Notion of Quality: Student Perceptions of What Needs Improvement

Patrick HALLORAN
Curtin University, Australia
p.halloran@curtin.edu.au

Connie PRICE
Curtin University, Australia
c.price@curtin.edu.au

Beatrice TUCKER
Curtin University, Australia
b.tucker@curtin.edu.au

Melissa DAVIS
Curtin University, Australia
m.davis@curtin.edu.au

Abstract

Feedback from students is recognised as one important factor in ascertaining the quality of an educational unit. The voice of students can be captured through student evaluations using both quantitative and qualitative survey data and used to drive change and improve quality of teaching and learning. Analysis of the data using CEQuery and SPSS text analysis reveals student perceptions of those Best Aspects and areas that Need Improvement within these evaluations. Exploring the student experience has been undertaken using a large student cohort studying through one of Australia's largest online providers delivered through Open Universities Australia (OUA). The survey data encompasses 490 subject units with 47,696 students enrolled over seven study periods of 2012. Students reported very high levels of satisfaction with their learning experience, with lower levels of satisfaction reported for quality of teaching and assessment. Student comments indicate that the main area that needs improvement is in the domain of assessment, and relates to the poor quality of information provided for their assessments, the inadequacy of feedback, and the management of student expectations. From this analysis, a conceptual framework for transforming learning institutionally is provided focussed on the student's point of view.

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