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Student voice: how best to hear it?


Karen Burrow ,

De Montfort University, GB
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Mary Clarkson,

De Montfort University, GB
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Tugrul Esendal,

De Montfort University, GB
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Tracy Harwood,

Faculty of Technology, De Montfort University, GB
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Richard Hall

School of Applied Social Science, De Montfort University, GB
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This paper presents the initial findings from a project that was set up to investigate how best to hear students’ module-specific academic voice. Experience indicates student reluctance to participate in activities such as student-staff consultative committees and paper-based questionnaires. Informal discussions with students have pointed to several reasons for this reluctance and led to the creation of this project. The aim is to find a mechanism that will encourage participation and satisfy the needs of both students and tutors. The merits and drawbacks of five techniques were evaluated, on the principle that using the right feedback mechanism is the first step towards encouraging student participation. The techniques chosen are shown below in the order they were run and evaluated during the year:

  1. Clickers (hand-held keypad devices)
  2. Structured interviews(peer-to-peer)
  3. AnonyMail (custom-built anonymous email system)
  4. Virtual Learning Environment survey (Blackboard)
  5. Traditional paper-based questionnaire

The paper highlights a number of discussion points, based on the findings, and makes recommendations for the next phase.

How to Cite: Burrow, K., Clarkson, M., Esendal, T., Harwood, T. and Hall, R., 2010. Student voice: how best to hear it?. Gateway Papers: A Journal of Education and Pedagogic Research, 1, pp.1–13.
Published on 01 Nov 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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