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Student experience surveys - how we are using the findings

Every year, during Semester Two, the University asks you to complete one or more surveys about your experience as a student at Edinburgh. The results of the surveys are now being used across the institution in the areas which matter to you most.

As a University committed to an excellent student experience, we need to know how you are being supported, how you are engaging with your studies, and how you would like us to change and develop to help you do better. Surveys are one of the most important ways in which we can hear your assessment of our performance and work to tailor what we offer to your needs.

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Findings

Community

You highlighted that you would value more opportunities to feel part of the many communities that make up the University of Edinburgh. In response, we are:

  • developing more ways in which you can engage with the Edinburgh Award
  • rolling out Peer Support to all Schools
  • working with EUSA to set up School Councils in selected Schools this academic year.

Student support

You highlighted that you would like more and better academic and student support. We are investing over £7million in projects which will deliver significant improvements to your experience over the next years, including:

  • development of Freshers’ Week and Induction
  • Student Information Points
  • improved student communications
  • enhanced online support
  • the roll out the Personal Tutor scheme to taught postgraduates.

Feedback

You were also clear that you would like feedback on work to be prompt and useful. This has been a focus of work in the University for the past few years, and we have already made significant improvements to your feedback. Our practice now compares favourably to the rest of the University sector, but we will continue to make improvements until we reach the level you seek. This year we have changed our regulations to ensure that from September 2013:

  • all formative work (work designed to help you improve) will be marked and returned within 15 working days, or in time to be useful in your next assignment on that course, whichever is sooner
  • we will publish a timetable for the return of summative marks, which may need more than one marker and so take longer to prepare
  • you will get at least one feedback or feedforward opportunity in each course.

Feedback and feedforward

Feedback can take the form of practice examination questions, verbal feedback in tutorials and seminars, self-generated or peer feedback from fellow students, or small group discussions and quizzes within lectures. ‘Feedforward’ involves you being provided with information to help you continually improve your marks. It might include a discussion on how to write an essay, or prepare for an exam.

Many Schools already get marks and feedback to you more promptly than these rules guarantee. Each School is also working to improve feedback in it’s own suite of degrees, and you will find a range of changes and developments as the academic year progresses, each of which will be designed to help you learn better from your time at the University.

Learning resources

In the last year you gave us very positive feedback around equality and diversity and in regard to our provision of learning resources. We have invested heavily in developments to improve Library and online provision, and are delighted to see that this has had an impact on your experience.

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