Collecting feedback from fellow students to present to staff is key to your role as a rep. This page will give you a few ideas on good practice when collecting and writing up feedback, and reminders of where to report both academic and non-academic feedback items.
Gathering feedback from students is a key part of your job as a rep. We’ll run through everything you need to know when collecting feedback and where you can get ideas and help if you need it.
Methods of gathering feedback
There are lots of ways to gather feedback from your course mates. These can be digital or in-person and can be chosen depending on the kind of feedback you might need.
Qualitative feedback is where students may give you a personal account of their experience. Each response might be totally different so you need to think about how you might present this information once it is gathered without identifying the students
Quantitative feedback tends to be more anonymous and is focused on students giving a set response to your question, answering yes or no for example.
You can gather both types of feedback through similar methods. Online surveys are a popular method that is easy for you to set up and manage., and You could also try gathering feedback at the start or end of your lectures, when everyone is face-to-face, creating a routine so that people come to expect to hear from you on a particular day and time.
How to word your feedback
When asking for feedback, you should try not to ask your course mates leading questions to make sure your feedback is unbiased. You can find some suggestions on this page about different ways to word your questions, the difference between open and closed questions and how to avoid asking leading questions.
Make sure you gather opinions from as many of your course mates as possible, not just the ones you’re closest with, so that you get opinions from students with a wide range of experiences. For more tips on how to make sure you are being inclusive of everyone, we have created resources to support your understanding of Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity.
Where to take feedback
There are many places that you can report feedback as a rep – you may find that some of the feedback you receive isn’t course-related, and so it might be better to report it to the Sabbatical officers (also known as Presidents) or Student Voice team at the SU.
If you’re not sure where to share some feedback, you can use this page to figure out who the best person is to talk to – or get in touch with the student voice team for more help.
What feedback should look like
When writing up feedback for meetings, please remember to follow the ABCDEs of feedback. The feedback you report to staff should be accurate, balanced, constructive, depersonalised, and evidenced.
Closing the feedback loop
Finally, once you have reported your feedback to the appropriate staff members and worked out how to resolve any issues, it’s important that you let your course mates know how these issues will be resolved. You can find some tips on how to do this under ‘closing the feedback loop’.
Types of feedback questions you can ask
Quantitative (aka numbers)
Helps to demonstrate that the opinions you are sharing are held by a large majority! You will gather this feedback by asking closed questions, which are questions that just require a one-word response, e.g. ‘yes or no’, ‘agree/disagree/neither agree nor disagree’.
Helps to illustrate what the specific issue is that students are having, how it’s impacting them, and how they might like it to be resolved. This feedback is gathered through open questions, which allow the person responding to provide a lot more detail about how they feel/think about a subject.
When collecting feedback, avoid asking leading questions. These are questions are suggestive of a particular desired answer. E.g., Instead of asking, “how much did you enjoy your course rep training?” you should ask, “how did you find your course rep training?”
Methods of collecting feedback
You can gather feedback in any way you think would be valuable, such as:
Group chats: You may have course group chats created already, and you can also make these easily on MS Teams using your university account.
Shout-outs in lectures: Ask your lecturer for 5 minutes before/after a lecture to collect feedback. This is a great way to get quantitative feedback through a show of hands.
Online surveys: These are useful as they allow students to share both quantitative and qualitative feedback with you in their own time, outside of lectures and seminars. They may also allow students to submit feedback anonymously. You have access to Microsoft Forms
Noticeboards: Departments often have notice boards, which you can ask to post on!
Catch-ups/drop-ins: You can always have drop-in sessions with people on your course! You could host these online,
Email: You can always send emails to your year group via your university email address!
The meetings you attend with academic staff are intended to discuss any feedback students have about their course, subject area or academic department. The following topics are examples of typical feedback you might take to Falmouth SSLGs/Exeter SSLCs: Teaching, e.g. course/module content Timetabling issues and concerns Learning resources, e.g. library, stores, IT resources Assessment and feedback Personal tutoring Student-led projects and events The overall effectiveness of Falmouth SSLGs/Exeter SSLCs and the actions of the department and The SU in response to it
Teaching, e.g. course/module content
Timetabling issues and concerns
Learning resources, e.g. library, stores, IT resources
Assessment and feedback
Student-led projects and events
The overall effectiveness of Falmouth SSLGs/Exeter SSLCs and the actions of the department and The SU in response to it
Any feedback you collect from your course cohort that relates to non-academic topics impacting your wider student experience such as accommodation, parking on campus, non-academic events on campus, etc., isn’t really appropriate to bring to meetings with academic staff, as they usually aren’t able to respond directly to the problem. There are various ways you can address non-academic feedback:
Make A Change – if you have an idea or campaign about how to change things for the wider student community, you can submit it on our
make a change platform for other students to vote on.
Part-Time Officers – you may want to discuss your feedback with one the part-time officers (PTOs) on your Student Council. For instance, you may want to discuss any feedback about students’ halls of residence with your Accommodation officer, or suggest ideas for a campaign around sustainability to your Green Officers.
Check out who are this year’s PTOs and how to contact them.
Sabbatical officers – Your sabbatical officers represent students interests in meetings attended by staff at Falmouth University, University of Exeter and FxPlus. If there are pressing issues impacting the student community that you want to report to them, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Student Voice team – If you ever have any feedback that you would like to report but are unsure of who to report it to, you can contact the student voice team at email@example.com and we will help you find a solution. Students may come to you with issues that aren’t your place to solve as a rep – please check out our tips on how to
signpost students if this happens.
The ABCDEs of feedback
When writing up feedback for meetings, please remember to follow the ABCDEs of feedback.
Accurate & Appropriate – It is important that the feedback you share is accurate to what you were given and is appropriate to share in the space.
Balanced - Seek to understand the experiences of students from different backgrounds and try different approaches to enable all students to feel comfortable in sharing their views about the course.
Constructive - Seek to understand what is working well alongside what could be improved.
De-Personalised - Avoid naming individual students or staff.
Closing the feedback loop
It is incredibly important that after every meeting you let your course mates know:
You can do this in the same way you may have gathered feedback, for instance;
Ask to speak about SSLG feedback at the start/end of a lecture
Share the feedback via email/group chats
Post any updates on noticeboards in your department
If students don’t know how staff intend to make changes, they can’t hold staff accountable for those changes!