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How are students actually using technology? EMEA Online Symposium 2020

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At the EMEA Symposium 2020, Sarah Knight, Head of data and digital capability at Jisc, delivered a data-focused insight into how students are actually using technology in further and higher education. Here are some key findings:
- Office for Students predicts that over a million digitally skilled people will be needed by 2022 whilst 24% of HE students said they never worked online with others
- 70% of HE students agreed that digital skills were important for their chosen career but only 42% agreed that their course prepared them for the digital workplace

Here are the key recommendations that, now more than ever, can practically help your students:
- Raise awareness of the importance of digital skills
- Ensure they know what digital skills they need to have before they start and provide opportunities to develop these only online
- Encourage collaboration to emulate business practices
- Embed digital skills through curriculum design

This year's EMEA Studiosity Symposium was hosted online on 1st and 2nd April 2020.

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How are students actually using technology? EMEA Online Symposium 2020

  1. 1. How are students in further and higher education actually using technology? Sarah Knight, Head of data and digital capability, Jisc #digitalstudent
  2. 2. Why do we need to collect data about staff and students’ use of technology? • Office for Students predicts that over a million digitally skilled people will be needed by 2022 • Recognition within the government’s edtech strategy, Realising the potential of technology in education, that ‘technology is increasingly part of our society’ • Each FE colleges spends approximately £1 million pounds a year on their ICT infrastructure and 3.8 % of universities annual budget is allocated to supporting the digital environment • So we need evidence to support: - Identification of the digital skills gap - Return on investment - That students and staff are getting the full benefits of the investment in the digital environment at their institutions - Impact of the implementation of institutional digital strategies - Benchmark against other universities and colleges
  3. 3. Digital experience insights surveys • Our insights surveys provide powerful data on how students, teaching and professional staff are using technology • Designed to help to understand and improve the digital experience in FE and HE • We have worked with 200+ organisations and 135,000 students and staff to pilot and refine our surveys • An active community of practice with regular online and face-to-face events • https://digitalinsights.jisc.ac.uk/what-is-digital-insi ghts-experience/
  4. 4. Student insights report 2019 4 • https://digitalinsights.jisc. ac.uk/reports-and-briefin gs/our-reports/
  5. 5. Teaching staff insights report 2019 3,049 FE teaching staff from 35 FE and sixth form colleges 3,485 HE teaching staff from 26 universities • https://digitalinsights.jisc. ac.uk/reports-and-briefing s/our-reports/
  6. 6. Theme 1: the digital lives of learners HE students own and use more devices than FE students. About 8 in 10 students used a smartphone 5% of FE and fewer than 1% of HE students said that they didn’t own any personal device 6 Most popular activities? FE: making notes or recordings (57% weekly) HE: accessing lecture notes/recorded lectures (85% weekly) Sizeable numbers of students say assistive technologies are vital to their learning or that they choose to use them (FE: 14%, HE: 19%)
  7. 7. Theme 1: the digital lives of learners Word clouds illustrating the frequency of terms used by all students who responded to the question ‘please give an example of a digital tool or app you find really useful for learning’ 7 FE students HE students
  8. 8. Theme 2: digital in the institution - students 8 72% of FE students and 87% of HE students rated their organisation’s digital provision as above average Reliable wifi was accessible to 82% of HE students and 71% of FE learners 70% of HE students agreed that their organisation supported them to use their own digital devices, in contrast to 53% of FE students 61% of FE students and 54% of HE students agreed that their organisation protected their data privacy. There has been a trend towards a significant improvement this year on this
  9. 9. Key messages Theme 2: digital in the institution • Get the basics right - reliable cross-campus access to wifi is essential for flexible learning and this should include student accommodation areas • Provide good quality digital resources - students in HE expect recorded lectures to be available and would like more consistency in audio quality and timeliness of upload • Second most important concern for HE students is access to quality academic content. They feel frustrated if library searches lead them to articles that are not available. They would also like more key texts and readings to be digitised • Provide a variety of support options and signpost these well • Actively promote health, wellbeing and online safety 9
