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Collecting student feedback: a comparison of questionnaire and other methods

Huxham, Mark; Laybourn, Phyllis; Cairncross, Sandra; Gray, Morag; Brown, Norrie; Goldfinch, Judy; Earl, Shirley


Phyllis Laybourn

Sandra Cairncross

Morag Gray

Norrie Brown

Judy Goldfinch

Shirley Earl


A study was conducted comparing the feedback received from students about teaching obtained using different instruments. Twelve first- and second-year undergraduate modules were selected from seven different schools within a single university. Students studying each module were allocated to 'questionnaire' and 'comparator' groups. 'Questionnaire' students completed the standard end-of-module questionnaire, whilst 'comparator' groups evaluated the modules using 'rapid feedback', 'H form', focus group and reflective diary methods. The responses of 335 students to questionnaires were compared with those of 160 using the other methods; no results were obtained from the reflective diary students. Only a minority of the issues raised by students using the comparator methods were covered by the questionnaire, and the comparator methods showed different rankings of the issues in common. The key difference between questionnaire and comparator methods was the use of closed and open questions respectively, with comparator methods being more appropriate for formative evaluation


Huxham, M., Laybourn, P., Cairncross, S., Gray, M., Brown, N., Goldfinch, J., & Earl, S. (2008). Collecting student feedback: a comparison of questionnaire and other methods. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 33, 675-686. doi:10.1080/02602930701773000

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2008-12
Deposit Date May 8, 2009
Print ISSN 0260-2938
Electronic ISSN 1469-297X
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 33
Pages 675-686
Keywords student feedback data; evaluation methods; teaching quality; questionnaires; learning experience;
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