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TATIONpRÆSEN 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Factors underlying student satisfaction.

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Presentation on theme: "TATIONpRÆSEN 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Factors underlying student satisfaction."— Presentation transcript:

1 TATIONpRÆSEN 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann, Msc., PhD Centre for Teaching and Learning, Aarhus University

2 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Outline › Aarhus University Student Survey › Dimensions › Predictors of student satisfaction › International perspectives › Conclusion 2

3 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Background › Elite  mass university › ”[research] suggest that there is something the university teachers can do about learning – not by trying to change the students, but by trying to change the context experienced by the students” (Prosser & Trigwell, 1999:7, emphasis added) ›  Which factors are important? 3

4 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Survey › Aarhus University 2007 and 2011 › Questionnaire: › Surveys of psycho-social work environment › Study environment surveys › Theories of learning › n (2011)=11,402 › Response rate = 37 per cent 4

5 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Dimensions › Methods › Principal Factor Analysis › Varimax rotation › Kaiser’s criterion › n=11,402 › Physical surroundings (  =,823) › Constructive alignment (  =,861) › Feedback (  =,871) › Work load (  =,734) › Contact with teachers (  =,758) › Social infrastructure (  =,683) › Study groups (  =,706) › Stress (  =,817) › Self-efficacy (  =,756) › Social integration (  =,768) › Academic integration (  =,707) › Satisfaction (  =,657) 5

6 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Predictors of student satisfaction › What predicts student satisfaction? › Methods: › Multiple regression (least square) › n=7,393 › Y: student satisfaction and well-being › X n : perception of learning environment › Adjusted R 2 = › Shown here: Zero-order Pearsons r correlation coefficients › All correlations are statistically significant at the 0.05 level › Social integration (r=,541) › Academic integration (r=,512) › Social infrastructure (r=,400) › Constructive alignment (r=,342) › Work load (r=-316,) › Contact with teachers (r=,254) › Study groups (r=,232) › Feedback (r=,200) › Physical surroundings (r=,191) › Stress (r=-,151) 6

7 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET The (statistically) happy student › ”I feel like being part of an academic community” (academic integration) › ”The other students are kind and cooperative” (social integration) › ”There are places for us to meet outside class” (social infrastructure) › ”It is quite clear what I am expected to learn” (constructive alignment) › ”I am usually up to speed with set course work” (workload) › ”Teachers around here seem to care about students” (contact with teachers) › ”In most semesters, I am part of a study group” (study group) › ”I can get feedback on assignments” (feedback) 7

8 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET The (statistically) unhappy student › ”Most courses are quite dull” (academic integration) › ”I often feel lonely at university” (social integration) › ”There are no opportunities for students to meet outside classes” (social infrastructure) › ”What we learn is not reflected in the way we are assessed” (constructive alignment) › ”You can’t possibly keep up with assignments” (workload) › ”You never see teachers around here” (contact with teachers) › ” Students here don’t help each other out” (study group) › ”Grades are the only source of feedback in this programme” (feedback) 8

9 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET The (statistically) unhappy student › ”Most courses are quite dull” ( academic integration ) › ”I often feel lonely at university” (social integration) › ”There are no opportunities for students to meet outside classes” (social infrastructure) › ”What we learn is not reflected in the way we are assessed” ( constructive alignment ) › ”You can’t possibly keep up with assignments” (workload) › ”You never see teachers around here” (contact with teachers) › ” Students here don’t help each other out” (study group) › ”Grades are the only source of feedback in this programme” (feedback) 9

10 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Departmental differences 10

11 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Constructive alignment › Items: › Clear learning objectives › Clear assesment criteria › Clearly communicated expectations › Provision of appropriate learning opportunities › Congruence between objectives and assessment › Suggestions: › Meaningful and formalised learning activities › Alignment › Meta-communication 11 “The intended learning outcomes stated in the curriculum are meaningless. They are abstract descriptions that apply to any course and they say absolutely nothing about what is expected. […] This uncertainty is very stressful” (Psychology student). “The problem is that it’s unclear what is expected of you at the examination. I think this is because teachers don’t talk about it or – more important – that there is no coherence between how we are taught and how we are assessed. Teaching is good. I just wish that there were some written assignment [as at the examination]. Some teachers [names] experiment with written assignments. I think this it good because it makes it clear what is expected of us students” (Political Science student, emphasis added)

12 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Academic integration › Items › Growing interest in the subject matter › Feeling of belonging to an academic community › Results › High in the natural and technical sciences and in medical science › Lower in social sciences and arts › Suggestions › Early opportunities to become a ‘scientist’ › Authentic problems › Collaboration with faculty on small-scale research projects 12 “During my bachelor’s we weren’t assigned to any particular lab and thus you felt as if you didn’t belong anywhere […] This changed once we started to attend the same lab. Now you get in touch with other molecular biologist. (Molecular Biology student, emphasis added). “The good thing [about working in the laboratory] is that you start to bond with the staff.” (Molecular Biology student, emphasis added).

13 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Why bother if students are happy? › Moral imperative? › Learning environment  › Retention › Quality of students approaches to learning › Amount of effort invested › Learning outcomes › (see e.g. Parpala et al. [2013]) 13

14 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET The ETL-project 14 Source: Entwistle (2009: 180)

15 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET Conclusion › Student satisfaction depends on … › … feeling part of a social and academic community which is promoted by a … › … learning environment supporting › constructive alignment, › frequent and respectful teacher-student interaction, › students’ academic and social interaction › These factors relate to high quality learning › … and they are under our control 15

16 Factors underlying student satisfaction Kim Jesper Herrmann 6 May 2013 CENTER FOR UNDERVISNING OG LÆRING SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AARHUS UNIVERSITET References Biggs, J. (2012). What the Student Does: Teaching for Enhanced Learning. Higher Education Research and Development, 31, Entwistle, N. (2009). Teaching for Understanding at University: Deep Approaches and Distinctive Ways of Thinking (Universities Into the 21st Century). (1 ed.) Palgrave Macmillan. Parpala, A., Lindblom-Ylänne, S., Komulainen, E. & Entwistle N. (2013) Assessing students’ experiences of teaching-learning environment and approaches to learning: Validation of a questionnaire in different countries an varying context, Learning Environment Research, Prosser, M. T. & Trigwell, K. (1999). Understanding Learning and Teaching: The Experience in Higher Education. SRHE and Open University Press. Online ressources: Centre for Teaching and Learning: ETL-project: Study Environment Survey 2011: 16


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