The Valued Opinions of Learners
At Open Awards, we pride ourselves on our ability to engage with learners as much as possible to help us to ensure that their needs and expectations are being addressed. We are very pleased that learners are keen to give us their opinions and use them as part of our work with centres and also internally to maintain the suitability and validity of our qualifications and courses.
We have gathered together a selection of comments recorded by our external moderators following interviews with Access to HE learners this year to help our centres to further consider the needs of learners.
So what are learners saying…?
Learners thought that the Diploma was very demanding, but they managed to cope with this. They found the staff very supportive, empowering and helping individuals and developing them as the year progressed. They thought a good balance was provided between guidance and the encouragement of independence. Resources were seen as being appropriate (and due to be upgraded), and a WhatsApp group helped in terms of self-development.
Study skills sessions are too long and covering skills which learners have already had to demonstrate in other modules e.g. presentation skills. Learners thought that it would be better to do the study skills at the beginning of the course before they had to use them in academic units.
Tutors are helpful and approachable.
It’s not always clear what some of the questions in Science for Health are asking for and would like more space in the answer booklet to write an answer or would like a word count.
Learners would like a reading list before coming on the course and would like to be told that it costs £25 for a UCAS application at the start of course.
I spoke with learners on the Health Science pathway. They were all very happy with the level of support they receive from tutors. They were finding the Health Sciences module different from the Science and stated they would prefer more science to be included in the course. One learner who has dyslexia said that she felt that she was very well supported particularly by the Biology tutor.
A large number of learners were seen, and they spoke very enthusiastically about the course and highly of the staff, some of who were seen as being really passionate about their subject. They appreciated the breadth of material, and how the various units slotted together, and how much they had progressed since they joined the Diploma course. The feedback and feedforward were seen as being particularly useful.
Students appreciate the support provided both inside and outside of the classroom from their tutors. The online resources available on 'Canvas' assist them in their studies.
The students appreciate the time pressures on the course but would like a few more practical sessions if that is possible. The students would have preferred the practical element of Computer Systems Architecture to be prior to the theory to assist them to recognise the parts being discussed.
Learners spoke highly of their experience on the Diploma to date which they saw as well organised and appropriately paced. It was remarked that feedforward from tutors was sometimes varied; some of it was seen as being excellent and very useful, whilst other tutors could have provided more detail as to how grades could be improved. The group were highly supportive of each other and were enjoying the Diploma. The College Resources (including the VLE) were seen as being very good.
We’d like to hear more from learners!
Please remind your learners that we’re keen to hear from them. Their opinions are important. They can provide plenty of feedback to moderators email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and take part in our Learner Forum.
We have scheduled the next meeting for Tuesday 3rd July 2018. If you have any learners who would like to get involved please contact us at email@example.com .