One of my roles at Harper is to act as Student Advocate for Employer Engagement courses. This is a new arrangement and so the role and associated procedures are under development.
Feedback channels for learners to have their voices heard will vary from course to course depending on size of the cohort, distribution, teaching methods employed (face to face, online, blended, manual/distance). I am developing resources to assist course teams plan for student feedback. As a first step here is a quick brainstorm of ways in which feedback could be gathered:
- Online survey (anonymous) – e.g. Survey monkey, Bristol Online.
- Online form for feedback (enables an open text box for free comment and suggestions, is anonymous, less structured than a questionnaire).
- Paper survey (feedback forms, postal questionnaire).
- Suggestion box in the online space (this may be a forum where thoughts can be added as the module/programme progresses).
- Student representatives (appropriate when courses are in cohorts).
- Programme/module student advocate (is there someone on the course team or within the partnership who could receive, collate and report feedback?).
- Facilitated group discussion (either face to face or online) – how well is the module or programme meeting your needs?
- Employer based student advocate.
- Post event/module text (text your thoughts and feedback).
- Feedback ‘graffiti walls’ – quick comments. May be done physically via a flip chart or virtually using a Wiki.
- Phone conference (of advocates and representatives or an open forum depending on numbers).
- Highlight route to HEI’s Student Advocate.
What might be missing here?
I would add ‘What is meaningful and effective about my voice being heard?’ – the question that might be asked by the student who is invited to take part, by whatever means. This means knowing how to respond to their voice as much as harvesting it effectively. But the answer to your question, I would suggest, is that you should offer choice about the way feedback can be offered and ensure that it offers confidence to the student that their view is being considered. Some will prefer a public airing of their opinion, others private anonymity, some may prefer voice others text, some sarcasm & irony others plain-speaking and bluntness. Good luck!