Tag Archives: autonomy

Remembering the student in student satisfaction (2014)

Bowles L&T conf Remembering the student in student satisfaction share version David Bowles

Two studies were conducted in order to investigate the factors that drive overall course satisfaction scores on the National Student Survey (NSS) in D&S. The first involved the analysis of NSS scores from the 2012 survey across departments in D&S. The second study was larger in scale and scope, being designed to capture what course aspects, psychological factors, and academic strengths related to overall course satisfaction in current students. The first study indicated that of the items captured on the NSS, those that related to teaching excellence and to personal development were the greatest predictors of overall satisfaction. Quite some way behind these two factors came organisation, academic support and resources, in that order. Study two extended study one by matching individuals’ satisfaction scores to person variables such as self-esteem, self-efficacy, basic psychological needs, self-reported study skills and entry points. Participants were 250 level 5 students across D&S departments. All variables except entry points correlated with overall satisfaction, but regression analyses showed that all variance was accounted for by levels of felt competence. Both studies highlight the importance of teaching quality and students’ personal development to the overall satisfaction students report as experiencing on their SHU courses. The implications are that resources aimed at improving student satisfaction should be put towards enabling academic staff to excel as inspirational tutors, tutors who facilitate the development of competence and confidence in the personal journey of SHU students.

275 – Democratic pedagogies: student facilitation of a community of enquiry – Fufy Demisse, Mary Haynes

Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a democratic pedagogy in which knowledge is seen as contested and constructed, and the teacher/tutor is seen as a facilitator rather than a producer of knowledge.  Building on Lipman’s (2003) methodology, this paper explores how this was refined and embedded throughout level four of a foundation degree. Initially tutor led, in the final stages the community of enquiry was subsequently led by students and reviewed from both a staff and student perspective. The paper concludes that this democratic pedagogical approach increased autonomy, developed critical thinking and nurtured the emotional and relational aspects of learning.


Lipman, M. 2003. Thinking in Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Click to view presentation:  275 Students as facilitators

2012 Why ‘fun’ is not enough: exploring effective transition into HE

Catherine Arnold and Stella Jones-Devitt

Background: paper addresses two themes – Expectations and Engagement – drawing upon evidence from the Young Persons’ Attributes programme, a recent HWB initiative in collaboration with Local Authorities and regional NHS employers. This aimed to raise expectations and awareness of Level 3 young learners taking non-A Level routes into Higher Education (HE) or workplace. It draws upon work of Dyson and Kerr (2011) advocating that: initiatives which are able to engage with complex local dynamics have an important role to play in tackling links between education, disadvantage and place (p6). 

Key ideas: stakeholders agreed to pilot a project giving learners the opportunity to experience going the extra mile. This aligns with Watson’s assertions (2006) that the most productive form of widening participation gets learners to the matriculation starting point. The intention was to provide a lived experience that improved chances of a positive first year HE experience. By doing this programme, learners have gained: 

  • Experience of HE lectures and workshops.
  • Skills in writing a HE assignment and in receiving feedback. 
  • Understanding of the importance of professional practice in both workplace and HE.
  • Appreciation of the significance of effective communication with employers and HE Institutions. 

Intended outcomes: the experience raises several issues for exploration. Key factor relates to developing ‘critical beings’ advocated by Barnett (1997). We have some ideas to share, seeking to address: 

  • Are we preparing in-coming students with the right skills, attitudes and understandings, in order to have the best opportunities for their future?  
  • As colleges and schools are pressurised to meet targets for course pass rates, are they unable to use supposedly ‘riskier’ teaching methods which develop students’ thinking abilities; hence disadvantaging their students?
  • What can be done constructively to address these gaps?
  • How many of these issues should be the business of HE? 


Barnett, R. (1997) Higher Education: A Critical Business. Buckingham: SRHE/Open University Press.

Dyson, A., & Kerr, K. 2011. Taking action locally: Schools developing area initiatives. Manchester: University of Manchester.

Watson, D. (2006) How to think about widening participation in UK higher education Bristol: HEFCE.

B2 – (EX36 and EX42) 11.50

Presentaion:  Why Fun is not enough  Diagram – Why Fun is not enough