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The perception of academic staff in traditional universities towards the National Student Survey: views on its role as a tool for enhancement

Child, Adam W A (2011) The perception of academic staff in traditional universities towards the National Student Survey: views on its role as a tool for enhancement. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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The National Student Survey (NSS) has been a part of the higher education landscape since 2005. Since it was first mooted the NSS has been a controversial topic within academia, with many people expressing concern about the robustness of the survey and many others seeing it as an important way for students to express views about their programmes. This thesis explores the perceptions of academic staff towards the NSS and seeks to establish the ways in which the NSS is currently used within higher education specifically for the purposes of enhancing learning and teaching. The research questions of this study relate to these issues as well as exploring the differences between disciplinary areas. A wide-ranging literature review was firstly undertaken to set the political scene and determine the extent of the previous work in this area. This in turn led to the development of a mixed methods approach, with both qualitative and quantitative data gathered from over three hundred academic staff via an online questionnaire. The analysis chapters feature both descriptive statistics and a regression analysis in order to respond to the research questions. The conclusions of this study make the argument that the NSS is not necessarily seen as suitable for concurrently performing the three main functions it is seen by policy makers as achieving. Therefore further consideration needs to be given to the way people engage with the data produced by the survey. There were not any major differences between academic staff from different disciplines. However this could be more because of the seemingly generic nature of the NSS, which in turn contributed to a general scepticism about the survey. The implications from this study are explored at several levels: departmental, institutional and national.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Depositing User: Mr Adam W A Child
Date Deposited: 30 May 2012 07:25
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2424

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