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Module Evaluation Case Studies

Case Study 1. Dr Lydia Plath, History


Context

Links to policy section 3 “departments should also communicate to students how their feedback has been acted upon”

In History, we have a clear policy regarding responding to student feedback gathered both mid-year (for year-long modules) and at the end of each module. We have a staff intranet page dedicated to module feedback, which explains the process in detail, offering both technical support for Moodle, details of how to collect the feedback in class, and advice regarding how to respond to feedback. Staff are required to summarise and respond to student feedback in writing within 20 working days (by posting a response to Moodle) and are encouraged to discuss the feedback with students face-to-face (for interim feedback). Their responses are also sent to DUGS or DPGTS for information and to spot wider trends (e.g. this data has fed into our current curriculum review processes).

Good Practice Identified

Responses (both written and in discussion with students), should be student-facing and should demonstrate that you value students' opinions and have taken their feedback on board. They should include:

  • An honest summary of what students have written, including any outliers;
  • Any resulting intended changes to your teaching or the module content;
  • If students are divided about an aspect of your teaching, you can point this out to them;
  • If you are not changing your practice despite feedback, you should explain the pedagogical rationale for this;
  • Thanks to students for taking the time to provide feedback

Why?

This practice benefits students because by responding to feedback, staff can engage students with their learning and the reasons for their pedagogical decisions. These discussions can open a useful dialogue with students about what works and what doesn’t, on a module basis.

Evidence it works

We know this works because staff regularly make small changes to the second half of modules based on ideas and feedback from students. End of module feedback frequently refers to changes made as a result of interim feedback, or students engage in further discussions with staff about how to improve teaching. Student feedback is also feeding into our peer observation process.

Where to find more information: History module feedback pages 

General

Good Practice Identified
- Closing the loop – getting feedback and visibly responding, acting on some of the feedback where (and when) appropriate
- Wording questions appropriately for international students who do not speak English as a first language, clarifying the meaning of terms like “support”
Why?
- Encourages feedback from students and makes their opinions valued and worth giving. Should raise satisfaction

Evidence it works
- Still a work in progress, however, there are good ways of quickly highlighting big issues with certain modules
- Good quality feedback (i.e. genuine opinions) in some cohorts of international students will only be obtained if the students are 100% confident that they are providing the feedback anonymously


 

CASE STUDY 2. Dr Caterina Sinibaldi, SMLC & Dr Cathy Hampton, Languages


Good Practice Identified
- Allowing the space for their students to be creative in their responses (e.g. open questions)
- Focus groups collecting opinions across year groups (as opposed to individual modules)
- Scaffolding informal feedback student to students on year abroad
- Students completing scaffolded posts then show to other students
- Student to student feeding forward
Why?
- It fosters collaboration and co-design of the module, allowing students to communicate with other students. Additionally, students really like to be asked to do it: they appreciated being treated as ‘experts’!
Evidence it works
- Organically created good ideas coming forward
- Students were enthusiastic and pleased to be listened to
- Students continued the process of digesting materials by making videos for us
Where to find more information
- SMLC noticeboards

CASE STUDY 3. Professor Jo Angouri, Center for Applied Linguistics


Good Practice Identified

- Co-designing with students and staff
- Following up with module/course participants
- Feedback at different times, both formally and informally

Why?

It can create an ongoing dialogue as well as promoting greater student engagement.

Evidence it works

More student engagement has encouraged more student participation.

Where to find more information

- DoS – Center for Applied Linguistics website