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NSS Results 2009/10

The academic year 2009/10 saw the sixth National Student Survey.

The highest scores again this year are for questions covering teaching on our courses. The overall satisfaction rate was down slightly by 1% on the previous year to 85%.

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’ 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 679 responses. This response rate represented 69% of eligible students which is higher than the national average but a 1% decrease on the School’s figure from last year.

Where we are doing well

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

  • 4.3 The course is intellectually stimulating
  • 4.3 Staff are enthusiastic about what they teach
  • 4.0 My communication skills have improved
  • 4.1 Staff have made the subject interesting
  • 4.2 Staff are good at explaining things
  • 4.0 I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to

Where we could do better

The following questions received an average response rate of 3.5 or lower:

  • 3.5 Good advice was made available when I needed to make study choices
  • 3.5 I have received sufficient advice and support with my studies
  • 3.5 Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand
  • 3.4 Feedback on my work has been prompt

Next Steps

The NSS 2010 results identified areas where further improvements are needed, specifically in relation to Academic support and Assessment and feedback.

These key areas were discussed at the first Heads of Departments Forum held in October 2010. Following this meeting, and after discussion with the Student Union officers, an Action Plan for session 10-11 is being developed and will be monitored by the relevant School committees.

The following actions have also been taken:

  • All departments have been asked to produce Action Plans in response to your feedback identifying what they are going to do and by when
  • A redesign of the coursework feedback form to provide better and more meaningful feedback has been discussed by all three Faculty Learning & Teaching Committees
  • Faculties will ensure that coursework is to be returned within three weeks of the coursework deadline
  • Arts and Humanities and Languages and Cultures have introduced a new role of Senior Tutor to provide additional support and to review and monitor the current system
  • A Personal Tutoring Awareness week will run from 31st January to provide information and support for students, particularly students in their final year

School-wide responses to each question

QuestionAverage Response 2009/10+/- on 2008/09
1. The teaching on my course4.20
Staff are good at explaining things4.20.1
Staff have made the subject interesting4.10
Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching4.30
The course is intellectually stimulating4.30
2. Assessment and feedback3.60
The criteria used in marking have been clear in advance3.80.1
Assessment arrangements and marking have been fair3.90.1
Feedback on my work has been prompt3.40
I have received detailed comments on my work3.70
Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand3.5-0.1
3. Academic support3.6-0.1
I have received sufficient advice and support with my studies3.50
I have been able to contact staff when I needed to3.8-0.2
Good advice was made available when I needed to make study choices3.50
4. Organisation and management3.80
The timetable works effectively as far as my activities are concerned3.8-0.1
Any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively3.7-0.1
The course is well organised and is running smoothly3.80
5. Learning resources3.90
The library resources and services are good enough for my needs3.90
I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to4.00
I have been able to access specialised equipment, facilities or rooms when I needed to3.80
6. Personal development3.9-0.1
The course has helped me to present myself with confidence3.90
My communication skills have improved4.0-0.1
As a result of the course, I feel confident in tackling unfamiliar problems3.90
7. Overall satisfaction  
Overall, I am satisfied4.10