  10. 10. Hearing from you… • Do these results align with the experiences of your students? • Which result surprised you the most? • Download the report and 'at a glance' HE and FE summaries from • https://digitalinsights.jisc.ac.uk/rep orts-and-briefings/our-reports/ 10
  11. 11. The percentage of HE students who said that they carried out the following digital activities as part of their course teaching and learning, either 'weekly or more', 'monthly or less', or 'never’ From Digital experience insights survey 2019: findings from students in UK further and higher education Theme 3: digital at course level - students
  12. 12. Theme 3: digital at course level - students 12 70% of FE students and 75% of those in HE rated the quality of digital teaching and learning on their course as above average Around a quarter (FE: 29%, HE: 24%) of students never work online with others Around half of students (FE: 48%, HE: 57%) agreed they could find things easily on their VLE Around a third of all students (FE: 34%, HE: 31%) agreed that they were told how their personal data is stored and used
  13. 13. Theme 3: digital at course level - students 13 Approximately a third of students agreed that they were told what digital skills they would need before their course started (FE: 36%, HE: 29%) 70% of HE students and 49% of FE students agreed that digital skills were important for their chosen career but only 42% HE students and 40% FE students agreed that their course prepared them for the digital workplace 40% of FE and 37% of HE students agreed that they had regular opportunities to review and update their digital skills Only 3 in 10 students agreed that they were given the chance to be involved in decisions about digital services
  14. 14. Hearing from you… • Do these results align with the experiences of your students? • Which result surprised you the most? • Download the report and 'at a glance' HE and FE summaries from • https://digitalinsights.jisc.ac.uk/rep orts-and-briefings/our-reports/ 14
  15. 15. Key messages Theme 3: digital at course level • Encourage collaboration to emulate business practices - colleges and universities could do more to promote workplace practices that are valued by employers • Students want to be in control of their own learning progress - organisations can support learner autonomy with online access to grades and feedback; clear calendars of assessments and milestones and access to practice questions • Diverging approaches to VLEs - FE and HE sectors are diverging in their approach to providing learning environments. In HE there is convergence with institutional portals. In FE, free-standing systems such as Showbie and Google Classroom are widely used 15
  16. 16. Key messages Theme 3: digital at course level • Embed digital skills through curriculum design - support students to develop their digital skills prior to study, during induction and throughout their course • Ensure they know what digital skills they need to have before they start and provide opportunities to develop these only online • Raise awareness of the importance of digital skills - not all students are fully aware of the importance of digital skills within the workplace. Clear articulation and alignment of study and workplace practices throughout learning can help to ensure these skills are recognised and understood 16
  17. 17. Theme 4: student attitudes to digital 17 When digital was used: 75 % of HE and 63% of FE students agreed that they were more independent in their learning 76% of HE and 58 % of FE students agreed that they could fit learning into their life Around 4 in 10 students wanted digital technologies to be used more on their course When asked to select what options would be most useful to learners, HE students chose: • More practice questions available online (35%) • Course-related videos (23%) • References and readings (20%) Majority of students prefer to learn using mixture of individual and group work, but sizable minority preferred to learn on their own (FE: 36%, HE: 43%)
  18. 18. Key messages Theme 4: student attitudes to digital • Make it easy for learning to be a part of everyday life - access to personalised programmes and progress data, along with apps to conduct tasks such as managing time, taking notes, encourage learner autonomy • Make learning interactive and engaging - students are generally happy with the amount of technology that features in their learning but there is demand and potential for more use • Involve students - colleges and universities that are working with their students on partnership projects around curriculum innovation and technology are realising the benefits of seeing their students develop not only their digital skills but transferable skills for the workplace such as team working and collaboration A data driven approach to student engagement18
