PhD Research study

This is an image of the researcher.
Fiona Harvey

Fiona is a PhD student at Lancaster University based in The Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning

Dimensions of (Digital) Access and Participation: Considerations and influence in the implementation and support of institutional EdTech in UK Higher Education

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Thank you for your interest in taking part in my study. You are invited to take part in a research study about how leaders in digital education across UK higher education make decisions about the implementation of the institutional tools for teaching and learning, specifically with regard to non-traditional students.

Please take time to read the following information carefully before you decide whether or not you wish to take part. If you need further clarification or any additional information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me, using the contact information below.

What is the study about?

This study aims to identify how decisions over the implementation of digital teaching and learning systems are made at an institutional level and how the needs of students are addressed.    The aim is to identify the factors that influence decisions and how these may impact the digital access and participation of students from non-traditional backgrounds. 

Why have I been invited?

You have been invited to contribute to this study as someone who is a leader at your institution in digital education, with at least one year of experience at a leadership level in higher education.

I would be very grateful if you would agree to take part in this study.

What will I be asked to do if I take part?

If you decided to take part, this would involve an hour-long, semi-structured interview using Teams.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

Your insights will contribute to our understanding of how digital technologies are designed to be used and could form part of a digital access and participation plan to help non-traditional students make the most of their studies.

Do I have to take part?

No. You are under no obligation to participate. It’s completely up to you to decide whether or not you take part. Your participation is voluntary.

What if I change my mind?

If you change your mind, you are free to withdraw at any time before the analysis of the data has begun.  Please let me know as soon as possible after your interview (within 2 weeks)  and I will extract and destroy any ideas or information you contributed to the study if you contact me within two weeks.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

There are no anticipated risks of being involved in this study.    

Will my data be identifiable?

After the interview, the ideas from the study may be identifiable only.  All personally identifiable information will not be available to anyone other than me and my supervisor.

I will keep all personal information about you (e.g. your name and other information about you that can identify you) confidential, that is I will not share it with others. I will remove any personal information from the written record of your contribution.  All names will be changed to pseudonyms within the study.

How will we use the information you have shared with us and what will happen to the results of the research study?

I will use the information you have shared with me only in the following ways:

I will use it for research purposes only. This will include my PhD thesis and other publications such as journal articles.  I may also present the results of my study at academic conferences.

When writing up the findings from this study, I would like to reproduce some of the views and ideas you shared with me. I will only use anonymised quotes (e.g. from my interview with you), so that although I will use your exact words, you cannot be identified in our publications.

How my data will be stored Your data will be stored in encrypted files (that is no one other than me, the researcher will be able to access them) and on password-protected computers. I will store hard copies of any data securely in locked cabinets in my office. I will keep data that can identify you separately from non-personal information (e.g. your views on a specific topic).In accordance with University guidelines, I will keep the data securely for a minimum of ten years.

What if I have a question or concern?

If you have any queries or if you are unhappy with anything that happens concerning your participation in the study, please contact me, Fiona Harvey at or my supervisor:

Dr Jan McArthur
Department of Educational Research Lancaster University


If you have any concerns or complaints that you wish to discuss with a person who is not directly involved in the research, you can also contact:

Professor Paul Ashwin
Head of Department
Educational Research

This study has been reviewed and approved by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Lancaster Management School’s Research Ethics Committee.

Thank you for considering your participation in this project.

your consent

If you would prefer alternative formats for the information provided and the consent form. please use the links below (links to Google docs)

Participant Information Sheet

Consent Form