Digital skills self-assessment – what the questionnaire is telling us

The digital skills self-assessment has been running since February 2016.  The questionnaire is focused on academic staff and seeks to understand staff’s confidence in using tools from the TEL Toolkit and in the wider digital sphere.

Our hope is that all academic staff will find 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire.  The benefits to staff are that the questionnaire gives you a good understanding of your own digital capabilities by asking questions across the range of digital skills that can be deployed at BU.  The questionnaire is anonymous so only you will know your digital profile.  The information is very useful to CEL as it lets us know where best to direct our resources and how we can provide help to staff at BU.

So far we have 227 completed questions which equates about 25% of our sample of BU academic staff.  If you have not yet filled in the questionnaire, we would be grateful if you would.

Here are some of the findings from the responses.

Completion by faculty/PS

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This bar chart shows that most responses have been received from the FoM with SciTech and HSS a close second.  Many staff from Professional Services have completed the questionnaire to gain a better understanding of their digital capabilities and this information has, we hear, been used in appraisals for training and development purposes.

Confidence in using TEL Tools

(1 = unaware; 2 = aware; 3 = practiced; 4 = competent; 5 = proficient; 6 = expert)

TEL Tool Mean N Sd
Use of presentation equipment 4.52 210 1.284
myBU Announcements 4.36 210 1.587
Skype 4.31 212 1.264
YouTube 4.12 212 1.295
Facebook 4.11 211 1.479
Turnitin 4.08 211 1.376
Grade Centre 3.62 211 1.594
Twitter 3.60 212 1.491
myBU Discussion board 3.39 212 1.621
Blogs 3.25 212 1.369
myBU Groups 3.11 212 1.560
WordPress blog 3.09 211 1.588
Wikis 3.06 212 1.394
myBU Learning modules 3.00 211 1.689
TED 2.83 211 1.608
Pinterest 2.75 211 1.483
Mahara 2.45 211 1.415
Talis Aspire 2.38 212 1.539
Turnitin app for ipad 2.32 210 1.444
Turnitin rubrics 2.32 212 1.474
Bristol Online surveys 2.22 212 1.422
Turning Point 2.20 208 1.433
Turnitin Peermark 2.17 212 1.413
Panopto 2.13 212 1.325
myBU Test tool 2.10 212 1.387
Camtasia 1.92 211 1.436
myBU Personal Journal 1.89 212 1.329
Storify 1.68 212 1.071
uGrade 1.66 210 1.147
Peerwise 1.44 212 .815
iSpring 1.44 211 1.005
SlideShark 1.44 212 .974
Mentimeter 1.42 210 .981

This table shows the levels of confidence across all respondents, sorted by the mean score in descending order.  It shows that, generally, staff are competent in using the presentation equipment in rooms, with social media tools and also Turnitin.  Those tools with a score of 3 (practiced) include many of the tools that staff use in their teaching.  There are some tools in the ‘aware’ range eg Mahara, Talis Aspire and rubrics that it would be helpful for CEL to promote because of the benefits they can bring to assessment and co-creation.  Similarly, the tools of which many staff are unaware identify areas where CEL and the Learning Technologists can provide additional information and support to staff.  Our feeling is that all staff should be aware of the tools available in the TEL Toolkit so that informed decisions can be taken on their suitability for teaching, assessment, co-creation, engagement and learning.

Wider digital skills

(1 = unaware; 2 = aware; 3 = practiced; 4 = competent; 5 = proficient; 6 = expert)

Area Mean N sd
Create new content eg Word/Excel/PowerPoint documents 5.25 211 .808
Use Microsoft Word 5.18 211 .749
Use Microsoft PowerPoint 5.12 211 .801
Use PCs 5.06 210 .842
Create PDFs 5.05 212 .977
Use Microsoft Outlook 4.98 211 .900
Different browsers eg Firefox and Chrome 4.97 212 .923
Reuse existing content 4.94 211 1.087
Find information 4.85 212 1.120
Use digital devices such as tablets and smartphones 4.76 212 1.046
Use Microsoft Excel 4.72 212 1.129
Manage information 4.69 212 1.117
Screen capture eg snipping tool 4.66 212 1.373
Share information 4.64 211 1.105
Choose the appropriate media 4.56 210 1.213
Manipulate and compress images 4.50 212 1.344
Manipulate groups of files eg zip and unzip 4.36 211 1.422
Study and learn effectively in a technology-rich environment 4.31 211 1.256
Understand copyright 4.22 212 1.236
Access relevant academic sites eg Academia.edu, ResearchGate, LinkedIn etc 4.10 212 1.273
Know who to contact for help and support 4.10 210 1.421
Understand intellectual property rights 4.06 212 1.301
Understand accessibility for ALS students 3.92 212 1.274
Manage your online identity 3.89 211 1.403
Understand digital privacy and accessibility 3.82 211 1.403
Use Macs 3.73 210 1.612
Participate in academic and research practices that depend on digital systems 3.67 211 1.557
Use digital services such as the ITSD (Service Now aka SNOW), Room Bookings etc 3.46 211 1.537
Participate in digital networks for learning and research eg JISC 2.87 211 1.534
Use open education resources (OERs) 2.52 212 1.406

This table demonstrates that the staff who have responded to the questionnaire so far have good digital skills with the majority of the areas in the table scoring at lease ‘competent’.   The mean scores in this table are much higher than the scores in the first table which suggests CEL should focus its attention on the Toolkit because most staff are confident in working in the digital arena.

These initial findings have been generated from the data currently available.  We are very interested to see how the picture changes as more staff complete the questionnaire.

Please click on this link to the questionnaire if you have not already completed it.

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