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NSS Results 2004/05

The academic year 2004/05 saw the first National Student Survey.

Although there were some positive responses - notably to the questions about the teaching on our courses - it is clear that there is considerable room for improvement in other areas, particularly those relating to academic support and learning resources.

Methodology

Students' responses are collected using the Likert response scale (from strongly disagree to strongly agree), with these responses being converted to a numeric value between 1 (strongly disagree) and 5 (strongly agree).  An average is then taken to give the responses detailed below.

A 'reliability threshold' of is enforced by the organisers of the survey.  This means that response rates in any department must exceed 50% in order for the results of that department to be counted.

The figures given below are taken from the NSS Dissemination site, and are based on all 318 responses (out of a sample of 505 students). This response rate of 63% was slightly above the national average of 60%.

Where we are doing well

The following questions received an average response of 4.0 or higher:

  • 4.3: The course is intellectually stimulating;
  • 4.1: Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching;
  • 4.0: Staff are good at explaining things;
  • 4.0: Overall, I am satisfied.

Where we could do better

The following questions received an average response of under 3.5:

  • 3.2: I have been able to access specialised equipment, facilities, or rooms when I needed to;
  • 3.3: Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand;
  • 3.3: I have received sufficient advice and support with my studies;
  • 3.3: Good advice was made available when I needed to make study choices;
  • 3.3: The library resources and services are good enough for my needs;
  • 3.3: I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to;
  • 3.4: The criteria used in marking have been clear in advance;
  • 3.4: Feedback on my work has been prompt;
  • 3.4: Any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively.

School-wide responses to each question

QuestionAverage response
1. The teaching on my course 
Staff are good at explaining things4.0
Staff have made the subject interesting3.9
Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching4.1
The course is intellectually stimulating4.3
2. Assessment and feedback 
The criteria used in marking have been clear in advance3.4
Assessment arrangements and marking have been fair3.7
Feedback on my work has been prompt3.4
I have received detailed comments on my work3.6
Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand3.3
3. Academic support 
I have received sufficient advice and support with my studies3.3
I have been able to contact staff when I needed to3.6
Good advice was made available when I needed to make study choices3.3
4. Organisation and management 
The timetable works effectively as far as my activities are concerned3.7
Any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively3.4
The course is well organised and is running smoothly3.6
5. Learning resources 
The library resources and services are good enough for my needs3.3
I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to3.3
I have been able to access specialised equipment, facilities, or rooms when I needed to3.2
6. Personal development 
The course has helped me to present myself with confidence3.7
My communication skills have improved3.8
As a result of the course, I feel confident in tackling unfamiliar problems3.7
7. Overall satisfaction 
Overall, I am satisfied4.0