Back in February, we received loads of very interesting applications from over 50 students across the University. Sadly, we couldn’t take everybody on board but 24 lucky students, undergraduate and postgraduate, were chosen to be part of the Southampton Feedback Champions project.
The first briefing session was an overview of the project and students had the opportunity to discuss feedback and feedback issues with one another. The enthusiasm in the room was noticeable and was reflective of the impact feedback has on students. Bad feedback, lack of feedback or feedback that is misunderstood as such is a very sensitive topic among students and our champions are determined to try and make a difference.
This first session was followed by a workshop on interview skills for undergraduate feedback champions who are going to collect the data in the next couple of months. The data will be collecting via semi-structured interviews and focus groups and students had the opportunity to test out the questions on each other. This was a good experience and it quickly appeared that probe questions were needed for students to keep the conversation going between themselves and their interviewee. Interviewing is not as easy as it seems but UG students are going to get the chance to practice it and improve their skills over the next couple of months.
Postgraduate feedback champions took part in another workshop on mentoring skills as this will be a big part of their role within the project. A few of them already acted as mentors in their Faculty so it wasn’t anything new to them. PG students also tested out the questions on each other and because of their experience as researchers, they were able to keep the conversation going for longer. This means that they will be more than equipped to guide the UG students in their team with the interviews and data collection in general.
The collection of data is now underway and students across faculties are going to recruit staff and fellow students to take part in interviews and focus groups. We are hoping that the data gathered will be interesting and challenging, and that it will give a strong start to the project!
If you want to be interviewed by one of our students or be part of the project in other ways, you can get in touch via Twitter @feedbackchamps, Facebook www.facebook.com/feedbackchamps or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org