Educational publisher

Technology in secondary schools

The brief

An educational publishing client commissioned Shift Learning to explore the use of technology within secondary schools.

The findings of this research built upon a similar project conducted within the primary sector; and provided a solid perspective of the changing landscape within the education environment.

Market needs, points of pain and likes with regards to technology were uncovered, as were usage patterns and interface preferences. This research helped the client to understand the direction in which schools are moving towards with technology and supported decision making around product development.

Our approach and methodology

A mixed-methodology was used to approach this brief:

  • Face-to-face, in-depth group interviews were held on-site with secondary school stakeholders who were either involved with using the VLE, developing ICT strategy and / or involved in decision making. Respondents included members of the SMT, members of the MIS team, subject coordinators and subject teachers.
  • Detailed case studies for 8 schools were developed from these 60 minute discussions.
  • A flexible interviewing approach allowed questions to be adapted to meet the circumstance of each school.
  • Where group interviews could not be conducted, duo interviews were held.
  • Two separate eSurveys were developed to quantify the qualitative findings of both the secondary, and previously commissioned, primary research. Surveys were built in software, SNAP, which enables complex routing thus ensuring different stakeholders were presented with only relevant questions.

Delivering results and value to our client

The Shift Learning team produced a number of deliverables to help bring clarity to a complex picture of the use of technology in the school environment, including:

  • A short 2-page summary report of the qualitative interviews for the secondary sector, delivered shortly after field work completion.
  • A concise over view report, complete with key findings and visual diagrammatic illustrations of the flow of information through different systems used within schools.
  • Detailed and clearly laid out case studies, which included colourful quotes from respondents.
  • A full report of the quantitative phase for the primary sector.
  • A full report of the quantitative phase for the secondary sector.
  • A 3 page summary document highlighting key findings of both phases.