Digital capabilities staff audit questionnaire. Initial observations from ECS

The following observations are based on the first deployment of the digital capabilities audit with a course team. The paper questionnaire was completed by 10 lecturers, and took about 10 minutes.

The audit is available from:

The initial observations / feedback included a number of enhancements, including;

Data Management

Include on the document a data management statement and an overview of the objects of the questionnaire. For instance, the data will be kept for 16 months, aggregated (annoymous) data will be published via Elevate blog, used in presentations etc.,

Post Analysis

Individual emails (within 2 weeks)

  • direct individuals to support material based on their answers
  • email people about forth coming staff development opportunities through the year
  • link to web site / page which contains the aggregate results, help guides and list of available local expertise

Course leader / HoD (within 1 week)

  • We will email the course leader the aggregated results, and arrange follow up to discuss staff development opportunities, and where next

The following are some of my initial thoughts based on aggregate responses. So, what can we take from these results?

It was very pleasing to see most people are have completed the “minimum standards” of LearnUCS use. Also, the majority (6 verses 3) prefer to mark online (even given the issues the team have had around support, hardware, and assessment types).

Room for improvement around staff support and development.

  1. Only one respondent had accessed the online help which is included within all learnUCS modules. Need to address this, as this was suppose to be help at point of need
  2. It was very pleasing to see 90% of respondents knew who to contact about enrollments. I would suggest we include a similar style question about setting up online submission portals.
  3. We need to map our online guides to the questions / topics within the Audit. For instance, 90% had not used the tasks tool to provide guidance to students. Therefore, we need to ensure there are short getting started FAQ, which covers, what the tool is, how it might be used to enhance teaching and learning, and how to use it. Need to include; discovering copyright free images, discussion boards, the quiz, blogs and wikis.

We need to provide bespoke sessions on

  • Classroom interaction using Clickers (high demand for session)
  • Effective uses of social media in teaching and learning (very interesting to see a high response in terms of using in personal life, and having captured shared images / video. However, not using it in formal teaching and learning, and no-one is confident to support colleagues).

The barriers to adoption was strongly focused on time, and hardware. The time aspect is something we need to work closely with the course team around. For instance, if the time is needed to design and implement, as opposed to becoming aware. Then I’d suggest the use of development sprints with individuals or small groups on actual course to complete large changes in the designs, create the materials, the quizzes etc.,

Finally, why so I suggest you do a similar approach?

I’d suggest this is a really useful process to commence with course teams and individuals. Importantly, it has a key role in starting and maintaining dialogues with individuals around their current digital capabilities, and the development of SMART, personalised development plans. As with so many of these initiatives, the hardest step if the first. This is an excellent means of managing the first step (and acknowledging the “elephants in the corner of the room”).

I’d also recommend this initiative as a very good way of auditing your own online support materials (FAQs, Guides and Discussion Papers). For instance, these questions are based upon our existing technologies and learning models within the institution. Therefore, we should have supporting online material, which is accessible, to enable an individual to complete the task. This process has highlighted to me, we haven’t mapped support material to the questions. We started it, but not completed it.

Once the mapping is in place (mapped to our Getting Started Guides, LearnUCS Materials, discussion papers, and vendor provided guides) we can roll out an online self-diagnostic.

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