As foreshadowed in the article on TEDS in Turbulent Times, the PVC-L&T team has developed a survey to gather students’ feedback about their experience of online learning since the recommencement of teaching on March 30th.  Although originally planned for release in Week 10, the survey will be available from Monday, May 4 (Week 9), and will run until the end of Week 11 (24 May).

Students will receive an email invitation to complete the survey as well as a link to it appearing in the “Student Feedback Surveys” block on their iLearn home page. Students’ responses will be treated confidentially and unable to be linked with their identity in any reporting or communication of the survey results.

About the survey

The survey is designed to capture a broad range of student perspectives on studying online, both in the current circumstances brought about by the COVID-10 pandemic, and in general. Both “internal” and “external” coursework students will be surveyed.

The purpose is to gain information about how students are managing online learning, and details of the pain/pressure points they are experiencing. Clearly not all of these will be directly related to online delivery as such – the pandemic situation is affecting all of us in ways unrelated to work or study – but it will help us prioritise remedies and channel resources, support and development into  the areas of greatest concern.

We are also looking to identify areas of strength – what is working well for students – so that we can take these aspects of our online delivery practices forward, not only into Session 2 this year but beyond. As students return to campus (whenever that might be), we want to further develop our online delivery capabilities, complementary to on-campus teaching, to provide the best learning experience for students, regardless of the environment(s) in which it occurs.

What’s in the survey?

The survey is largely qualitative, seeking students’ views on the most positive aspects of their learning experience, and those aspects that they are dissatisfied with, and why. We are also asking them what they think we could do better, in relation to online learning.

There are a few “scale” items, asking them about how confident they are of success with online learning, how well they are managing their learning in the current situation, and whether they feel that they have adequate opportunities for interaction with teaching staff and fellow students. There is an item on general satisfaction with online learning, to provide us with a baseline for future development. 

There is a final open-ended item inviting comment on their overall experience, in which they are also invited to expand on their responses to the above scale items.

How will results be reported?

Data analysis will be undertaken to identify key themes in the overall set of qualitative and quantitative responses. Where adequate responses are received, we are also planning to analyse results for a range of demographic and enrolment cohorts, as follows:

  • Faculty/Course/Discipline/Field of Study
  • International (offshore, onshore)/Domestic;
  • Internal/external and level of experience with fully online learning
  • Undergraduate/Postgraduate
  • year of enrolment (1, 2, 3, 4+)
  • age group
  • gender
  • rural/remote status
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status

It is likely that not all of these will turn out to be relevant; cohort summaries that align with the overall results will not need to be reported. Reports will be compiled by the Office of the PVC-L&T in collaboration with the Business Information and Reporting (BIR) unit and disseminated to staff and students via appropriate channels.

Note that we are not undertaking unit level analysis of these data. We encourage staff who wish to obtain feedback at unit level to order an LET or LEU from TEDS. See TEDS in Turbulent Times.

Promoting the Online Learning Survey

As the usual campus-based student communications channels are not available to us right now, we need the help of unit convenors and teaching staff to promote this survey. Please share this post widely with teaching/convening colleagues.

If you are convening or teaching units this session (whether designed as, or recently transitioned to, online delivery) please encourage your students to complete the survey. They can access it either through their student email or via their iLearn home page, in the “Student Feedback Surveys” block. Please also emphasise the importance of student feedback in helping us to improve the student learning experience in Session 2 and beyond. The image below shows how students can find the Survey in iLearn:

Thank you for your assistance in promoting this important student feedback survey!

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Posted by Cathy Rytmeister

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