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From Feedback to Action

LTKY holds an annual OLS (quality survey about teaching), in which information is collected for example about students’ coping, the progress of their studies, and the effectiveness of teaching. In 2020, the survey reached 775 students! Big thanks to all the respondents! In the spring, we also conducted a corona survey, in which we mapped the effects of the corona situation on students and studies. 125 students responded to the corona survey. Traditionally, the results of the surveys have been presented at “from feedback to action” event, but this year we ended up writing them in a blog format for everyone to read! And in the same post, we were also able to integrate the analysis of the results of the study feedback surveys compiled by LUT.

Well-being

There is a lot of talk today about the well-being of students, as the results of several surveys are the same. Students are overwhelmed. This spring was special in every way. Based on the corona survey, many felt more lonely and worried about their studies. The border between freetime and studying disappeared when the school closed its doors. There were problems with scheduling, and that’s why many experienced increased stress. Some, on the other hand, liked distance learning and improved well-being, when the everyday rhythm was determined how they wanted. OLS survey was conducted before the corona erupted. Based on that, the factor that slowed down the studies the most was mental well-being. Long-term fatigue rose to the highest factor slowing studies. Although mental and physical well-being were relatively good according to the survey, there was a desire to invest more in these.

Career services and business cooperation

LUT advertises itself as a university that does a lot of business collaboration. According to our inquiries, business cooperation is still even more wanted; visitor lectures, company visits, real cases from companies. It’s hoped that the courses will link the theory to real working life examples. Career services are also related to corporate cooperation. Students do not feel they are getting enough guidance on their own career goals or, more generally, guidance on what kind of work they can get. There also seems to be a need for development in job search skills. Especially for the master’s degree sparring is needed for the job search. What companies can I work for? What do “consultant” or “expert” actually do? What kind of summer jobs can I get employed in at different stages of my studies? These questions could be answered by alumni, for example. Almost every course would be able to increase liaison with businesses, as well as concreteness.

Progress of studies

75% of the respondents feel that they are progressing in their studies on a normal schedule or faster. In general, motivation was perceived as good. So what would increase motivation even further? The fee for completing studies on schedule rose to the highest. This policy is actually now in place in each program. The lack of study environment was hardly perceived as complicating studying, but more group work spaces were desired. Hobbies, guild or other student activities don’t really slow down the studies according to the survey. The progress of the studies however would increase with distance learning possibilities (which has now quickly happened), more interesting courses, and a more even distribution of studies between different academic years.

Course feedback

LUT University also collects feedback from our students through numerous feedback channels. The course feedback, which is pretty familiar to everyone, is the most essential and direct channel of influencing through which we can influence the implementation of courses and give feedback directly to teachers. The response rate has remained relatively constant at around 25%. The guilds ensure that feedback is collected from each LUT course and that the most important messages are brought to the knowledge and processing of the specific degree program. The course feedback analysis shows that about 25% of the courses does not quite reach the quality goal set by the university (average 3.3), but at the same time more than 35% of the courses receive very good feedback from students (average 4.0 – 5). It is nice that LUT rewards the best teachers of the year based on the course feedback given by the students. Heli Arminen and Anni Tuppura were awarded as best teachers in 2019.

Feedback from graduates

Feedback from graduates on both bachelor’s and master’s degrees provides important information about the studies as a whole and satisfaction with one’s own studies and skills, as well as with one’s own university. Bachelors and masters graduates from LUT give feedback really actively, and the feedback shows that LUT students give much better feedback to their university than Finnish students on average. For example, according to the feedback from bachelor’s students, satisfaction with the perceived quality of teaching, the teaching methods used and the interaction with the teaching staff has increased. Based on the same bachelor’s feedback, it is observed that the well-being experienced by students, satisfaction with the guidance of study planning, the availability of information and support, and the guidance of bachelor’s thesis are declining. Satisfaction with one’s own studies has also decreased. We must work together on these issues that strengthen the well-being of students.

A survey of recent graduates at the end of Master’s studies shows that satisfaction with studies and one’s own university increases as studies progress. Compared to national studies, LUT M.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Admin.) graduates and M.Sc. (Tech.) graduates are also very satisfied nationally with their studies and university, according to several indicators. The challenge is especially with the employment of M.Sc. (Tech.) in jobs as demanding as their field, which is emphasized especially for LUT international students. The career follow-up survey, which will be carried out 5 years after graduation, emphasizes the same theme and seeks to find solutions through career guidance and strengthening working life connections during studies.

LUT students respond very actively to all graduation questionnaires. In 2019, the response rate was between 82% and 91%, and 49% of alumni also responded to the survey. All graduate feedback reports as well as alumni feedback are available (links in Finnish only):
Bachelor’s feedback
Feedback from Master of Economic Sciences and Business Administration graduates
Feedback from Master of Science in Technology graduates
–  Career follow-up

The article has been written with Annikka Nurkka and LTKY’s Advocacy Expert Tiia Kettunen.


Iita Hinkkanen

The author is a member of LTKY’s board and responsible of Higher Education Politics.

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