Friday, 12 December 2014

Using focus groups to enhance student voice: a work-in-progress exploration of student learning experiences in large classes

Using focus groups to enhance student voice: a work-in-progress exploration of student learning experiences in large classes

Caitlin C Finlayson


While course evaluations are traditionally used to gauge teaching effectiveness and provide an outlet for student voice, this metric does not integrate students as collective partners in the teaching and learning process. In promoting a shared learning experience between teachers and students, this project uses a focus group approach to solicit student feedback and ideas, and disseminate the results to faculty. This paper explores the results of a qualitative pilot focus group study related to student engagement in large classes and demonstrates that a focus group approach is an effective and empowering way to prioritise student voice.


Focus groups; student engagement; reflective teaching

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