  19. 19. Hearing from you… • Do these results align with the experiences of your students? • Which result surprised you the most? • Download the report and 'at a glance' HE and FE summaries from • https://digitalinsights.jisc.ac.uk/rep orts-and-briefings/our-reports/ 19
  20. 20. ‘Further analysis of the 2019 student and teaching staff survey datasets reveals that, within the same institution, there is a positive statistical correlation between student ratings for the quality of digital teaching and learning on their course and the level of support that teaching staff say they receive to develop the digital aspects of their role. This highlights the value of investment in the digital development of teaching staff.'
  21. 21. Resources to support an excellent digital experience https://digitalinsights.jisc.ac.uk/reports-and-briefings/our-br iefings-and-toolkits/ • Jisc NUS roadmap for supporting students to improve their digital experience at university and college • Enabling an excellent digital experience guidance for engaging senior leaders and informing digital (FE and HE versions) • Exploring the student digital experience: student, staff and organisational factors • Using persona analysis to compare student social behaviours with institutional digital provision: a pilot study • Toolkit for arriving students – launched in Feb 2020
  22. 22. Sign up to run student, teaching and professional services staff 2019/20 surveys: https://digitalinsights.jisc.ac.uk/subscribe/find-out-more/ Download the full reports and 'at a glance' HE and FE summaries: http://bit.ly/insightsreports Join our Insights community: •Click on jiscmail.ac.uk/JISC-DIGITALINSIGHTS-COP and join by clicking on the 'Subscribe or Unsubscribe' button •Follow #digitalstudent
  23. 23. Q&A Name: Rebecca Darley, Birkbeck University of London Q: I am curious as to how we balance the expectation of students to have recorded lectures with the increasing data showing that in some subjects this has a detrimental effect on student learning? A: This goes back to curriculum design - e.g a university has dispensed with lectures and focuses on problem based learning, which was communicated to students before they attended the course. Good to challenge student expectations as we move towards providing the type of skills students need. Name: Barry Spencer, London South East Colleges Comment: A VLE is often used as a session support tool, not so much as one for online learning and collaboration we find. A: Good to evaluate how these learning environments are being used in remote learning sessions. Encourage collaboration to emulate business practices. David Watson, University of Greenwich Q: Interesting that 40% of students feel their courses aren’t preparing them for the digital workforce - what evidence or research is there to suggest what we should be doing? A: Students continue to be directed by their lecturers in terms of the skills they feel they should be gaining. Research from the University of Nottingham gathered insights into digital capabilities amongst current students and alumni to provide a comparison on current and post-study experiences. The 2020 Jisc research aims to unearth an answer to this too.
  24. 24. Q&A Name: Cliff Allan, Studiosity Academic Advisory Board Q: To what extent will the Jisc survey capture the experiences of students who are experiencing total immersion into 100% online delivery of their courses? A: There will be a split in the data, pre and post pandemic. Some institutions are yet to gather their data. All institutions are able to add in their own questions. Jisc can segregate data by date to show the shift, pre and post event. The questions were formed and survey sent out pre-event, but the content should provide some interesting findings once all the data has been returned.
  25. 25. Studiosity · Sarah Knight Sarah is Head data and digital capability at Jisc. Sarah manages the teams supporting the Digital experience insights service which is researching staff and students’ expectations and experiences of the digital environment and the team who are developing the Jisc Building digital capability service to support the development of staff and student digital capabilities. Sarah has established the Change agents’ network a national network to support staff-student partnership working on curriculum innovation projects. Sarah established and runs the Jisc Student Experience Experts Group, an active community of practice, which provides valuable consultation and dissemination opportunities for Jisc. Sarah has worked for Jisc for 15 years and during her time at Jisc has led large transformation projects on curriculum design, digital literacies and learners’ experiences of technology. Sarah has a masters of science in Chemistry and is a Certified Member of the Association of Learning Technology (CMALT). Presenter bio 25

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