Groups of student reps give better feedback

Kingston scheme encourages feedback from all types of undergraduates

June 27, 2013

Appointing up to five student representatives per course improves the quality of feedback by giving a voice to different types of undergraduates, a study suggests.

Instead of electing a single course representative at the start of the year, students at Kingston University’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing were this year invited to put themselves forward to work in a group to represent their classmates’ views.

The change has vastly increased student representation within the faculty as many less-confident students and more from minority groups have stepped forward to get involved in the student feedback process, staff claim.

“If you’ve only been at university a few weeks, it takes someone really brave to stand up in front of a class and say, ‘I want to be your student rep,’ ” said Lucy Jones, the faculty’s associate dean. “You can now see a real mix in the type of student doing this, rather than the typical type of student who tended to take part.”

The scheme also helped to improve students’ presentation skills and self-confidence: five student representatives from the study’s first year won sabbatical officer roles next year.

Among them is Denza Gonsalves, who was recently elected Kingston’s first female students’ union president in 12 years.

Producing future student leaders is a welcome but unintended outcome, said Michelle Morgan, a learning and teaching coordinator who set up the scheme originally to improve academic feedback.

Many students with high workloads were previously put off by the extra work involved in being a student rep, and many did not consider themselves to be leaders.

“Being a course rep is not necessarily about being a leader, but developing skills in lots of different areas,” said Ms Morgan, who will present findings from the pilot study at the Higher Education Academy’s annual conference at the University of Warwick on 3-4 July.

“Some very unassuming students might become excellent course representatives,” she said.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate