User Community Day February 2023

  • Topic: Network, share and learn with evasys users and experts

  • Date: Thursday 16th February 2023

  • Time: This event Has Passed

We hosted our inaugural evasys User Community Day on Thursday 16th February.

Our event ran from 10.00 am until 3.00 pm and was packed full of interesting and helpful sessions to help you get the very most from your evasys solution.

Users had the opportunity to get together with other users, share good practice, learn new evasys skills and harness the expertise of our team.

Our community sessions were delivered as a mix of presentations with Q&A and open discussion, covering topics such as:

evasy in person event PASSED February 2023

Three User Community member presentations from this event are available to view on our case studies page from Teesside University, University of Derby and University of Hertfordshire.

Our community sessions will be delivered as a mix of presentations with Q&A and open discussion, covering topics such as:

  • Actioning change to increase survey response rates
  • Educational Gain
  • Module evaluation with distance learning students
  • NSS changes
  • Transition surveys through the student journey

The evasys World Café provided an opportunity to chat with other users and the evasys team about the platform, and provide direct feedback to us.

Our community sessions will be delivered as a mix of presentations with Q&A and open discussion, covering topics such as:

Our Agenda

10.00 – 10.05Welcome to the User Community
Glenda Saint John, Head of Engagement, evasys
10.05 – 10.30Keynote
Professor Lynn Dobbs, London Metropolitan University
More than a “paper” exercise: Why online student evaluation matters to Vice-Chancellors
10.30 – 11.00

User Community Member Presentation with Q&A by University of Derby:
Paula Shaw, Associate Professor of Online Teaching and Learning, University of Derby
Enhancing connection and belonging with dispersed learners through mid-module feedback
In this session we aim to explore the reasons for, and results of using a community created, mid-module feedback survey. Different modes of delivering the survey were tested with over 700 UK and International online learning students, to establish their perceptions of belonging, support and autonomy.

Participants in this session will hear

  • Why the survey was constructed with a different focus to satisfaction surveys
  • What the academic participants thought about embedding a mid-module survey
  • How well online students engaged with the questions, and
  • Where the reach, value and impact of issuing a mid-module survey led to changes in practice.
11.00 – 11.30

User Community Member Presentation with Q&A by Teesside University:
Dr Nicola Watchman-Smith, Deputy Director of Student Learning, Teesside University
Pre-arrival student surveys: An impactful overlap of data and student voice.
Responding to higher education challenges in support of student success and wellbeing remains at the forefront of our considerations across the sector. This presentation will explore ways in which we can better understand the motivations for study as well as the self-perceived barriers to learning that our students hold before they arrive at university.

Offering a case study of how Teesside University has adopted the evasys platform to launch a pre-arrival student survey, attendees at this session will have the opportunity to hear about:

