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Response from Pro-Vice-Chancellors on RUSU’s Online Learning Review

In accordance with the results from the Online Learning Review, Professors Elizabeth McCrum and Julian Park, Pro-Vice-Chancellors for Education & Student Experience, said:


‘We would like to thank George Ingram, RUSU’s Education Officer, and the wider team at RUSU for running this valuable survey to seek student views on their experience of online learning this academic year. We ask students to share their feedback in lots of different ways, from Module Evaluation to institution-wide surveys, but this exercise was unique in that it focussed specifically on learning in the current circumstances.

The results have been discussed at length at several of our Teaching & Learning committees. It is heartening to see many students reflect positively about elements of their experience of learning online – in particular, the opportunity to review asynchronous (pre-recorded) content multiple times. This will be a key part of our planning for the future, even when we are hopefully all back on campus.

We are analysing the results of the survey to identify any areas of particular concern to take action accordingly. RUSU have identified two key overall themes from the feedback:

  1. Timetabling teaching sessions and asynchronous content.

    Some students asked if we can schedule asynchronous sessions on the timetable, which would then show more clearly the overall hours of content for a particular module each week.

    We extensively reviewed the pros and cons of this – there are unfortunately a number of challenges, such as clashes on the timetable. After consultation, we decided to work closely with Schools to provide additional resources, such as Module Roadmaps, to help students plan their time on a weekly basis (both scheduled live sessions and the pre-recorded content for review that week). While this has worked in many areas, we know there have been some challenges and we are continuing to review our approach. We are running some focus groups with current students to see if we can identify solutions to the timetable issue together.

  2. Consistency of teaching materials and sessions.

    The move to online learning this year meant we have all needed to adapt quickly to new technology, systems and processes. We understand how important it is for content to be published consistently with sufficient time to prepare before a scheduled live session, as well as being easy to find on Blackboard.

Having reflected on the comments in the survey, we would encourage all students with questions or feedback (whether positive experiences or to raise something for improvement) to discuss these with their Module Convenor in the first instance. For any continued or unresolved queries, students should raise these with their SDTL. We understand this is harder to do while we are working and studying remotely, but feedback is valued and helps ensure we can make changes as required. Do also remember the usual ways to provide feedback – such as through Module Evaluation and your Student Reps.

Thank you again to RUSU for your work on this survey.’