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.
April 22nd, 2008
Paul Ramsden, chief executive of the Higher Education Academy has been charged by the Government with looking at student experience in the context of the challenges UK universities will face to remain internationally competitive . Paul Ramsden has set up a website where he invites contributions to the debate. His first questions are
- How do you think students’ expectations of their educational experience have changed over the last 5-10 years?
- What changes in students’ expectations do you think are likely to happen in the next 5-10 years?
- What would you say are the top three challenges in meeting these changes?
Anyone can contribute….go ahead!
April 10th, 2008
A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at the basic work which needs to be done to decide which technologies will support learning best.
The article ends with:
“Our students live online. They fall in love, they shop, they order pizza on the Web. Their iPods, TV’s, and Xboxes are sophisticated technologies. They instant-message their blogs from their cellphones, and they can’t picture college having a place in any of this, because we haven’t shown them that it can.
It will be a dismal future if the only thing our graduates cannot do online is learn.”
On a similar note, apparently when Michael WeschÂ (whose class created ‘The Machine is Us/ing Us‘ and ‘A vision of students today’) was asked recently how institutions could create more people like him, he answered “Get out of my way.”
April 7th, 2008
A report in today’s Guardian, entitled “University aspiration gap stays stubbornly wide“, shows that 62% of children aged 7-16 now say that they would like to go to university, compared to 53% in 2000. However, a breakdown shows that 78% of children from “homes in the top social group” want to go, compared to 55% of the poorest students. Figures for the year 2000 for this data were not provided in the article, and the survey data itself does not seem to be publicly available, unless anyone can point me in the right direction (leave a comment if you can – thanks).