Approaches to engaging students

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Approaches to engaging students Sarah Knight, Head of change: Student experience, Jisc A Birmingham 04/04/17 #digitalstudent

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Approaches to engaging students

Sarah Knight, Head of change: Student experience, Jisc




Questions for todays sessionWhat approaches to engaging students do you currently use within your organisation?How are you (or how do you plan to) engage students in your project?What works?What resources can I use?

Approaches to engaging students

Where are you now?NUS Student Engagement toolkit

I would like you to pause and consider this model and consider where your university is is in relation to its current practices on engaging students in technology related projects and practices? Can you share an example with your neighbour?Consider how much and how deep your practices are?3

Working in partnership: a definitionPartnership is fundamentally about a relationship in which all involved students, academics, professional services staff, senior managers, students unions and so on are actively engaged in and stand to gain from the process of learning and working together. Partnership is essentially a process of engagement, not a product. It is a way of doing things, rather than an outcome in itself.

Healey, M., Flint, A. and Harrington, K. (2014) Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. York, Higher Education Academy. Available at: Approaches to engaging students

Working in partnership with students facilitates much more than effective engagement of students in the development of their digital environment. It can also prompt and support staff to develop their own digital capabilities and enhance their practice.There is growing evidence that this approach is enabling providers and universities to deliver more effective student engagement activities and to engage their students in active dialogue about the digital aspects of their learning experiences as well as to explore the role of technology in supporting students studies and in preparing them for employment.

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Students as partners The 2014 UCISA Digital capabilities survey reports that 30% of respondents are working with students as change agents with another 46% of respondents working towards this The 2016 UCISA Digital capabilities survey reports that 43 % of respondents are working with students as change agents with another 38 % of respondents working towards thisChampions, change agents, digital leaders, student fellows, student ambassadors, student partners, student researchers, co-designers, co-creators, co-developers, co-producers

Approaches to engaging students


Share your ideasHow are you planning to engage students in your project? Eg consult, co-researchers, partners etc..

Approaches to engaging students

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Write down your answers on post-it notes and stick up on the wall on flip charts also use mentimeter04/04/20176Title of presentation (Insert > Header & Footer > Notes and Handouts > Header > Apply to all)

Students want a sayStudents welcome the opportunity to contribute and get involved from the start of a projectThey respond well to digital engagement methodsNeed experience of different groups represented see the REACT project, TSEP and SPARQs for resources and supportStudents can get involved in different ways eg Hackathons, focus groups, researchers.Can help change relationships between staff and students

Image by Kane Reinholdtsen from CC-0Approaches to engaging students


Student engagement at University of Lincoln

One of the things I got frustrated with is the project-based approach, when funded projects highlight best practice in an area but that when the funding stops the wonderful ideas just die. I wanted to make sure the learning from Student as producer was embedded into core quality processes and the annual monitoring of programmesProfessor Mary Stuart, vice chancellor, University of Lincoln,

An institutional approach to developing student engagement whereby each and every academic school and professional service is asked to work more collaboratively with studentsStudents on interview panels for staffEach school and professional service takes its own approach to developing student engagement, as led by their Student Engagement Champion and example of one project is reformatting subject committees


Current practice?Surveys for quantitative data but carries risk of over surveying studentsQualitative techniques informative and actionable but also costliest: staff/student time, data analysis. Student co-researchers?Student reps widely used and valued but course/academic reps may lack curriculum/digital focus and user group members may not be representative Informal feedback via e.g. padlets, twitter walls, vox pops, social media - ad hoc, continuous improvement ethos, good fit with student digital uses but not comparable, longitudinal, representative, systematic etcData analytics: early days but clear opportunities e.g. to correlate different factors: is data available in forms that would allow for this yet? Who would be responsible?

Approaches to engaging students


Resources to use and adapt to your context

Approaches to engaging students

Viewpoints: a framework/process to support change

Approaches to engaging students


Viewpoints cards Available from Approaches to engaging students

Developing successful student staff partnershipsBenefits of student-staff partnershipsQuick startViewpoints implementation framework, resources and guidance:partnership setuppartnership implementationcapabilities, development and accreditationsustaining and embedding partnerships based on evaluation of impactCase studiesWebinars Other agency initiatives

Online guide available from: Approaches to engaging students

Focus group processLearner profileFocus group processCard sort Approaches to engaging studentsTools to support you:

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Card sort activity and learner profileApproaches to engaging students

Digital students are different posters Approaches to engaging students


Enhancing the digital student experience postcards

Available to download from: Approaches to engaging students


Starting conversations The tools are starting points for discussions between staff and students about what is working in the digital learning environment and what you can work together to improve. They can be used in student-staff liaison meetings or your students unions can use the tool to facilitate a discussion with course representatives to identify good practice and areas for enhancementApproaches to engaging students

Benchmarking the student digital experienceJisc, NUS and TSEP Approaches to engaging students

How to use the tool? You can use the tool at a number of different levels: course, department, service area (eg. library/learning resources) or whole institutionRead each of the principles and decide which of the boxes best describes your current situation Then look at the next box to the right and decide what to work towards next You may find once you look at the tool that you can find other points of good practice and new ideas for change Approaches to engaging students

Hearing the learner voiceDigital learner stories and videos available from

Approaches to engaging students


Student digital experience trackerThe Student digital experience tracker enables colleges, skills providers and universities to:gather evidence from students about their digital experience, and benchmark their data against other institutionsmake better informed decisions about the digital environmenttarget resources for improving digital provisionplan other research, data gathering and student engagement around digital issuesdemonstrate quality enhancement and student engagement to external bodies and to students themselves

Approaches to engaging studentsFind out more:


Update from open pilot March 2017New questions with stronger focus on learning experienceNew question sets (HE, FE, Skills and Online learners) available from optional and one customisable questionNew guidance including FAQs, Guides and CoP140 providers signed up: over 80 launched and collecting data: 11 international universities from SA to NZSurveys closed on 31st March: access to sector benchmarking data on 4th April: briefings available MayNew opportunities: working with other data sources; more customisation options; snapshot case studies; sector intelligence; BOS

Approaches to engaging students


Share your ideas Discuss:How could you use these resources in your project?With students and/or staff?

Make notes on the flip chartTweet with #digitalstudentAdd to the Padlet - Approaches to engaging students

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Change Agents NetworkConference 2017Driving curriculum innovation through student-staff partnershipsThursday 20Friday 21 April 2017University of Exeter, Streatham CampusRegister by noon 7th April CAN network

Approaches to engaging students


Find out moreThe Student Engagement Partnership REACT project RAISE Network supporting student engagement - Jisc Digital Student project Jisc Student digital experience tracker - Jisc NUS TSEP Benchmarking the student digital experience Enhancing the student digital experience - Developing successful student staff partnerships - Change agents network Case studies of institutional practice - Approaches to engaging students


Find out moreDigital Student [email protected]://digitalstudent.jiscinvolve.org


Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under CC-BY-NC-NDApproaches to engaging students

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