Section 4.4.3 Areas not typically included

Section 4.4.3 Areas not typically included

Section 4.4.3 Areas not typically included

The following four points are elements that have been identified by researchers as potentially influential on students’ perceptions of teaching or their learning experiences, but are rarely given consideration in SET.

1. When responding to questionnaire items, particularly Likert scales (ratings of, e.g., 1 to 5 ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree) students often have little guidance as to what each value represents. Edström (2008) has criticised such ratings which frequently lack qualifying criteria, rating labels, and sufficient reflection (by both students and staff) on what the rating actually means.


2. Blackmore (2009) cites the work of Boler and Zembylas (2003) and Walker (2006) in discussing the emotion and identity formation associated with learning. This is a result of students challenging their views and ideas though research, enquiry, and ‘constantly unpacking one’s assumptions about the world’. This emotional response subsequently nurtures cultural, gender and class differences that impact on students’ learning experiences, and such sensitivities are largely ignored in generic SET questionnaires.


3. Although the student’s ‘social climate’ has been identified as the single largest influence on student satisfaction (Wiers-Jenssen et al. , 2002) items addressing this are rarely included in SET.


4. Two factors that prompted comments in a study by Huxham at al. (2008) yet regularly fail to be taken into consideration in either the survey or subsequent analyses, are the timing and length of classes. They acknowledge that timetabling issues are usually beyond the remit or control of the lecturer, but affirm that these are of importance to students and may have a large impact on satisfaction and attendance, though currently such an effect is not likely to be discernible by SET.


Activity 4.4.3

Are these concerns valid? Are there arguments against the inclusion of any of these four points?

Submit your answers

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