How do students feel about their teachers and feedback?

How do students feel about their teachers and feedback?

How do students feel about their teachers and feedback? With Ella Longstaff

03

FEB, 2020

Students as Partners
Teaching & Learning

Feedback
Wellbeing

I’m Ella, a third-year communications student currently working as a Communications Support Officer and Student Partner in Deakin Learning Futures.

In a survey of students on campus, several undergraduates shared their experiences with teaching staff. Among some challenging experiences with tutors, students generally felt that most of their teachers genuinely cared about their progression and wellbeing. One stated the “majority of teachers…really care”, especially when they get to know students “on a personal level”. These students not only appreciated this personal approach, but also expressed a desire to connect with their teachers as they felt supported and valued, and this pushed them to do better.

The complexity of teacher-student relationships brings into question how students also respond to feedback. It’s important for students to obtain good feedback so they can improve and to adapt their work. This is the foundation of their learning and is a key reason to why students even come to university.

Many students had received relevant feedback and felt that their teachers really cared about their learning and wellbeing. On the other hand, some students indicated they received little to no feedback, and that teachers weren’t interested in their progression at university. Despite being able to communicate with teachers about classwork, these students still felt they were not receiving enough guidance and support. This type of detailed feedback was important and useful for them to enhance their skills for future assessments — as you can determine what you did well and what you can improve with more clarity.

Another common perspective was that If you invest in the subject and do the work, the majority of teachers will invest back in you and give you support and guidance. Again, some students disagreed, suggesting that multiple tutors hadn’t given enough feedback and that “it should be a requirement for tutors to give proper feedback to each assessment and to each student.” I personally understand this feeling — there’s no point in doing an assignment without receiving feedback, as the same mistakes are likely to be repeated.

The way students received feedback also was often questioned as the written word also lead to misinterpretations. One student studying Health Science mentioned that it can be frustrating if feedback is made “too general” and if tutors “don’t give constructive feedback”. Lecturers have often been under scrutiny for only giving negative feedback and not focussing on the elements of a task where students have performed well.

Beyond any of the noted issues that the student body faces in engaging with teachers and receiving feedback, one student summarised the general feeling of teaching at Deakin: “the majority of teachers are doing a good job and I’m very appreciative of that”.

It’s important to consider these varying student perspectives for our staff to strive to understand the student body better. And, having teachers who show a genuine interest in their student’s studies and wellbeing can go a long way in creating a positive impact on their social and learning experience at Deakin.

*To find out more about how you could partner with students in projects please contact learningfutures@deakin.edu.au

Resources

Bovill, C. (2019). Student–staff partnerships in learning and teaching: an overview of current practice and discourse. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 1-14. doi: 10.1080/03098265.2019.1660628

Deakin University. (2019). Deakin Students as Partners: A guide to enhancing the student voice across Deakin. Retrieved from here

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What is digital learning innovation at Deakin? A framework for the Future

What is digital learning innovation at Deakin? A framework for the Future

What is Digital Learning Innovation at Deakin? A Framework for the Future

29

JAN, 2020

Teaching & Learning
Digital Innovation
Collaboration

On the 10th of December 2019, divisional representatives from across the university met to workshop a new framework to define digital learning innovation at Deakin and to capture the collective perspective of this diverse cohort. The event also marked the launch of new resources, available here, for the current Digital Learning Environments (DLE3 – i.e. Self & Peer Assessment, Portfolio, and Collaboration) tools that are in the process of development and integration. The event was facilitated by Deakin Learning Futures’ Digital Learning Innovations team alongside workshop facilitator Mike Stevenson.

Staff were prompted to reflect on their experiences of digital learning innovations at Deakin, as well as the various phases and activities that they believe typically define success in both the development and integration of new tools. Conversations were diverse and rich with creativity.

Throughout the day, groups used their reflections to identify pathways that might be considered best practice for digital learning innovation in higher education. While these paths might present certain anxieties that typically accompany change, the opportunities (for both staff and students) generated in the process of both development and integration, almost certainly outweigh this risk. This workshop marked an important first step the creation of a blueprint – for the following design workshops that will be held in the coming months.

The next workshop will be held on the 27th of February 2020 from 9:30AM-4:15PM. Anyone who would like to contribute please fill out this form below:

Resources

 For more on the current Digital Learning Innovation projects visit our Digital Learning Environments 3 resource page here.

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Deakin Does ASCILITE with Jo Elliot and Darci Taylor

Deakin Does ASCILITE with Jo Elliot and Darci Taylor

Deakin Does ASCILITE with Jo Elliot and Darci Taylor

02

FEB, 2019

Event Recap
ASCILITE 2019
Teaching & Learning


Deakin continued its leadership in digital learning with a number of staff recently sharing their innovative practice with colleagues from around the world at the ASCILITE Conference in Singapore.

