Our insight surveys enable organisations to collect and analyse data from students and staff about how they feel about key aspects of the digital environment provided by their institution and how digital technologies are used in learning and teaching.

Unique surveys with a student engagement focus

We don’t believe there are other equivalent surveys internationally. Insights is successful because it is designed around a student engagement process. The questions have been designed in consultation with students and staff.

Four key themes for students

We encourage you to involve students as co-researchers wherever possible. Students are helping universities to interpret their results and work on priorities for change. While the synthesised data is proving of value to policy makers, organisations own the insights process and their dialogue with students is at the heart of the process.

The survey questions fall into four key themes:

  • The digital lives of students
  • Digital in the institution
  • Digital at course level
  • Student attitudes to digital

The primary purpose of the survey is to allow organisations to collect valid, representative and actionable data from their students and to support a process for engaging students in shaping their digital experience.

Student Experience Insights Report Main Model
Student Experience Insights Report Main Model

Four key themes for staff

How well supported are your staff to provide the high-quality digital teaching and learning experience your students expect?

Teaching staff are key to enabling students’ digital experience in the curriculum. They have their own experience of the digital environment for teaching and learning but can sometimes feel at the mercy of student opinion or that their own perspective is given less importance. Students may not know or understand what constraints and opportunities staff have to work with. For these reasons we have launched a dedicated survey for those staff supporting the delivery of learning.

The survey questions fall into four key themes:

  • You and your digital technology
  • Organisational infrastructure
  • Your digital teaching
  • Your professional development

The primary purpose of the survey is to allow organisations to collect valid, representative and actionable data from their staff and to support staff to have an collaborative role in shaping their digital experience.

Smaller version Digital Teaching Experience
Digital Teaching Experience

Go 360 to gain a richer view

By running staff and students insights concurrently, you have a powerful way of validating your data and identifying key areas for development.

The student and staff surveys can be used independently but we recommend running them together to get the best results. The data they jointly produce is even richer and will help you to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your digital strategy and investments with even greater accuracy.

You will then have a more rounded picture of your organisation’s digital practices and provision – incorporating the perspectives of different organisational members. You will be able to map findings from different tracker surveys and look at these in relation to other organisational data.

Smaller version - Digital-Experience-Insights-Service.png
The digital experience insights service

Who are our surveys for?

Our insight surveys have been designed to support universities to gather data from students and staff about their digital experience. The data helps organisations to make better informed decisions about the digital environment, to target resources where they are most needed and to contribute to quality enhancement.

How it works

The digital experience tracker surveys are delivered and managed in Jisc online surveys (onlinesurveys.ac.uk), an online survey service specially developed for the education sector. The survey template is based around a concise core set of questions that have been intensively tested with students and staff for relevance, readability and ease of response.

What you need to know

  • The surveys can be customised to your institutional requirements, for example by changing the name of your virtual learning environment to one that your students and staff will recognise, by including some additional questions that you write, and by grouping students or staff to analyse their responses in a way that make sense at your university.
  • Our insights service offers a snapshot of the digital experience at one point in time. It can be used to compare different groups, and to monitor change over time.
  • You will have access to the HE student and staff surveys and to the survey of online students. Organisations in the UK have access to a number of other question sets, but these two sets are most relevant to the needs of universities based overseas. You will also have access to the HE staff survey.
  • Some of the survey questions lend themselves to benchmarking against comparable other universities. Providing there are enough universities with enough data to make valid comparisons. You will automatically have access to comparative data from the most relevant benchmarking group.
  • Where we have sufficient numbers of universities participating from a country, we will also offer a summary report of the anonymised data. Our report on 2018 insights student survey findings for Australia and New Zealand will be available in November 2018.
  • We are able to provide translation of the survey questions into a number of other languages. You will be asked about your requirements when you sign up. We are not able to translate any of the guidance materials at this time.
  • Surveys can be launched at any time from sign-up, which is open now. The survey timeframe is usually run between October and the following July each year (dates for 2018-19 to be confirmed). Access after this is only to download and view data. The survey is run on an annual cycle and you are free to choose the time that suits your organisation best. Typically institutions allow a three week period for students to respond.
  • We are currently able to offer the following digital experience insight surveys for non UK universities – each with the option to add customised questions to ascertain information relevant to just your organisation:
    • HE (full question set and mini survey)
    • Online learners
    • Staff supporting the delivery of learning

How the insights service is driving change

The positive engagement with the survey and high students response rate will enable us to better cater for their digital needs when repositioning our services to support them. We were particularly pleased with the opportunity to incorporate students’ feedback into the drafting of our new Digital Capabilities Framework which was launched this year.

Pro-Vice Chancellor, Student Learning, University of Adelaide (2017)

We've used many surveys over the years to try and understand students’ access to and use of ICTs for learning. The challenge has always been length and relevance to students in our context. Tracker was quick and easy for students to participate in but still focused enough for us to gain valuable relevant data for our university and project context.

Project lead, cross university research project for a group of five universities in South Africa led by the University of Cape Town (UCT) (2017)

The service will enable RMIT to not only gather students’ expectations and experiences of technology but plan and develop appropriate future learning and service experiences. It is incredibly useful for targeting resources where they are most needed. An added bonus is that we get a view of the student experience we have not had before.

DVC Education and Vice President, RMIT (Melbourne, Australia)


Subscribe to our non UK university digital experience insight service for:

  • Access to the student insight survey template and mini survey
  • Access to the staff insight survey template and mini survey
  • Free licence for Jisc online surveys to run the insights surveys
  • Guidance on completion of the surveys in Jisc online surveys
  • Real-time access to own data
  • Email support
  • Membership of our community of practice and a mailing list open only to subscribers
  • Advice on how to understand and respond to the findings and benchmarked data (including: webinars, blog posts and written step-by-step guides)
  • Access to benchmarked data, allowing organisations to compare their own results against all student users within each sector version of the insights service
  • Templates to use when summarising and sharing results with programme and management teams as well as with students within the institution

You may have access to other support from Jisc, depending on how many universities sign up from your country and/or area. We actively encourage you to get other universities involved, through your own networks and contacts.