Use this page when you're preparing to carry out a digital skills survey. It applies when surveying staff, leadership and trustees, and volunteers. This page can be used as part of a process to work out digital skills needs.
When charities are progressing with digital, both confidence and skills increase together. The result is people being better able to do their jobs or fulfil their roles. Measure where you are on digital skills and confidence before thinking about making improvements.
Use digital surveys to:
You're asking people to respond to questions based on perception. You must choose and use a digital scale for this approach to work. It will provide a benchmark against which you can track progress to show distance travelled throughout your programme.
Digital scales vary from informal to formal in the way the ratings are phrased and presented. But the principles are the same.
The first step is to set the numbers on your rating scales. They plot staff, trustee and volunteer positions. Each one will have a description of the skills and confidence levels sitting behind it. See below for an example.
1 — Digital tools and platforms cause panic and task avoidance.
2 — Lacking skills and confidence to try new approaches or tools.
3 — Basic skills for daily tasks but doesn’t include digital in longer-term planning.
4 — Some skills gaps but keen and seeks learning opportunities.
5 — Skilled and confident, influences and supports others to try digital.
These aren’t revealed to the people completing the survey. They could knock their confidence. Instead, apply simple phrases to help them assess their skills and confidence.
1 — Digital scares me.
2 — Digital just isn’t for me.
3 — Digital is useful, sometimes.
4 — Digital is exciting.
5 — Digital's just the way I do things.
1 — Willing unable
2 — Reluctantly online
3 — Task specific
4 — Confident
5 — Expert
Settle on a style of language for your rating positions. Choose one from above that'll work best in your organisation or create your own.
Your digital skills survey needs to include the following.
Basic details include name, team, job title. Avoid asking for too much information, especially if you can get it from another source.
Ask people what they need to do as part of their role. It’s good practice to provide this as a list of tasks. It'll give you a better understanding of their role and what sort of training and support they may need.
Ask people to explain what’s stopped them using digital in their work. This will help you identify potential barriers or challenges that'll need to be overcome.
Ask people to rate how they feel about the programme as a whole. This'll give you a good indication of how they feel about digital in general.
Everyone learns in different ways. Ask people how they'd react if they were asked to do certain tasks. These should relate to sessions you’re thinking of running. Asking people about their preferred learning styles provides insight into your organisation’s learning culture.
Invite people to add any other comments, ideas, feedback or questions about the programme. Giving people the opportunity to provide feedback will make them feel valued and included.
You can use this Word template to create your own survey. Send it as a text document or hand it out as a printed page. You'll need to replace the suggested questions with your own versions. That’ll make it more useful to your organisation.
Alternatively, you can use the questions from the template to create your own version in your preferred survey tool.
There’s advice on choosing and using survey builders here.
You can also use our advice on writing surveys and questionnaires in general. This'll help you word your questions well and help you understand the results you get. Guide to using questionnaires.
There are some key steps to effective use of digital survey results.
This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 02 March 2021
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