What is it?
As many lecturers and tutors will be aware, students regularly ask the similar questions year after year. In order to save time and address the numerous questions students have, many departments have created databases containing frequently asked questions and comment banks. Creating such databases doesn’t have to be difficult; a word document or excel spread sheet is more than sufficient. What is important, however, is that the person in charge of creating and maintaining these databases ensures that they are presented in a clear, coherent and consistent manner so that they are as accessible as possible. These databases should also be saved in a central location so that all students enrolled on the course can access it, but most important benefit from the advice and guidance.
These databases are a great way of giving feedback to the student cohort as a whole, as it saves having to respond to the same question individually and time and time again, and can also be used by staff from one year to another. If new lecturers are interested in adopting such a method, they should to speak to a colleague within their own or another department for further guidance on what is already in place.
How can students make the most of it?
Students should be encouraged to take the time to thoroughly read this document as it will give them a greater awareness of what is expected from them. However, before contacting their lecturer about any problems or queries they may have, students should check the FAQs or comment banks to ensure that their question has not already been answered. Similarly, if students find that their lecturers are not using this form of feedback, they should propose it to them.