16 April 2019 • Carly Timmerman
Feedback by digital totem
Does the course content meet your expectations? Does the lecturer communicate clearly? Are you satisfied with this subject? Taking stock among students. It’s easy now. The education team at the faculty Management & Organisation will soon be implementing a digital totem. Hans Veentjer, tutor and lecturer for the Human Resource Management degree programme, is involved in the digital totem.
There are many different ways of measuring the quality of education and student satisfaction. The National Student Survey is probably the best known tool. Many degree programmes also employ their own (digital) evaluations to assess their subjects. “The evaluations are usually conducted afterwards. Sometimes we hold focus group meetings with students and lecturers at the end of a subject. But we are wasting an opportunity.”
“We want to develop a stronger relationship with our students within the HRM degree programme. We want to engage them more in our education,” explains Veentjer. “So it’s better to conduct interim evaluations, instead of afterwards. That’s where the digital totem comes in: a physical totem for a digital survey. This will enable us to listen to our students and take action. We will be able to align the degree programme better with the needs and expectations of our students.”
Themes: twenty weeks
Many degree programmes at THUAS work with the usual ten-week blocks, during which students take several subjects. In the learning landscape of the faculty of Management & Organisation, the education teams work with themes. Two blocks of twenty weeks. Veentjer: “Students work on a ‘performance’ that they complete in a team setting. They learn together. They also complete an assessment and a knowledge test. Everything ties into the theme. It works great!”
During a theme, the lecturer puts a totem in the learning landscape and informs the students. “We ask them to answer the questions. Anonymously. This allows us to gain insight in their experiences. It is nice to be able to evaluate during a subject. You can directly address issues with students or correct minor problems. And with a totem you hopefully avoid students simply telling you what you want to hear. When you ask a class for feedback, not everyone will give an honest answer.”
The entire team is behind the digital totem concept. Now the students. “There is some room for improvement. The first time was just a test, we want to be more efficient from now on. Especially when it comes to communication. Lecturers and students must be informed. And because it is a totem, it requires our students to be physically present at the university. It involves some organisation, but we can do it. Things are moving in the right direction!”
Heading for the top
“We never stop learning and developing. It’s great to see that our team is really open to this. If you want to keep improving, an open attitude is essential. Change, adjust, improve. Lecturers are responding more positively to the students’ feedback. We want to be one of the best and most fun HRM degree programmes. And at the end of the day we are doing this for the students: that’s what it’s all about!”
Would you like to know more about the digital totem? Please contact the faculty office of M&O, team BAK, via 070-4458406.
How do you do it?
How do you do it? This is the main question that is addressed in this series known as ‘best practices’. Each time, a lecturer or member of staff at THUAS provides a practical example. For example about how they embed global citizenship in their teaching. Or how they coach students to their graduation. It’s a good way to learn from each other and improve our education.