Goldsmiths, University of London were seeking to gain insights into the module topics and skills that students and future learners want to gain from their university experience, as well as the educational format they would prefer, in order to tailor and enhance their academic portfolio. Goldsmiths commissioned Shift to conduct this research based on our extensive experience performing research with young audiences, as well as the successful guidance we have provided other HEIs to enhance and modernise their academic offer.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shift quickly and effectively adapted the methodology of the research to an online format. Six online workshops were conducted with groups of students and future learners (aged 14-16) over Zoom. Hosting smaller groups allowed us to compare and contrast respondents’ opinions and experiences in depth, whilst ensuring that younger audiences felt comfortable enough to share their views.
Provided with clear instructions on how to use the MURAL online platform, respondents were able to complete collaborative, visual exercises during the online workshops. These exercises enabled us to delve deeper into respondents’ preferences around course structure and format – enriching the data we collected.
Analysis of the research findings enabled us to provide Goldsmiths with a detailed overview of the drivers influencing the module decisions of learners, as well as the skills they expect to gain. The MURAL exercises conducted during the research were visualised within the report, alongside key recommendations for how Goldsmiths could enhance their academic portfolio, and tailor the delivery of course content in a manner that appeals strongly to students.