Student Voice and Engagement
This page gives an overview of student voice and engagement for individual teachers and for academic departments.
Other pages in this section are:
For more information about module/programme feedback surveys, please see the Tell US Google site:
What is the student voice?
Student voice is about the different mechanisms we can use for listening to all of our students. These pages focus on student voice in learning and teaching.
What is student engagement?
Student engagement is about involving students in meaningful partnerships with staff around the processes of designing, delivering and enhancing learning and teaching.
Why engage the student voice?
Listening to what students have to say can:
Providing opportunities for students to feedback on and be involved in programme design will help to:
Engaging with the student voice is a key component of the Programme Level Approach. View the PLA Google site.
Engaging the student voice. How does it work in practice?
This diagram shows the cycle of student voice work:
- Listen to the student voice
- Analyse the student voice
- Agree upon action to be taken
- Take action
- Close the feedback loop
Throughout the process, a team approach is taken and students are involved at every stage.
Although there are multiple ways of listening to student voices, it is important to take a holistic approach within programme teams and departments.
Think carefully about how to gather, analyse and act upon information so that the process is meaningful and has an impact on the quality of learning and teaching within the department. You can use our reflective questions to help your thinking. To ensure that students see value in the process, keep them informed of changes being made (and those which can’t be made) as a result of their feedback.
The context in which faculties and departments work varies across the institution, nonetheless, there are some established steps to take to ensure good practice when engaging the student voice.
|Listen to the student voice||
You can listen to students in a number of different ways and it is important to consider using a variety of methods when doing so. It is also important that students are able to recognise consistency across their programmes in the way these are used.
Listening can be an ongoing process and may include:
There will also be specific, timed points in the year when you make a request to listen to the student voice, such as:
|Analyse the student voice||
Given the variety of ways in which the student voice can be listened to, a large amount of student voice data will be generated.
It is important, therefore, to have clear policies and processes for handling this information and for informing students about why the information is being collected and how it will be used.
For example, different data may be used at different levels. An individual lecturer may gather informal feedback verbally and on post-it notes, as part of their own reflective practice, to make improvements to their teaching. Whereas module evaluations are likely to be shared more widely across teaching teams in the department.
Consideration should be given to:
|Agree upon and take action||
The analysis of student voice data will bring about a need to discuss and agree upon actions to be taken. This is an opportunity to engage students in meaningful partnerships in which they are at the centre of driving changes forward, rather than a process of change being enacted on them.
When deciding upon what actions could be taken it is important to consider:
|Close the feedback loop||
When actions have been taken it is important to communicate this effectively with the student body. Even when those changes can’t be made immediately, it is important to have open and honest conversations about the process of making changes.
It is important that this isn’t thought of as a one off event to solve and clarify things which have taken place throughout the year, but as part of ongoing dialogue with students which involves them in the process of making change.
Closing the feedback loop involves:
|Links and downloads||