Digital Desires: HEA Annual Conference june 14


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Slides delivered to the HEA Annual Conference in collaboration with Dave White and Sarah Knight. Outcomes of the workshop available at

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Digital Desires: HEA Annual Conference june 14

  1. 1. Digital desires: what do students want, expect and need from their digital experience at university? #digitalstudent
  2. 2. Welcome and introductions Dave White, Head of eLearning UAL @daveowhite Helen Beetham, Consultant in Higher Education @helenbeetham Sarah Knight, Senior Co-Design Manager, Jisc @sarahknight
  3. 3. Digital Student Project » Phase 1 study reviewed students’ expectations and experiences of the digital environment at university » Desk study | review of institutional data | survey of institutional stakeholders | student focus groups » Present consultation phase to inform final guidance to institutions and further actions by funders » Parallel study in FE and Skills plus review of practice in secondary schools
  4. 4. Findings: expectations › Expectations of access and services high and rising: ● Free, ubiquitous, robust access to wifi ● Able to use personal devices and services ● VLE – organisation, time/task, content, consistency ● Personal info (student dashboard) on personal device › Demand for support with personal devices/services ● … but ongoing demand for institutional provision too › Demand for ICT skills training as and when required ● … but most students don't want it timetabled/mandatory › Wide variety of practices, capabilities, confidence levels
  5. 5. Findings: expectations
  6. 6. Findings: expectations Implication: students will punish universities that fail to meet their threshold digital expectations (but we don't know how much)
  7. 7. Findings: experiences › Highly dependent on previous experience, subject of study, personal preferences and aspirations › Not what was expected – unexpected is developmental › Study habits with technology are hybrid – informal, peer supported + academic, formally acquired › Critical moments with technology often formally taught: e-journals, data analysis, design, ref/project mngmt... › Teaching staff skills are important › Value perceived in retrospect › Digital identity a key motivation and outcome
  8. 8. Findings: experiences
  9. 9. Findings: experiences Implication: students whose experiences don't prepare them thrive in the digital society are being failed (but may not realise this until later)
  10. 10. Transactional vs transformational Transactional Transformational Accessing networks Accessing hardware and software Accessing general and course- related information Signing on to university systems Booking appointments Submitting work, receiving grades Sharing ideas, engaging in dialogue Encountering threshold concepts Developing independent study habits Collaborating on projects Producing digital artefacts Reflecting, reviewing, revising Specialist tools and practices: design, data analysis, e-journals, ref/project managemt, specialist tools Expectations largely established in advance by transactions with other service providers Expectations largely established during studies in dialogue with tutors and peers
  11. 11. Findings from consultation
  12. 12. A vision for the digital environment » Ubiquitous connectivity and data exchange: all potentially useful content ‘a blink away’ » Build your own: personal learning environment of devices, licenses, apps, services, networks, information sources » Enhanced spaces and places, permeable to outside world » Continuous digital recording of experience; opportunities for more personalised learning; blend of formal/informal » Diversification and/or stratification of learning experience » Services hybrid (and contested?) e.g. open research, 'rogue' content networks »Micro-licensing or open landscape? Lax or hypervigilant security?
  13. 13. Key issues for students now Changing nature of affiliation to the institution? Branding and blending Spaces and places Open landscape, walled garden 'What I need to succeed' vs bring/build YO Frustration – how can I make things better?
  14. 14. What can institutions do (better)?
  15. 15. » Invest in network and data environment: robust, ubiquitous, secure but also flexible, open, innovation-friendly » Prepare students to study successfully in digital settings » Bring/build your own – assess, consult, formulate coherent policy, resource, redress inequality » Reprofile ICT support, remodel learning spaces » Invest in staff digital confidence and expertise » Engage in dialogue with students about digital experience » Work in partnership with students to make things better How are institutions responding?
  16. 16. How are students involved? How are students helping to enhance the digital environment and experience? » Provide data and feedback (surveys, focus groups etc) » Participate in user groups, focus groups, SIGs etc » Act as mentors and digital champions (reverse mentoring) » Work as paid interns, officers etc on development projects » Become developers and innovators in their own right
  17. 17. Video
  18. 18. Discussion Over to you...
  19. 19. Activity In groups » Look at one set of practical ideas for institutions » Share what you are doing in this area » Add new ideas using post-it notes or googledoc:
  20. 20. Groups choose group | edit googledoc | edit printed cards 1. prepare students to study successfully in a digital envt 2. support students' use of their own devices and services 3. embed authentic digital activities and outcomes into the curriculum 4. support students' digital identity and reputation 5. involve students in researching and developing the digital environment
  21. 21. Find out more and get involved