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Students’ Digital Experiences

Last month Jisc published the results of its 2019 Digital Experience Insights survey. I was at the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) Conference around the same time and attended two sessions about the results.

The 2019 survey was completed by almost 30,000 students, 55% of them from HE, so it’s an important dataset. The students are not specifically creative arts students (although some will be).

There is also a May 2019 Briefing for Senior Leaders.

There are four themes within the survey; below I highlight the headlines from two: Digital at Course Level & Student Attitudes to Digital Learning.

Digital at Course Level

75% of HE students rated the quality of digital teaching on their course as above average

Only 57% of HE students agreed they could find things easily on their VLE [Moodle or equivalent]

Just 42% of HE students agreed that their course prepared them for the digital workplace

The key recommendation arising from this theme include:

  1. Encouraging collaboration to emulate business practice
  2. Enabling students to be in control of their own learning progress
  3. Embedding digital skills through curriculum design
  4. Raising the awareness of the importance of digital skills

While our college plans align well with these recommendations, there is a lot of work to be done. By increasing the use of digitally-mediated interactions in our courses and integrating the (D)CAF it will help develop our students’ awareness, understanding and experience of non-specialist digital practices.

Our new guidelines around the core use of Moodle can help with supporting learner autonomy.

Student Attitudes to Digital Learning

Three-quarters of HE students agreed that they were more independent and could fit learning into their life more easily when digital was used

48% of HE students wanted to be able to use their own mobile devices in class at any time and 47% only to carry out class activities

There are three key messages in the report:

  1. Make it easy for learning to be be part of everyday life (e.g. thru use of apps for note-taking, time management, access to resources)
  2. Make learning interactive and engaging – HE students particularly valued course-related videos and practice activities being available online.
  3. Involve students in partnership projects

I think there is further work for us to consider here, particularly around involving students in our digital learning discussions and projects.

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