Responding to your feedback
Surveys are used by the University of Leeds to enhance our courses and programmes, and to improve the student experience. Your feedback and suggestions are the driving force behind change at the University. Below are the key areas for development that student surveys, Student Representatives and academic leaders have agreed to focus on for 2023-24.
School Action Plan Headlines
Schools produce an action plan in response to feedback on the student experience using survey results (including the National Student Survey) and other feedback, such as external examiner reports. School Action Plans are developed in partnership with School Representatives and are regularly updated throughout the academic year. School Action Plans are routinely considered at School Taught Student Education Committees and Faculty Taught Student Education Committees.
School Representatives were consulted and confirmed with School leaders what they feel are the key "headline" priorities for the School that would best advance the student experience. These headlines can be found below:
Arts, Humanities and Cultures
- Supporting students to build community: we have worked proactively with students to restart the School of Design Society, form an International Students Steering Committee, and plan student-led events and initiatives to build community.
- Creating a better built environment: we have refurbished areas and added new equipment and furniture to make the School more attractive and functional. We have created new spaces for students that support different types of learning activities.
- Signposting key information and support: we have built a Sharepoint site that brings information students need together in one place. We have enhanced communications to ensure students are aware of support available to them through Academic Personal Tutors and Office Hours.
- Sense of belonging: Improve the learning community in the school via events that improve sense of community and belonging.
- Assessment and feedback: increase the profile and effectiveness of formative assessments across our programme and review the timing and quantity of assessment to optimise engagement and outcomes.
- Student voice: Encouraging staff and students to engage in mid-module and mid-programme feedback in order to help students input into the delivery of teaching and degrees in the School.
- Engaging with students in the areas identified as significant by the SSPF: Academic Experience, Community and Wellbeing, Diversity and Inclusivity and Employability.
- Improvements in use of School facilities by opening of the Foyer for use in Performance Classes, and by developing a system to report faults with practice rooms.
- Launch of the International Student Project to address the specific needs of international students and to improve School inclusivity
- Provide more support for students completing dissertations and Final Year Projects. We responded by adding Writing Community sessions each March, hosting writing workshops led by the Writing Mentors and offering drop-in hours with the FYP Director.
- Stagger our assessment deadlines to give students a greater ability to manage their time. Assessment deadlines were reviewed and updated this year to help avoid clashes. We have also made the 23-24 assessment deadlines available on Minerva.
- Diversify the curriculum and make the literature we teach more representative. We devised a new Level 1 module (Race, Writing and Decolonization) to enable the study of decolonizing texts right from the beginning of our degrees’. Our Curriculum Redefined efforts have explicitly considered how we might decolonize other aspects of our curriculum.
- Academic support: Review the efficacy of the personal tutorial system, and improve signposting and branding of office hours at module level so that these are utilised more effectively by students.
- Assessment and feedback: increase the visibility of marking turnaround times and marking criteria across modules and highlight the importance of feedback for learning outcomes and student progress.
- Student voice: Encouraging staff and students to engage in completing feedback circles when module / programme / school changes are enacted.
To improve belonging and community the School is helping to fund the PCI Society Ball. We are also working with the Student Staff Partnership Forum and dedicating time in School leadership and staff development days to training and development events to support belonging and develop new initiatives.
- We are redesigning key practical modules to enhance student-learning experience, including a new residency on Applied Theatre Practice and, from 24/25, running Performance Project 3 over two semesters.
- We are working with the Student Staff Partnership Forum to improve how we provide feedback on summative work.
- We are relaunching our PositiviTea events, and are running workshops on creativity and mental health to support the wellbeing of all our students and staff.
- This we do through working with our Student Leaders and various networks (for example Working Class and Students of Colour). Student-led events are also supported and encouraged especially around induction, exhibitions and parliaments.
- There is a focus on cross-level community building through initiatives such as the student-led dissertation symposium and social events.
- We have a buddy scheme for new students as well as a new FAHACS Society to enable students to understand that they have agency and opportunity when they work with each other.
- We now have module outcomes and learning criteria stated on the relevant Minerva pages.
- Assessment deadlines are centrally organised and assessment requirements and deadlines clearly stated at the beginning of the module.
- Timely feedback which refers back to the learning criteria is prioritised. We are also introducing new and more diverse assessment methods to ensure that students have more choice when it comes to their individual learning and development.
- We are working closely with our Student Support Team to ensure that each student has a clear and workable timetable also they can access online resources where they can get essential information with regards their reading lists, seminars and lectures.
- The School has arranged drop-in sessions at key points in the academic year so that they can ask questions and be confident in the information they receive around assessment and module choices, for example.
- Undertaking a review of all assessment criteria to make them clearer.
- Sessions on understanding the criteria are being rolled out to students.
