The following post was written by Corrie Macleod, a BILT Student Fellow.
Lisa, Zoe, Phoebe and I were stationed outside of Senate House, ready to seduce students with free tea, coffee and biscuits in exchange for their raw and honest opinions about their course, their student life and their state of mind.
We were ready to hear
‘I’m having a hoot today!’ ‘To be honest, it’s been really good’ and ‘Yeah I had a great night at Lizard Lounge last night and my lectures were alright’ were one of the few happy responses we got from students. Given the unexpectedly beautiful sunshine and clear blue skies that kept us company throughout our 1h30 of questioning, it’s maybe no surprise people were feeling more positive today.
We spoke to more than a dozen students, both undergraduate and post-graduate, from courses ranging from
We were most surprised by an almost unanimous agreement that having fewer assignments that count for a large chunk of degrees created unnecessary pressure for students to perform well without being given time or opportunity to improve. To have a summative assignment worth 100% of a module made students stress out and scared to fail – it does not successfully gauge the performance of scholars or their level of engagement with their degree.
‘This might be controversial, but I wouldn’t mind having more assignments…’ said an Anonymous final year Neuroscience student. But little did she know, she was actually in the majority of people who thought that more frequent assignments would enhance their understanding of their content and their relationship to their course. Some students, namely in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, felt that they had a lot on their plate already. But could this be because their degrees were already shaped up by a diversity of short assignments, group projects and exams spread out throughout the year
Without greater conversation, there is no way of knowing what students truly want.