Technology Enhanced Learning at University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Survey Outcomes and Report
In 2013 the University of Wales Trinity Saint David merged with Swansea Metropolitan
University and established a partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion to form a
new dual-sector University serving the needs of learners in South West Wales and beyond. It
recognised the growing importance of technology in the delivery of education and
established a Technology Enhanced Learning team led by an Executive Head of TEL.
It was agreed that the formation of an institutional TEL Strategy and development plan
needed a picture of current usage as a baseline to inform the planning process. As a result,
an online survey of both staff and student was carried out and the outcomes, analysis and
conclusions are presented in this report.
Separate surveys (but with the same question sets) were carried out at Swansea Met and at
Carmarthen/Lampeter to enable a comparison. Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion were
also invited to participate. The surveys were carried out using SurveyMonkey over a period
of two months from late 2013 to early 2014.
184 staff and 360 students responded to the survey. There was a strong response from both
staff and students at all the HE campuses at Swansea, Carmarthen and Lampeter. However,
although there was also a very strong response from the Coleg Sir Gâr staff, engagement
with the remaining FE college staff and students proved problematic. It was felt, however,
that the substantial body of information gathered was indicative of general TEL usage by HE
staff and students across the institution and provided a good picture of staff usage at one of
the FE colleges. In that regard it made a valuable contribution to the TEL benchmarking and
planning processes. A follow-up survey is planned to complete the FE part of the exercise
and this report will be updated at that time.
2. The Surveys:
There were 10 questions in the staff survey and 9 in the student survey asking them about
their use of Moodle, the way they communicated online, their use of social media and their
own devices for engaging with their learning online. The questions included multi choice
answers as well as free text comments. The multi choice responses enabled a quantitative
evaluation across the institution, while the comments provided for a qualitative assessment
of TEL usage and usability.
All of the survey outcomes are available on the TEL Survey Wiki and can be viewed at:
3. Quantitative and Qualitative Survey Outcomes:
The quantitative information was amalgamated for analytical purposes by combining all the
staff and student data as an average response to each question drawn from across the
institution. This average could then be compared with the responses from the individual
campuses/partners and both general and comparative conclusions drawn.
The tables below present the survey quantitative outcomes, question by question, in the left
hand column and a selection of key comments derived from the qualitative information
received is presented in the right hand column. The comments complement the quantitative
information for each question and contribute to an understanding of the profile displayed
and allow conclusions to be drawn. The comments have been edited to fit the matrix
format, but express the key messages of the original.
Questions and Survey Responses Comments
(Sample total: 1648 answers) (Sample total: 686 comments)
For on-campus students, Moodle supplements face-
to-face teaching by including teaching materials, links
etc. For distance learners, Moodle is central to the
whole teaching plan of the module.
Students are expected to check Moodle regularly as
all lecture notes are uploaded plus material for use in
tutorials. However, it’s evident that not all students
access Moodle on a regular basis.
I have used Moodle as part of my teaching but
students often find it difficult to navigate and to use
at home or from mobile devices such as tablets and
Students submit assessments through Moodle. They
are marked and then re-uploaded. Campus students
then have feedback tutorials. Distance learners have
feedback by email or telephone.
All submissions of coursework are through
Moodle/Turnitin. Feedback is through Moodle, and
some modules use MCQ as a way of revising topics.
All student assessments are on Moodle, their
assignments are submitted via Turnitin, but as yet
results are not posted online.
I use a mixture of Moodle and e mail. DL students
require personal e mails. I do not use the calendar. I
do use Forums but mostly us Facebook as it is more
versatile and effective.
All course announcements are on Moodle. In addition
we use it to check students are accessing Moodle for
lectures etc., through the Reports function.
I used to post assignment deadlines and event
reminders on Moodle but we use the Gar i system
now and almost all our students engage and track
their schedule and deadlines and results on it.
Not at all As a small
part of the
As a major
part of the
Q1: To what extent do you use Moodle in
your teaching delivery?
No Partly Mostly All
Q2: Do you use Moodle for student
No For a few
It is my main
Q3: Do you use Moodle for course
We use Dropbox a lot as students like the simplicity
and the ease of access/ integration with all their
devices. LinkedIn and Facebook are used for
communications and Skype for online tutorials.
