Do students complain about university courses? Not if a grade is at stake

Posted in Teaching on December 10th, 2013 by steve

“There may be no truly satisfactory way to measure how much or how well students complain. But several teams of researchers have tried. One attempted to measure how students complain; another, how they intend to complain …” (more)

[Marc Abrahams, Guardian, 9 December]

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Students’ campaigns take some ugly turns

Posted in Teaching on June 5th, 2009 by steve

UK“Lecturers are facing a wave of student activism over teaching quality, which academic leaders have likened to ‘bullying’. Student campaigners at the University of Central Lancashire have posted examples of bad feedback online. At the University of Bolton, students have left anonymous cards in staff pigeonholes, giving them marks out of ten for performance. And at Manchester Metropolitan University, students are texting its students’ union to inform it when classes are cancelled or lecturers are late. The University and College Union is unhappy about the campaigns, and it has likened the scorecards at Bolton to ‘hate mail’ …” (more)

[Melanie Newman, Times Higher Education, 4 June]

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If there’s no cause for complaint, students should be held to account

Posted in Legal issues on May 15th, 2009 by steve

UK“Colleagues from across the sector tell me that the number of student complaints is on the rise. Either universities are getting things wrong more often, or students are complaining for other reasons … Let me be clear – students absolutely have the right to appeal where they believe that they have reasonable grounds. However, when they make serious allegations about staff, and where these allegations are found to be entirely without substance, universities have to step in and act to protect their staff. I have no right to slander or libel a student, and would expect to be held to account were I to do so. Equally, if a student libels a member of staff in a complaint or appeal or (as is increasingly common) via Facebook or other social-networking websites, then he or she should expect there to be consequences …” (more)

[Ian Greener, Times Higher Education, 14 May]

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