Study Connections & University of Newcastle

Report
The Student Experience at Risk:
Government Policy in the Measurement
and Enhancement of Student Experience
Dr Laura Hougaz
Study Connections, ACPET
Assoc Prof Mahsood Shah
The University of Newcastle
The Context: Enhancing quality in HE

In recent years the Australian HE sector has come
under pressure to demonstrate quality outcomes

Efforts made to improve teaching through professional
development, scholarship and research, and
evaluation

Review of policies and practices with focus on
enhancing learning and teaching – ‘quality of teaching’
evaluation has refocused on ‘quality of student
experience’ evaluation.

Increased focus on student evaluations/feedback.
Topic at glance
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Student experience matters
Measurement of student experience in private higher
education (PHE)
Factors influencing student choice in PHE
Research on student experience in PHE
Government policies on the measurement of student
experience
Why is student experience at risk?
Way forward
3
Student experience matters

Prominence of student voice

Student experience is used to assess teaching quality
•
Students’ perceptions are important parameters of the
social and psychological aspects of the learning
environment

Student experience is used to assess the level of risk
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Global trend in the use of student feedback to:
•
develop and renew courses
•
review of courses
•
assessment of teaching and course quality
•
assessment of support services.
4
Student experience matters

Data is increasingly used in rankings and marketing

Data is used on MyUniversity website, Unistats
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Benchmarking performance of institutions
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Used in academic staff performance reviews and
promotions
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Increased diversity of students, thus different expectations
and experience
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Low satisfaction may cause attrition (quitting or transferring)
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Student complaints can harm reputation of institution
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We can only improve, if we listen and act on feedback.
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Measurement of student experience in PHE
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Australian Graduate Survey (AGS): used by handful of PHE
Internal semester based unit and teacher evaluation surveys
are patchy across providers
No standard instrument used to measure total student
experience in PHE
National Vet Regulator (NVR) learner engagement survey is
used for compliance purpose only, rather than enhancement
Use of data and closing the loop is an area where limited work
is being done
Ethical issues on data collection
Lack of triangulation of survey data (qualitative /quantitative)
along with other academic outcomes measures
6
Factors influencing student choice
Student
Perception
Reputation
Access and
opportunity
Pathway to
university
Word of mouth
Transfer from
University to
private college
due to referral
Stepping stone in
tertiary education
Learning
environment
Small class size
Personalised
environment
Ease of entry
Completing
degree via
pathway
Input
Teachers from
industry
Course design
Duration
Student profile
(mature age in
some colleges)
Graduate
Success
Success of
graduates
Practical nature
Easy accessibility
Work experience
Online learning
Location
Teachers
One to one
interaction with
teacher
Doing well in
industry
Flexibility
Specialised
course relevant to
professions
Hands on
experience
Processes
Outcomes
Source: Shah, Nair, and Bennett. (2013).
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Research on student experience in PHE
Source: Nair, Bennett, and Shah, M. (2012).
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Government policies:
Measurement of student experience
Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education (2008)
concluded that a comprehensive set of measures of the quality
of teaching and learning should be developed. These should
include measures of the student experience and form part of a
broader accountability framework focused on the achievement
of outcomes.
Recommendation 7
“That the Australian Government require all accredited higher
education providers to administer the Graduate Destination
Survey, Course Experience Questionnaire and the
Australasian Survey of Student Engagement from 2009 and
report annually on the findings.” (Bradley Review, 2008, Ch 3.4)
Government policies:
Measurement of student experience
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More focussed on universities
AGS only used in universities, with lack of implementation in
PHE
New University Experience Survey (UES) only used in
universities (domestic and onshore U/G)
Development of UES did not involve PHE consultation
Defeats the idea of “One Tertiary Education”
No standard tool to measure offshore student experience despite being rated as high risk by TEQSA
Lack of benchmarking of student experience
No mechanism to ensure comparable experience
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Why is student experience at risk?
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Lack of standard measurement tools used across the HE
sector
Data collection, coding, analysis and reporting is inconsistent
Lack of benchmarking with all providers
Absence of systematic process to identify areas needing
improvement (at national and institutional level)
OLT funding for research in learning and teaching does not
support PHE
Lack of student engagement in TEQSA assessments
Closing the feedback loop – requires improvement
The UK is further ahead in the developments in this area
(Higher Education Academy, UK).
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TEQSA and student experience
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Lack of innovation on how to determine if student experience is
at risk
Assessment of risk is based on paper trail review
Huge reliance on institutional collected and analysed
unit/teacher evaluation data – could be manipulated
Current process to identify risk is based on data at overall
institutional level
No focus on assessing risk at course, faculty, campus level and
partnership, online delivery mode
No focus on assessing the experience of different cohorts of
students (onshore/ offshore/ PG/ HDR, LSES, NESB etc)
Lack of student engagement
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Way forward
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Using standard tools such as AGS and UES
Benchmarking student experience
Need for a standard tool in PHE to measure student
experience at teacher & subject levels
Effective use of data in improving overall student experience
Building capacity for design, collection, analysis and
reporting of data
Culture of closing the loop
Use of qualitative data
Build internal capacity for QA.
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Recent publications related to PHE
Shah, M., Nair, S., & Bennett, L. (2013). Factors Influencing Student Choice to Study at Private for-Profit
Higher Education Institutions. Quality Assurance in Education, in press.
Shah, M., & Nair, S. (2013). Private for–profit higher education in Australia: Widening Access and
Participation and Opportunities for Public-Private Collaboration. Higher Education Research and
Development (HERD), 32(5), 820-832.
Shah, M., & Stanford, S. (2013). Quality and Regulation of Australian Tertiary Education: Searching for
Sustainable QA Framework, The ACPET Journal for Private Higher Education, 2(1), 24-33.
Shah, M., & Nair, S. (2012). Student Surveys and Feedback: Strategic Solution for all Tertiary Education
Institutions. Studies in Learning, Evaluation Innovation and Development, 9(1), 74-83.
Bennett, L., Nair, S., & Shah, M. (2012). The Emergence of Private Higher Education in Australia: The
Silent Provider. European Journal of Higher Education, 2(4), 423-435.
Nair, S., Bennett, L., and Shah, M. (2012). Student Experience in Private Higher Education in Australia. The
ACPET Journal for Private Higher Education, 1(2), 24.30.
Shah, M., & Nair, S. (2012). A New Dynamic in Australian Higher Education: The Emergence of Private for14
profit Higher Education. European Journal of Higher Education, 2(2-3), 307-317.
Questions
Dr Laura Hougaz
[email protected]
[email protected]
Assoc Prof Mahsood Shah
[email protected]
Thinking of doing PhD with focus on Private Higher Education ?
Contact Assoc Prof Mahsood Shah, Newcastle University
15

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