Facebook is good communication tool for us – all
students can see what's going on and will respond
within very short timescales - because they live on
Facebook gan fod y myfyrwyr yn ei ddefnyddio yn
aml ac maent yn derbyn y wybodaeth yn syth.
All information is available before the lecture. This
includes links to useful websites, reading material,
slides, tutorials and YouTube. It's a key part of the
I was told that it is university policy to do so. Also, it
saves printing out large numbers of handouts of.
The materials on Moodle are a back up to group
sessions and tutorials. The information is always
available to non-traditional learners, particularly
those in the work place.
Main document types are Word, pdf and PowerPoint.
I save what I do on the whiteboard as SmartNotes
which I convert to pdf and put on Moodle. Useful for
me as the starting point for the next class.
Generally in the form of PowerPoints with text,
images and sometimes links. Students then have
access to the information we looked at in class.
Word docs, PowerPoint, You Tube and web links
mostly, as I lack the skills and time to develop other
types of materials
I've only got into this recently following a training
course provided by the library staff at Lampeter and
will be making more use of some of the resources
I will often include useful and relevant links to say
YouTube videos. However I am not certain of
whether this is officially encouraged, frowned upon,
discouraged, or is even a categorical no-no!
E-books and e- journals; electronic resources via CSG
Library and TSD Athens accounts; TES online
resources, Teachers TV, TED, YouTube.
Q4: Do you use any other online
applications to support learners?
No Some Most All
Q5: Do you make your teaching materials
available on Moodle?
Q6: What formats do you use for your
online teaching materials?
Never Occasionally Often As a key
Q7: To what extent do you use open
It’s not very attractive or convenient, better to have a
university email with chat facilities like gmail.
Yes a planned component of all the programmes;
individually, sub-groups and whole cohort. Forums
and announcements and email tools. It works well
when the system is up and running.
I message students through Moodle but was not
aware of the Forum facility until this survey. Students
like the ease with which they can communicate with
Text messaging is popular as it is quick, simple and
immediate. Facebook and email are used for more
formal communications. Skype chats are helpful to
share desktops and explain concepts in tutorial time.
Student email is the main communication method. I
do not use Facebook, although the Programme
Director does. Students will typically create their own
Facebook groups for joint projects and exercises.
Smartphones mean Facebook is the preferred
method for learners. Very successful on last minute
changes of rooms / times etc.
The responses reported here relate only to the Institutional HE Students. The responses
from the FE students will be added when they are received.
Questions and Survey Responses Comments
(Sample total: 1706 answers) (Sample total: 759 comments)
Moodle is a useful tool. I think it could be simplified
even further, sometimes it is difficult to find
something quickly. Also perhaps something could be
done to stop the crashing of Moodle. It happens a
little too often.
Works well for me, most lecturing staff use it, and it's
easy to navigate. Problems with finding materials are
usually due to staff not clearly naming files, or
designing the layout of their sites/dumping
everything into one massive list of files and links.
I found the older version of Moodle much easier and
much better to use, this year’s version doesn't work
well on android devices, so it doesn’t work very well
on my phone or tablet.
Never Occasionally Frequently All the time
Q8: To what extent do you communicate
with your students through Moodle?
Q9: Do you communicate online with
your students in other ways?
Q1: To what extent do you use Moodle
as a learning resource?
On Moodle my lecturers upload lecture notes and
assignment essay titles/deadlines. Not all lecturers
upload as much material as maybe some of us would
like but I think it is a great site to use regardless.
Resources on Moodle are very helpful for my course
and include links to podcasts, YouTube clips,
websites, images, and articles, as well as the lecture
notes and reading lists.
Lecture slides, notes, references and links are made
available. The only drawback with Moodle is that
some of the information can be difficult to find.
Yes I use Turnitin for the majority of my assignments
and receive marks and feedback. A good point is that
the feedback is always online and available to be read
when you want it.
I use Turnitin for written assignments, but there are
difficulties when using iPad, tablet, etc. It doesn't
work because you have limited format & file size
capabilities on Turnitin.
Have never used Turnitin (wouldn't know how to). I
have completed interactive assignments on Moodle,
but I've always submitted papers by e-mailing them
directly to the faculty member concerned.
I only use Moodle for communication if the lecturer
has posted some new information. I have never used
Moodle for general communication.
If I have a question, I submit it directly to my tutor via
email. There is very little information on the forums
for my course; some of the information is years old
and no longer relevant.