- Modules are being revised to include more varied formative feedback opportunities as part of Curriculum Redefined
- Improve feedback on assessment to ensure a consistent approach is adopted throughout the School and is focused on developmental feedback.
- More emphasis on mid-module CEQs to improve student experience during the course of a module.
- Promoting the value of completing module and programme questionnaires.
- Working with SSPF to improve the feedback loop to students
- Greater use of 'you said - we did' to emphasise the effectiveness of student voice
- Improve the sense of belonging by developing more events in partnership with students through our Student Interns and Course Reps.
- Introducing in-person drop-in sessions with Student Education Service team.
- Promoting the use of a communal physical space in the School for students to meet and have access to staff.
- Developing School-wide marking criteria and feedback templates to improve transparency and consistency in marking and feedback
- Developing a School-wide policy on Group Work to ensure that all students feel confident about group work marking and feedback
- Mapping and reviewing our School’s approach to assessment, starting from oral exams, to ensure consistency across modules
- Reducing the amount of summative assessments and introducing more opportunities for formative assessment and feedback (as part of the University-wide project Curriculum Redefined)
- Gathering student feedback on Academic Personal Tutoring provision (all levels) to improve academic support to students
- Reviewing academic support to Level 3 students and students returning from the Residence Abroad
- Running a new year-round Welcome, Induction and Transition (WIT) programme to support students throughout the academic year
- Reviewing programme structures to ensure that Joint Honours students feel supported throughout their academic journey (as part of the University-wide project Curriculum Redefined)
Reviewing the timetabling of assessment points for coursework to avoid bunching/clashes
- Reviewing all programme catalogue descriptions to ensure that instructions for students about modules and credits are transparent (as part of the University-wide project Curriculum Redefined)
- Reviewing all programme structures to avoid timetable clashes between optional modules (as part of the University-wide project Curriculum Redefined)
Reviewing module Minerva areas to improve consistency and transparency
Involving students in identifying the School’s priorities via their active participation in the Student Staff Partnership Form and the Student Taught Education Committee
- Involving student focus groups in curriculum development, starting from the development of the School’s shared marking criteria and group work policy
- Promoting the National Student Survey (NSS) with students
- Promoting module and programme surveys with students, including mid-Semester module surveys
Participating in a University-wide project to foster the sense of belonging of Joint Honours students
Improving Academic Personal Tutors and academic staff ability to signpost to Mental Health support by running Mental Health Awareness training sessions for staff
Faculty of Biological Sciences
- We have added additional introductory information to guidance sessions on Online Time Limited Assessments (OTLAs) and provided guidance to all students.
- We have developed feedback guidance for OTLAs and projects which will be circulated to staff to improve feedback consistency.
- After consultation with our level 3 student representatives, we will make sure that outcomes from the Student Staff Partnership Forum are communicated to all students, closing the feedback loop.
- Our assessment mapping exercise will allow us to identify opportunities to increase formative feedback and streamline assessment across our programmes.
Communications: Improve communications and community amongst students - newsletters about outcomes from partnership forums and community events for each programme lead by Programme Leaders.
- Assessment: Improve preparation for OTLAs, awareness of marking criteria and assessment rubrics- academic/school rep led sessions for year 2/3, highlights of marking criteria in all appropriate workshops, trial use of assessment briefs in year 1.
- Feedback: Track timeliness of feedback effectively, highlight importance of this to staff, improve consistency of quality of feedback, share expectations of feedback with students.
Revamp the intro to 24hr OTLAs and give a concise version of the OTLA guidance to all L3 students.
- Look at and re-distribute feedback for OTLAs and projects guidance to staff to improve consistency of approach.
- Engage L3 student reps separately to discuss issues and formalise the requirement to feed back to the year group after SSF.
- Work on opportunities for formative feedback after assessment mapping exercise is complete.
Faculty of Business
- Assessment: review assessment design and mix of assessment type at programme level, and study level (eg: L1/2/3/PGT).
- Feedback: develop a more consistent approach to the provision of feedback on summative assessments.
- Student Support and Success: Provide a supportive framework to promote work placement and study abroad opportunities within and across undergraduate programmes.
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Improve the amount of study spaces available to students.
- Improve communication between School Representatives and Course Representatives, so feedback is dealt with in a timely fashion.
- Continue to work on study success, engagement and progression to improve the student experience.
- Enhance students’ sense of community and belonging by organising wellbeing events and creating a weekly newsletter.
- Improve learning experience in Teaching Labs by improving the training of Post Graduate demonstrators.
- Improve the quality and timeliness of feedback by returning coursework marks and feedback for laboratory and final year project modules within two weeks.
Continue improving assessment rubric information to ensure the assessment format is consistent.
- Achieve a more joined-up approach to student success and engagement monitoring.
- Embed EDI with UG students by organising social events and improving student representation at EDI conferences.
- Create a resource pack for academic personal tutors, to improve the support offered to students.
