Vocal, quiet and silent: exploring patterns of student engagement with module evaluation





Student evaluations of teaching have multiple purposes. These include public accountability, improvement of teaching and learning, and performance management. Large cohort surveys, such as the National Student Survey, provide valuable information on programme or institutional issues but can lack the granularity required for local action. Module evaluation, on the other hand, seeks student feedback on what Pastore et al. (2019) refer to as the ‘micro’ level of teaching and learning processes and can signal the need to seemingly small-scale activity that can have a significant impact on the student experience.

Internal and external monitoring and evaluation emphasise the importance of representative feedback. Hence, low response rates limit the reliability and usability of data for quality assurance and enhancement. The average institutional response rate for module evaluation is 30%. This begs an important question regarding the 70% of students who do not share feedback on how they experienced the module?

This presentation draws on analysis of institutional module evaluation data that focuses on three categories of student: the ‘silent’ who do not respond to surveys, the ‘quiet’ who respond but don’t leave free text comments and the ‘vocal’ who take the opportunity to leave comments. Ostensibly, this last group are most engaged, albeit that engagement may be driven by either praise for the university or criticism. Analysis of these three categories by various student characteristics indicates that some groups of students may be more likely to engage than others. Analysis of satisfaction data for the ‘quiet’ and ‘vocal’ groups suggests that there is relationship between engagement and satisfaction. Further, to better understand students’ behaviour and motivation, additional analyses of how students engaged following prompts and reminders was undertaken. Reflecting on the differential responses of silent, quiet and vocal students, this presentation will explore mechanisms on how institutions can target students to maximise engagement.

Pastore, S., Andrade, H.L. (2019) Teacher assessment literacy: A three-dimensional model, Teaching and Teacher Education, 84, pp. 128-138

Vocal, quiet and silent: exploring patterns of student engagement with module evaluation PowerPoint. Only LJMU Staff and students have access to this resource.