I communicate on Moodle occasionally with my
lecturers, however, I prefer to communicate with
classmates through Facebook if we are working
I find that Google and Wikipedia can be a good
starting point for a topic, just to understand what the
topic being researched is about, and then do more
research into academic sources for references.
I use Google to search for information and it is pretty
easy to tell whether the information is useful or
correctly sourced. My class uses Facebook to
communicate about the course. This is really useful
because nearly every student checks Facebook at
least once a day.
Facebook proved invaluable when the IT
infrastructure went down. We communicate as peers
on the course and in special interest or project
Q2: Are your course materials available
No Yes, for
Q3: Do you use Moodle for assessment
submission and feedback?
Never Occasionally Frequently All the time
Q4: To what extent do you use Moodle
for course communications?
Q5: Do you use any social media
applications in your learning?
Yes we do. We all use shared Dropbox drives and
Google docs to collaborate and we use Facebook /
Email to keep in touch and send things to each other.
Open Athens with its various search engines and
access to full-text articles and books. This is crucial as
a distance-learning student.
Google scholar, Google image, Google books, Athens,
I use Wikispaces for group projects and blogs for my
individual work as e-portfolios.
I use my phone to check Facebook and email for
notifications on lessons and/or any changes in
timetables etc. I use my laptop for my work and
I am multiply disabled (physical and mental health
issues). My iPad is essential, I carry around loads of
information and it diarises my day so I don't forget
I use my Smart phone to receive my student emails,
but primarily use my laptop for everything learning
I use my phone and computers for learning access. I
would love it if there were a Moodle app for iPhone.
If privacy settings used correctly on social media I
welcome the chance to use it for my learning. It is an
accessible way of sharing stuff on multiple devices.
I don't mind mixing work and social activities- my
colleagues are also friends so I think this helps. By not
keeping them separate, it allows me to quickly find
whatever I need on whatever device I want.
I prefer to keep them separated which means I can
take a break from my work by using something that
isn't related to my work in any way.
I cannot imagine using Facebook, for instance, as a
learning medium. That said, I guess I'd be open to it if
it were needed.
4. Analysis and Conclusions:
Overall there were 544 responses to the survey which yielded 3354 answers to specific
questions about the current use of Technology Enhanced Learning across the institution and
1445 comments relating to that usage. It is felt that this represents a substantial body of
evidence that will be valuable in providing a benchmark of existing TEL practice and
informing future development planning.
It should be acknowledged that the respondents to the survey were self-selecting and were
hence individually motivated to respond. Typically it would be the enthusiasts and sceptics
who have such motivation, but that does not invalidate the exercise at all, for it is they who
are both promoting innovation and its attendant risk on the one hand and insisting on
evidence based justification for the developments proposed on the other. Both are needed.
No Wikis Blogs Google docs Other
Q6: Do you use any other online tools?
Q7: What personal devices do you use to
I'm happy to
I prefer not
to use social
I'm happy to
I prefer not
to use my
Q8: What do you feel about using social
media and personal devices in your
From a practical point of view, there are certain factors that need to be considered when
analysing the outcomes of the survey. These include:
Technology Enhanced Learning largely relates to the use of computing technologies
and the Internet in the support of learning. Both continue to develop rapidly and
what we see today will not be what we see tomorrow. Therefore, using the survey
outcomes to identify the trajectory of TEL usage and plan for that is where the real
The Educational community is in a transitional position with regard to TEL. Most
existing academic staff teach through the conventional classroom model and TEL is
seen as a beneficial add-on. The evidence from the survey indicates that it is perhaps
only those concerned with distance learning who have actually embraced the
affordances of online learner support as an alternative delivery model;
The real issue for learners is the extent to which TEL aids them in attaining their
learning goals. Many of the comments made by the students in the survey refer to
the barriers that the technology presents in terms of, for example, the accessibility
and usability of Moodle, as well as the benefits of flexible any-time, anywhere access
to learning resources and support.
