Feedback Questionnaires (March 19, 2008)
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The post is just replicated here to catch all the words for archive purposes, to read the post in its original form and see the links, photos, videos etc., go here:http://www.good.group.shef.ac.uk/blog/?p=116
March 19, 2008 Feedback Questionnaires Filed under: Wednesdays » GoodPractice @ 11:22 am
Today we have another post coming up shortly that connects Japan and the University of Sheffield. This time we have an Engineer posting. One of the most interesting aspects of my job (looking at good practice across the University) has been discovering the ways engineers think and do things. I was at their ARLT meeting yesterday and it was a revelation. Their meeting was not only efficient but also full of good practice examples (despite their modesty as David Phillips, who was there from Sociology having attended a number of other ARLT meetings in his role on the Quality and Standards Committee, pointed out…I forgot to take a photo of him this time, but did actually take the first guerillacast of him which he obligingly sat for being the incredibly kind and gracious man he is).
At the meeting yesterday, the engineers actually managed to have a series of what I would class as philosophical discussions while performing quality assurance tasks (the sign that Einstein had hanging in his office at Princeton was even quoted while talking about questionnaires, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” by Panos Tsakiropoulos from Aerospace Engineering).
I phoned Panos after the meeting to ask him more about the brief comments he made at the meeting about questionnaires. In the past, he has used a free-form type of questionnaire and had all students in his courses responding to it.
He would give each student an envelope with a piece of paper and have them write down their expectations for the course and date the piece of paper. They then put this in an envelope with their name on it. Then, around Week 12 (in a 15 Week module) he would give the students their sealed envelope back and ask them to re-read the piece of paper with their expectations for the module on it. On a new piece of paper, Panos would ask them to explain how their expectations had been or not been met. They then dated the second piece of paper and put them into a new envelope (without a name to preserve confidentiality) .
The problem Panos faced with this approach in the past was that it didn’t conform to broader University templates and statistical needs and so hasn’t tried it since starting here at the University of Sheffield because has been unsure that it would be allowed. However, he found the feedback this approach produced very useful and had an almost 100% response rate every time. I can see why. I think as a student it would be very interesting to look back on what your initial expectations were…it’s a very nice approach to feedback. I don’t see why one or two marks out of 10 couldn’t be inserted and asked for if numbers were absolutely necessary. There is something that suggests ownership and reflection to students about this questionnaire approach that is quite wonderful.
I was too shy at the meeting (shocking to those who know me, I know) and felt it inappropriate to bring out my phone and take pics spontaneously during the middle of things…but next time I might ask beforehand so can take it out if inspired as I was yesterday.
Nadine Wills, LeTS