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Student response systems in higher education

The brief

iClicker, from Macmillan Learning, is a market-leading student response system (SRS), used by over 1,100 institutions, with an extensive user base in the US. To date, Macmillan Learning has not fully realised the market potential for iClicker in the UK, European and Australian markets. The focus of this research was to inform the market development strategy for iClicker in the UK, Europe (focusing on the Benelux and Scandinavia) and Australia. 

Macmillan wanted to understand the overall market landscape for student engagement systems and to understand customer perceptions of competitor products. A key part of the research was to test the value proposition for iClicker with the target audience, and to gauge interest in taking part in further product testing in a future pilot stage.

The approach

We adopted a two-stage methodology to provide Macmillan Learning with a market overview, alongside an in-depth understanding of what drives decisions around SRS adoption at both department and institutional level. 

Desk research: We conducted desk research into the market for SRSs, providing product comparison information for 6 main competitors – looking at company background, features, support and services, marketing, pricing and distribution methods. Findings from the desk research were then incorporated into the guides for our depth interviews.

Depth interviews: We conducted 27 qualitative depth interviews with learning technology, teaching and learning professionals, and academic staff within higher education institutions, who had experience of and influence on purchasing decisions for SRSs.

The value

We provided Macmillan with a comprehensive report that detailed the overall market for SRSs in the UK, Europe and Australia, with clear, practical guidance on areas to focus on for the launch of iClicker, including an emphasis on customer service and support. The report was then presented to multiple stakeholders, providing them with the opportunity to ask questions and prompting further discussion.