The second type of feedback – the student’s feedback about the teaching – is often more standardised in tertiary education. In UT the students give feedback about the subjects in a specific survey in the study information system.
In the survey that was put in place on the spring semester of 2019, attention was paid to the different aspects of teaching, which are considered to be the indicators of good teaching by pertinent research. There’s probably a small hope there, that measurable aspects will start getting more attention in the learning process. Although in the case of this feedback it is clear, who is giving the assessment, what kind of information is being collected and for what purpose, it is still unclear, what happens to the gathered feedback afterwards: how is the analysis made, what are the conclusions, what activities are planned and will the composed action plans be fulfilled.
Yes, there’s been a guide worked out about analysing, that can be easily found on the university’s website. But since the constitution of the subject plays an important role in the analysis, it’s more of a set of questions that direct the analysing discussion. The university also offers seminars to the teaching staff, where each participant can learn to analyse the feedback of their subject. But what happens next? Is it possible for the student to ever find out, what was changed in the subject based on last year’s feedback? Does the programme director know? Is it even written down somewhere?
The circle needs to be closed with both types of feedback. The student can say in their assessment of the subject if the feedback they got from the teaching staff helped them understand where they have to develop their knowledge and skills further, but it won’t show if there was also time to make corrections before the final grade was formed. But when giving feedback about a subject, the student has no way of finding out if something and then, what is done with their opinion. It might be good information for the students of next year, but they weren’t the ones giving the feedback.
Writing down development plans that are based on the feedback of the subjects and then publishing it for the students might seem like a too time-consuming assignment for the teaching staff, especially if they could use that time for substantive changes instead, but it is important for the people giving the feedback.