The evasys advantage | Tools and support to collect feedback that drives positive change

By Dr Helena Lim

Tips on Collecting and Curating Student Feedback

As the leading provider of survey and evalution software in UK higher education, evasys works with more than 60 institutions to help them on their journeys towards more robust student feedback systems. Today, I’d like to share some insights on how we support our partners in collecting and curating student feedback.

At evasys, we’re passionate about helping universities go beyond just collecting feedback, helping with the creation of a genuine culture of listening to students. We provide tools and support that help institutions unlock the full potential of student feedback to drive positive change.

Moving Beyond the NSS

Many universities focus on achieving a good National Student Survey (NSS) score. While the NSS has some value, it offers a limited snapshot of the student experience. Chasing a single number risks skewing priorities and can lead to missing the things that affect student wellbeing throughout the student journey.

Building a Holistic Ecosystem | The power of diverse feedback methods

The evasys team supports our partners in developing multi-faceted student feedback ecosystems, providing a more nuanced understanding of the diverse student experience.

We all know module evaluations (for insights into specific courses) and national surveys like NSS, PRES, PTES, and UKES (for benchmarking). In addition to these, expanding the survey toolkit to gather feedback on a wider range of topics can provide invaluable insights that guide actions to ensure student success.

Here area just a few examples of how UK institutions are using evasys to capture and act upon student voice:

  • Middlesex University uses pre-arrival surveys to understand expectations and proactively tailor support.

  • The University for the Creative Arts uses induction surveys to gauge first impressions and address issues early on.

  • The University of Stirling gathers real-time student sentiment with ‘early module check in’ pulse surveys.

  • The University of Hertfordshire used an Educational Gains Survey to showcase skills development for their TEF submission.

We also support initiatives like the Being, Belonging, Becoming (BBB) project which captures student perspectives on well-being and belonging. Early BBB results are already helping universities to refine support and address mental health challenges.

Building a Feedback Ecosystem | Key principles for success

There are a number of guiding principles to help ensure that your survey ecosystem is built successfully:

  • Keep it simple: Consolidate surveys onto one platform for less hassle and better insights.

  • Focus on genuine improvement: Ditch generic questions. Ask about what truly shapes a student’s experience (support networks, mental wellbeing, future goals and so on) to show you care about the whole person.

  • Empower your staff: Give them the tools and access to understand feedback, so they can take ownership of making improvements.

  • Show, don’t tell: Communicate how feedback leads to changes (extended library hours, mental health resources, for example) – this builds trust!

London Metropolitan has blogged on its journey to develop a thriving ecosystem.

Tips on Collecting and Curating Student Feedback featured
Student-Centred Feedback | Putting student feedback into action

It’s critical to put students at the very heart of institutional survey processes. At evasys, we’ve seen our partner institutions achieve great results with survey processes that:

  • Create impactful actions: Turn feedback into clear plans that make a real difference in student lives.

  • Offer variety: Surveys are great, but also consider online forums, focus groups, social media polls and supporting student-led initiatives to hear every student’s voice.

  • Prioritise inclusion: Actively seek out diverse perspectives to create a better student experience for everyone.

  • Showcase a culture of listening: Let students know their voices are valued, not just tolerated. When they see changes inspired by their input, they become invested partners.

Dr Helena Lim evasys head of opportunities

I talk about all of the above topics in more detail in a recent Wonkhe webinar, titled ‘The changing face of student feedback’, where I’m joined by host Aaron Porter from Wonkhe, Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Students at Queen’s University Belfast Judy Williams, Beth Elder, President at Queen’s University Students’ Union and Neil Fowler, Associate Provost (Learning and Teaching) at the University of Derby. It’s well worth a watch, and can be found here, on the Wonkhe website.

The Transformation Starts Now

Many universities are rethinking student feedback and embracing a more holistic understanding of the student journey. Imagine knowing what students expect even before they arrive, or getting real-time feedback on courses – these insights could be transformative! Of course, success hinges on getting the principles right, having the right tools… and being open to evolution; because what works today won’t always work tomorrow.

The evasys team are experts at simplifying the complex world of student feedback, so that you can focus on curating insights, empowering staff to act, and demonstrating that impact to your students.

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