Fecking feedback

(14 Posts)
MarasmeAbsolu Fri 14-Apr-17 10:01:42

I 've deserted for a bit - not feeling the academic love at all these days.

Just got some mega shite feedback on a module which very few students attend (with survey responders being the disgruntled few). The module has not changed in years in term of format and used to work very well. It is quite hands off, research-informed, and aim to skill up students for independent research in the future.

Except that what they used to love (hands off, self directed, follow your interests, reflect) they now hate. They want fixed didactic classes and MCQs and syllabi (this is not a proper sillabied course, more an optional component bearing v few credits - never had a syllabus for it).

I don t understand the new wave students anymore. They make me want to stop teaching and quit academia. I am in the meantime in awe of my (other, grad) students who can take feedback so well. I hate feedback. Despise it. Especially when it s just about grievances and false expectations that did not deliver.

Especially grating: while the feedback is awful (trully awful) the reflective statements are all sparkly and positive.

Hating it sad

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FlyAwayPeter Fri 14-Apr-17 14:34:38

Talk to school teacher colleagues who teach A Level. A world-class Gold standard education system has been wrecked.

They are now groomed only for success, and the fact that learning is hard is hidden from them.

MarasmeAbsolu Fri 14-Apr-17 15:30:47

Just find the trajectory of change strange. We ve gone from hero to zero in a sharp 5 year U-turn :/

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arrrtoodeetoo Fri 14-Apr-17 16:50:20

I find the same, so depressing, they just want to be able to only read one textbook, be told exactly what is in the exam and to be given all the answers. I teach final years and when they reach me many of them have never read a journal article or know about academic search databases. I just can't get my head around how they reach final year without knowing that!

FlyAwayPeter Fri 14-Apr-17 18:42:46

Also, there's overwhelming research to suggest that student evaluations of teaching are better at reflect students sexism and racism, than the standard of teaching.

Ours are on a 5 point scale. I had a conversation with our head of student feedback (well, I'm sure he did other things) where he agreed that all male staff should start at around -3.

I had complained vociferous about their new "in-module feedback" which included the capacity for students to give comments anonymously including a thumbs up or thumbs down icon. I said that this was insulting to highly-experienced academic staff, and that actually I suspected that if I took it to the union, the university wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

there are times when throwing my weight around as a professor works

arrrtoodeetoo Fri 14-Apr-17 19:57:43

I wish they could be anonymously linked to mark so you could control for it. Then it might actually be interesting feedback.

MarasmeAbsolu Fri 14-Apr-17 20:06:00

Our evaluation includes a question "i chose this module because i though it would be fun" :/ One of the complaint included "staff were always busy and were not easily available"

I agree with the bias aspect - students are often quite verbally relaxed with me (or matey) and have little qualms in wingheing when i tell them to do something, while totally accepting it from older men counterparts.


OP’s posts: |
FlyAwayPeter Sat 15-Apr-17 11:35:17

Our evaluation includes a question "i chose this module because i though it would be fun"

Fecking feedback indeed. What a stupid useless question. I'd REALLY be throwing my weight around if that were in my module evaluations. It's insulting to highly qualified skilled professionals.

The problem is that students actually aren't entirely "the experts" on their own education. They may have an inkling about their own subjective/emotional/cognitive experiences of learning, but they don't know what they don't know, and too many of them can be resistant to the level of difficulty & slowness of deep learning and cognitive change.

MarasmeAbsolu Sat 15-Apr-17 16:00:16

TBH my module is one of many many in a roaster for them to select. A little bit like tapas menu it seems. I have zero control on the evaluation and feedback criteria.

But yeah - entertainment and immediate "value for money", nevermind the long-term skills acquired.

I'll be cancelling my offering for next academic year - does not seem worth the hassle.

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kscience Sun 16-Apr-17 16:44:44

Hi, as a secondary teacher changing field and hopefully going on to teaching HE (fingers crossed for interview this week)...welcome to the wonderful world of "edutainment".

IMO It all went down hill when "pupil voice" was first introduced about 10yrs ago in the interview process and as part of departmental reviews!! I actually looked at the data for a couple of years (as head of dept) and showed that there was no correlation between good pupil attainment and positive pupil feedback. In my case the reverse as kids hated me enforcing rules/homework/basic expectations that they work...but I got the best results

passes the wine wine

Marasme Sun 16-Apr-17 21:59:37

Hi KS - the odd thing is: this kind of shite is not new (the feedback) and neither are the entertainment hour / TED talk style lectures. What has changed, dramatically, is the attitude of the students towards learning (I work at a rather pretentious RG who prides itself of getting "the best").

I certainly did see some of "the best" students, some who have truly moved me and shaped my way of thinking and teaching - but it all changed. In the last 5 years, these students have completely vanished. Maybe a combination of the high school teaching shift with a change in my uni recruitment style?

bakedbeansandtuna Mon 17-Apr-17 01:39:39

There is a complete lack of initiative from students. We can't win since my place is obsessed with the NSS. I honestly don't know why the majority of them bother since they just want spoon feeding - and complain as 'paying customers' when they don't pass because they haven't bothered to read module HB never mind a journal.

annandale Mon 17-Apr-17 02:17:42

sorry to intrude but as a student I completely agree.

I was quite pleased to be asked for feedback the first time it happened (mature student, never happened in t' old days etc) and merrily gave it, until I understood to my absolute horror that it was taken on face value! I assumed that it would be placed in context, i.e. the feedback of a first year student who hadn't done the whole course, who didn't have the perspective of having worked in the profession afterwards and therefore would understand what had been useful at that end. I pretty much stopped giving feedback after that.

Marasme Mon 17-Apr-17 21:56:34

annandale - I think that the forms themselves (and the moroninc questions they ask - like "was this module "fun"] and anonymity of the whole thing are partly to blame.

There are very limited opportunities to contextualise what we get, or to discuss further - and the feedback feeds into a pipeline that goes straight to the administrators, who see it as their management-given rights to monitor us, the idiotic academics who know nothing but our ivory towers subjects [nevermind most of us manage teams of professionals, and projects worth tens of £1000] - the feedback gets nicely crunched into digits, and goes into our performance reviews.

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