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The Study Hall

Closing the Student Feedback Loop, Increasing Response Rates – within Canvas!

The digital campus is here to stay, and students conduct a significant part of their education within Canvas. In these days of increasing online-only course delivery where personal contact and interaction are lacking, at times it’s critical for students to feel their voices are heard; by their lecturers, heads of school and by university leaders. Closing the student feedback loop at module level is a highly effective way to enable two-way communication between student and institution – and, of course, provide a constructive framework to enable lecturers to reflect on and enhance their teaching practice.

While many higher education institutions do take the time to request and collate student feedback on modules and courses, how many share results with the students and, even more importantly, provide commentary and reflection from module leaders back to individual students?

Even with the greatest of intentions, it can be a little daunting, from a time-management standpoint alone, to facilitate individual responses to student feedback; however, an integrated digital approach can deliver the solution in a fraction of the time it would take manually.

So, the simplest way to close the student feedback loop and foster intrinsic motivation for responding to surveys? Find software that does all the heavy lifting for you and makes contact with students where they spend time anyway, in Canvas!

You’re looking for a toolset that digitizes surveys all together and allows you to transform your approach to evaluation, enabling you to easily collect rich data that will provide actionable insights. And it needs to facilitate instant feedback on the whole survey to all participants. Your solution needs to:

  • Automatically provide overall survey outcomes directly to participants when a survey closes; this allows students to view their own experience against their peer group and understand whether their views are typical or not 
  • Enable module leaders to review and digest results, then easily provide commentary and reflections back to students; this could be anything from thanks for positive comments to communication on how any issues raised may be addressed 
  • Both of the above make the conversation between students and higher education institutions two-way, providing students with a sense of ownership in terms of module content and future direction. And this sense of ownership makes for engaged students, which is a driving force behind student wellbeing, success and retention. 

Wait, there’s more!

When you digitize module evaluation and close that feedback loop, the positives don’t end with consistency of approach and two-way communication with students. 

Overall, the benefits of using a digital and integrated toolset to run evaluation surveys and close the student feedback loop include: 

  • Increased student satisfaction and engagement (reflected e.g. through NSSE) · Timely reporting of survey results and actions to be taken 
  • Early warning of issues at module level
  • Digital capture of rich data that can help to enhance teaching and learning delivery 
  • Open dialogue with students to allow collaborative improvements
  • Improved response rates in survey completion
  • Enhanced understanding for lecturers on the student experience
  • Enriched relationships between lecturers and students
  • Reduction in time spent creating, running and analyzing evaluation surveys
  • A consistent, institution-wide approach to module and course evaluation
  • Provision of a framework to enable lecturers to genuinely reflect on their practice, and to make enhancements to improve the educational experience of future cohorts

Closing the student feedback loop makes students at your institution “active partners” in ensuring that teaching and learning delivery works well and continues to improve over time. When their voices are heard, students feel more responsibility to continually provide feedback – reducing survey fatigue and driving up response rates. Lecturers will understand more about the student perspective on specific modules, enhancing delivery and enriching their relationship with students through positive action as a result of feedback.

Creating an effective process for module evaluation that enables dialogue between student, module leader and the wider university is an ongoing project. Once you’ve started closing that feedback loop, you need to make sure that you keep on doing it.

And the simplest way to do this is to deploy a digital toolset specifically designed for surveys, data collection and reporting. Done well, digitizing surveys and the student feedback loop boosts engagement and retention, reduces manual workload and sets in motion a cycle of evaluation that will ensure collaborative improvements to teaching and learning delivery for years to come. 

Let’s get talking, let’s see how we can support you in facilitating individual responses to student feedback to increase response rates, gather high quality survey data and improve teaching practice – turn-key easy, in the comfort of your Canvas environment.