Survey findings on your learning experience

Message issued to students - December 15, 2020

Dear student,

A huge thanks to those of you who took part in our Aberdeen Student Experience Survey (ASES). In that survey there was a short section on your learning experiences from the first half session.

We will update you again on the wider ASES results , but I wanted to share the main findings from the short blended learning survey, and let you know how your responses to that will help us improve the rest of the academic year.

A total of 1989 students from across the University, both undergraduate and postgraduate taught, responded to the survey. The key findings from the survey are:

  • 82% of students were either satisfied or very satisfied with their overall learning experience
  • 59% of students were either satisfied or very satisfied with their on-campus learning experience (for 30% of students this question did not apply and only 11% stated they were not satisfied)
  • 76% of students were either satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of their online learning experience
  • 48% of students were either satisfied or very satisfied that their learning experience allowed them to interact with their peers
  • 94% of students were able to access their learning resources online
  • 74% of students were satisfied with their induction and orientation [not applicable for 6%]
  • Satisfaction with health and safety arrangements on campus is high with only 6% of students for whom this question applied not satisfied
  • 89% of students know who to contact for advice and support in relation to academic courses, and 84% know who to contact about the University’s support services
  • 67% of students were either satisfied or very satisfied with the support provided by the University to maintain wellbeing

Students also provided some free text comments which helped us to understand a bit more detail about the positive aspects of the learning experience, as well as areas that we need to work on.  The University will now work with AUSA and Schools to explore how these can be best addressed.

  • Some students told us that communications could have been improved, particularly in relation to the expectations for blended learning and what they would experience on campus. Others were pleased with the way in which the University communicated with them. We are working hard to ensure that our communications are clear and provide accurate information in a timely way.
  • Sometimes online teaching sessions have overrun making it difficult for students to manage the transition from one teaching session to another. Schools have taken this feedback on board and will make sure that they finish their sessions at the appropriate time.
  • Interaction with peers has been challenging for some, both online and on campus. We have put in place guidance and training with a specific focus on enhancing interaction in the learning environment in the context of blended learning to support staff in enhancing this important aspect of the student experience.
  • Some students have said that the workload is high. Schools are looking at the workload for both teaching and assessment for the second half session to address these concerns.
  • It was pleasing to see positive comments on the online library resources, the support from academic and professional services staff, and online learning.
  • There were some comments relating to the impact of the situation on students’ mental health. We have done a number of things: added additional staffing and hours to our Mental Health Mentoring team; expanded the hours and numbers of staff in Counselling; will be adopting a new 24/7 helpline for students to access counselling and information; and introduced a range of mental health supports.

We are continually striving to improve our blended learning delivery and appreciate all that you are doing to engage with the learning experience so that you can get the most out of it.

With best wishes

Ruth

Professor Ruth Taylor

Vice-Principal (Education)