Stimulating Students


Stimulating students

Importance of Theme “Stimulating Students”

The theme “stimulating students” is important as it makes students more engaged, focused and enthused for a subject or a module. As a result of the enthusiasm students are also more willing to participate in extra reading and will be more satisfied from the course.


Jenny Stanford is a geographer working in the School of Science. In the SALT conference 2015 she talked about enhancing student engagement through experiential learning.

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 ensure that the course intellectually stimulating ?

  • Think through the various learning outcomes making up the course elements you teach, and give them a star rating for “intellectual stimulus” – e.g. three stars for the most satisfying outcomes, down to one star for “not really stimulating”. Then devise your own strategy to help students to see that the less-stimulating outcomes serve as a means to the end of the most stimulating outcomes being intellectually satisfying.
  • Help your students take pride in their achievements, particularly when they have mastered something which could be regarded as intellectually stimulating. Help them to feel proud that they have got their heads round difficult concepts and ideas.
  • Translate the intended learning outcomes around which your syllabus is based, into more-stimulating language. Use the phrase “what this really means is” to justify your translation into more exciting language when appropriate.
  • Get your students themselves to think about which parts they have found most “intellectually stimulating”. For example, ask them to write on post-its the particular elements they have so far found most stimulating in your part of their studies, and share with them the results of your survey. This may help them to gain a sense of the elements which their peers find intellectually stimulating, and at the same time increase the satisfaction of the group as a whole with this dimension of their learning experience.

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 “the course is intellectually stimulating” under the category The Teaching On My Course.

In the recent 2014 NSS results 86% of students at Swansea University agreed that “the course is intellectually stimulating”.

Higher Education Academy

The theme is also important in regards to the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) as “stimulating students” contributes to Areas of Activity A2, teach/and or support learning, A1, design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study, and Core Knowledge K3, how students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area, and K2, appropriate methods for teaching, learning and assessing in the subject area and at the level of the academic programme.

For more information on the UKPSF follow the link https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/professional-recognition/uk-professional-standards-framework-ukpsf

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