The six weeks since the launch of the Irish National Digital Experience (INDEx) Survey Report have given an indication of its early reach and impact. The launch itself, which took place online on 7 May 2020, attracted over 300 registrations, including viewers from Australia, Germany, Lebanon, Portugal, Russia, the Netherlands, the UK and the US and the recording has since been viewed over 850 times. The associated hashtag (#INDExSurvey) trended no. 1 on Twitter on the day of the launch.
The INDEx findings report and summary, which have been viewed 1863 times since publication, have garnered 14% of views from outside of Ireland. The National Forum was also invited to present the findings of the INDEx Survey on 5 June at the European Commission’s ‘Digital Infrastructure and Tools to Support Online and Distance Learning’ event. Other presenters included Deirdre Hodson (Digital Education Team, European Commission) and Oliver Janoschka (Hochschulforum Digitalisierung, Germany).
From the inception of the INDEx Survey, the National Forum coordinated the effort in collaboration with the INDEx Steering Group, comprising institutional leads from each of the 32 participating institutions and key student and staff stakeholders. It was this collaboration that made it possible to gain close to 30,000 responses detailing the digital experiences, engagement and expectations of students and staff who teach.
In December 2019, immediately following the close of the survey, each institution received their own institutional dataset and preliminary analysis templates. The publication of the national INDEx Survey Report, along with the national and international benchmarking data, enabled institutions to conduct further analysis and benchmarking. In addition, the IUADigEd project team, comprising representatives of the seven universities, held a webinar focused on the INDEx findings on 8 June.
INDEx findings have created a greater awareness of the baseline student and staff experiences of digital teaching and learning prior to the emergency move to online/remote teaching and learning. INDEx findings, together with lessons learned through the experience of teaching and learning at a distance, have provided a rich base from which to plan for the future. Feedback from the INDEx Steering Group has given a good indication of the early reach and impact of the INDEx data, findings and report across institutions:
- Institutional and national results have been shared with students and staff at all participating institutions.
- All institutions have either completed a mapping of institutional data to national and international benchmarks, or plan to do so, enabling identification of institutional strengths and weaknesses.
- Early actions some institutions have reported taking in response to the INDEx findings include:
- Conducting student focus groups to delve deeper into the data
- Communicating with all students regarding opportunities to influence decision-making related to digital learning approaches
- Enhancing communication with students regarding data privacy policies
- Altering some questions on end-of-module surveys to understand better which digital resources students may find helpful
- Enhancing staff induction processes
- INDEx findings have proven particularly useful within institutions with respect to future planning. Institutions have noted that INDEx findings have been helpful in informing digital strategies and staff development initiatives and supports. They have also informed policy, curriculum and other preparations for the upcoming academic year.
- Many institutions plan to publish their own INDEx reports and infographics, as well as to conduct additional qualitative and quantitative analyses of findings.
Overall, the consensus has been that INDEx findings are very important for data-informed decision-making and provide a crucial source of evidence for the response to the current crisis, as well as an important baseline for pre-COVID teaching and learning in Irish higher education.
The full INDEx report can be accessed here.
A summary of the main report can be accessed here.
A recording of the launch event can be accessed here.
The first of a series of INDEx Survey infographics can be accessed here.
You can also follow developments related to the INDEx Survey on Twitter via @ForumTL and #INDExSurvey.