Shaping the future of learning using the student voice: we’re listening but are we hearing clearly?
Student voice data is a key factor as Manchester Metropolitan University strives to continually improve institutional technology enhanced learning (TEL) infrastructure. A bi-annual Institutional Student Survey enables students to communicate their experience of learning, teaching and assessment on programmes and specific units studied. Each cycle of the survey contains approximately 40–50,000 free text comments from students pertaining to what they appreciate and what they would like to see improved. A detailed thematic analysis of this data has identified 18 themes, arranged into six categories relating to the ‘Best’ aspects of courses, and 25 themes, arranged in seven categories in relation to aspects of courses considered to be ‘in need of improvement’. This student data was then used as a basis for semi-structured interviews with staff. Anecdotally, evidence suggested that student expectations and staff expectations around TEL and the virtual learning environment (VLE) differed. On-going evaluation of this work has highlighted a disconnect. In significant instances, academic colleagues seemingly misinterpret the student voice analysis and consequently struggle to respond effectively. In response to the analysis, the learning technologist’s role has been to re-interpret the analysis and redevelop TEL staff development and training activities. The changes implemented have focused on: contextualising resources in VLE; making lectures more interactive; enriching the curriculum with audio–visual resources; and setting expectations around communications.
(Published: 21 November 2016)
Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2016, 24: 30146 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v24.30146
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