To inform the work of the Online Learning Task Force, HEFCE commissioned the National Union of Students to undertake research into the demand, perceptions and training needs of students in both further and higher education.
The report's findings and recommendations were based on desk research and qualitative research activities, which included consultation events with student representatives, a series of online discussions and a symposium involving staff and union officers.
The report highlights a number of recurring issues surrounding the potential benefit of information and communications technology (ICT) to learning and teaching in post-compulsory education. It also sets out the challenge faced in trying to harness that potential, including the need for staff to develop their own ICT skills to meet the expectations of their students. The report makes a number of recommendations concerning how institutions might engage students in the development of ICT strategies, better understand and meet students’ training needs at an early stage of their studies, and address the professional development needs of staff. All these recommendations are outlined in the executive summary.