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Improving student learning in dissertation research through feedback studies. The Sheffield Hallam Building surveying experience

Wilkinson, Sara J. 2003, Improving student learning in dissertation research through feedback studies. The Sheffield Hallam Building surveying experience, in FIG 2003 : Proceedings of the 2003 International Federation of Surveyors Conference, [FIG], [Paris, France], pp. 1-15.

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Title Improving student learning in dissertation research through feedback studies. The Sheffield Hallam Building surveying experience
Author(s) Wilkinson, Sara J.
Conference name International Federation of Surveyors. Conference (2003 : Paris, France)
Conference location Paris, France
Conference dates 13-17 April, 2003
Title of proceedings FIG 2003 : Proceedings of the 2003 International Federation of Surveyors Conference
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2003
Conference series International Federation of Surveyors Conference
Start page 1
End page 15
Publisher [FIG]
Place of publication [Paris, France]
Keyword(s) surveying education
student learning
dissertation research
feedback studies
formative learning
Summary According to George and Cowan (1999) student feedback is essential to enable lecturers to understand whether attempts to improve learning and educational experience lead to improvement. Current UK practice uses end of module questionnaires to feedback levels of satisfaction (Cowan, 2002). There are inherent weaknesses, namely that it seldom leads to a change for that particular cohort of students, secondly it relies on uncorroborated opinion, and may derive from superficial feedback from a minority of students with the remainder suffering from questionnaire fatigue. Finally the data may not be especially relevant to a particular module, a particular weakness (Heywood, 2000).

Using principles identified by Angelo and Cross (1993), this research adopted a methodology to formatively evaluate student perceptions and levels of satisfaction with the dissertation module. Using a cohort of Building Surveying students at Sheffield Hallam University, in England, views on course materials, the use of Blackboard software, the workshops and the relationships with supervisors were gathered and analysed.

A number of measures were identified as a result of this study, that may, if implemented, improve student learning. Examples are the use of checklists for student for each research / dissertation stage to ensure nothing is forgotten. Provision of additional ‘drop in’ workshops where students could see the module leader with specific issues. Additional optional workshops for questionnaire coding and review of previous theses for example.

It will not be possible to measure whether this student cohort’s learning and performance improves until the summer of 2003 and the final dissertations are assessed. A statistical analysis, comparing their dissertation marks against marks for other topics will show whether there is improvement in marks as a result of this student feedback study. The 2002/3 cohort result can also be analysed against previous cohorts to establish whether any improvement is evident.
ISBN 9788790907273
8790907272
Language eng
Field of Research 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2003, FIG
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30023724

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Management and Marketing
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.