You said, we listened

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You said, we listened

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We take student feedback seriously and the feedback students provide informs changes to processes, services and research. Here, you'll see how and where your feedback is making an impact.

Student Forum

Each year, students are invited to participate in the Student Forum to discuss the things that matter to you. The 2018 Student Forum focused on Curriculum Changes. As a result of the feedback received, USC commits to closing the feedback loop by reporting back to students any action that has been taken.

Key outcomes

A summary of the feedback received from students, ordered by category is below, including the actions undertaken to continue to improve or address challenges and identified issues.

Forum Topic

Communications about curriculum changes
Students said

Students identified communication about curriculum changes have not been satisfactory.

  • What can be done to assist feedback loops between students and staff to avoid similar communication issues?
  • Is there a method of informing student of policy changes that affect them?
  • How can students be involved in decision-making about curriculum changes?
We listened

We acknowledge there has not been clarity in communicating about curriculum changes.

To support open communication about curriculum changes, there is a new tab in Blackboard, under Organisation. It has Curriculum changes on it and it’s updated regularly so you can see any changes.

This is a work in progress. It shows exactly what’s happening from one course to the next and what the changes are. All students who have been affected by these changes have now been contacted via email and any future changes will be communicated in this way. Students should check the Blackboard site regularly.

Changes to Programs

Students enquired about how courses and programs are selected or cancelled for the various teaching locations.

  • Can you explain the selection process for course and program delivery at all campuses?
  • Program changes impact the students currently undertaking them, how can students be ensured they will be delivered the program they enrolled in?

Professor Wess stated that it is not only the University that recommends changes to programs and courses, but also the accrediting bodies who require USC to modify the program or course.

Professor Hill explained the University’s position on how programs or courses are chosen to be taught or cancelled.

We would love to offer more elective choices for students but when funding is limited, USC takes a close look at which programs and courses are not in high demand.

Consultation of students

Students noted that when programs and courses are being created, changed, or removed that it is vital for students to fully understand who is involved in these processes.

  • Are students involved in the program and course creation, modification or removal process?

Professor Nelson, spoke about student involvement in the process of program (or course) creation, modification, or removal. We consult with students via committee meetings on a regular basis, like the Academic Board. However, we acknowledge that the reach of the student voice on these committees is not extensive as we would like.

The Student Senate, and all the representative groups which will commence in 2019, will give all students an opportunity to give feedback and voice their concerns much earlier in the change process.

Progression and completion

Some students who have experienced modifications to programs and courses are concerned about their timely progression through to graduation.

  • Will practicum placements be offered in both semesters to accommodate part-time students?

Most students, who have followed a standard study plan should not be affected in this way.

The main thing to remember is that the study plan that you’ve been given should be the process that you follow. Seek advice early if you need to vary this.

Program Advisers in Student Central and Program coordinators can provide advice and support. Ask early and seek individual advice as your circumstances may be quite different to others.

Reduction in face-to-face time

Students have expressed concerns that their semester is being shortened, and their classes are being delivered online, but their fees remain the same.

  • Can you explain the reasoning behind the decision to change to a 10-week semester?
  • Is there any opportunity for students to suggest alternatives to the 10-week semester?
  • Will there any opportunities for courses to revert to face-to-face delivery?

Professor Wess explained USC’s transition to a blended learning model. He emphasised that there are no 10-week semesters.

We are rolling out a variety of blended learning practices across the University so it’s possible that students are receiving different experiences.

The changes to the traditional semester model are designed to have a mix between lectures/tutorials and engaging mixed-mode experiences.

Budget cuts

The University recently began to reduce its operating costs. It is important to students to know if the changes to courses and programs are linked to the budget cuts.

  • Will there be a reduction in sessional teaching staff?
  • How does an online delivery model reflect in the costs to student?

Professor Wess stated that not all the changes are related to budget constraints. "Is it all related to budget? Actually, no. In my view, no. I think there’s just different, contemporary ways of teaching."

Professor Wess also spoke about the possibility of a reduction in sessional staff. Due to the budget constraints, it is probable that there will be a reduction in sessional staff.

Timetabling

Students who have scheduling constraints (e.g. parenting responsibilities or employment) indicate that they can enrol early for their courses but are unable to choose classes offered at times that suit their schedule.

  • Can students with specific limitations have special arrangements put in place for them to access their class time timetable.

Professor Nelson addressed the challenge of scheduling constraints that some students currently have when selecting their class times.

We always hold back a few places in each course class because we recognise that ‘things happen’.

You’ve got something arranged that’s fallen through. You might have responsibilities at times that means you can’t come to any other class but that one and it looks like it’s full.

Contact Student Central as soon as you know there is an issue. Not all requests can be accommodated but we do try to – it all depends on the class, whether there are alternatives available etc. Best Advice is to seek advice early!

Other questions since Forum

Many Student questions have been submitted, which did not get discussed at the forum. Site specific Questions, not directly related to Forum Topic of Curriculum Reform.

Answers to these questions are currently being collected. They will be uploaded here and mentioned in the Student News.

Site specific questions will be published in the relevant Student Central.

Student Experience Survey

Each year, students are invited to participate in the national Student Experience Survey (SES) to gain an understanding of their experiences at University. As a result of the feedback received, USC commits to closing the feedback loop by reporting back to students any action that has been taken.

Key outcomes

A summary of the feedback received from students, ordered by category is below, including the actions undertaken to continue to improve or address challenges and identified issues.

SES item

Skills Development 

Especially for latter year students; Work related knowledge and skills

Students said

Best aspects of my student experience included, learning about different career opportunities; being given the opportunity to participate in events which further career knowledge and learning; meet[ing] future employers as well as guest lecture.

