November 27th, 2009
QAA podcast: ‘Studying at university is not a simple financial transaction…it is a process of education’
In which, Wes and Graeme attempt to stem the tide of consumerism…
To accompany their recent paper (“Rethinking the values of higher education – consumption, partnership, community?), Wes Streeting, President, and Graeme Wise, Political Officer of the NUS have produced a podcast. They explain the ways in which they think that student partnership will be vital to the future of HE – mentioning communities of practice as a model – and defending diversity and experimentation in student experience.
Nice moment where the host imagines VCs listening the the podcast and asking Wes and Graeme where the VCs should start with implementing their ideas…..(answer: read the paper)
April 24th, 2008
The National Union of Students has obtained sponsorship for a large-scale study of studentsâ€™ experiences before, during and after their studies.
Their press release says that “The in-depth study will examine all areas of the student learning experience, including the number of contact hours that students receive with tutors, the quality of accommodation, the â€œhiddenâ€ additional costs associated with studying, and the number of hours that students spend in paid employment during term time. It will also examine whether studentsâ€™ experience of higher education matches their expectations. ”
The survey questions make interesting reading and cover a very wide range. There is no information yet about how the survey will be administered; we’ll post more information when we get it.
October 1st, 2007
The latest Sunday Times University guide is available online. The methodology is quite interesting reading as well.
September 25th, 2007
The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has repeated last year’s survey of students in English universities on their working hours and have validated the results obtained previously. The full report is available on the HEPI website together with the 2006 and 2007 raw data. Graham Gibbs has written a commentary on the report which also makes interesting reading.
When asked to say how they would like priorities to be set ‘Better training for lecturers’ was the top non-financial priority, well above smaller groups or having more hours of teaching.
This study has many implications for programme design and should be essential reading for programme leaders.
March 14th, 2007
The Learning and Teaching Unit has worked with the Academic Standards Unit and the Students’ Union to produce a standard unit level evaluation questionnaire as one step towards developing a coordinated student evaluation strategy for the University. You can download the questionnaire here.
If you would like a Respondus version of the questionnaire, for use in WebCT Campus Edition or Vista, please go to your MyWebCT page and then click on the ‘WebCT Courses Database’, then ‘Software Downloads – CourseGenie and Respondus’ (in Campus Edition) or ‘Using Vista – 0607′, then ‘Getting Started’ (in Vista).
The draft questionnaire is designed to make it possible for you to add particular questions which departments/faculties may wish to retain, so please feel free to do this. Even if you do not use the draft questionnaire this year, comments on it would be welcomed – please send these to Rob Baker in the Academic Standards Unit.
January 19th, 2007
The Law Subject Centre, UKCLE, has published a report on one of their funded projects, “The impact of formative assessment on student learning“, written by Alison Bone from the University of Brighton. Whilst this report is based on a survey of law schools, there are some interesting general points in it (including one about the percentage of students who don’t collect marked work, and therefore feedback). It’s worth a look. Here are the main recommendations:
- “It is important to give students an opportunity to obtain formative feedback on their progress before they submit a summative piece of work. If large student numbers and/or poor staff/student ratios preclude the setting of a formal piece of assessment there are other ways of giving such feedback. Some examples are provided in Appendix 3.
- Clear assessment criteria written specifically for the piece of work to be attempted should be given to students at the time the assessed work is set.
- Feedback on students’ assessed work should make specific reference to these criteria.
- Generic feedback covering the key points is found to be useful by most students and saves time for lecturers who can refer to it rather than repeating the same remarks in detail on several pieces of work. The jury is still out on whether or not model answers are a ‘good thing’.
- Feedback must be prompt to be of any use. This project picked this up as has the National Student Survey. It is good practice to set a â€˜hand-backâ€™ date as well as a â€˜hand-inâ€™ date so that students know exactly when they can expect their work to be returned. Ideally the two dates should not be more than three weeks apart.”
October 31st, 2006
The Higher Education Policy Institute has published a survey of students in English universities which asked about the number of hours of study students undertake (both timetabled hours and independent work). The results are interesting and are bound to provide a useful basis for debate on the nature of face to face teaching and independent study, particularly as the authors go on to look at possible relationships between contact hours and student satisfaction.
There is no mention of the role played by online or blended learning in study, which is interesting – this might vary considerably between institutions and time spent in properly organised distance learning might be much more beneficial than undirected independent study…..
You can find links to the report at the HEPI website.
The study was funded by the HE Academy.
May 5th, 2005
The Higher Education AcademySubject Centres for the Built Environment (CEBE), Education, Art, Design and Communication and Biosciences have recently collaborated on a study covering various methods of evaluating teaching. There are some interesting approaches including getting students to write letters of advice to future cohorts. You can visit the project website and download the MMU contribution from Biological Sciences. There are some useful project materials available which give action plans for developing feedback strategies. Many thanks to Maureen Dawson for telling me about this project.