  • the rationale for, and challenges inherent in, creating a pre-arrival student survey
  • how insights from a pre-arrival survey can be used to address student engagement and establish student support interventions
  • the impactful overlap between data and student voice 
  • the benefits of continued orientation rather than one-point induction in meaningfully addressing student retention, mattering and belonging.
11.35 – 12.15Peer Learning Discussion:
Dr Helena Lim, Head of Opportunities, evasys
‘NSS: one size fits all?’
The 2023 National Student Survey is well underway in the current academic year, with its changes, warts and all. This includes the removal of Q. 27 (for England only), the introduction of new questions and the move from a five-point to a four-point Likert scale.
This collaborative session will explore how different institutions are approaching these changes, particularly the online teaching evaluation surveys (if any) and benchmarking and/or longitudinal data.
12.15 – 12.45User Community Member Presentation with Q&A by University of London Worldwide:
Huw Morgan-Jones, Amardeep Sanghera and Louise Parker
Perspectives of a new customer – module evaluation as a tool for education transformation in the context of global student body
In this session, University of London colleagues will discuss:
•             Implementing EvaSys for the first time in the midst of COVID-19
•             Using the principles of digital transformation to help ensure success
•             Becoming a subject matter expert in a new system
•             Benefits realised by the University in the first 6 months of implementation
13.15 – 13.50Product ‘Virtual’ World Café – Glenda Saint John, Head of Engagement , evasys
We want to hear from you. The World Café provides the space to talk to peers, share challenges, future product ideas and feedback to us directly, in a structured but open forum.
13.50 – 14.20User Community Member Presentation with Q&A by University of Hertfordshire:
Catherine Rendell, Deputy Director of Academic Quality Assurance – Centre for Academic Quality Assurance
Lisa Uttley, Director of Academic Services – Academic Registry
Educational Gains Presentation
This presentation will provide a brief overview of the aims, process and outcomes of an Educational Gain survey which was run by the University of Hertfordshire in 2022.  The University made a decision to run this survey to enable programme teams to demonstrate impact as part of the UH vision for students, to evidence Educational Gains for the purpose of TEF and to encourage students to reflect on their experience. This survey, which was enabled through support from Evasys, took place over 3 weeks in Oct/Nov 2022, and generated informative results to meet UH requirements and inform future survey plans.
14.25 – 14.50Peer learning discussion:
Conor Murray-Gauld, Implementation and Account Manager, evasys
Closing the Feedback Loop
This interactive session provides the opportunity to discuss your challenges and take away some practical solutions to support your institution and enhance your approach to this key part of the survey process. A user driven discussion facilitated by Conor who has real world experience of successfully implementing cultural change & Closing the Feedback Loop within London Metropolitan University. 
14.50 – 15.00Plenary, future event announcements
15.00 – 15.30Social Quiz
Glenda Saint John
Time to decompress and have a bit of fun at the end of the event.

Meet our guest speakers

Lynn Dobbs

Keynote speaker:
Professor Lynn Dobbs
London Metropolitan University

Over the course of her distinguished career, Professor Lynn Dobbs has forged a professional reputation as an academic, researcher and leader with a strong passion for tackling social exclusion and raising the educational aspirations of young people. Lynn’s research has impacted business developments and public policy at local, national and international levels.

Since her appointment, in October 2018, the University has seen a transformation with income growing by 50%, domestic student numbers rebounding to sustainable levels and a re-emergence into the international student market taking the University past levels in its heyday. She is particularly proud that this is being achieved alongside significant improvements increased satisfaction from the students; NSS scores have had year-on-year improvements; and a recent staff survey has the University well above benchmark.

Paula Shaw photo

Paula Shaw
Associate Professor of Online Teaching and Learning at the University of Derby

Paula Shaw is Associate Professor of Online Teaching and Learning at the University of Derby. Paula has significant experience and expertise in leading, designing and implementing online learning and exploring digital research. She is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow, Chair of the Pearson HE Innovate Community of Practice, a representative on the University Alliance Skills for learning group and has led a QAA Collaborative Enhancement Project to create a Flexible Learning Toolkit for use within the HE sector.

Her academic interests include exploring opportunities for widening participation and exploring flexibility within higher education programmes.

Nicola Watchman Smith photo

Dr Nicola Watchman Smith (PhD, PFHEA)
Deputy Director of Student Learning at Teesside University

Dr Nicola Watchman Smith (PhD, PFHEA) is Deputy Director of Student Learning at Teesside University, previously Head of the Teaching Excellence Awards and Academic Apprenticeships at Advance HE. Nicola sits on numerous committees / Boards, including the Advisory Committee for Degree Awarding Powers (QAA), the RAISE Network Committee and Board of Governors within college-based HE. She is frequently invited to guest speak at conferences and symposia, including WonkHE’s Secret Life of Students and Advance HE’s Teaching & Learning Conference.

An advocate for challenging barriers to participation and recognition in higher education, Nicola is a co-founder member of the In it Together EDI project and the Sorority of HE Leaders (SHEL). She works to promote meaningful student engagement as a route to student success, with a professional passion for celebrating student voice and enhancing student belonging. Nicola is a published author, with research interests spanning higher education practice and the Northern Soul music scene.

