Importance of Theme “Telling students about changes”
Informing students about changes in a module or a course is incredibly important as it ensures that all students understand what is happening. If a lecture, seminar or practical lesson is cancelled, delayed or postponed students need to be told in advance and this should not be left to the last minute. By telling students about changes it increases student satisfaction and encourages a positive student experience at university.
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 communicate any changes in the course or module effectively ?
- Make sure that any changes in your own parts of their studies are communicated by all possible means, including announcements in whole-group lectures, accompanied by something visual like a slide.
- Include details of any changes on the VLE in a “Changes” or “Announcements” section, so that students who aren’t present at the relevant whole-group sessions are informed.
- Make it a groundrule that all students have the responsibility to look at this section of the VLE at least weekly.
- Send all your students a short email, with a well-chosen message title to ensure that they are going to get the gist of the message before they delete it.
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 “any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively” under the category Organisation and Management.
In the recent 2014 NSS results 74% of students at Swansea University agreed that “any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively”.
Higher Education Academy
The theme is also important in regards to the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) as “any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively” contributes to Core Knowledge K4 the use and value of appropriate learning technologies and K6 the implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement for academic and professional practice with a particular focus on teaching and Areas of Activity A2 teach and/or support learning.
For more information on the UKPSF follow the link https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/professional-recognition/uk-professional-standards-framework-ukpsf