- Work towards creating an algorithm that helps to predict overall final grades, using marks from first year.
- Improve communications around assesment, so the expectations of students is clear.
- Improve academic support and availability of the services to students.
- Focus on improving attendance and engagement, by ensuring lectures are interactive.
- Focus on building School community, so that all students feel they have a sense of belonging.
- Improve the availability of academic staff, so that students can access more support.
Sustain a vibrant community by continuing by cultivating School social events.
- Continue to improve assessment and feedback through clear guidance and relevant examples of previous assessments.
- Continue to enhance Student Support to identify and support students that might be facing challenges.
- Continue to implement Curriculum Redefined programme changes, to improve the student experience.
- Improve the communication of module deadlines so that students are clear of expectations.
- Improve the learning community in the school by developing more events that improve sense of belonging.
Improve student feedback by sharing good practice between modules.
- Improve communication to ensure students are aware how feedback is being acted on.
- Improve the functionality and appearance of study places and implement kinetic sculptures.
- Ensure there are programme specific projects available for students, refreshing level 1 and 2 design and manufacture projects.
- Refresh the level 1 Design and manufacture projects so there is more focus on sustainability.
Improve feedback on assessment to ensure a consistent approach is adopted throughout the School.
- Improve the learning community in the school by developing more events that improve sense of belonging.
- Improve communication between academic staff and SES to ensure students feel supported and heard.
Faculty of Environment
Enhancing engagement: enhancing student engagement in relation to personal tutor meetings, including work to develop a welcoming environment for students, alongside the implementation of monitoring tools.
- Student voice: Encouraging staff and students to engage in mid-module feedback, or mid-programme feedback where required due to short module durations.
- Assessment: Improving the accuracy and clarity of assessment information. Encouraging the use of a standard form for assessment, along with the development of associated guidance for staff.
Sense of Belonging: increasing student’s sense of belonging and engagement with the running of a schedule of events.
- Assessment: carrying out an exercise to map assessment dates in order to identify and mitigate deadline clashes.
- Student voice: the implementation of mid-module reviews to obtain student perspectives.
To increase student sense of belonging by running a series of school events and working alongside School Reps on projects to define their contribution and legacy.
- To review teaching locations, moving tutorials back into the School building to ensure that students are provided opportunity to engage with School spaces.
- For the SES team to offer drop-in sessions in the School of Geography building.
- To promote student voice by the continued running of Town Hall events, promoting discussion on progress made and planning forward.
- To reschedule External Examiner meetings from the summer exam period to February, to provide students with increased opportunities to engage with the exercise.
Faculty of Medicine and Health
- A focus on feedback to inform your learning through teacher development in giving constructive feedback and the use of new online assessment systems to allow more timely return of feedback to students.
- Better management of timetabling processes and oversight through a joint timetabling and teaching staff working group which will set short, medium and long-term actions.
- A commitment to listening to your voice and reporting back on actions through holding regular year group sessions.
- Ensure consistent communication regarding course arrangements, course delivery and assessment requirements: provide a rationale for arrangements and provide signposting to learning resources, surfacing skills (highlighting where hidden, embedded skills are being developed/used) and practice placement support.
- Foster a feedback culture: consider all feedback about the student experience, including undertaking mid-module & end of module evaluations, to identify immediate actions and communicate these and the rationale, so that the result of all feedback is clear.
- Identify and plan events and activities which maximise student sense of belonging.
- Assessment and Feedback: The development of student-friendly and clear assessment criteria, with an emphasis of constructive feedback that helps students improve for their next assessment.
- Student Voice: The implementation of student-focused methods of communication to encourage a meaningful dialogue between students and the School.
- Learning Community and Student Support: Increased quality and consistency in personal tutoring experience, alongside more school-based activities to increase student belonging within the School.
- Student voice: re-establish the School Student Staff Partnership Forum for 2023/2024 academic year to compliment the ongoing regular 2-weekly School Leadership/Student Rep meetings.
- Assessment & feedback: Key strategic initiatives to run across all school programmes include, improving assessment and feedback literacy, communication of assessment information, improving the assessment culture utilising a two-way partnership dialogue between the school and students, and recognising and sharing examples of good feedback practice across the School.
- Student support: Scope current provision of student support across the School to identify School level and University level provision and ensure equity for all students; promote installation of the Student Information Point, LUU Hub and student kitchen in the Worsley lounge and monitor student engagement.
Faculty of Social Sciences
First: delivered in September 2023- focussing on the use of shared Quickmarks; for consistency of student experience and a group approach dissertation supervisions.
- Second: to be delivered in January 2024- focussing on developing a template for summative feedback and assignment specific assessment criteria.
- Third: planned for summer 2024- focussing on efficient and effective approaches to formative feedback.
- Soft roll-out of standardised assignment brief template in S2 2023-2024, with a view to all modules using this by S1 2024-2025.
