How can we use student feedback to improve learning and teaching?
Student surveys are at the heart of two trends in UK higher education – increased marketisation, and the principle that students are partners in their education. But whether they are seen as mechanisms for the collection of business intelligence, or as vehicles for the student voice, it is crucial that surveys help to improve the processes and practices of learning and teaching. By shedding light on how students experience their studies, by enabling comparison and benchmarking between and within institutions, and by prompting and fostering conversations about learning and teaching, surveys are an important part of the process of quality enhancement.
On 4 June 2015 the HEA held its annual Surveys for Enhancement Conference in central London, bringing together research and practice in the development and use of student surveys. Delegates heard from international and national experts,on how institutions in the UK are making the most of student feedback.
The conference included a keynote from Dr Alexander C. McCormick, Director of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the pioneering US engagement survey that has been used by over 1,500 institutions and completed by 4.5 million students since its launch in 2000, and which has since been adopted around the English-speaking world. Alexander is also Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University, and Senior Associate Director of their Centre for Postsecondary Research.
The conference also marked the launch of the report of the 2015 Student Academic Experience Survey, a high-profile policy-focused survey run in partnership with the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI). The first part of the conference was a joint event with HEPI, and featured a presentation on the survey findings and a keynote from a key figure in UK higher education.
The programme, abstracts and presentations from the day can be found here