● reliable data about the digital experience of learners, and support for analysis, communication and forward planning
● benchmarking against other organisations to identify leading practice and shortfalls
● evidence of the impact of digital interventions over time
● better targeted resources for developing digital provision
● better student engagement around a proven development process
● support from experts and an international community of practice
The Tracker comprises a reasonably short (15 minute) questionnaire designed to find out what learners think about their digital learning, the learning environment, and other factors such as support for digital access and skills. The question set was substantially extended and updated in response to feedback from the first pilot (Jisc 2016) and further review of international instruments in use. Alongside key institutional measures it now includes research-based questions about positive and negative aspects of digital learning (e.g. Scardamalia & Bereiter 2015)), learners’ spaces and places of learning, devices in use, and sources of support. These questions produce data that can quickly be translated into real world, practical interventions. Extensive guidance is available to support planning and data analysis, merging of Tracker with other data sources, student partnerships and stakeholder engagement.
For the first time organisations have been able to choose and customise certain questions to their own requirements. This has allowed the Tracker to play a role in research projects, strategy development, and organisational quality assurance. The Tracker offers an alternative to data-based analysis of learners’ interactions with digital systems (e.g. Baker & Inventado 2014) as it asks learners directly what they think, what they value, and how they feel. But it can also be triangulated with other sources of evidence such as systems data, generic learner experience surveys, and evidence from student representatives and advocates.
This workshop will encourage exploration of the Tracker process from start to finish. There will be an opportunity to hear from three different institutions where the Tracker is making a difference: an international research project across five universities; a university using the Tracker at scale; and a college with a digital safety agenda. There will be opportunities to try the Tracker live as both a student user and as an organisational lead.
Findings from tens of thousands of student data sets will be shared (Newman and Beetham 2017). There will be a chance to question members of the Tracker team and to hear about plans for further development.
Newman, T. & Beetham, H. (2017) Digital Student Experience Tracker 2017: the voice of 22,000 UK Learners. Jisc. Available online: http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6662/1/Jiscdigitalstudenttracker2017.pdf
Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2015). Education in an open informational world. Emerging trends in the social and behavioral sciences. An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource, 1–15.