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The students have spoken: “We want more feedback” – NSS 2014


The National Student Survey (NSS) 2014 results are out. Teaching quality has been rated the highest and is on the rise, while assessment and feedback was rated lowest and unchanged from the previous year’s survey at 72%.

2 out of the 3 Universities that share the top spot (excluding small and specialist institutions) in ratings are using Talis. Also, 50% of all institutions that share the top 10 spots are working with our modules too. We are proud to be part of their journey. We would like to congratulate all the institutions that have participated in the NSS 2014 and worked hard to strive for higher standards of Education in the UK.

The assessment and feedback component of the NSS has been rated the lowest by students consistently every year from as far back as 2006. In her article titled ‘Could do Better?’: students’ critique of written feedback, Kate Brooks, a lecturer at the University of the West of England, discusses her findings on research into students’ attitude to feedback from tutors on assignments. Tutors’ feedback on assessments has always formed an integral component of Higher Education learning. Kate concludes that feedback should really be an ongoing and integral part of the teaching and learning process.

In addition, the increased use of digital resources in teaching and learning has opened the doors to another type of proactive feedback. Presenting students with the learning analytics data generated as and when they engage with these digital resources can have interesting applications. Paul Stainthorp, e-resources librarian at Lincoln university, kicked off a very interesting discussion at the recent Talis Aspire User Group Meeting. He described how students could use analytics to improve their own learning by reflecting on how their engagement compares to that of their peers. Watch the brief discussion below to hear how this got Caroline Taylor, University Librarian at Leicester University, excited!

This is an area we find really exciting too, and are actively exploring as part of our pilot programme for the Lighthouse project. If you would like to find out more, get in touch.

What do you think? How could students be using this type of data to reflect on their learning, and improve?

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