Exam feedback, shortage of books, timetables
MAASTRICHT. Late announcement of teaching timetables, too few books in the library, waiting too long on exam results, insufficient feedback on exams, ugly bare classrooms and insufficient information about graduation. Both the UM Student Monitor, Student Satisfaction 2014-2015 and the national student survey by CHOI 2015 (a survey also used by the KeuzeGids as one of the bases for its conclusions) show that FASoS students are dissatisfied with a number of issues. A plan of action that was discussed in the council meeting yesterday should change all of this.
It is remarkable that FASoS students are less satisfied than their colleagues in other Maastricht faculties, as shown by the latest UM Student Monitor. This survey was held last spring and a total of 1,300 students participated. “It may be that our students are more critical,” the faculty writes, “but this comment is not meant to trivialise the negative scores, more so to put it into a broader perspective.” The faculty subsequently produces a list of points of action. For instance, there will be an annual roster, which will include all tutorial group meetings and lectures. In principle, we will not deviate from this, says member of the faculty board, Jo Wachelder. This so-called ‘raamrooster’ (experiments are being carried out in the first year of the bachelor’s programme) can soon be found at a single “digital spot”, along with other relevant education information like exam dates (already available, but students seem to have difficulties in finding the right pages), teaching activities.
As far as the grumblings about there being insufficient feedback after exams: that should cease with feedback videos. These are short videos with answers to exam questions that students can watch immediately after their exams, but also before a resit. Wachelder: “The School of Business and Economics have successfully used such videos for some time. It will answer many of the students’ questions and will also reduce the burden for lecturers. The latter will only have to tell their story once.”
“We already do this”, council member Heidi Maurer said during the meeting. “In my course we give a lecture exam revision.” But in other courses it doesn’t exist, students of the council reacted. Maurer: “Let’s discuss it with the students how we can do it in the best way.”
The faculty, together with the library committee, is going to search for a solution for the shortage of books. And they want to organise a photograph competition for students around the theme: This is my home. The best entries will be used as wall decorations, to brighten up the classrooms - which are “like living in a prison”, one student writes. Why not also use poster presentations of research to decorate the rooms, Maurer added. Good idea, reacted dean Rein de Wilde.
Criticism that the European Studies students have in CHOI about the quality of the lecturers, will partly be solved by a more intensive introduction of new staff members. At the same time, it is a cause for further investigation.