The aims of the project were to provide:
- A better understanding of student perceptions of quality and standards, leading to the possibility of more effective relationships within and across institutions
- Sector, academic and student groups that are better equipped to understand student engagement and thus facilitate enhancement
- Examine the impact of recent policy developments on students’ perceptions of quality
- A more developed understanding of how perceptions vary across student groups. iinstitutional types and regional settings
Although it’s primary focus was on students in English institutions, and the impact of increasing fees, a number of the key recommendations have wider applicability to the rest of the UK and beyond.
A couple of the recommendations stood out for me including:
1. Students’ Framing of Ideology: Consumerist ethos: Student perceptions of value.
I’ve been trying to write something polite about this, but in light of experiences at my former host institution finding it very hard! Needless to say, there needs to be more real buy-in and recognition of the importance of educational development within universities along side research activities. . . I’m very happy now to be in an institution that is providing increased opportunities and backing up rhetoric with adequate numbers of dedicated staff for CPD in educational development.
Related to this:
5. Staff: Attributes, practices and attitudes.
“Students praised enthusiastic, experienced and engaged staff, but wanted mechanisms in place to develop staff and to manage ‘bad’ teachers. Students wanted staff to be qualified and trained . . .”
In relation to perceptions of technology the points below jumped out at me:
2. Students’ Framing of Practice: Student expectations of the learning environment: Clear benchmarks.
“Students’ expected their learning environment to meet clear benchmarks across four areas: instrumental (computers and physical spaces); organisational (timetabling and course structure); interpersonal (staff support and engagement); and academic (lecturers’ knowledge and attitude towards students).”