Our ‘Degree Design Thinking’ framework, which brings together learning design, service design, team design and portfolio design, was showcased by Chie Adachi (Deakin Learning Futures (DLF)) and co-author Marcus O’Donnell. Chie illustrated how this framework can help us develop engaging and inclusive online curriculum that facilitates connections and a sense of belonging in students, using the Graduate Certificate of Digital Learning Leadership (FutureLearn) as an example.

Darci Taylor shared how digital stories, developed with DLF colleagues Tim Crawford and Peter Lane, and Virginia Hagger and Cath McNamara from the Faculty of Health, formed the backbone for the curriculum design in the Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education (FutureLearn) that fostered student learning and engagement and helped nursing students develop empathy with future clients.

Some of you will be familiar with CloudFirst 101, an online resource designed to help staff develop their skills in online learning design. Jo Elliott (DLF) and Darci (in her second appearance!) shared their approach and process for developing this resource, placing teachers in the position of learners and modelling CloudFirst Learning Design – walking the walk, as well as talking the talk. Excitingly, Jo and Darci received ASCILITE’s Best Concise Paper award for this paper.

This continued Deakin’s run of ASCILITE awards, with the 2018 Innovation Award team from the Faculty of Business and Law and the Library presenting their Professional Literacy modules. Team members Simone Tyrell (Library), Leanne Ngo (Faculty of Business and Law (B&L)) and Michael Volkov (formerly B&L, now at Macquarie Uni) shared how they developed and scaffolded these modules across the curriculum to build students’ professional and digital literacy. Approximately 15,000 students have completed these module so far, with a postgraduate version now in development!

Puva Arumugam (B&L), with colleagues Nona Press and Kevin Ashford Rowe from QUT, discussed how universities define digital literacy and how this impacts teaching practice, and how universities might clearly articulate their vision for developing digital literacy.  Puva also shared her experience of participating in ASCILITE’s Community Mentoring Program which pairs researchers new to teaching and learning research with more experienced mentors to build their skills and confidence in conducting teaching and learning research.

 And the Deakin representation didn’t stop there! In the poster sessions, Jaclyn Broadbent and Matthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz (Faculty of Health), with former CRADLE researcher Ernesto Panadero, shared how learning diary apps and online training influence students’ self-regulated learning; and CRADLE PhD student Chad Gladovic shared how we can use technology to enhance feedback. Harsh Suri from the Business and Law DLF Pod was part of a team who launched a Business Education Special Interest Group to share and advance best-practice teaching and learning in Business disciplines. 

Check out the conference proceedings or reach out to your colleagues to find out more. Want to share your own innovative practice or teaching and learning research? Why not submit a paper for ASCILITE 2020 at UNE in Armidale!

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Deakin’s 2019 Learning & Teaching Conference – Teaching Differently

Deakin’s 2019 Learning & Teaching Conference – Teaching Differently

Deakin’s 2019 Learning & Teaching Conference: Teaching Differently

02

DEC, 2019

Event Recap
Teaching & Learning

Good Practice

A focus on Teaching Differently was the theme for the Deakin Learning and Teaching Conference this year. It proved to be a great framework for showcasing our colleagues’ creativity and commitment to students’ learning at Deakin.

Our keynote, Dr Naomi Winstone, presented on the shift to a dialogic form of feedback that helps students to respond more actively in order to self-regulate their learning development. Dr Winstone’s work has demonstrated that given a more personalized and formative style of feedback, students are able to act upon the academic’s suggestions in further assessment tasks.

Five streams of presentations were held concurrently from 11.15 to 4pm. These streams were grouped under ‘Teaching Differently’, Designing Differently’ ‘Assessing Differently’, ‘Digital Innovations’, ‘Working Collaboratively’ and a stream dedicated to innovative strategies to support and engage students from an inclusive perspective. Fifty, twenty-minute presentations were delivered followed by an extended panel format that included students’ voices. The ‘Elevator Pitch’ was once more a very successful format, performed perfectly by Anna O’Connell, Monique Vermeulen, Shannon Sahlqvist, Amy Sellers and Nick Hartney.

Above from left to right: staff gather downtown for the opening of the conference; Naomi Winstone delivers her keynote; and, Peter Vuong discusses teaching first year students.

Professor Liz Johnson drew the conference to a close and invited everyone to join her for networking on Level 12 where Naomi Winstone helped to launch the book The Impact of Feedback in Higher Education: Improving Assessment Outcomes for Learners, Henderson, M., Ajjawi, R., Boud, & E. Molloy (Eds). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-25112-3_1

Feedback about the conference noted the depth and breadth of this year’s program. As a result of receiving so many excellent proposals for presentations that outnumbered the venue’s capacity, a second Deakin Conference Day will be held on 25 February. So bookmark that date!