Recruit 2 Lecturers in Academic Practice to offer embedded and contextualised academic skills support to all students, with a particular focus on second language speakers.
- Programme and module leaders to work closely with Academic Practice lecturers to plan timely, focussed and relevant level and topic specific provision.
- Peer mentoring - review UG initiative; launch and monitor PGT initiative.
- Invest in your future; - launch of new education award to recognise extra-curricular and community enhancement activities.
- Festival of student learning- planned for February 2024 to celebrate and share student achievements and promote a sense of belonging in the academic community.
- Ensure effective deployment of two interns to support events focused on sense of belonging and building community.
- Fostering Inclusive and Authentic Assessment and Feedback: We have developed and are now implementing a new Assessment and Feedback strategy, which will facilitate a review and redesign of the diversity and effectiveness of our formative and summative assessments across the programme in the medium-term. A more immediate effect of this is that all students in all modules at all levels will now receive a formative assessment opportunity, with individual feedback on their work.
- Building an Inclusive Student Community and Enhancing the Student Voice: We are broadening the opportunities to hear from students, and have introduced a School level mid-semester survey, which in November ’23 generated over 600 UG and 120 PGT responses from students. We are now working with module leaders to respond to this survey.
- Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Student Success: Using feedback from students, alumni, and employers we are redefining our curriculum, and as part of this have developed a new Skills and Capabilities strategy, which will see us clearly map out the skills that students develop across their programme to support students’ skills development.
Continuation of work conducted by Working Group on Assessment and Feedback, to improve the student experience.
- Continue work to ensure a sense of community and identity as a Politics and International Studies student supported by the development of a 40-credit core UG level one module, and by considering ways to encourage use of Social Sciences building.
- The School will continue to show how our programmes develop skills that are useful to students in the workplace and wider world. We are doing this through the development of a skills spine which will take students from day one to graduation. Our module descriptions continue to be refined to show what skills are being developed and further work will be done on this (especially around experiential learning).
L3 APT student meetings to review Semester 1 assessment feedback and plan for the next assessment round.
- Improved School communications.
- Visible responses to student feedback on modules and programmes.
Assessment: Review assessment on the Engineering Management and Artificial Intelligence programmes, as well as reviewing the assessment strategy on new programmes following initial teaching; review opportunities for formative assessment on the Sustainable Business Leadership programme; ensure feedback is returned to students in a timely manner; and focus on Assessment mapping (and updating maps where they already exist)
- Continue to support the use of Explorance Blue; explore alternative ways to incentivise the role of being a rep on the SSPF; work with DES Evaluation and Innovation team to support feedback sessions outside of formal institutional mechanisms; explore new methods of community building given opportunities on platforms; and ensure students are aware of changes made to modules/ programmes in light of their feedback
Co-create a communication strategy for LLC to deliver key messages more effectively and ensure all LLC students have a voice in their education.
- Actively develop, promote and embed the principles of inclusive teaching and learning in partnership with students.
- Develop a more holistic experience for LLC students on a four year degree programme with enhanced support during transition from the foundation year to year one.
- Engagement: academic community building activity to foster sense of independence and ownership by students in their learning success.
- Awareness: working with module leaders and cross institution teams to increase understanding of the value of IFY students and the nuances of the programme to ensure IFY processes can work effectively within the frameworks of University policies and processes.
- Review: continue to seek opportunities for curriculum wide review for IFY programmes and positive changes to modules and pathways.
Every year, students at the University of Leeds complete a variety of surveys and reviews. These include National Student Survey (NSS) for final year undergraduates, Programme Survey and Taught Postgraduate Programme Survey, and Postgraduate Researcher Experience Survey. The feedback that you provide in these surveys helps to guide the decisions that the university makes. Many of the initiatives that you see at the University are in response to this feedback.
At Leeds there are several different kinds of student representatives, who gather your feedback and present this to different meetings and committees:
Course Representatives work at programme level to gather feedback and take this to Student Staff Partnership Forum, a student-led meeting where they present feedback to staff and receive responses from them.
School Representatives and Faculty Officers represent the whole of their school or faculty. They work together with Course Representatives to identify common themes in student feedback, and they take this to meetings where they either present this feedback, or use it to help to shape and create university policies.
PGR Representatives do the same job as School Representatives, only for postgraduate research students.
Members of LUU’s Student Exec attend numerous meetings at University level on students’ behalf. They make sure that relevant student feedback is highlighted in these meetings, so that when decisions are made or policies are drafted, these respond to student feedback.
External Examiner Reports and Responses
External examiners produce annual reports on the quality and standards of each programme and the fairness of the assessment procedures. Schools review and respond to each report. Reports inform developments related to modules and programmes, as well as the School Action Plan. Please contact the Quality Assurance Team if you wish to view external examiner reports and responses.