Jisc aims to understand more about the student experience and student needs as part of its mission within UK higher and further education. The recent digital experience survey offers some useful findings about how students feel when it comes to digital skills and the digital experience.
37,720 students across 83 higher and further education institutions (HE and FE) are included in the data, equivalent to approximately 16% of colleges and 30% of universities in the UK.
Key findings are:
- Students – regardless of setting – are positive about the quality of their institution’s digital provision, as well as digital teaching and learning on their course.
- Over a third of all students want digital technologies to be used more on their course, although this does imply that the majority do not share this view.
- Only 50% of FE and 69% of HE students think digital skills are important for their chosen career, and few agreed that their course prepares them for the digital workplace. This implies that there are many students who do not think digital skills are essential.
- Many students bring their own devices to their institution but can’t use these to access subject-specialist software or online learning content. This indicates a lack of flexibility and interoperability.
- One in five students use assistive or adaptive technologies, with 8% of HE and 6% of FE students considering these vital to their learning needs
- About eight in ten students used a smartphone to support their learning, which is no surprise, and shows the importance of ensuring that sites are mobile-friendly
- Around 10% of FE students rated Google search as their number one app or tool, compared with just over 1% of HE students. HE students on the other hand were twice as likely to cite Google Scholar as they were to cite Google on its own as a search tool. HE students also used a wider range of tools for online research, including online journals and journal catalogues.
- A third of all students turned first to their fellow students when looking for support with digital devices or skills. A third of FE students turned first to their lecturers in comparison with only 8% of HE students. A third of HE students turned to online information in comparison with only 14% of FE students.
It appears that students feel there should be greater opportunities to work more flexibly, both in terms of device use and learning spaces, but overall the responses are generally positive in terms of the digital experience and there are high levels of overall satisfaction with institutional provision (FE: 74%, HE: 88%) and the quality of teaching and learning on students’ courses (FE: 72%, HE: 74%).
Read the full report: