More than three quarters of HE teaching staff want to use technology in their teaching

November 23, 2020

A survey of 2,677 teaching staff published by Jisc, the education not-for-profit, finds that almost 80% of teaching staff feel motivated to use technology in their teaching (79%).

More than three quarters of HE teaching staff want to use technology in their teaching

Despite the enthusiasm of staff, only 29% agree their organisation provides guidance about the digital skills they needed in their job. Just 14% agree they have time to explore new digital tools and approaches, 12% agree they have the chance to assess their digital skills, for example, for career planning. Only 7% agree they receive reward and recognition for digital skills developed.

Just under half (48%) of the responses were submitted after the UK went into COVID-19 lockdown on 23 March 2020.

Findings point towards a timely opportunity to harness enthusiasm. Jisc’s CEO, Paul Feldman, comments: “COVID-19 has increased our requirement for remote and online delivery, so universities are asking staff – now more than ever – to design and deliver interactive and engaging learning for all students across all disciplines. Investment to support them as they develop these digital skills, enabling them to teach with confidence and innovation, is vital.

“Ensuring all staff have sufficient time to innovate, to be creative and to develop their practice within an organisational culture that recognises and rewards these endeavours is a priority. Teaching staff are clearly committed to developing their own professional practice, both in their discipline and in their use of technology. However, there are some areas highlighted in this report where staff feel less confident and where further support is needed.”

Sarah Knight, Jisc’s head of data and digital capability, comments: “Academic staff have recently shown that they are developing their digital skills and practice at an impressive pace. It’s thanks to staff that the rapid transition to ‘digital-first’ teaching has been possible, and their achievements deserve celebration. Since lockdown, 5% more staff discussed their digital skills informally with managers, 7% more in meetings with colleagues, and 5% more in staff meetings and CPD sessions. These are steps in the right direction, and hopefully such conversations will soon become commonplace. 

“Moving forward, we need a stronger focus on supporting staff to gain and nurture the skills to embed digital within curriculum design and redesign. This will help students to develop a preparedness for remote teaching and learning, supporting their digital capabilities and increasing their confidence in the digital workplace.”

The digital experience insights surveys are run annually by Jisc, offering organisations a snapshot of staff and student opinion, supporting them to tailor their offer to the needs of both staff and students.

Find out more 

–  Read the digital experience insights 2020 report

–  Register your interest in running Jisc’s digital experience insights surveys with your students and staff

–  Learn more about to Learning and teaching reimagined, a sector-wide initiative led by Jisc, Emerge Education, Universities UK, and Advance HE. Formed in response to the rapid move to online learning and teaching prompted by COVID-19, it seeks to envision a digitally-enabled future for higher education.