Closing the Loop: The Relationship between Instructor-reflective Practice and Students’ Satisfaction and Quality Outcomes

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This research outlines a case study involving over 450 students whereby ‘closing the loop’ between using student feedback to inform instructor-reflection and development led to improved student satisfaction and quality of projects. This research was a 5-year longitudinal study and reports on the results of an action-learning methodology informed by systematic professional development. The instructors were within the business technology discipline and used students’ feedback to make ongoing developments to the curriculum, and teaching and assessment practices. Sustained action research incorporating a critical friend to facilitate reflection and problem-solving was adopted. A combination of methods for collecting data was employed; for example, student feedback questionnaires, student meetings, and instructor/professional developer journaling. The outcomes included significantly higher scores in the student feedback instrument in comparison to the school average; and increases in student satisfaction ratings and responses across the years. The overall quality of the final project also increased across subsequent years. For the academics outcomes included increased feelings of empowerment with making sound teaching decisions; increased satisfaction in observing and supporting good teaching; developing cognitively challenging assessments that were more explicit and well structured; and course work and assessments that embedded team-working and critical thinking skills.


Keywords: Reflective Practice, Action Research, Student Feedback, Student Satisfaction, Improved Learning Outcomes
Stream: Adult, Vocational, Tertiary and Professional Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Closing the Loop


Dr. Shelleyann Scott

Associate Professor, Graduate Division of Educational Research, University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Dr Shelleyann Scott is Associate Professor in Educational Leadership, Instructional Strategies in the Graduate Division of Educational Research, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Dr Scott was previously the Divisional Coordinator of Teaching and Learning at Curtin University of Technology, Perth Western Australia. Dr Scott has experience in business, government, medical research and in hospitals. She is an experienced tertiary and secondary educator with expertise in simple and complex teaching models, cooperative/collaborative learning strategies and Information Technology. Her research interests include establishing and evaluating professional development within educational environments, business and government; the creation and maintenance of learning communities; and the use of information technology to support ongoing reflection and development for teachers and students; and utilising student evaluations to improve quality teaching and learning practices

Dr. Tomayess Issa

Postgraduate Course Leader, School of Information Systems, Curtin Business School, Curtin University
Perth, WA, Australia

Ms Tomayess Issa is a lecturer in Information Systems at Curtin University of Technology. She is a Postgraduate Course Leader for internal and offshore units, which are focusing on Technology Infrastructure and Design. Her research interests include Web Technology and Human Factors. She is also interested in establishing teaching methods and styles to define the positive aspects of learning experiences. She explores problems which are facing students during the semester in order to enhance the positives and address concerns.

Dr. Theodora Issa

Teaching associate, School of Management, Curtin Business School, Curtin University
Perth, WA, Australia

Ms. Theodora Issa is currently a full time PhD student, and a Teaching Associate at the School of Management, Curtin Business,
School, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.
Ms Issa's doctoral topic is ethical mind-sets, spirituality and aesthetic
judgment in the Australian Services Sector. She has considerable industry experience, held several positions in banking, trade, insurance, charitable and teaching organisations.

Ref: L08P0165