Enhancing the Learning Experience: Harnessing the Power of Student Feedback
By Feren Yen
As educators, we strive to create enriching learning experiences for our students. To achieve this, it is essential to actively listen to their voices and integrate their feedback into our teaching practices along with best practice. At RMIT University, student feedback is highly valued, and the College of Business and Law (CoBL) is committed to continuously improving the learning and teaching experience. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of student feedback and introduce the Course Experience Survey (CES) as a valuable tool for enhancing our courses.
The Course Experience Survey (CES)
The CES provides students with a platform to share their insights and perspectives on their courses.
The CES is a survey of the course experience, not just the teacher and is made up of:
- 4 questions about the course - what were the best parts, what could be improved and how much study students did
- 8 additional questions which can be selected from the Question Bank by the Course Coordinator
- 6 GTS questions about the teachers' contribution.
By participating in this survey, students contribute to improving the quality of teaching and the overall learning experience for future cohorts. The CES focuses on evaluating teaching quality and the course experience. Areas identified as needing improvement are assessed by academic leaders and are prioritised and may lead to course refreshers, staff professional development opportunities, assessment re-design and embedding any relevant technology.
Accessing CES Data
At RMIT, we believe in transparency and providing educators with the necessary resources to improve their teaching practices. CES reports for each class-teacher combination are distributed to teachers and course coordinators after the release of exam results each semester. These reports offer valuable insights and highlight areas where improvements can be made. You can access the CES Course Reports for your course at bit.ly/cescoursereports. If you are new to Power BI, access the overview video. Additionally, CES Teacher Reports are available at bit.ly/cesteacherreports, providing data on courses you have taught.
Surveys and Resources
To learn more about surveys at RMIT, including the survey calendar and frequently asked questions, visit the Student Facing Surveys webpage at rmit.edu.au/students/student-essentials/surveys. You can also find helpful information on the CAQE Resource Hub webpage. The hub provide links to video recordings, a helpful SWAY with tips on how to improve course experience and more! For assistance interpreting the results, contact your academic leader, CoBL Learning and Teaching team or watch this recent webinar by DSC LT.
CES Push Response Pilot Project
In Semester 1, 2023, the LTQ team successfully implemented the CES Push Response project with the aim of increasing response rates by 5% from the previous semester. The project resulted in a significant improvement, with response rates rising from 25% to 33%.
To support the CES Push Response project, several strategies were implemented for both staff and students. For staff members, a CES strategy video by DDLT Con Stavros was created, emphasizing the three steps involved: "explaining" the survey's importance, "encouraging" action, and "enabling" completion. It is recommended to allocate time in class to discuss and promote the survey. A Canvas Announcement.docx was prepared for Course Coordinators (CCs), facilitating communication with students. Moreover, a CES 2023 - Educator Pack was developed in a PowerPoint format, which can be shared with students to raise awareness and encourage their participation.
For students, the LTQ team conducted face-to-face tutorial visits to offer support. They prioritized courses with the highest number of enrolments, completing over 60 visits during weeks 11 and 12. Additionally, Konrad Peszyski, the Undergraduate Business Program Director, recorded a video specifically for students. This video can be played by tutors at a suitable time to inform and motivate students to provide valuable feedback and a professionally recorded video will be released for S2, 2023.
Student feedback is an invaluable resource that enables us to refine and enhance the learning and teaching experience. The CES empowers students to contribute to the improvement of future courses, ensuring a student-centered approach to education. By actively engaging with the CES reports and implementing strategies to increase survey participation, we can create a positive impact on the learning outcomes of our students. Let us work together to foster a culture of feedback and continuous improvement in the College of Business and Law at RMIT University.
Step-by-Step Guide for Academics
Course Coordinator: add up to 8 additional questions when notified by the Surveys Team.
All academics should receive communication from their Dean or Deputy Dean L&T to outline the school’s approach to CES for the upcoming semester.
- Watch Con’s CES strategy video.
- Add the Canvas Announcement.
- In weeks 11 and 12, allocate time in the middle of the tutorial to play Konrad’s video or tell students the importance of their feedback and how changes have been made from the previous semester’s feedback – give one or two specific examples. You can use the Educator Slide Pack.
- Allow 10 mins for students to complete surveys for all courses.
Due to the project’s success in Semester 1, 2023 a further response push project will be completed for Semester 2, 2023 so keep an eye out for further communications.
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