Factors underlying student satisfaction
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Factors underlying student satisfaction. Kim Jesper Herrmann, Msc ., PhD Centre for Teaching and Learning, Aarhus University [email protected] Outline. Aarhus University Student Survey Dimensions Predictors of student satisfaction International perspectives Conclusion.

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Factors underlying student satisfaction

Factors underlying student satisfaction

Kim Jesper Herrmann, Msc., PhD

Centre for Teaching and Learning, Aarhus University

[email protected]


Outline

Outline

  • Aarhus University Student Survey

  • Dimensions

  • Predictors of student satisfaction

  • International perspectives

  • Conclusion


Background

Background

  • Elite  massuniversity

  • ”[research] suggest thatthere is something the universityteacherscan do aboutlearning – not by trying to change the students, but by trying to change the contextexperienced by the students” (Prosser & Trigwell, 1999:7, emphasisadded)

  •  Which factors areimportant?


Survey

Survey

  • Aarhus University2007 and 2011

  • Questionnaire:

    • Surveys of psycho-social workenvironment

    • Studyenvironmentsurveys

    • Theories of learning

  • n (2011)=11,402

  • Response rate = 37 per cent


Dimensions

Dimensions

  • Methods

    • Principal Factor Analysis

    • Varimax rotation

    • Kaiser’scriterion

    • n=11,402

  • Physicalsurroundings(a=,823)

  • Constructivealignment(a=,861)

  • Feedback (a=,871)

  • Work load (a=,734)

  • Contact with teachers(a=,758)

  • Social infrastructure (a=,683)

  • Studygroups(a=,706)

  • Stress (a=,817)

  • Self-efficacy(a=,756)

  • Social integration (a=,768)

  • Academic integration (a=,707)

  • Satisfaction (a=,657)


Predictors of student satisfaction

Predictors of student satisfaction

  • Whatpredicts student satisfaction?

  • Methods:

    • Multiple regression (leastsquare)

    • n=7,393

    • Y: student satisfaction and well-being

    • Xn: perception of learningenvironment

    • AdjustedR2 = 0.547

    • Shownhere: Zero-order Pearsons rcorrelationcoefficients

    • All correlationsarestatisticallysignificant at the 0.05 level

  • Social integration (r=,541)

  • Academic integration (r=,512)

  • Social infrastructure (r=,400)

  • Constructivealignment(r=,342)

  • Work load (r=-316,)

  • Contact with teachers(r=,254)

  • Studygroups(r=,232)

  • Feedback (r=,200)

  • Physicalsurroundings(r=,191)

  • Stress (r=-,151)


The statistically happy student

The (statistically) happy student

  • ”I feellikebeing part of an academiccommunity” (academic integration)

  • ”The other students are kind and cooperative” (social integration)

  • ”Thereareplaces for us to meetoutsideclass” (social infrastructure)

  • ”It is quite clear what I am expected to learn” (constructivealignment)

  • ”I am usually up to speed with set coursework” (workload)

  • ”Teachers aroundhereseem to careaboutstudents” (contact with teachers)

  • ”In most semesters, I am part of a studygroup” (studygroup)

  • ”I canget feedback on assignments” (feedback)


The statistically un happy student

The (statistically) unhappy student

  • ”Most coursesarequitedull” (academic integration)

  • ”I oftenfeellonely at university” (social integration)

  • ”Therearenoopportunities for students to meetoutsideclasses” (social infrastructure)

  • ”Whatwelearn is not reflected in the wayweareassessed” (constructivealignment)

  • ”Youcan’tpossiblykeep up with assignments” (workload)

  • ”You never seeteachersaroundhere” (contact with teachers)

  • ” Students here don’t help each other out” (studygroup)

  • ”Grades are the only source of feedback in this programme” (feedback)


The statistically un happy student1

The (statistically) unhappy student

  • ”Most coursesarequitedull” (academic integration)

  • ”I oftenfeellonely at university” (social integration)

  • ”Therearenoopportunities for students to meetoutsideclasses” (social infrastructure)

  • ”Whatwelearn is not reflected in the wayweareassessed” (constructivealignment)

  • ”Youcan’tpossiblykeep up with assignments” (workload)

  • ”You never seeteachersaroundhere” (contact with teachers)

  • ” Students here don’t help each other out” (studygroup)

  • ”Grades are the only source of feedback in this programme” (feedback)


Departmental differences

Departmental differences


Constructive alignment

Constructivealignment

  • Items:

    • Clear learningobjectives

    • Clear assesmentcriteria

    • Clearlycommunicatedexpectations

    • Provision of appropriatelearningopportunities

    • Congruencebetweenobjectives and assessment

  • Suggestions:

    • Meaningful and formalisedlearningactivities

    • Alignment

    • Meta-communication

“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)


Academic integration

Academic integration

“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).

  • Items

    • Growing interest in the subject matter

    • Feeling of belonging to an academiccommunity

  • Results

    • High in the natural and technicalsciences and in medical science

    • Lower in social sciences and arts

  • Suggestions

    • Earlyopportunities to become a ‘scientist’

    • Authentic problems

    • Collaboration with faculty on small-scale research projects

“The good thing [about working in the laboratory] is that you start to bond with the staff.”

(Molecular Biology student, emphasis added).


Why bother if students are happy

Whybotherif students arehappy?

  • Moral imperative?

  • Learning environment

    • Retention

    • Qualityof students approaches to learning

    • Amount of effortinvested

    • Learning outcomes

  • (seee.g. Parpala et al. [2013])


The etl project

The ETL-project

Source: Entwistle (2009: 180)


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Studentsatisfactiondepends on …

  • … feeling part of a social and academiccommunitywhich is promoted by a …

  • … learningenvironmentsupporting

    • constructivealignment,

    • frequent and respectful teacher-student interaction,

    • students’ academic and social interaction

  • These factors relate to highqualitylearning

  • … and theyare under ourcontrol


References

References

Biggs, J. (2012). What the Student Does: Teaching for Enhanced Learning. Higher Education Research and Development, 31, 39-55.

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: www.cul.au.dk

ETL-project: www.etl.tla.ed.ac.uk

Study Environment Survey 2011: www.au.dk/studiemiljo2011


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