TECH4All: towards a super supportive digital university

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch



As the university aims to be at the forefront of the digital transformation, we are reminded that technology can be both a means to include and exclude. Within a drive to be inclusive, digitally innovative but also supportive of all our students, the TECH4All project drew from expertise across the university and the participation of all key stakeholders to explore what good technology enhanced support practice is.


The project involved focus groups and surveys with Foundation and 1st year students, and academic and student support colleagues with a view to collect data to:
· Identify areas the NLSM implementation technology can support
· Explore the use of technologies, its barriers, and affordances
· Engaging students/staff through a participatory action research to co-research and co-develop effective solutions
· Develop guidelines and case studies of good technology enhanced teaching and support practices

The project applied a mixed method methodology driven by a pragmatic and flexible approach able to adjust to challenges, such as student engagement and various disruption as we settled into Waterside. Thus, to adjust for poor participation in the focus groups, we designed a survey for students which we later modified and shared with staff.
Initial analysis of focus groups with students show that students use a variety of technological means to receive support from a variety of sources. These include the use of NILE, phone apps, and predominately, emails. Yet, initial problems with WIFI caused some frustration. With regard to support, students highlighted the challenge of meeting their PAT when needed. Written correspondence through emails is useful but it can lead to misunderstandings. Students recommend the use of skype or other video call applications, especially if they can be accessed on a mobile phone.

• PI and researchers to present the TECH4All project (15 minutes)
• Participants and researchers work in groups and reflect on the questions below (15 minutes)
1. Besides emails, what other technologies have you used to support students?
2. What has worked best? Why?
3. What would you suggest we do to build a super supportive technology-enhanced student experience?
• Plenary session focusing on Q3 (15 minutes)
Period18 Jun 2019
Event titleInstitute of Learning and Teaching conference
Event typeConference
LocationNorthampton, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal