Students get chance to share views to enhance UCB teaching and learning experience

March 2019

Students from across the courses had the chance to express their views on teaching and learning at UCB at a conference designed to make the experience the best it can be.

Student representatives and 100 randomly-selected college, degree, apprenticeship and postgraduate level students all came together for the Listening Project conference at McIntyre House, which is now in its second year.

The event included the chance to quiz UCB’s Executive Management Team, including Vice-Chancellor Professor Ray Linforth and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Alex Lofthouse.

Teaching staff and the President of the Guild of Students, Ross Loveitt, were also in the hot seat on a panel tasked with listening to students’ views, providing candid responses and considering suggestions of how improvements could be made.

Following last year’s inaugural conference, a number of improvements were made, including earlier release dates for semester 2 timetables, a new approach to assessment deadlines to avoid assignment bunching, and a number of non-academic improvements such as an increase in Halal food options across the University’s food outlets.

Dr Sarah Edwards, Assistant Director for UCB’s Directorate of Teaching and Learning Enhancement, said the day-long conference was about developing a co-collaborative approach to teaching and learning and identifying where students thought this could be enhanced.  

“We work hard to deliver the very best teaching and learning experience, but we don’t necessarily see things through a student’s eyes,” she said. “The idea was to take a deep look at the motivations, study patterns and learning styles of the ‘typical’ UCB student to enable staff to assess how their own teaching methods could better adapt to millennial student habits.

“At the conference, students had the chance to share their views on everything from preferred teaching styles to additional support available, and for those less confident in front of a crowd, there was a graffiti wall and a number of different feedback opportunities including digital Padlet walls.”

The conference was also the opportunity for students to hear from the inspirational Errol Lawson, a motivational speaker, author and UCB MSc Enterprise Management student who talked about the importance of ambition, resilience to adversity and drive for student success.

On the best things about the conference, one student said: “The motivational talks, being able to give anonymous feedback and getting answers to the most frustrating questions about university life.”

Other comments included: “The inspirational speaker helped me to look at myself and have more confidence within my own abilities”, “Being able to voice our opinions and know that we will be heard” and “Knowing the University will listen and take action gives me confidence that I chose the right course and the right uni.”

With a ‘street food’ lunch prepared by FdA Professional Cookery students, was organised following the success of last year’s event.

Improvements that were subsequently made included earlier release dates for semester 2 timetables, a new approach to assessment deadlines to avoid assignment bunching, and a number of non-academic improvements such as an increase in Halal food options across the University’s food outlets.

Responses collated from students at this year’s conference will be gathered together and presented to all staff at UCB’s Annual Summer Conference.

They will also be fed back to students via a number of different channels by the Directorate of Teaching and Learning Enhancement, with support from the Guild of Students.

Find out more about UCB’s learning and support services.

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