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Methods to Enhance Student Learning: A Student Appraisal of Teaching Practise

Author Dr. Attracta Brennan
Abstract 'We cannot teach another person directly but only facilitate their learning' (Khambadkone, 2003). The Irish government is committed to improving teaching and learning in higher educational institutions as evidenced by the investment of 510m over the six years of the NDP's lifetime. 'The role of the higher education system is critical to Ireland's future success' (HEA, 2008). James argues that whilst certain aspects of higher education cannot be validly judged by students (such as the overall coherence of the curriculum), they are well equipped to judge 'the more tangible, short term components of the experience and to judge aspects of the process of higher education' (James, 2001). These areas include the availability of IT support, feedback and the teaching skills of the academic staff etc. 'Students have things to tell us that only they can say with authority. They are ready to advise us if asked' (Jackson, 2006). To capture students' real experiences in the classroom and to identify methods to enhance their learning, an online survey of students' experiences and expectations of academic practise at GMIT was carried out. From an undergraduate student body of 4,889 students, across five geographically dispersed campuses, a total of 694 completed and usable questionnaires were received, yielding an overall response rate of 14.1%.
Keywords Good teaching, Bad teaching, Students? expectations, Students? experiences
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2008
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