Over the summer we’re looking at ways we can improve the presentation and structure of content in MyEd to make it easier for students to find and access the information and tools they need. To help us with this we recently carried out a survey to understand more about how students use MyEd, and the tasks that they use it for most often. This blog post presents some of the findings from that survey.
How do students use MyEd?
710 students responded to the survey. One of the key questions in the survey was a “top tasks” question, which was intended to help us understand which tasks are the most important to students. We gave a list of 64 tasks that students might use MyEd for, and asked them to select the 5 that they considered to be most important for them.
Course learning materials was identified as the most important task, closely followed by Grades and feedback, and Email. These three tasks accounted for 28% of all votes cast. 7 of the 64 tasks received 50% of all votes cast.
Digging a bit deeper, and looking at votes cast by undergraduate and postgraduate students separately, we saw that there’s some variation. The table below shows the 5 most important tasks for each group in order of the number of votes received:
|Undergraduate Students||Postgraduate Students|
|Course learning materials (e.g. Learn, Moodle)||Course learning materials (e.g. Learn, Moodle)|
|Course timetables||Grades and feedback|
|Grades and feedback|
|Past exam papers||Assignment submission|
You may notice that Past exam papers appear in the list for undergraduates: it’s worth noting that the survey was carried out during exam period, and it’s likely that this affected students’ voting patterns. We’re aware that different tasks may be more important at different times of year, and this is something we plan to explore more.
What do we plan to do with this data? Well, we know from previous feedback that content on MyEd isn’t always organised in ways that make the most sense to students. One of the complaints is that the portlets on the Home tab aren’t the portlets that student use most often, so we’re going to look at changing the layout to ensure that the portlets students use most often are more easily accessible.
What do students think about MyEd?
We also gave students a free text comment box to allow them to give us any feedback that they wanted to about MyEd. Lots of students took the opportunity to do this, and we got some very useful feedback. We’re still in the process of looking at this, but there are some clear themes:
- many students find MyEd confusing, and find it hard to know where to look for content
- MyEd is difficult to use on a mobile device
- some of the content that students use frequently is hard to find, or requires lots of clicks to access.
We’re going to be looking in more detail at these and the other themes that emerge. Where there are quick and easy helpful changes we can make, we’ll implement these. In some cases we’ll need more information, and we’re going to be doing some more research that will help us with this. We’ll share information about all the changes we’ll be making in future blog posts – watch this space!