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Positive results from student course unit surveys

18 Feb 2021

Positive ratings for units across the University, as we launch a new President’s Student Partners Scheme to continue working closely with students

Learning Commons

A message from Professor April McMahon, Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students:

We have recently reviewed the results from the Semester 1 unit evaluation surveys and I am delighted to share that, thanks to the very hard work of our staff, we have seen some very encouraging results.

These surveys are sent to all taught students towards the end of each semester, asking them to rate various aspects of the course units they have studied. There was a marked increase in the number of students responding this semester and we’re grateful to every student who did so.

Those who responded were largely positive when asked about the units they studied last semester. Averaged across all Faculties:

  • 80% agreed that the course unit in question was “excellent”
  • 79% agreed that the online learning on that unit “was delivered very well”

We are still facing challenging times and there are of course improvements to make for the future, but this positive response is a testament to the outstanding work of our academic and professional services staff over the last year, who have worked hard to develop and deliver teaching within a new blended learning model. We will continue to develop and embed this work across the University through our Flexible Learning Programme, led by Professor Danielle George, Associate Vice-President for Blended and Flexible Learning.

These positive results also reflect how hard students have worked hard to engage with their studies and teachers under difficult circumstances. Students tell us they are looking forward to being back on campus – we hope their experience will continue to improve as we are able to re-introduce the vital on-campus component.

Our excellent teaching and support staff have worked incredibly hard to give students the best possible learning experience through all the recent changes and challenges. Colleagues within our Institute of Teaching and Learning, in Faculties and from across the University have provided valuable resources and support to help colleagues develop and deliver high quality, accessible online and blended learning content.

We are also very grateful for the brilliant work done by 15 paid Student Partners, who have provided vital feedback to help improve learning materials. This partnership working with students is incredibly important – it helps us continually develop our teaching and learning, to offer students a great experience that works for them.

New President’s Student Partners Scheme

We recognise that our students and staff are still facing very challenging times, and there will always be issues to address and improvements to be made. To build on this positive feedback and continue our commitment to working directly with students, we are launching the President’s Student Partners Scheme, which will recruit 20 students to work with Faculties and teams across the University on developing teaching and learning.

Student Partners will work with staff to review student feedback, identifying and promoting successes and best practice, and ensuring we keep learning from each other. They will also help design future surveys to ensure we ask the questions that matter to our students, to focus our continued developments in the right direction.

The scheme will offer part-time, paid work for 12 weeks and will run in Semester 2 of this academic year and Semester 1 of the 2021/22 academic year – so students can gain professional work experience alongside their studies. More details on the Student Partner roles and how students can apply will be released soon.

Once again, thank you to all of our amazing staff and students for coming together in this incredibly difficult time. You are all doing an exemplary job supporting each other as colleagues, students and teachers. We are extremely pleased to see the constant improvement in online teaching and learning, and increasing numbers of students feeling positive about their experiences. Rest assured however, that we are not resting on our laurels – as we continue to listen, learn and improve.

Professor April McMahon

Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students