How To Take Part

Thank you for your interest in my research. If you have read the Participation information and you would like to take part, then please give your consent.

More detailed information about the activity involved in this study can be found below.

A quick hello from me

All the information about how to participate is here.

What is involved?
What is Digital Access?
Part 1: Your Digital Story
What kinds of things are you interested in?
Social Media
How to create social media stories
How can I share this with you?
How long should it be?
Why do you need to ‘see’ my experiences?
Part 2: Online Conversation
Thank you
An Explanation of Terms
Contact me


This research study is called: UK HE commuter students digital access and use for university and beyond.

In order to be eligible to participate you will need to be:

  • A UK higher education student and it is your first time at university
  • Living in your family home (you have not moved anywhere to attend your course)

If you are not sure but would like to participate, please get in touch.

If you are sure, then carry on this information is for you:

What is involved

The research is in two parts:

  1. Create a multimedia story of your experience
  2. An online meeting to talk about those experiences

What is Digital Access?

The Office of Students definition of Digital Access describes it as ‘the essential things that students need to benefit fully from digital teaching’. In this study, I view digital access in much broader terms and believe that access is just part of the picture. Helsper describes digital access as a ‘first level’ aspect of digital inequality and that there are other things that impact your digital experiences, such as skills and use (second level) and outcomes (third level). It is so much more complex than access alone, but it is a starting point and this is why I am interested in your experiences, especially as you are not living in an academic community 24/7 and need to travel between locations.

Part 1: Your digital STory

What impact does digital access have on your life as a student? Please use your phone or any device you have to capture your experience. You can use text, photo’s, graphics, record a video, record your voice. Anything that you are comfortable with and can convey what you want to show me your life as a student. It doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be public.  It just needs to give me an idea of the kinds of things you experience and then when we meet (online) we can use that as part of our conversation.

In the title I have said ’digital’ specifically because that is what I am interested in.  Show me your day to day experience and we can discuss how your digital access has an impact (or not). 
Social Media Story example

What kinds of things are you interested in?

These are indicative topics and entirely dependent on your personal circumstances
  • Travelling
  • Accessing resources and systems
  • Communication
  • Home and Campus spaces
  • Support

Social Media

Most social media platforms allow you to create stories and videos. This would be a good way of capturing your experiences.

How to create stories with social media

I have put together a collection of links and resources related to various social media platforms that you might find useful.

Examples of stories that might be useful

There are plenty of examples of ’day in the life’ videos from students all over the world. Some examples from the UK are:

YouTubers who create Vlogs around their experience are very popular but not that many are about the digital access of students living in their family homes and travelling into uni.  How different is your experience from these Vloggers? 

How can I share this with you?

Once you have agreed to participate through the consent form, I will contact you via the email address you have provided with the options for sharing. It will depend on the type of media and the level of access that you are comfortable with, so it very much depends on what you would like to do and what you have at your disposal to use.

Please note, I am only able to include higher education students from the UK for this study. 

Once you have shared it with me it will remain private and I will not use it for any other purpose. Full details of how I use your data and information that you share with me can be found in the Participants information.

How long should it be?

You will have a couple of weeks to record some of your experiences and so It is up to you, whatever you decide will be fine. It is an aid to our conversation and so it is completely your choice as to what you feel is appropriate to share with me.

Why do you need to ‘see’ my experience?

If you do not have access to a camera or cannot record media then text is fine. Multimedia: I can’t be with you all the time and as the saying goes “a picture paints a thousand words” and can show me much more than you may be able to describe.

I want you to provide whatever you are comfortable with. If doing this is not something that you are able to do then please get in touch with me. 

Part 2: Online conversation

The plan

  1. After you have sent me your story I will take a look and share with you the kinds of topics we could discuss. This is so you know what we will be talking about and it gives you the opportunity to make any suggestions or changes that you think would be relevant. It is important for me to give you the freedom to do this.
  1. I will contact you via your university email address and we can then arrange a mutually convenient day and time for our conversation. We will meet online and it will be for about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on what we talk about.
  1. Everything is private and the meeting will be in Teams. You will not have to have your camera on.
  1. I will be using my Lancaster University Teams account to make the call and I will send the link to you. If you have any difficulty using this please get in touch with me via email and I will check for messages before the call to make sure I can support you.

Thank you

I hope this provides the information you need to take part. You can contact me at any time if you have any questions, or want to ask for more information.

Participation information including my contact information

Consent form

An explanation of terms:

Devices: anything that you can use to access online spaces and resources (specifically the hardware you use, phones, tablets, laptops, PC’s etc.

Digital Access: this is the definition from the Office of Students for Digital Access. This is useful but does not include anything about the use of digital and the associated outcomes. Nevertheless, it offers some illustration of the kinds of things that can impact a student’s experience if they do not have the level of access they need.

Appropriate hardwareStudents have the hardware that allows them to effectively access all course content.
Hardware is of the specification required to ensure that the student is not disadvantaged in relation to their peers.
Appropriate softwareStudents have the software they need to effectively access all aspects of course content
Robust technical infrastructureTechnical infrastructure and systems work seamlessly and are repaired promptly when needed.
Reliable access to the internet Students have reliable and consistent access to an internet connection.
Reliability and bandwidth of the internet connection are at a sufficient level for ensuring that a student is not disadvantaged in relation to their peers.
A trained teacher or instructor Students have a trained teacher or instructor who is equipped to deliver high-quality digital teaching and learning.
An appropriate study spaceStudents have consistent access to a quiet space that is appropriate for studying.
Definition of Digital Access from the Office for Students publication Gravity Assist (March 2021)

Digital Learning: any type of learning that is accompanied by technology or by instructional practice that makes effective use of technology

Contact me: