Digital Decisions Research Data

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Eva JV

Interview: Tuesday 27th Sept 2022
Platform: Teams
London based


Discussed all the issues:
Digital Divide/Poverty
Students workarounds/ distance from the person implementing (not covered as much)
Strategic decisions
Learning analytics and student analytics use/ intended use
Digital Skills support
Staff involvement


It was good to talk to Eva as she had an understanding of the inds of issues that impact decisions and how they are made. I found her PhD Thesis which was about the support of TEL and how the organisational culture affects how adoption happens. It was all from the perspective of the cliquey group HeLF too.
This was one of the quickest interviews as she was very clear and covered the points I wanted to make. The only thing that I felt was not covered very well (in my mind) was the digital poverty but she did send me stuff about Commuter Students and the work they have done for them.
The good things were that they offer digital literacies support and developnent for students, and she Schools Liasion teams in her team who are the connections for their schools so have a good idea of requirements and issues. They also seemed very strategic in terms of committees and digital aspects which is similar to UCL.
Noted that she had mentioned there were a lot of mature students and commuters are about 60-70% but that they know that the Black students were not responding to their surveys as most replies were white people. That is interesting.
I mentioned the pervasiveness and increase of Apps from things within Office 365 and Teams especially and she agreed but said that IT switch those off.


Wasn’t concerned about the way they are available (like a shopping platform) I wondered if it was like the Childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang where they offered all the sweet things just to trap you (find Gif), I didnt say that to her as I just thought of it. But there was something that was not right. For all the committees and the groups and the connections, everything is comparatively the same as all the other instutitutions. You’d think they would look at what is happening and then adjust to their own institutions uniqueness but they are all the same. Everyone tells me how organised they are and how much they think about this and that but the critical aspects are not explained well enough to allow staff to make the decisions. She mentioned that staff and students are not very engaged, they complain that they are not consulted but when the offer is there it is not always taken up. Why is that?
Student engagement analytics and also Learning Analytics. Apparently they automate emails to be sent when they think they are not engaging. Reminds me of something Vesna said when her students had been working as a group and so not all of them were on the system and they got an email saying they had not engaged and felt really put out because they were working in their student hub and had not triggered any ‘touchpoints’ so no one knew they were there.
She mentioned that sometimes in their determination to get into an organisation, platform providers (AULA was her example and this has been identified to me before) went to senior team and offered deals etc. Then she had been involved as she had already turned them away but they had tempted the SMT who said thatthey have to have it etc. She was able to show them reason but thought that was interesting. Marketing etc
Use of analytics specifically referenced in their APP which I didn’t mention to her but she did mention.
Overall, she has a very good understanding of the how and the way and clearly that not one person makes the decision etc. But the influence of external forces and the involvement of an IT manager I noted (AULA episode) demonstrated that this link between MS and Education is being driven together. She was not nasty about this but she said there was some support cross over between their teams on occasion.

Post review of recording:

I listened again to the recording and there were a few things. Nothing was mentioned about poorer students. She mentioned the commuter students and how they recognised those living in their family homes as the students they were interested in and she also knew that these were usually the WP students. But there was no specific provision for levelling up these students even any consideration about how they might be supported before they came to the university. What if they were part of some initiative prior to coming to the university? That could be said for all of them actually. She did mention there were Schools liaison people in her teams that had a role of identifying the needs of students and staff so that she could know what was happening. She also mentioned the Access PP and

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