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Module Evaluation

Led initially by Gwen Van der Velden and then by Cathy Hampton (SMLC), this learning circle began life in October 2017, with a remit to look at existing practices in module evaluation both within Warwick and elsewhere. The circle sought to explore the ‘how, what, when and why’ of module evaluation for both staff and students across Warwick, with the twin aims of sharing good practice and finding ways to work more closely together.

The learning circle particularly focused its energies on the examination of Student Module Feedback (SMF) processes as a dimension of Module Evaluation (see https://warwick.ac.uk/services/its/servicessupport/academictechnology/teaching/smf/). We noted a real diversity of SMF practice at Warwick. We explored scholarship on this subject in order to identify its inherent challenges. This process coincided with an ITS project to develop an online, central module evaluation system, with automated data gathering for departments. ITS were represented in the learning circle (Amber Thomas) and this led to a productive convergence of discussions.

We then set ourselves a series of targets:

  • To create a list of recommended survey questions for use by departments at Warwick
  • To liaise with ITS with respect to the creation of an online SMF tool and guidance for usage
  • To encourage discussion of SMF and to advocate for the SMF service in our home departments and those with whom we work
  • To encourage departments to participate in a pilot study (2018-19)
  • To produce a new University Module Evaluation policy
  • To develop guidance materials on the processes of SMF
Milestones:
  • 7 and 28 February 2018: 2 open workshops on SMF survey questions devised by the LC.
  • April 2018: presentation of summary paper to SLEEC by Prof Van der Velden proposing a refreshed approach to Module Evaluation in the light of the above. This is then agreed by the University Education Committee.
  • Summer 2018: 6 departments agree to participate in pilot study of ONLINE SMF tool; 4 further departments pilot the core recommended questions.
  • February 2019: WIHEA Module Evaluation Learning Circle meeting. Discussed a survey of pilot departments and other user experiences.
  • Feb 2019: SMF ONLINE Key Users feedback meeting, which also included input to service design.
  • April 2019: Amber Thomas and Cathy Hampton table Module Evaluation paper at SLEEC.
Materials Produced So Far:
Where We Are Now:
Highlights
  • Core questions well received. The pilot study survey revealed that staff particularly like the qualitative data generated by question 1: ‘1. Please name the one thing in the module which has had the most impact on your learning (open question)

  • Consistency of core question set viewed as highly beneficial for the surveying of cross-departmental / cross-faculty modules

  • Moodle online SMF platform and customized reports popular with pilot users.

Queries
  • High number of variables in how departments use questions: what does this mean for the quality of the data?

  • Those surveyed frequently wanted further clarification of how the data could or should be used.

  • Further consideration of SMF processes in team-taught modules thought desirable

Future Aspirations:
  • Surveying of SMF practice across the University with the aim of obtaining a much more accurate University-wide picture of the ‘how, what, when and why’ of SMF

  • Creation of guidance materials for staff and students for the SMF cycle: from survey creation and completion to response and action

  •  Production of Case Studies

Current members of this circle:

  • Cathy Hampton (Lead)
  • Russell Boyatt
  • Jane Bryan
  • Nikola Chmel
  • Gill Cooke
  • Cathy Hampton
  • Geraldine Hartshorne
  • Yvette Hutchison
  • Liam Jackson
  • Elizabeth Jones
  • Jennie Mills
  • Lydia Plath
  • Sophie Reissner-Roubicek
  • Clare Rowan
  • Karen Simecek
  • Amber Thomas
  • Elke Thonnes
  • Gwen van der Velden
  • Jo Wale
  • Anne Wilson
  • Helen Nolan