Feedback & Helpdesk

Feedback and Helpdesk

In January 2010, we launched straightaway into making arrangements for the introduction of CBCS, and soon this was discussed threadbare between January and March 2009. We worked out a plan of action, designed the syllabi as per this plan and implemented these successfully. The first batch of students has taken their MA (II Semester) Examinations under the CBCS in April 2011. The pressure of work on the staff and the students due to all these quick changes came in the way of continuing with the practice of collecting feedback as usual. We hope to revive it from the academic year 2011-12.


Statement Average

1 Are accessible during and after class hours 71.04
2 Enthusiastic about teaching in the class 90.53
3 Helpful in suggesting required additional reading 86.00
4 Are regular in engaging classes 89.20
5 Explain the concepts and facts very clearly 85.91
6 Make learners feel welcome in seeking help/advice 88.50
7 Relate knowledge to real-world situations 77.03
8 Encourage students to ask questions and give meaningful answers 76.10
9 Encourage students to participate in classroom discussions 66.50
10 Course syllabi have been duly completed 83.70
11 Time-table arrangements provide enough flexibility for self-learning 85.37
12 Materials for lectures are well prepared and fully explained 83.91
13 Methods of evaluating students’ work are fair and appropriate 73.85
14 Learners’ interest in the subject has increased as a consequence of the course/class 75.65
15 Learners’ performances on tests/seminars etc are discussed within reasonable time. 70.64
16 Amenities like hostels and playgrounds are well maintained 68.33
17 Learning resources like computers, library and laboratory equipment available to the students are up-to-date 77.20
18 Participation in extra-curricular activities is encouraged 75.65
19 Office staff attends to matters of administration, scholarship, examination fees etc promptly 65.43

Each of the figures given in the Table above represents averages from the feedback taken from MA (Previous), MA (Final) and MPhil for 2007-08 which was collected in March 2008. All the subsequent changes made in the curricula and strategies for teaching-learning are based on the feedback received in 2007-08.

Teachers’ attitude is an important point of reference in any assessment of the work done in an institution since they have a crucial role to play in the teaching-learning process. Using a variety of instructional strategies and activities, raising learners’ interest in courses, and maintaining it is a requirement that we have always met.

Learner's Responses

90.53% of our students found us to be enthusiastic about our teaching work in the class. We would like to ensure that the remaining 9.47% also benefit from this ‘feel-good’ factor. 88.50% of them showed satisfaction with the way we make them feel welcome in seeking our help/advice in or outside class. Experience tells us that there are some ‘late bloomers’ who take time in developing sufficient self-confidence required to approach their teachers. We have been setting additional tasks for them, spending more time with them in sessions outside the time-tabled hours.

86% of the learners found us helpful in suggesting required additional readings. However, what is worrying is that some take ‘suggested additional readings’ to mean giving notes, and this runs contrary to the policy of the Department. We have always been in favour of learner-centred methodologies and practices, and would like our learners to develop abilities for independent thinking. We believe that notes of any kind tend to stunt learners’ intellectual growth and development. 89.20% of them found us regular in engaging our classes during the timetabled hours. There appears to be some attitudinal problem with the rest. We have started giving them additional psychological counselling for the purpose. 85.91% of them expressed happiness about the fact that we explain the ideas, concepts etc clearly. This indicates a jump of 8% of satisfied students in comparison to the numbers on the same query in the previous years. Quite apparently the strategies we had worked out have started showing results.

83.91% of our learners found us well prepared when in the class or outside and expressed their happiness about it. We have observed that students admitted to the MA Programme in the Department are not habituated to auditioning lectures but quite adept in taking dictation. The Department is firmly set against any dictation as a matter of policy. Hence, they find this change from a teacher-fed (pardon the phrase we have coined) class to a learner-centred one difficult to negotiate. A semester down the line, most of them confess that the change has indeed good to them. We do encourage them to take part in learning through classroom discussions, raising questions and seeking answers to them, and to take part in extra-curricular activities.

66.50% of our learners felt that we encourage them to participate in classroom discussions. We have tried all possible ways of making learners speak, participate, and take the initiative of organising student seminars, project work etc. We are happy to find that our initiatives have started showing results over a period of time, though quite gradually, and we hope we would be able to bridge the gap soon. 76.10% of them found us encouraging them to ask questions, and giving meaningful answers when they fail to answer our questions. The Department has always felt the need to empower its students, which is why we have adopted lecture-cum-workshop method, group discussion, problem solving sessions etc as an alternative mode of teaching and learning. We hope to be able to do something about remedying this further through academic counselling. 75.65% of them opined that we encourage participation in extra-curricular activities. Our experience tells us that enthusiasm builds among the students gradually as they develop confidence. It is in their III and IV Semesters that they really begin to participate in a big way.

71.04% of our learners found us accessible to them during and after class hours. Teachers are available in the Department between 11.00 am and 5.00 pm on all working days but there are times when, as members of the Department and the University family, we are assigned other duties. We have always given time – even an alternative slot – to those of our learners who arrange with us to discuss something. 75.65% of them found an increase in their interest in the subject as a result of what was taught on the course or in the class. We wonder whether our effort to empower them as learners through lecture-cum-workshop method, group discussion, problem solving sessions etc as an alternative mode of teaching and learning is the cause for slightly negative attitude on the part of the rest of our learners. We hope that this would change in time to come.

83.70% of our students were satisfied with the fact that we complete the syllabi on various courses on time. There are occasions when we ask them to take down important passages, dialogues and points and announce the shift from one topic to another. 77.03% of them opined that we relate the knowledge to real world situations in our interactions with them. A quick investigation with regard to those feeling otherwise led us discover that these were learners who were either ‘slightly below average’ or ‘very irregular’. What is heartening for us is the fact that 73.85% of our learners believed we were ‘fair’ and ‘appropriate’ in evaluating their work. We maintain complete transparency in evaluation, show them their marked answerscripts and discuss their performance on any given test, quiz etc with them. It appears that in case of the rest the problem is self-assessment versus teacher assessment. 70.64% of them expressed happiness that we mark their performance on test/seminars, share it with them, and discuss it with them within reasonable time.

65.43% of our learners found the office personnel in the Department as well as the University Office quite prompt in attending to matters of administration, scholarship, examinations, fees etc, though there were some others who had imaginary problems. 85.37% of them felt that the timetable arrangements provided them with adequate flexibility for self-learning. The Department does not look after the general amenities like hostels and playgrounds, and even here 68.33% of our learners found these maintained properly. 77.20% of our learners were of the opinion that learning resources like computers, library and laboratory equipment available to the students were indeed up-to-date. However, the fact remains that the upward swing in student numbers year after year has made it difficult for university departments to make arrangements that would satisfy everyone.