About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3239-3248
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0623

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE OPINIONS OF UNIVERSITY TEACHERS TO THE GOALS AND ROLE OF FEEDBACK GIVEN BY STUDENTS TOWARDS THEIR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND EXPECTATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE FEEDBACK SYSTEM

M. Sepma, L. Lepp, M. Remmik

University of Tartu (ESTONIA)
Collecting feedback on the organization and content of curricular activities creates a base for increasing the quality of the studies and for university teachers’ professional development. Therefore it helps with taking the needs of the students and the society into account. Although collecting student feedback is important, it is not always based on scientific methods and is not reliable. Unreliable student feedback can cause errors in interpreting the results of the feedback and making decisions on curricular improvement and can have a negative influence on the professional development of the university teacher as a whole. Previous studies have shown that student feedback does not lead the university teachers to change their teaching. Negative feedback brings forth feelings of frustration and can be emotionally damaging. Due to that, it is important to systematically improve the feedback system within universities, taking the teachers expectations towards collecting feedback into account.

This study aims to describe the university teachers’ opinions to the feedback given by students and its’ meaning in their professional development.

The participants were 20 university teachers from one Estonian higher education establishment. The maximum distribution sample was used. The researchers looked at the participants’ feedback mark on their course, their teaching experience in years, gender, age, and field of work. Data were collected by semi-structured individual interviews and analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis.

Results show that feedback is necessary for various reasons for the participants. On the one hand, its role is understood as a chance for professional development. On the other hand, feedback is considered to be a means of external control, which leads to decisions in human resources with re-electing professors within the department.

It is found that two opposing objectives for one feedback collecting instrument is not an effective solution. It was said that not all questions that the current feedback system asks, support the professional development of the teachers. The participants evaluated open-ended comments (instead of numbered ratings) as more professional development support. The expectation that collecting feedback should use more open-ended questions was implied, although it would make data analysis more demanding for the teachers. It was also found that to some extent the university teachers should be able to decide which questions are asked about their course.

The participants expressed that feedback would be seen as more reliable if it was given by all or most of the students. Since the current system in the sample higher education establishment does not demand every student to evaluate all courses, the numbers of evaluations are often low and cannot be generalized. Still, the generalization within the department based on the few student evaluations given was seen as a problem. The participants expressed the expectation of the feedback system working as a dialogue between students, professors, and the management. Also, in case of problems/discordances and/or need for improvement it is necessary to include the consultant/mentor who mediates the feedback to translate the results and to set goals for improvement.

This study points to the shortages in the current feedback system from the professors’ perspective and describes the detailed expectations and recommendations for the improvement of the system.
@InProceedings{SEPMA2018OPI,
author = {Sepma, M. and Lepp, L. and Remmik, M.},
title = {THE OPINIONS OF UNIVERSITY TEACHERS TO THE GOALS AND ROLE OF FEEDBACK GIVEN BY STUDENTS TOWARDS THEIR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND EXPECTATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE FEEDBACK SYSTEM},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.0623},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.0623},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3239-3248}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Sepma AU - L. Lepp AU - M. Remmik
TI - THE OPINIONS OF UNIVERSITY TEACHERS TO THE GOALS AND ROLE OF FEEDBACK GIVEN BY STUDENTS TOWARDS THEIR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND EXPECTATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE FEEDBACK SYSTEM
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.0623
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 3239
EP - 3248
ER -
M. Sepma, L. Lepp, M. Remmik (2018) THE OPINIONS OF UNIVERSITY TEACHERS TO THE GOALS AND ROLE OF FEEDBACK GIVEN BY STUDENTS TOWARDS THEIR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND EXPECTATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE FEEDBACK SYSTEM, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 3239-3248.
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