Taught postgraduates commend teaching but want more feedback

June 22, 2010

Postgraduate students have praised the quality of teaching they receive, but many remain unsatisfied with the feedback they are given about their work.

A total of 32,638 students responded to the Higher Education Academy’s second Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) – more than twice the number that took part in the first.

Overall, 85 per cent of students on taught postgraduate courses said their experience had either met or exceeded their expectations.

Questions about teaching and learning and about staff received the highest scores from students.

In total, 83 per cent agreed that “staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching”, and that their course was “intellectually stimulating”, while 80 per cent said that “staff are good at explaining things”.

As in the National Student Survey, assessment and feedback received the lowest ratings.

Just over half of students on taught postgraduate courses (56 per cent) agreed that they received feedback in time to allow them improve their next assignment, and a similar proportion (57 per cent) agreed that feedback on their work had been prompt, or had helped clarify things they did not understand (58 per cent).

Sue Law, director of academic practice at the HEA, said it was pleasing to see that so many taught postgraduate students valued their overall experience at university in the UK.

“We look forward to continuing to work with institutions in using survey results to enhance the quality of their postgraduate students’ learning experiences,” she said.

The findings will be discussed at the HEA’s annual conference at the University of Hertfordshire this week, and a report will be published next month.


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