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The Mid-Semester Review – Bridge the Gap. Barbara Vohmann, D ean Bowyer, Debbie Philipson, Pauline Start, Mark Tree, Dr. Julian Priddle. Introduction.

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The mid semester review bridge the gap

The Mid-Semester Review – Bridge the Gap

Barbara Vohmann, Dean Bowyer, Debbie Philipson, Pauline Start,

Mark Tree, Dr. Julian Priddle.


Introduction
Introduction

  • This study considered the efficacy of the Mid-Semester Review (MSR) that is used in the Department of Engineering and the Built Environment (EBE)

  • The MSR intends to identify good and bad features of a module in a timely way so that improvement may be made.


Feedback is collected from students in a number of ways: -

  • Institutional: Module Evaluation Questionnaires (MEQ), National Student Survey, Student Experience Survey

  • 'Informal': collecting feedback through a variety of mechanisms

  • 'One-off' versus 'Always open'

  • Additional surveys, including a mid-semester implementation of the MEQ

  • Online feedback tools such as VLE discussion or ‘post-it walls’ such as Padlet

  • In-class response tools such as PollEverywhere

  • In-class discussion

  • Direct dialogue, in personal tutorials, and with course reps.


Most staff use a range of methods (4 or 5), and staff who believe in the values of mid-module feedback are likely to use more mechanisms

The institutional approach (MEQ) - pluses and minuses

Pluses:

  • Consistent approach

  • Data collection integrated with institutional processes

    Minuses:

  • Questionnaire may not collect relevant data

  • Timing may not allow prompt response.


In an online survey of university staff, we found that staff already use some form of mid-module feedback: -

  • A surprisingly large proportion of respondents indicated that they already used a mid-module survey (39%) or would like to use one (36%)

  • Most felt mid-module surveys are positive. The main concern was that students may be over-surveyed

  • 21% of respondents agreed that the Module Evaluation Survey (MES) provides effective feedback on modules, and only 12% agreed that the MES is taken seriously by students.


As a staff member, what feedback do you want? already use some form of mid-module feedback: -

  • The EBE MSR originated with a 'how are you coping' survey. It was implemented across the department, bringing in some MEQ-like questions.




  • We met as a team to discuss this, and also consulted with Department staff, then revised the Mid-Semester Review questions

  • We also re-named it the Student Progress Review

  • The focus now was towards the student thinking about their own engagement with a module and what support students needed, as well as what they thought of the subject matter.


Questions for discussion Department staff, then revised the Mid-Semester Review questions

What would you as a student like to be asked in module evaluation?

How do you think students should receive feedback from module evaluation?


The student view was
The student view was Department staff, then revised the Mid-Semester Review questions

  • Teaching quality was perceived as the major topic, followed by communication with staff, module organization and resources

  • Students were not confident that the feedback that they provided through the mid-module survey is considered seriously

  • Students were not certain that their feedback through the mid-module survey is treated confidentially

  • Some of the comments that students wished to make related to individual staff, and the mid-module survey is neither an effective nor an appropriate way to do this

  • Students wished to have teaching staff present the main conclusions from their feedback on modules

  • Students needed to know what changes were made following their feedback.


Question for discussion Department staff, then revised the Mid-Semester Review questions

How can we as a university bridge the gap between staff and student perspectives?


Conclusions and feedback Department staff, then revised the Mid-Semester Review questions.


What works and what doesn't work? Department staff, then revised the Mid-Semester Review questionsGood practice

  • If you are collecting mid-module feedback using survey tools, ensure that questions cover aspects that are relevant to students and that can be answered unequivocally

  • Whatever way you use to collect feedback from students, make sure that you have a strategy for responding and making any necessary change

  • Make your responses are public, even if the feedback or question comes from a single student (unless there are issues of confidentiality)

  • Don’t confuse students with several different survey tools, and if possible use similar approaches in the modules within a course.


  • Make sure that students understand the difference between what you are collecting as feedback and the institutional surveys such as MEQs and the SES

  • Encourage students to provide constructive feedback that can be used effectively, and emphasise that negative comments without contextual information are ineffective in creating positive change.


  • Students tend to view mid-semester feedback as a means of judging modules, so use such feedback as an opportunity to revise in light of students’ views prior to module evaluation at the end of a module

  • Provide a short PowerPoint to provide brief feedback to tell your students what you are changing to help meet their needs

  • Course group leaders are encouraged to liaise with their students and advise them as to changes being made following student feedback.


Thank you for listening and contributing. judging modules, so use such feedback as an opportunity to revise in light of students’ views prior to module evaluation at the end of a module


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