Dr Helena Lim evasys head of opportunities

Dr Helena Lim
Head of Opportunities, evasys UK

For more than 25 years, Helena has held senior roles in the UK higher education sector, at institutions including Southampton Solent University and the Higher Education Academy. She has lectured at Solent, University of Bath and the Open University, and held Honorary Fellowships with University of Liverpool and Aberystwyth University.

With her strong background in institutional research, Helena was the founder of the UK and Ireland Higher Education Institutional Research (HEIR) and was Co-Convenor of the European Association for Institutional Research (EAIR) Special Interest on Institutional Research for Management Decision Support from 2008 to 2015.

As a teaching and research academic with extensive experience working with universities to enhance the student experience, Helena has put in place institutional approaches to gathering and analysing data in institutions across the UK. She is passionate about effecting change and enhancing the student learning journey.

Louise headshot

Louise Parker
Senior Business Analyst – ITDS projects and change team

In 2017 I started with UoL on a two year FTC, to support the programme of work for the expansion and development of the Business World ERP Solution, incorporating HR, Payroll and Finance Process Improvements.

In 2019 I accepted a permanent BA role within the ITDS projects and change team supporting various IT projects.  This is the first role where I have worked within the public/higher education sector, I previously worked in the Cruise Industry for 17 years and most recent of those, leading International markets on multiple corporate projects and enhancements through the complete project lifecycle. 

Huw Morgan Jones

Huw Morgan Jones
Head of Surveys and Student Voice

Huw leads on surveys and student voice for University of London, which offers degree programmes by online and distance learning to over 50,000 students in 180 countries. He leads on student satisfaction surveys, manages student engagement policies and mechanisms, and has contributed significant insight to support the University’s response to COVID-19.

Huw has spent 12 years in higher education. He holds an MSc in Social Research from Birkbeck and an LLB from the University of Manchester.

Amardeep headshot

Amardeep Sanghera
Surveys and Student Voice Coordinator

Amardeep leads on a range of student voice activities including the recently introduced module evaluation system and the Student Voice Group. He also supports the wider team to drive forward improvement planning arising from the surveys and student voice portfolio. Amardeep has over 6 years’ experience in higher education and also has expertise in the management of assessment offence allegations and examinations.

Glenda saint John

Glenda Saint John
Head of Engagement, evasys UK

With over ten years of experience working within the higher education sector, both in a university, and with software providers to HE institutions – Glenda has extensive experience of integrating technology with strategic and operational needs in a university context.

A key part of her work focuses on implementing strategies to enhance engagement and mutually beneficial relationships between institutions and Ed-Tech providers.

Catherine Rendell photo 200px

Catherine Rendell
Deputy Director of Academic Quality Assurance – Centre for Academic Quality Assurance

One area of Catherine’s responsibility is to take a leading role at the University of Hertfordshire in promoting and ensuring effective outcomes from the NSS, PTES, internal surveys and other student-voice related initiatives.

Lisa Uttley photo

Lisa Uttley
Director of Academic Services – Academic Registry

Lisa leads the Academic Services team, based within Academic Registry at the University of Hertfordshire, providing professional administrative support, facilitating processes and systems across a broad range of activities (AQ processes & systems, Doctoral College, student cases) which includes survey implementation including the NSS, PRES, PTES and module based student feedback.

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Conor Murray-Gauld
Implementation and Account Manager, evasys UK

Conor has worked within policy and student engagement within further and higher education for more than ten years, including four years with London Metropolitan University as Student Engagement Manager.

As the evasys lead during his time at London Met, Conor gained significant operational experience of surveys and associated data management, developing survey policy, and producing analysis and insights for the senior leadership team that ultimately led to strategic change. He brings all of that experience to bear when helping evasys clients implement and enhance evaluation processes and systems.

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