New tricks 2

July 23, 2009

Kevin Sharpe's concern that academics are being forced to provide students with a diet of trite soundbite-style lectures is one that I have often heard and is a view with which I sympathise ("Teach them how to think", 16 July).

However, students themselves are more aware of their needs than is often recognised. Student-experience surveys often show that they value personal contact with tutors and frequently give lower satisfaction ratings to large classes. Perhaps we should be less critical of these surveys and pay more attention to what students are telling us.

James Williams, Senior researcher, Centre for Research into Quality, Birmingham City University.

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