Resources

For information on our upcoming workshops, conference abstracts and presentation slides please visit the 2019 Learning & Teaching Conference website here (Deakin Staff Only).

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Good Practice in Academic Development – Transforming Digital Learning

Good Practice in Academic Development – Transforming Digital Learning

Good Practice in Academic Development – Transforming Digital Learning

02

DEC, 2019

Recognition & Award
Teaching & Learning

Digital Innovation
Collaboration

On the 6th of November the Council of Australasian University Leaders in Learning and Teaching (CAULLT) hosted the Australasian Advancing Academic Development good practice awards. The event brought together the finalists at the Queensland University of Technology to showcase and celebrate the work of teaching teams across the country.

Deakin University was represented by Director of Digital Learning, Chie Adachi, who detailed the collaborative work of the teaching team who created and taught the Transforming Digital Learning MOOC. Since its launch the short course has had a significant level of international engagement from thousands of learners participating from across over 50 countries. The free short course offers a number of important tips, tools and approaches to equip academics and professionals with an understanding of the pedagogical foundations integral for the development and delivery of effective digital learning. Below is a short video trailer from the team discussing their collaborative work:

The team was awarded a good practice certificate by The Advancing Academic Development project group to recognise their work as finalists. To commemorate the occasion, Deputy Vice Chancellor Education, Liz Johnson hosted a small event at Deakin Downtown to present a reprise of Chie’s presentation, and to personally award the team with their certificates. See photos below.

Resources

Sign up here for the FutureLearn Transforming Digital Learning MOOC.

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“My opinion matters” – Students as Partners in Curriculum Design

“My opinion matters” – Students as Partners in Curriculum Design

“My opinion matters” – Students as Partners in Curriculum Design

02

DEC, 2019
Students as Partners
Teaching & Learning

Digital Innovation
Collaboration

Ever wonder what your unit would look like if students designed it?

That’s a pretty radical idea – staff expertise and guidance is essential to the learning experience. But it is possible to partner with students to co-create and co-design your curriculum – what might that look like?

In the CloudFirst CoDesign Project, we worked in partnership with Prakash Jha, a Master of Business Analytics student, to identify opportunities for student involvement in curriculum design. Using Deakin’s new Students as Partners framework we co-created the Student Participation Matrix to show how students can be involved as sounding-boards, influencers, decision-makers and co-creators.

Involving students can help you identify challenging areas, find new ways of presenting information or help develop a shared understanding of unit standards (which also develops students’ evaluative judgement!). For example, if students find it tricky to understand assessment requirements, you could partner with past students to redesign the assessment rubric, or create supporting resources – like this video by Law students Ruby Cordner and Brody Wons with Course Director, Sharon Erbacher.

If your students are from different disciplines, ask them to help you choose case studies relevant to their interests and career goals. Or start at the beginning, and bring a group of students together to find out what they thought worked really well, what was challenging and what could be done differently next time. 

Staff-student partnerships have benefits for both staff and students, including enhanced engagement, improved classroom experiences and assessment performance, a sense of belonging and trust, and enhanced relationships and wellbeing (Bovill, 2019). As Prakash explained:

“This collaborative approach helps both staff and students. While the academic team gets students’ perspective and feedback from their recent experiences, students too get some benefits such as feeling more invested in their education, taking responsibility for their learning and getting experience in co-creating the learning materials with staff.”

Prakash Jha – CloudFirst student partner

To find out more about how you could partner with students in curriculum design, contact us (d.taylor@deakin.edu.au or joanne.elliott@deakin.edu.au). As for the ‘why’, we’ll let Prakash have the last word!

“I have been learning through Cloud Deakin and classroom lectures, but this internship gave me opportunity to understand the effort and the process behind the unit design. Every day, I felt that as a student my opinion matters, and I felt important. In fact, I felt that I can bring a difference, a positive change by sharing my experience about my learning journey. And this is the best experience for me so far.”

Prakash Jha, CloudFirst student partner

*To support more staff to engage with student partners, Deakin has launched a SaP Community of Practice – contact Jo Cook to get involved. And keep an eye out for next year’s National Students as Partners Roundtable (28th August), hosted by Deakin, to share your experiences and learn from others.

Resources

Bovill, C. (2019). Student–staff partnerships in learning and teaching: an overview of current practice and discourse. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 1-14. doi: 10.1080/03098265.2019.1660628

Deakin University. (2019). Deakin Students as Partners: A guide to enhancing the student voice across Deakin. Retrieved from here

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