Survey results (June 2015): First and second year EPC students evaluate their courses

Survey design

The purpose of the survey is to see how Opole University students respond to the newly introduced EPC curriculum (vis-à-vis the ECTS system of study and the new KRK guidelines for effect-driven curricula), course content and methodology, organization and management. Students recruited in 2013 and 2014 are a mixed-ability (A1-B2/ B1-C1) international group of students.

Students evaluated 7 courses with respect to 14 aspects over the five-point scale (yes=4, rather=3, I don’t know=2, rather not=1, no=0). Thus, the maximum score for a course amounts to 56 points, while the minimum to 0. Additionally, students could suggest specific course arrangements they would appreciate. The survey questions were prepared in collaboration with student representatives and are as follows:

1. The course proceeded according to its description in the syllabus.
2. The effort needed to complete it matched the number of ECTS points.
3. The course was organized regularly, time-effectively,  according to schedule.
4. The course was organized using varied methods, activities, tasks, technologies.
5. In-class activities helped me to understand, learn, remember information.
6. Access to materials was adequate, I knew how to prepare.
7. Materials were sufficient in number, scope, level of difficulty.
8. Instructions were clear, I knew what to do.
9. Grading was fair and according to clear criteria.
10. Feedback was sufficient , I knew how to improve.
11. The course gave me new knowledge (as specified in its syllabus), e.g. English vocabulary, information.
12. The course gave me new skills (as specified in its syllabus), e.g.  language skills, critical thinking, independent self-study.
13. The course gave me new social competencies (as specified in its syllabus),e.g. team work, intercultural awareness.
14. The UO teaching facilities were adequate (classroom arrangement, teaching aids, Internet access).

 

 

General Conclusions:

  1. The number of surveys returned was 115. Four courses in the first were evaluated by approx. 24 students each. Three courses in the second year were evaluated by approx. 7 students each. The evaluation of courses varied between 52 and 24 points in the 56-0 scale.
  2.      Some students were unable to evaluate some aspects (1, 2, 11, 12, 13) as they were not familiar with details of particular syllabi
  3. Only about 15% of surveys contained specific suggestions for alterations. Most of these comments  concerned classroom management, preferred in-class activities, and level of English used. These suggestions were communicated to the instructors.
  4. Overall students prefer participation-oriented and practical classes over lecture sessions. However, they would like to have some more overt instruction in practical English classes and fewer teacher-centred activities in specialist courses (e.g. fewer exclusively powerpoint-based classes). They appreciate clear instructions and feedback and need to be reminded about instructors’ grading criteria.
  5. Students generally appreciate diverse activities, varied materials and structured homework tasks. They are increasingly able to monitor their progress and evaluate the degree of new information they acquire (with some courses not being deemed as very useful). Students resent it if the classes rely too much on student presentations, or widely accessible internet-based materials, as they do not feel they are learning much in class.

by dr Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska

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