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HEA Economics Network & University of Aberdeen Business School (Economics) WD McCausland and P Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "HEA Economics Network & University of Aberdeen Business School (Economics) WD McCausland and P Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 HEA Economics Network & University of Aberdeen Business School (Economics) WD McCausland and P Smith

2 Presenters Peter David McCausland Smith

3 Overview  Assessment and feedback consistently highlighted as one facet of student satisfaction where we underperform  NSS increasingly used as a metric for assessing quality of teaching provision in league tables  Understanding of issue gives opportunity to develop own (rather than imposed) strategies for improvement National Student SurveyEconomics Network SurveyFocus Group ResultsAssessment & Feedback Strategy

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5 NSS Survey Questions 2009 Staff expertise and enthusiasm “Staff are good at explaining things” “Staff have made the subject interesting” “Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching” “The course is intellectually stimulating”

6 NSS Survey Questions 2009 Feedback and assessment “The criteria used in marking have been clear in advance” “Assessment arrangements and marking have been fair” “Feedback on my work has been prompt” “I have received detailed comments on my work” “Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand”

7 NSS Survey Questions 2009 Advising and timetabling “I have received sufficient advice and support with my studies” “I have been able to contact staff when I needed to” “Good advice was available when I needed to make study choices” “The timetable works efficiently as far as my activities are concerned” “Any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively” “The course is well organised and is running smoothly”

8 NSS Survey Questions 2009 Personal development “The course has helped me present myself with confidence” “My communication skills have improved” “As a result of the course, I feel confident in tackling unfamiliar problems” “Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course”

9 Aberdeen’s NSS performance 1University of the West of England, Bristol 2University of Buckingham 3University of Surrey 4University of Greenwich 5University of Kent 6Coventry University 7Swansea University 8University of East Anglia 9Aberystwyth University 10University of Exeter 11University of York 12University of Birmingham 13Oxford Brookes University 14University of Leicester 15University of Sheffield 16University of Aberdeen 17Nottingham Trent University 18University of Strathclyde 19Loughborough University 20University of Ulster the top 20 Source: Latreille (2010) Overall ranking by rank sum

10 Aberdeen’s NSS performance: Scotland 1 University of the West of England, Bristol 2 University of Buckingham 3 University of Surrey 4 University of Greenwich 5 University of Kent 6 Coventry University 7 Swansea University 8 University of East Anglia 9 Aberystwyth University 10 University of Exeter 11 University of York 12 University of Birmingham 13 Oxford Brookes University 14 University of Leicester 15 University of Sheffield 16 University of Aberdeen 17 Nottingham Trent University 18 University of Strathclyde 19 Loughborough University 20 University of Ulster 21 University of Durham 22 University of St Andrews 23 University of Bradford 24 University of Hertfordshire 25 University of Liverpool 26 University of East London 27 University of Portsmouth 28 University of Newcastle upon Tyne 29 University of Glasgow 30 University of Essex 31 University of Bath 32 University of Sussex 33 University of Warwick 34 University of Nottingham 34 University of Southampton 36 University of Northumbria at Newcastle 37 Cardiff University 38 University of Hull 39 University of Plymouth 40 Lancaster University 41 University College London 42 University of Dundee 43 Royal Holloway, University of London 44 University of Reading 45 Kingston University 46 London School of Economics and Political Science 47 School of Oriental and African Studies 48 University of Leeds 49 University of Edinburgh 50 Goldsmiths College, University of London 51 London Metropolitan University 51 Queen Mary, University of London 53 Queen's University Belfast 54 University of Bristol 55 Keele University 56 Heriot-Watt University 57 University of Manchester 58 Middlesex University 59 City University, London 60 Brunel University 61 University of Westminster

11 Aberdeen’s NSS performance: leaders 1 University of the West of England, Bristol 2 University of Buckingham 3 University of Surrey 4 University of Greenwich 5 University of Kent 6 Coventry University 7 Swansea University 8 University of East Anglia 9 Aberystwyth University 10 University of Exeter 11 University of York 12 University of Birmingham 13 Oxford Brookes University 14 University of Leicester 15 University of Sheffield 16 University of Aberdeen 17 Nottingham Trent University 18 University of Strathclyde 19 Loughborough University 20 University of Ulster 21 University of Durham 22 University of St Andrews 23 University of Bradford 24 University of Hertfordshire 25 University of Liverpool 26 University of East London 27 University of Portsmouth 28 University of Newcastle upon Tyne 29 University of Glasgow 30 University of Essex 31 University of Bath 32 University of Sussex 33 University of Warwick 34 University of Nottingham 34 University of Southampton 36 University of Northumbria at Newcastle 37 Cardiff University 38 University of Hull 39 University of Plymouth 40 Lancaster University 41 University College London 42 University of Dundee 43 Royal Holloway, University of London 44 University of Reading 45 Kingston University 46 London School of Economics and Political Science 47 School of Oriental and African Studies 48 University of Leeds 49 University of Edinburgh 50 Goldsmiths College, University of London 51 London Metropolitan University 51 Queen Mary, University of London 53 Queen's University Belfast 54 University of Bristol 55 Keele University 56 Heriot-Watt University 57 University of Manchester 58 Middlesex University 59 City University, London 60 Brunel University 61 University of Westminster

