Tag Archives: NSS

3.5 Beyond the NSS: insights from student researchers

The engineering and mathematics department recently employed two student researchers (who will co-present this talk) who are using questionnaires, interviews and focus groups to investigate student experiences on mathematics and engineering courses. This presentation will introduce this work, discuss the findings, reflect on the experience of using student researchers, and discuss some of the ways that it will inform future practice.

Drawing on the findings of the student researchers, we will explore the interaction between individual modules, course structure, and the academic and social culture of a course, in shaping the perceptions of students. As well as highlighting features that appear to be associated with high levels of student satisfaction, we will aim to capture the diversity in students’ responses so as to reflect the different ways in which different students respond in the same settings, and go beyond the “headline figures” of the National Student Survey.

We will also reflect on the process of working with student researchers, who bring their own experiences of student life, and can elicit more candid opinions from their peers about the strengths and weaknesses of their course than the academic staff. The insights gained permit us to scrutinise our practice from a perspective not otherwise available to us. Whilst this has obvious advantages for tutors, it is clear that the researchers themselves also gained much from the experience.

Finally, we will discuss how such insights might inform and improve our future practice and our relationship with other students. Provided staff react positively – either by instituting changes, explaining why changes are not possible, or perhaps especially by engaging in a genuine dialogue with students about planned changes – the work further enhances the development of a genuine learning community in which students are – and feel like – partners in their own experience.

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.

230 – Taking a Position: Making a Difference in Student Engagement Practices – Carol A Taylor, Stella Jones-Devitt, Catherine Arnold, Jill Lebihan, Christine O’Leary, Manny Madriaga

This Co-Lab is based on four short ‘position papers’ on student engagement. Each presenter will put forward a way of thinking and/or doing student engagement they feel passionate about. Each perspective presented offers a distinctive ‘take’ on student engagement, and each presenter will talk about how this perspective has informed their practice, or how they envisage it might do so in the future. The position papers offer eclectic and innovative ways of thinking about student engagement. Some focus on the micro aspects of practice, some on the relational or ethical aspects of practice, and some offer particular theoretical ideas which can be taken up in practice. Taken together, the position papers in this Co-Lab offer a refreshing way of approaching student engagement. Participants are sure to find many ideas here which can ignite their enthusiasm for student engagement and give them practical tips for doing student engagement. Through this Co-Lab we hope to encourage ways of thinking about student engagement which provoke a reconsideration of the ‘measurement’ discourse promoted by NSS and KIS data.

Position papers and presenters are:

Stella Jones-Devitt and Catherine Arnold: Abandoning the discourse of “You said, we did”: A riposte to notions of student consumption as meaningful engagement.

Jill Lebihan: Playing with Winnicott: supporting creativity is teaching, learning and assessment.

Christine O’Leary: Students taking responsibility for their learning.

Carol Taylor: Ethics and student engagement with a little help from Aristotle and Arendt.

The Co-Lab discussant is: Manny Madriaga.

This Co-Lab is being put on by the Student Engagement Reading/ Writing group of the Higher Education Research and Scholarship Group (HERSG). For further information please contact Dr Carol Taylor C.A.Taylor@shu.ac.uk or Dr Manny Madriaga M.Madriaga@shu.ac.uk

276 – Staff-Student Consultation Committees – David Robert Broom

Giving students a voice is imperative and is one of the Key Performance Indicators of the National Student Survey particularly regarding the questions, ‘I have had adequate opportunities to provide feedback on all elements of my course?’, ‘My feedback on the course is listened to and valued?’ and ‘It is clear to me how students’ comments on the course have been acted upon?’ Whilst module leaders get students to complete module evaluation forms, all courses within the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity have a different process for gaining feedback from students to improve course delivery through the staff-student consultation committee process so the decision has been made to make this consistent. The session will highlight how the ‘Science’ suite of courses gleans feedback from students which has been suggested as a model of good practice from the former Academic Delivery Lead and student support officers. There will be discussion on what has worked well and what hasn’t and it is hoped colleagues will offer suggestions for improvement drawing on their own experiences of getting feedback from students.

Click to view presentation:  276 David Broom SHU LTA conference 2013