% agree systems are up to date
  • 72% agree systems are reliable

prof

It appears that academics are more unhappy about the quality of the digital provision but happier about the support they receive to develop digital aspects of their jobs. While for professional services it is the other way round. This may be to do with the lack of support for professional services staff training and the requirement for fit for purpose pedagogic tools

Benchmark comparisons: Academic staff

Question Our data UK data
Quality of digital provision 21% 58%
Reliable Wi-Fi 92% 85%
Support to develop digital role 54% 36%
Software for teaching is industry standard and up-to-date 21% 35%
Easy to design & organise course materials in VLE 55% 48%
Are informed about ensuring students behave safely online 8% 18%

The areas in red are below the sector and the areas in green are above.

Benchmark comparisons: Professional services staff

Question Our data UK data
Quality of digital provision 58% 68%
Reliable Wi-Fi 87% 85%
Support to develop digital role 35% 56%
Systems are reliable 72% 67%
Systems are up to date 43% 46%
Our online systems support working as a team 27% 46%

The areas in red are below the sector and the areas in green are above.

As you can see there is still lots to be done!

What can we do to help? Academic staff

  • Increased recognition by senior management of the importance of supporting innovative and good quality teaching (both digital and non-digital)
  • Better celebration of good practice
  • Support for a culture where experimentation is accepted and time/resource is allocated to it
  • More CPD in digital skills
  • Better digital teaching rooms
  • Further investment in academic and industry-standard digital tools
  • Improvements to Turnitin and integration with Quercus

What can we do to help? Professional services staff

  • Better support for flexible and remote working
  • More accessible training – from a more formal training structure to informal lunchtime drop-in training, at all levels (beginners to expert), and for new staff
  • More guidance, support and videos
  • Improve labs set up
  • Provide a list of systems with an outline of what they do
  • Better equipment – headsets for making calls, AV equipment, laptops for all

The recently developed IT and Digital strategy and action plan addresses the vast majority of these areas including:

  1. Work to establish a cross-functional group to produce an action plan for developing our student and staff digital capabilities,
  2. Help to define a set of activities and processes that directly encourage and support staff digital capability e.g: recruitment requirements, appraisals, promotions  etc.

Huge thanks to everyone who participated in either of the surveys!

These results were presented to the RAU senior managers by Alun Dawes (Head of IT) on the 10th September. Going forward we hope to run the staff surveys and the student survey on alternate years. If you have any comments on the survey results please do get in touch with IT Services.

Surveytastic…

NSS

This week has seen the launch of the National Student Survey (NSS) at RAU. The NSS “gathers opinions from students about their time in higher education, asking them to provide honest feedback on what it has been like to study on their course at their university/college“. There are 27 questions relating to eight aspects of the student experience and the survey is for students in their last year of study. The NSS is run by Ipsos MORI.

nss

SSS and Survey checker

Internally we are giving students who aren’t eligible for the NSS the opportunity to complete our own version of the survey called the Student Satisfaction Survey (SSS). The survey has been created in Jisc’s Online Surveys. – which we are increasingly using for student surveys.

Survey-checker

Student are often unsure on which survey they should fill in. To help point them in the right direction we have created and internal survey checker. The checker is available from Gateway (our VLE) and through myRAU. Big thanks to Danny in IT for his work on this.

survey-screens

Supporting materials

To support the surveys we also have a page on Gateway with information about the various surveys we run throughout the year. This page contains general You Said, We Did  information, also up on our display screens. There is also a generic email address for survey queries.

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Fingers crossed for a good response rate!