12 Aberdeen’s NSS performance Sectio nDescription Aberdeen’s Rank 0Overall16 1 Staff expertise and enthusiasm13 2Feedback and assessment10 3Advising12 4Timetabling30 6Personal development33 the top 20 Source: Latreille (2010) Section ranking by section rank sum / section

13 Aberdeen’s NSS performance the top 20 ranking by question Source: Latreille (2010) 1Staff are good at explaining things. 2Staff have made the subject interesting. 3Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching. 4The course is intellectually stimulating. 5The criteria used in marking have been clear in advance. 6Assessment arrangements and marking have been fair. 7Feedback on my work has been prompt. 8I have received detailed comments on my work. 9Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand. 10I have received sufficient advice and support with my studies. 11I have been able to contact staff when I needed to. 12Good advice was available when I needed to make study choices. 13The timetable works efficiently as far as my activities are concerned. 14Changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively 15The course is well organised and is running smoothly. 19The course has helped me present myself with confidence. 20My communication skills have improved. 21As a result of the course, I feel confident in tackling unfamiliar problems. 22Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course. Aberdeen Rank / Question rank average score rank percentage agree* * 4 or 5 on Likert scale

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15 EN Questions 61 respondents 69% have A level economics 66% have A level mathematics 45% have English as first language Even mix of years 2/3/4

16 Aberdeen’s EN survey performance 17.o. Feedback on submitted work Very useful: 27.9% Useful: 29.5% Of some use: 29.5% Of little use: 8.2% N/A : 4.9%  Very few assessments and very little individual feedback  Assessments mainly longer essays, fewer tests  Prefer more assessments throughout semester (quizzes not essays) rather than heavily weighted final exams

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18 EN Focus Group Economics Network hosted March students Self-selected (response to advert) Mainly year 4 (with some 2nd and 3rd years) Mainly international

19 Focus Group Questions  satisfaction with course  aspects of the course feel happy with  aspects of the course feel unhappy with or feel could be improved  prior expectations of the course  extent course met /differed from expectations  assessment and feedback experienced  usefulness of assessment and feedback – passively received or acted upon; support needed  improvement of assessment and feedback procedures  numeracy and literacy skills: prior preparation and development; placing of EC3001 Maths and Stats  balance between modes of learning

20 Focus Groups: Key Themes Assessment “I can’t understand why there are unequal proportions between coursework and the exam, e.g. 80 / 20, why not 50 / 50)” “I (would prefer) to be forced to study on a regular basis and have tests more often” “presentations in tutorials should count at least 10%” “they shouldn’t mark our (corporate finance assignments) based on what they think the average grade should be at the end” “Micro 4 was (tests/quizzes) (that) counted (for) 50% of the total mark - and I think I understood it far better than writing essays” “you don’t know what exactly is expected on the exam essay” “you only cover a fraction of what you’ve learnt with three (exam) questions”

21 Focus Groups: Key Themes Feedback “I can’t understand why you can’t get any feedback from the essays written in the exams. I got three times in a row the same mark, and I still don’t know what I’m doing wrong” “department very helpful - they always found time, and would explain very patiently” “I think the problem is, and most teachers don’t tell you this, is that they have a lot of work - they do research and stuff. So it’s a matter of time constraint. We want more tutorials but there’s no one there to give (them), we want more feedback...” “You don’t get (proper) feedback from your (coursework) essays” “(each lecturer should) explain how to do the presentation (as) they (each) have different requirements”

22 Focus Groups: Key Themes Quantitative skills “The 3rd year maths was just ridiculous. I did more difficult stuff at high school.” (from England) “third year maths was a lot of new stuff for me … continuous assessment instead of just an exam at the end helped me a lot, because it made me study constantly” “Maybe (maths) could be progressive (during) first year and second year - rather than everything in the third year” “if they had an introductory maths course in the first year then I would be fine” “I’d chosen economics because I thought I’m good in maths – when I came here I saw no maths, (only) literature and writing essays and I thought this is not what I signed up for”

23 Focus Groups: Key Themes Literary Skills “a lot of people, including Scottish people, didn’t know how to write essays, (so) maybe have a course on essay writing at the very beginning to give everyone an equal chance” “the last essay I had to write was in primary school about my favourite book” “I don’t understand the principle of the essay (but) they won’t change them because they are very proud of still having essays - in the US everything is short questions, short answers” “it’s economics not English literature, so I don’t know why they expect us to write essays for the exam. Why can’t we just (do) calculations, or short answers”

24 Focus Groups: Key Themes Learning methods “the best tutorials were the ones where we had a set of questions and you had to look at them at home (and) come prepared” “H asked us to read some articles before coming to the (class, and then we) discussed some questions to get if we understood the main concept of the article or not. I found this very helpful” “could be more group work – (in) geography we had (a group) project doing research, collecting data, and you had your own input and were marked on your own contribution to the project” “(enjoyed simulations in) macro second year - how things apply to the real world” “More computer assisted, multiple choice tests” “programme is not challenging, or demanding as in other countries” “in Poland I had eight or ten courses per semester, and here I got just two assignments and one report”

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26 Conclusions Your thoughts and feedback are appreciated!


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