September 25th, 2015

Technology Solutions for Student Learning

Research Study into the experiences and expectations of digital technology by students at PROCAT

Engineering Student Focus Groups

A research study was carried out at PROCAT to investigate students’ expectations and experiences when using technology.

The study was structured around three activities. The first was a questionnaire for students to complete, the second was a card sorting activity and finally a focus group Q&A session.

The card activity asks four questions based on four different themes. Each of the items for sorting are presented on individual cards for the students to discuss and rank in their priority of importance.

This research study was carried out using resources from the Jisc Digital Student project:
• FE Digital Student Focus group protocol
• FE Digital Student Learner profile questionnaire
• Card Sort Items for printing

The resources are available from this reference:
Jisc (2015) Conducting learner experience focus groups [Online] Available from:

Student Focus Groups on Digital Learning

This study ensured the involvement of students and the development of their student voice. When implementing new digital projects, it is vital to have student representation from the start.

Data has been collected from 14 focus groups with 116 students, aged 16 – 25, from PROCAT (Prospects College of Advanced Technology) and data from questionnaires completed by the 116 students, taking part in the study.

Within each focus group, students were divided into small groups to carry out the card sort activity. Over the 14 focus groups, the 116 students were divided into 37 focus groups. This report summarises the findings on the 37 sets of data from the card sort activity, as well as, data from 116 questionnaires and from the focus group discussion with 116 students.

The data was collected over May – July 2015. Data was collected on students’ technology use and access to technology, as well as, student expectations of the college in helping them gain skills, experiences and attributes in the use of technology.

The data from the card sort and questionnaires can be viewed here.

This report makes recommendations, as a result of the data analysed.

Click the image below to view the Digital Student research report.

You can also download the Digital Student research report in pdf here.

You may also find useful this magazine which was produced following the research study: 20 Ways to Engage Students