Creating a dialogue with students about what matters to them

Student feedback systems should contribute to student engagement and success

… not turn students off. So says our resident academic and Head of Opportunities Dr Helena Lim in her latest blog for Wonkhe – a must read for anyone interested in student feedback.

Helena’s blog discusses the ways in which the NSS only captures part of the student experience, and that the fairly common practice within UK institutions to echo NSS questions for internal surveys may be actively contributing to student disengagement.

The solution? According to Helena we need less focus on getting students to respond positively to the NSS and more effort placed on mechanisms and processes that create a dialogue with students. To get the best insights from students, you must ask them questions that matter and have meaning to them. And a path towards a more authentic conversation with students also needs to incorporate clear evidence that students are listened to and responded to in a timely fashion. All of this means that the questions asked of students also need to be actionable – informed decision-making as a response to student feedback is a driving force for student voice policy within an institution.

The recently published Wonkhe blog ‘Student feedback systems should contribute to student engagement and success, not turn students off’ provides far more detail on the ways that students can express opinions, the different feedback mechanisms available, how to help students to provide constructive feedback and much more.

Contributions and viewpoints from London Metropolitan University, Neil Fowler at University of Derby, Judy Williams at Queen’s University Belfast and Ravinder Bassi and David Gilani from Middlesex University provide context and ideas from an institutional point of view.

Dr Helena Lim evasys head of opportunities

Helena finishes by highlighting that the way forward for student feedback is to create a culture of open dialogue, and provides some recommendations for how to go about that.

The full blog will provide valuable insights and ideas for anyone in higher education with an interest in student engagement, retention and success.

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