National Student Survey

In the UK, feedback is gathered nationally from final year students by the ‘National Student Survey’, introduced in 2005, and implemented between January and March each year. This is to be updated in 2017, and the statements to be used are added here:  NSS-update.docx (7 downloads)

In my view, the actual survey was, and remains quite badly designed, but the results are taken very seriously, and turned into league tables both within institutions and nationally. And all feedback on the student experience in higher education is useful, even when the survey instrument is far from perfect.

At many of my workshops, I address head-on how we may go about increasing student satisfaction in the context of particular aspects covered by the Survey, in particular those relating to feedback and assessment – up till now far and away the least satisfactory aspects of the student experience in the sector as determined by the Survey.
I discussed several aspects relating to the original Survey statements in the 3rd edition of ‘Making Learning Happen’ published by Sage in May 2014.

‘Making Teaching Work’, which I published with Ruth Pickford in 2007, included a chapter on ‘Addressing Student Satisfaction’, linking to the original National Student Survey statements. We have made this available to all (many of the statements will still apply from 2017), and I am therefore putting an adapted version of the chapter on this page as a download, so that colleagues across the sector may I trust gain some useful ideas which will help not only to improve the student experience, but to improve how students express their views about that experience. When time permits, I plan to re-do this to include all the new statements.
Any feedback on this really welcome.  NSS-guide-2016-1.docx (136 downloads)