Monday, January 23, 2012

What Students Want

Recently I read through a study submitted to the Sloan-C Conference by Ellen Smyth about student perceptions of what makes a good professor. I put out the same questions to our Thunderbird students, and received this response: Thunderbird Survey Results

Our students claim that because they are working full time, with families and other responsibilities, the organization and structure of a course are vital to their success. They also feel that feedback is critical by citing Communicative and Responsive in the top 5.

Here are some tips to improve in those areas:

For Organization

  • Make informaiton available in multiple spots, as well as your syllabus

  • Make sure the information is consistent in the multiple spots

  • Don't clutter coursepages with too many links

  • Focus on naming conventions for files. Make sure it is something students understand, not just what you named it for your computer.

For Feedback:

  • check forums and emails daily, respond quickly

  • use audio and video feedback to reach students on assignment feedback (students love to hear your voice!)

  • use first names, and let students know when they've done well

  • get outside sources to give additional feedback, don't forget about peer feedback

  • Don't just give a 'score', it will only frustrate students. They need to understand how that score was given. Use a rubric if you don't have time for detailed feedback.

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