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Teaching and courses are developed based on student feedback

The AllWell? survey is used to figure out things that can be developed to improve the students’ ability to study
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Photo: Aalto University / Roope Kiviranta

Aalto University’s AllWell? well-being survey is carried out annually among all second-year bachelor’s degree students and first-year master’s degree students. This year, the email survey was sent to students in February, being received by 4,700 Aalto students, less than half of whom (43%) responded to it. This news is about the AllWell? process of the School of Business.

The survey is used to collect up-to-date information on students’ ability to study, motivation, quality of teaching and peer support. The findings are utilised in developing degree programmes, teaching and student support services.

This year, the AllWell? results have been discussed in exceptional depth in the programmes of the School of Business. Many programmes have reported that their students have been involved in analysing the results and selecting the appropriate measures. Student association KY's education policy officers and the person responsible for well-being have also participated in the process. Both responding to the survey and student participation in processing the results are very important to the AllWell process.

‘In learning, it is also essential that students experience a sense of community and that diversity and inclusion are part of our community’s activities. The AllWell? survey provides the school with important data on which areas of study ability, motivation or peer support require special attention and action. Student feedback is important for us to ensure that our operations develop well,’ says Tomas Falk, Associate Dean for Teaching and Education at the School of Business.

Focused effort seeking changes and openness

Based on the responses to the AllWell? survey, the School of Business programmes have defined their own actions, which are described in general below. In teaching, we will continue to seek a balance between onsite, hybrid and online studies.

Development of courses takes place on the basis of student feedback, and the students are clearly told what has been changed in teaching and the courses based on prior feedback. Coming up, students will also be more clearly informed on the type of feedback they can expect during the course. Evaluation is also made more transparent by creating a clear rubric for written assignments, such as essays.

The student survey also highlighted the need to organise kick-off meetings between teachers and new students who have started in (especially new) master's programmes, where they, together, are familiarised with both the major and the study community. This was also the case in some programmes.

The aim for the courses is to increase interaction between the teacher and students, and teachers are encouraged to leave room for open questions at the end of the lectures. In the future, we hope that the teachers will stay in the room for a moment after the lecture has ended, so that students can also ask them about matters related to their studies in private.

In addition, the aim is to increase the number of free-form and voluntary get-togethers between teachers and students in more programmes so that both sides can get to know each other as easily as possible. Study psychologists will be invited to talk to students about well-being and mental health, for example.

According to Aalto University Study Psychologist Alli Mattila, last spring’s AllWell? results show the impacts of the pandemic. ‘The results express worry about the students’ sense of not belonging and the lack of peer support, which is why it is particularly great that many programmes have made efforts to respond to the needs of the community and face-to-face interaction.’ According to the study psychologist, it is also important that efforts are made to consider the concerns expressed in the survey about the students’ high exhaustion risk and self-criticism.

The following survey will, once again, begin in February, becoming the next genuine opportunity to influence the consideration of wellbeing themes in teaching.

The AllWell? student survey

The AllWell? student survey is sent to all Aalto’s 2nd year bachelor's and 1st year master's students every year.

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