The quantitative data presented in this report averages the responses from all campuses
and curriculum areas. A greater level of detail for planning purposes comes from a
comparison between the average scores with the raw data from each campus survey. These
are available for viewing, along with all the associated comments on the TEL survey website
The key messages from the survey include:
On average 50% of staff report that they use Moodle as a major part of the teaching
mix, whilst 50% report limited or no use of Moodle in their teaching. Reasons for not
using Moodle include finding the navigation and functionality frustrating, as well as
having available (and using) the alternatives of email, Facebook, Google docs and
other social media for online communications and document sharing;
Where Moodle is used and course materials are available, 90% of students use it to
access course information and teaching materials. The comments indicate that it
delivers significant added value and flexibility to the learning experience, despite
usability frustrations and lack of engagement by some academic staff;
A third of HE staff and two thirds of FE staff report that they do not use Moodle for
student assessment. However, the HE students report that when assignment
submission and feedback is available online, 75% engage with it and find it
Only 25% of students use Moodle regularly for course communications (mainly email
functionality). They rarely engage with the forums as they are seen to be poorly
managed and lack purpose. The main non-Moodle course communications medium
is email, and Facebook makes a significant contribution to the communications mix;
The question for staff about using Moodle for course management revealed a
significant difference between use by HE staff and by FE staff, a difference that was
reflected elsewhere in the survey. Over 51% of HE staff reported that Moodle was
used for several management functions. Only 11% of FE staff did the same. Similarly,
25% of FE staff reported that they did not make their teaching materials available on
Moodle, whilst only 8% of HE staff did the same. This is based only on the staff
response from Coleg Sir Gâr and the FE survey needs to be completed before any
firm conclusions can be drawn, but it appears to be indicative of the level of staff
The use of non-Moodle online resources in support of teaching and learning was
clearly significant. The use of email communications was close to 100% and
Facebook nearly 30%. The students reported that 48% used Google docs for
collaborative working and there was widespread use of Google and Wikipedia for
The students reported that they used multiple devices to go online. Most had at
least one Smartphone and a wireless enabled laptop. A growing number used iPads
and Android tablets. The majority used them in their learning: Smartphones for
email and Facebook, laptops and tablets to access Moodle and online resources.
Laptops also for taking notes in lectures and preparing assessment materials.
Surveys require considered interpretation when drawing conclusions from the responses
received. Important variables need to be taken into account. These include:
The self-selecting sample: whether their responses are representative of the whole
institution and what evidence supports that.
The interpretation of the questions by the respondents: are they all answering the
The agenda of the respondents: is it just factual information they provide or are they
trying to make a point?
The analysis and conclusions presented here were based on such considerations and are
obviously open to debate. All of the survey outcomes have been made available for others
to evaluate and contribute to that debate.
The purpose of the survey was to inform TEL management planning for the newly merged
institution. It gathered information from the previously separate universities and colleges
and hence tells the story of their individual TEL engagement through the eyes of the staff
Conclusions that may be drawn from the survey in this context include:
That TEL engagement across the institution is primarily based on the use of the
Moodle VLE. All previously separate institutions use Moodle and the expectation is
that a unified management system for the merged institution will be established;
The current engagement of academic staff with Moodle across the institution is only
loosely managed. There is no consistent and systematic process that results in all
staff making their teaching resources available online. The quality of service
provision to students through the VLE is therefore variable;
A number of reasons for the lack of engagement by staff in the use of Moodle can
be identified. These include:
o Insufficient familiarity with the functions and options available through lack
of usage and training (although quality training opportunities are available);
o A perceived view that it is not user friendly and difficult to navigate. This may
in be part be due to the lack of familiarity;
o The use by staff of other online communications and document sharing
applications that are seen to be more effective and convenient than Moodle.
Despite the issues to do with usability, the students value Moodle as an important
vehicle for their learning journey. The any-time anywhere access to learning
resources is regarded as a significant benefit, as is the ability to submit assessments
online and receive feedback;
Students are increasingly using the web as part of their learning. They may be
directed in this by their tutors and library staff, but the outcomes of the survey
indicate that they are doing it anyway. Typically they use Google, Google scholar,
Wikipedia, JSTOR, Open Athens and other information and resource applications;
Students are also increasingly using their own wireless enabled devices to engage
with their online learning resources. This clearly points to a future where such
engagement is the norm and the conventional classroom model will adapt
This survey report summarises the outcomes of an exercise designed to inform TEL strategy
and planning at UWTSD. It is intended as a briefing document that alerts readers to the key
points emerging from the survey and as an aid to planning discussions. An updated
document will be made available when the FE survey is completed. This final version will
also reflect comments and further information from institutional partners.