Enhancing learning opportunities in higher education: best practices that reflect on the themes of the National Student Survey, UK
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AbstractPurpose: This study assessed 'Learning Opportunities' provided to the undergraduate students, from level three to six, in Higher Education (HE). A knowledge gap was identified within the current practice relating to learning opportunities for Built Environment (BE) students in HE. The study focused on the themes under section two of the National Student Survey (NSS): how students explore ideas or concepts in-depth, bring information and ideas together from different topics, and apply the learned content in a real-life context. The study aimed to provide recommendations for enhancing 'Learning Opportunities' to the BE students within HE. Methodology: Data collection focused on section two of NSS ‘Learning Opportunities’ and documentary analysis, and a qualitative survey was adopted for this study. A documental analysis of 334 Mid Module Reviews (MMR’s) was carried out. The qualitative data was collected from level three to level six students and academics from Architecture, Construction Management, Civil Engineering and Quantity Surveying disciplines representing BE context. A sample of 40 students and 15 academics, including a Head of school, a Principal lecturer, Subject leads and lecturers, participated in interviews as part of a qualitative survey. Twelve drivers were developed using the data obtained through literature, documental analysis, and interviews. These drivers were analysed using manual content analysis to identify their influence on the specified themes under NSS section two and circulated among academics to be ranked by identifying its’ influence to promote learning opportunities to BE students in HE. Findings: This study highlighted twelve drivers which promote learning opportunities in HE within BE curriculum. Findings established that topics should be explained with more real-life or industry-orientated concepts such as simplification integrated into module delivery. Contrary to the literature, the use of physical materials (i.e. handouts and whiteboard) in addition to Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for detailed explanations were considered effective in exploring concepts. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, context-based learning needs to be promoted by integrating videos of practical implementation for better understanding. The study recognised that lab, fieldwork and tutorials were essential to apply what students have learned in BE curricula to a real-life context. Originality/Value: This study identified current learning approaches and provided recommendations to improve the BE students learning experience in HE. The identified twelve drivers would significantly help academics and academic institutions to understand how learning opportunities should be facilitated in the BE curriculum to enhance student performances in HE. Conclusion: Study identified twelve drivers that significantly contribute towards enhancing learning opportunities for BE students in the current HE context. It concludes that certain drivers should be prioritised in enhancing learning opportunities provided in BE curriculum. The study recommends that using traditional and VLE is essential to implement identified drivers and enhance the learning opportunities provided.
CitationGomis, M.K.S., Saini, M., Pathirage, C. and Arif, M. (2021) Enhancing learning opportunities in higher education: best practices that reflect on the themes of the National Student Survey, UK. Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-01-2021-0004
JournalQuality Assurance in Education
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Emerald in Quality Assurance in Education on 16/08/2021, available online at: https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-01-2021-0004 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/