What makes students happy? Factors influencing student engagement using student evaluation data

Kek, Megan Yih Chyn Alexandria and Stow, Sarah (2009) What makes students happy? Factors influencing student engagement using student evaluation data. In: ALTC First Year Experience Curriculum Design Symposium 2009, 05-06 Feb 2009, Brisbane, Australia.

PDF (Published Version)

Download (159kB)


This project began as a simple question to do with class size: Is class size related to teaching?

15,851 responses to a student evaluation survey form called the Course Experience Survey from Semester 2, 2006 in RMIT University were analysed. The sample contained 84% undergraduate and 13% postgraduate science, engineering
and technology students. In addition to the information about study hours, age, whether students were part time or full time, we also included information about
class size and delivery mode.

It was found that class size was negatively related to good teaching [r=-0.25, n=14,280, p=0.000]. That is, students in large classes perceived the quality of
teaching as poor. However, the effect of class size on teaching is considered small (Cohen, 1992), which then prompted us to investigate further to see if there were
other factors which may influence students’ satisfaction with the course. That is, we tried to tease out the relationship between the various factors associated with
student experiences in their courses.

Actions taken:
We asked if the students’ course satisfaction could be affected by factors such as personal characteristics, motivation, structural and learning environments. We
believe that learning environment is one factor that could fall directly under a lecturer’s control to influence a student’s perception of the course in general. We
would expect that the more effective the learning environment is, the better student perceptions of the course would be or the better engagement with courses
would be.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 5254
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Other)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Support for the original work was provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Ltd, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2009 02:39
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: engagement; student experience
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/5254

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only