Here’s a question for you…which song has the lyrics – “I’m on a ride and I want to get off”? Do you know? If you do then add the answer in the comments below. Don’t worry this isn’t turning into a Youtube Daily vlog – I just think it represents how I am feeling at the moment. Last Monday was lovely and although many of you probably worked, it was just nice to work on some different things and not the usual jobs that we need to do. I have many projects on the go at the moment, and something which I like to keep in mind is whether there are providing satisfaction for all the people who engage with them, whether this is my blogs, my gaming stream or even my Youtube videos. At the same time, it is coming to the end of the teaching year at university and students are being asked to complete programme evaluations and the National Student Survey – but do these actually provide an accurate measure of student satisfaction? Well that it is what I wanted to waffle about …
This waffle was prompted by an article I read back in March on The Times Higher Education website about how the National Student Survey possibly gets student satisfaction wrong. I know its a while back now, but I’ve been thinking about what I actually consider and recognise as student satisfaction and, it is only when I have been chatting to the students in academic tutor meetings this week and in final year assessments that I started to piece together my actual views. As always, I am going to try and summarise my thoughts into three major points, so please do not judge this as a attempt to simplify the whole concept. Also, something which I appear to be doing more often, these are my own personal view on things and do not represent the views of any specific institution – it sounds like I am going to be controversial – I assure you this is just a marketing ploy to get you to continue to listen/read.
Reading this back, I don’t want to come across as if I am feeling hard done by. There is no blame within this waffle, it is just my usual ramble of thoughts I have put together on this blog. In a similar way that I do not think it is possible to assess the children within primary school by asking them a series of yes/no, right/wrong questions, I am dubious of any system that attempts to rate student satisfaction or even my teaching with a series of closed ended and rather, in my humble, minion opinion, limiting questions. What satisfies one person, might not satisfy another. Learning isn’t easy, its hard and requires effort and it would go against my own philosophies to just ‘provide’ the answers. Learning should however, be fun and engaging and that is something which I am prepared to work at, ensuring that this happens in each of my sessions. If I am doing this, and supporting the learners both in and out of sessions, then I consider that I am doing my job well and that, even though others might not be completely satisfied, I am and this, even if might seems a bit selfish, makes me go to work every day and enjoy what I do for a living.
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Have fun and I’ll catch you later