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I know some of our LRNASSTers have lots of experience to share --Guillermo
 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 18 May 1995 14:22:49 -0400
From: Clive Buckley <[log in to unmask]>
To: Multiple recipients of list HEPROC-L <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Student Feedback - how and why ?
 
My college, The North East Wales Institute of Higher
Education (NEWI) has embarked upon the TQM trail. Along with
a number of my colleagues, I have been asked to sit on a
number of committees each addressing one or more aspects of
TQM. One such committee is looking at "Student Feedback and
Assessment" (A complex issue). We are currently taking on
the problem of student feedback. (That is feedback from
students on the quality of their learning experience).
 
Our current mechanism for obtaining feedback is rather crude
- we use a questionnaire (Student Perception of Course or
SPOC) which is completed at the start, in the middle and at
the end of the course.  These forms are universally disliked
by staff and students alike and we would like to look at
alternatives. (They are also rather general in nature and
serve to highlight complaints rather that express
satisfaction).
 
As a first step we asked ourselves the question "Why do we
collect student feedback". This might seem trite but
actually needs to be addressed. As a first draft (still at
the discussion stage) we came up with:
 
1. To learn from the student experience and where possible
   to improve that experience.
 
2. To appreciate the problems students encounter and
   actively seek solutions to those problems
 
3. To reduce student dissatisfaction and dropout
 
4. To create a quality ethos which recognises the importance
   of the whole student experience creating confidence amoung
   staff and students that will radiate into the college and
   local community
 
5. To acquire information which will help shape the content
   of courses and services making them more relevant to the
   needs of students, employers and the community
 
6. To achieve a good student - tutor relationship
 
7. To develop systems in which weaknesses and strengths are
   recognised.
 
Any comments about these aims would be welcome.
 
As for the mechanism of obtaining feedback; suggestions to
improve this include
 
1. Suggestion boxes
2. Module questionnaires
3. Electronic Bulletin boards
4. Student e-mail comments (possibly anonymous e-mail)
5. Questionnaires to alumni
6. Questionnaires to employers
 
Again I'd welcome comments - perhaps you have tried some or
all of these methods - were they useful or just more paper
work ? Maybe you've tried something very different.
 
Of course the next stage is more difficult - what to do with
the feedback....
 
Thanks in advance for your feedback on this one
 
Regards
Clive Buckley <[log in to unmask]>