Student feedback can be used to enable institutions to achieve the best possible outcomes for students through informing changes which enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Following the introduction of an online survey platform to gather student feedback at a top-performing UK university, anecdotal concerns raised by academics suggested students were being more critical. This exploratory study investigated the effects of switching from a paper to an online survey by comparing the open-ended responses between the two methods of collection. The main contribution of this study is the development of an analytical framework which can be used by other institutions to evaluate student comments, in order to understand and improve the student experience. Three key findings in this study were uncovered. Firstly, the quality of student feedback is not undermined by a switch to a more efficient online collection. Secondly, student comments via both methods of collection predominantly continue to focus on fulfilling basic needs, such as study resources. Finally, a small number of comments online revealed a lack of behavioural constraint and were considered to be inappropriate. These findings have important policy implications for the global higher education sector, highlighting the need for students to be given guidance on providing constructive feedback.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in
Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education on 30/10/2018, available
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- higher education
- online disinhibition
- social media
- student surveys
ASJC Scopus subject areas