Interrogating the importance and awareness of NSS improvement initiatives: a case study of final-year undergraduate students

Authors: Tauringana, V., Mbah, M. and Alexander, P.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29502/

Journal: Journal of Further and Higher Education

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd

DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2017.1356271

This paper reports the results of a case study investigating the importance and awareness of national student survey (NSS) improvement initiatives in one department at a university in the South of England. The paper is motivated by the observation that despite many initiatives that the Department put in place since 2011 in response to poor NSS results, the overall students' satisfaction remained below the national average for the period 2011-2015. This situation raises two questions. First, are the initiatives put in place really important for students’ satisfaction when it comes to responding to the NSS questionnaire? Second, are the students even aware of these initiatives? To answer these questions, 57 initiatives that the Department put in place from 2011 to 2015 were documented using the minutes of various education committees. Through a questionnaire survey, the final year students in the Department were asked to rate on a 5-point Likert scale the importance and their awareness of the initiatives. Descriptive, correlation analysis and t-tests are used to determine the importance and awareness of the initiatives. The data analysis was followed by two focus groups with selected students to gain further insights into the findings. The main results of the study are that many of the 57 initiatives are considered important but the students are not aware of the majority of the initiatives. These results have important implications for UK university departments trying to improve their NSS results.

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Authors: Tauringana, V., Mbah, M. and Alexander, P.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29502/

Journal: Journal of Further and Higher Education

Volume: 43

Issue: 1

Pages: 58-78

eISSN: 1469-9486

ISSN: 0309-877X

DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2017.1356271

© 2018, © 2018 UCU. This paper reports the results of a case study investigating the importance and awareness of national student survey (NSS) improvement initiatives in one department at a university in the South of England. The paper is motivated by the observation that despite many initiatives that the Department put in place since 2011 in response to poor NSS results, the overall students’ satisfaction remained below the national average for the period 2011–2015. This situation raises two questions. First, are the initiatives put in place really important for students’ satisfaction when it comes to responding to the NSS questionnaire? Second, are the students even aware of these initiatives? To answer these questions, 57 initiatives that the Department put in place from 2011 to 2015 were documented using the minutes of various education committees. Through a questionnaire survey, the final-year students in the Department were asked to rate on a 5-point Likert scale the importance and their awareness of the initiatives. Descriptive, correlation analysis and t-tests are used to determine the importance and awareness of the initiatives. The data analysis was followed by two focus groups with selected students to gain further insights into the findings. The main results of the study are that many of the 57 initiatives are considered important but the students are not aware of the majority of the initiatives. These results have important implications for UK university departments trying to improve their NSS results.

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