…Advice about the process of employment, interview processes, requirements for …placements etc need improvement.

Really appreciated the time and effort and feel empowered to make informed choices about work and study as well as having been given tools to inform me more!

Super satisfied with the help I received!

Actions and/or outcomes
  • In 2017, in response to the results of the Student Experience Survey, the range of strategies for engagement with continuing students was revised and expanded. The result has been a 21% increase in participation for continuing students and an overall increase of 17% for the total student population.
  • New activities include the delivery of leadership and employability seminars; development of program-specific employability resources; and the development of a team of student-careers assistants.
  • 1303 unique individuals were advised in 1506 career development consultations. 17% of these individuals (n= 229) were prospective students. 1268 consultations were with 1076 current students, representing approximately 8% of all enrolled students.
  • The number of career development consultations have increased by 85% since 2015 due to growth in the team and a changed service model. Consultations grew by 32% between 2016 and 2017 due to enhanced demand for the service.
  • As demonstrated by the positive comments from students, these services have been well received.
Learner Engagement Scale

Student Support items; Offered support relevant to circumstances; Settle into Study

Felt prepared for study; Sense of Belonging; Academic and Learning Advisors available/helpful

Students said

Student identified a desire for stronger peer relationships and a sense of belonging. Cohesion amongst peers to diminish competitive behaviour and splinter groups that tend to make some students feel inferior.

Actions and/or outcomes
  • The Student Success Network has been expanded to include staff and student partnerships, contextualized within programs of study.
  • Peer Advisers now conduct student experience advising, wellbeing support, Orientation and onboarding for new students.
  • Student Success Leaders have introduced a new facet to peer-led orientation and transition assistance.
  • Orientation is reviewed and evaluated each semester. Participation by students is high and feedback positive.
  • Online learning resources including the integrated ‘Your First Year’ Blackboard site has been well supported in 2017 by students.
  • Your Tutor usage has increased by 60% and we continue to improve online resources in recognition of individual student needs and site-specific needs for services
  • Cohort building remains a priority and Orientation is focused on building transition skills. Peer activities are fundamental to the Student Success Network.
  • Additional USC specific questions added to the SES instrument for 2018. Questions focused on the impact of programs and services on the wellbeing, sense of belonging and confidence of students.
Student Support Items

Efficient enrolment and admissions; Administrative staff and systems available/helpful

Students said

If programs need to be updated, this should be done prior to a start of a new Semester…
The structure of the course is constantly changing [this needs improvement]
Timetable clashes…
Timetable planning… need improvement

Areas needing improvement included the need for standardised study plans; and the enrolment process has always had issues..[in relation to] placement courses.

Systems-wise, students noted the enrolment system…is very slow and inconvenient.

Students identified the best aspects of enrolment as lecturers and tutors; and the flexibility to choose courses that are interesting.

Actions and/or outcomes
  • Implemented customer satisfaction survey for all transactions. Feedback is consistently positive and all negative feedback is responded to in person.
  • Developed queuing system and self-check in for consultations/appointment, refurbishment of Fraser Coast student service area.
  • Implemented evaluation framework which suggests that students who engage with the ‘service model’ perform better than those who do not in terms of retention and Grade Point Average.
  • The University has a curriculum refresh program underway to address the issues identified as needing improvement.
More information

For more information or to download previous years reports visit Student Experience Survey.

USC Sport, Food & Retail Survey

In April 2018, students and staff were invited to participate in the USC Sport, Food & Retail survey to gain insight into their opinions on Sport, Catering, Retail, and Venue services available across all USC campuses. As a result of the feedback received, USC commits to closing the feedback loop by reporting back to students any action that has been taken.

Key outcomes

A summary of the feedback received from students, ordered by category is below, including the actions undertaken to continue to improve or address challenges and identified issues.

Survey item

Communication

Promotion of Sport, Food and Retail offerings

Students said

There seems to be an abundance of help and services available, but it's been quite tricky to find out about and most of the things I've found have been accidental.

I would like more information regarding staff team sports.

I have been at the uni since 2012 and this is the first time I have heard that I could stay at Dilli Village. I thought it was only a research station.

Actions and/or outcomes
  • Increased promotion through current student communications channels including Student Central FAQs, digital screens and Student News.
  • Focused promotion on USC Retail and USC Sport Facebook groups has resulted in greater interaction with members and a nearly 20% increase in membership.
Food and dining spaces (USC Sunshine Coast Campus)

Access to a range of food options and spaces for dining or preparing food

Students said

It is difficult when you buy a drink, a plated meal & maybe another item to carry it all, then try to pay for it then get to a table without dropping everything.

Better display of menu options at Cafe C. Is the menu available online? I never know what they have.

The coffee beans at Cafe C and the Brasserie are not that nice.

A wider range of breakfast meals such as omelette or plated meals would be good.

It would be good to have free water stations around campus instead of making people pay for water.

I’m not sure if there is one but a student kitchen would be excellent. It would be great to have access to microwaves on campus so that I can heat up food.

More locker options near the main building area.

Actions and/or outcomes
  • Added meal and food carry trays to the Brasserie for convenience.
  • Digital signage with menu items are now on display at the Brasserie.

  • Retailers can post daily specials to the USC Retail Facebook group.

  • A new coffee blend has been introduced at the Brasserie.
  • Menus at all food outlets are currently being reviewed.
  • A communications strategy is being developed to further promote the ‘Water Refill campus’ initiative to let students know where to refill water on campus.
  • Added Student Central frequently asked question detailing the kitchen facilities available on campus.

  • Campus maps are being reviewed and updated.
  • Additional lockers have been installed.
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