Over the course of this year, members of the Education Enhancement Team have been carrying out research into the student digital experience at Oxford, assisted by three graduate students from the Department of Education. ‘DIGE 2’, as it has been known, was a follow-up to a study carried out in 2011-2.
Like the first project, the aim was to build our knowledge and understanding of how students learn with digital technologies so as to ensure that the systems and services offered by IT Services are relevant to students’ digital needs and preferences. We were also interested, of course, in the ways in which the digital experience has changed (or has remained similar) since the original DIGE study in 2012; unsurprisingly, the rise in mobile devices is the salient finding. Since the digital capabilities of teaching staff have an additional impact on students’ experience, we also explored how effective practice in technology-enhanced teaching and learning might be fostered within the University.
The research team gathered data from approximately 300 students and over 50 members of academic staff through online surveys, interviews and ‘digital diaries’. The design and analysis of the research were informed by reviews of the peer-reviewed research literature and reports of studies by recognised bodies in the field of technology-enhanced learning.
We have submitted the research report to the Education IT Board for consideration at its October meeting and will be sharing our findings in this newsletter over coming weeks. We will report a range of views from students and academics on topics such as ‘bring your own device’, lecture capture, coping with the distraction of social media, and the University’s role in helping students to prepare for living and working in a digital world.