Abstract: Context: Tertiary education is a highly competitive sector in Australia that is changing continuously. Growing student numbers and developing our programs to promote meaningful learning by our students are very important. The School of Engineering and Technology (SET) at Central Queensland University (CQU) set an objective in 2015 to actively promote innovation in learning and teaching practices with the aims of increasing student retention, reducing attrition and improving the academic outcomes of our students. By proper consideration of students' feedback and taking quick and appropriate action to ensure we are closing the loops, it is possible to achieve the School's goals through innovative teaching practices. Through addressing students' feedback and applying innovative teaching and learning practices to improve the student experience, school performance has achieved positive results in recent years. Student attrition has seen a fall from 25.3% in 2010 to 21.7% in 2014.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to review the importance of responding to feedback from students attending my courses on their learning outcomes and their satisfaction with various elements of my courses: one traditional course titled Solid Mechanics and Computational Analysis (ENEM14012) and a learner centred course titled Fluid and Electrical Drive Systems (ENEM13011).
Approach: CQU utilises online evaluations for each course in each term of the year through a Student Experience Survey (SES). Student feedback relating to my courses is collated from those surveys. With careful consideration and evaluation of these data using a new students' feedback evaluation framework developed by the author, a few recommendations are proposed through an Annual Course Enhancement Report (ACER) to the program committee of the school with a view to implementation in the next offerings. The effectiveness of this is tested by collecting the same data through the next SES. Through ongoing comparisons of the student satisfaction data, the method of closing the loop of student feedback data is evaluated.
Results: The SES data for my courses showed that student satisfaction was increasing gradually for best managed courses. So the proactive implementation of appropriate responses to student feedback on their learning journey is effective in improving both student perceptions of their courses and their course outcomes.
Conclusions: Actively listening to student feedback and quickly taking appropriate action is one of the most effective teaching practices that we can use to enhance the great leaning journey of students in our school at CQU. By doing so, student satisfaction and retention rates can be increased and the attrition rate can be reduced.
To cite this article: Mandal, Nirmal K. Students' feedback - what can we do with it? [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 529-537.
[cited 27 Apr 17].