April 2014 | ISSUE 11
Student Voice: Hearing back from students




By Dr Sandra Kemp
Assistant Dean, Course Evaluation

As a new medical school, it was important for us to develop an effective system for generating feedback from students. We established Student Voice for feedback on teaching, learning, student services and support, and administrative processes.

We analyse the feedback on a regular basis to improve practices and processes and any action taken is communicated back to the students.

As well as online channels, Student Voice also includes face-to-face opportunities for feedback. LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Education Associate Professor Naomi Low-Beer holds regular dialogue sessions with students and the Student-Staff Liaison Group is another forum for students to provide feedback.

In addition, we run regular focus groups from which we gain rich feedback on innovative teaching approaches such as Hospital and Polyclinic Week, or the use of iBooks in the curriculum.

How does Student Voice work?

Feedback loop

The most important feedback channel is the session-specific feedback, an online form where students evaluate different aspects of selected sessions and provide qualitative comments. The questions vary according to the type of session and the roles of the educators involved. For example, sometimes the questions might be about the Team-Based Learning (TBL) or Science Practicals process. For other sessions, the questions might be about the facilitator for TBL or Integrated Clinical Practice (ICP). Students have easy access to the session-specific feedback form via the resources linked to their timetable on their iPad.

They can also give feedback any time using a link on the iLKC Student Portal or the Student Voice (SV) button on each session on the online timetable.

How do we respond to feedback from Student Voice?

All feedback provided by students is carefully considered by faculty. Feedback is channelled to the faculty in leadership roles and faculty teams regularly meet to consider possible action in response to the student feedback.

When reviewing feedback, faculty consider whether it is desirable to take short- or long-term action. They might monitor a theme over time to gain a clearer picture of student views or the issue. At other times, faculty might decide to take no action due to pedagogical/curriculum considerations or they might clarify the pedagogical underpinnings of particular teaching approaches.

Areas students have provided positive feedback about include: discussion time and Application Exercises in TBL, facilitators and content experts in the TBL sessions, Anatomy and Science Practicals, Hospital and Polyclinic Week, Clinical Encounters and Simulation sessions, and ICP sessions and facilitators. 

Areas where we have recently implemented change in response to student suggestions include: TBL pre-reading materials (such as availability of voice-over PowerPoint files), TBL facilitation, Science Practical reports and ICP reflections, creation of an online discussion forum, anatomy teaching spaces and alignment of LKCMedicine holidays with NTU holidays.

All responses are communicated to students via the iLKC Student Portal. We share the initial feedback and our response with the student community under “You Said… We Did…”. Much of the feedback we receive is anonymous, but where a student chooses to identify herself/himself, we also respond on an individual basis.

We have been impressed by the willingness of our pioneer cohort to provide constructive and comprehensive feedback about many different areas. This allows us to better understand our students’ perspectives and ensure they experience the best in teaching, learning and student life at LKCMedicine.