Helping Students Make Choices

Helping students make choices

Importance of Theme “Helping students make choices”

The theme “helping students make choices” is important as it encourages a dialogue between staff and students on students’ educational development at university. It also provides an opportunity for staff and students to get to know one another and form a professional relationship. As a result students will be more willing to discuss any academic or personal concerns with staff and it will improve the staff and student relationship.

Dr Phil Race, Addressing Student Satisfaction – adopted from material published in Making Teaching Work by Phil Race and Ruth Pickford, London: Sage, 2007).

How to help students make choices?

  • Make the intended learning outcomes of your modules as transparent as possible, so that students know in advance exactly what is covered, and gain a good idea of the depth and levels concerned.
  • Spell out prerequisites clearly, so that students who need to do some further learning before embarking on your particular module are alerted accordingly.
  • Consider bringing in a few students who have already succeeded with your module, to advise potential recruits to the module exactly what it takes to succeed.
  • Organise a “module fair” where potential students can find out from staff and past students quite a lot of useful “between the lines” information about particular choices they may make.
  • Ask your existing students to write on post-its “things I wished I’d known before starting on this module” and gather together their responses into a short, sharp guide to the module.

The theme is also significant in relation to the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Academy Fellowship.

National Student Survey

The theme has been taken from the National Student Survey question “good advice was available when I needed to make study choices” under the category Academic Support.

In the recent 2014 NSS results 79% of students at Swansea University agreed that “good advice was available when I needed to make study choices”.

Higher Education Academy

The theme is also important in regards to the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) as “helping students make choices” contributes to Areas of Activity A4 develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance.

For more information on the UKPSF follow the link

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