Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Computerised Collection and Analysis of Teaching Quality Assessment Data
Originator Ian Drummond
Department Department of Geography , University of Hull , HU6 7RX
Tel. +44 (0)1482 465006
Fax. +44 (0)1482 466340
E-mail i.drummond@geo.hull.ac.uk

In line with university policy, the Department of Geography collects and analyses student feedback on all modules taught each semester. Traditionally, this data was collected by hand with students completing paper forms. These forms asked students to score a range of criteria under the headings of: the module; the lectures, seminars; field classes; practical classes. In addition to this, respondents were invited to make any further comments they wished regarding the module concerned.

We have now moved to a system where responses to these same questions are entered directly onto a computer based system. This new system has a number of advantages. It saves considerable time for both staff and students - in the old system students were asked to fill in 4 or 5 separate forms, the whole process can now he completed in one go. Time is also saved because the data collected is stored in a form which is ready for analysis. The students like this system because it is clearly anonymous. Perhaps the most positive feature of this system, however, has been that it encourages longer and more substantial written comments than the traditional paper-based system did.

The only major concern with the new system is ensuring a high level of response. Under the old system forms were completed at the end lectures and response rates were typically around 90%. Under the computerised system, students are invited to enter their responses on a particular day towards the end of the semester and response rates have varied between 60% and 70%. The danger here is that respondents may well be self-selecting.

Although setting up the computerised system required some time and resources, these were relatively insignificant, and we believe that the advantages of the new system are significant.

Keywords:

Computer-based evaluation
Student feedback


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