Exploring the student voice
11 August 2019
  • International-insights

The insights service provides a fully-featured and practical toolset that supports a responsive and evidence-based approach to informing and promoting broader discussion on our digital ambitions across the institution. It has already validated other projects and the aim is to use it to measure progress and impact for future key initiatives.

Andrew Rowatt, manager, digital innovation, Massey University


At Massey, there was a strong desire to hear what students had to say about their digital experience as part of a strategic initiative on the student voice and digital transformation. Several issues had arisen already in student feedback, and it was hoped that the survey would allow them to be explored in more detail. Benchmarking with other institutions was an additional incentive, and for Massey it was a bonus that they could use an internationally established and ‘low-effort’ mechanism rather than designing something bespoke and new.


The insights survey was led by the university library with a cross-unit steering group, including students and teaching staff. The approach was socialised and approved at teaching and learning committee, with support of the dean, academic and provost. It was agreed that the survey would be disseminated to all enrolled students with multiple channels of promotion including a prize draw incentive. The survey was distributed in semester time with a four-week window for completing it.

Findings and impact

The response rate of around 8% was a positive result for Massey, although below some other institutions. A key finding, when comparing Massey responses with other institutions, was that wifi provision was rated poorly. On the positive side, only 6% of respondents said they would like digital technologies to be used less in their learning and teaching.

Priorities for further action have been identified from the results:

  • Improve the LMS (Moodle) experience
  • Provide better professional development for staff using the LMS
  • Increase the availability of video lectures
  • Improve wifi reliability and access across campuses

The results have informed a university-wide digital transformation initiative, which includes minimum standards for technology enhanced learning on all courses. The university is also developing a digital literacies framework, and a community of practice for teaching staff interested in learning and teaching innovation.

The digital literacies framework will draw on the work already being done in this space such as the Jisc digital capabilities framework, the CAUL Digital Dexterity programme, CONZUL work in this area, and other existing models. A Massey University framework will be developed by a cross-functional team during 2019 and will incorporate Māori values and knowledge in alignment with Massey’s strategy of being a Tiriti-led (Treaty of Waitangi) institution.

Massey University’s digital transformation strategic initiative is a three-year programme to transform how learning and teaching is experienced, focusing on the digital environment. It encompasses developing minimum standards for digital learning, implementing an institutionally aligned curriculum design and development programme that prioritises effective digital enrichment, and establishing and promoting a community of practice approach to enhance the digital learning experience of students. The digital experience insights data provides important information on the areas that students most want to see improvement in – their biggest pain points with digital learning.


Heather Lamond, associate university librarian, client services, Massey University: h.m.lamond@massey.ac.nz

Andrew Rowatt, manager, digital innovation, Massey University: a.j.rowatt@massey.ac.nz