How ACT is Responding to Student Feedback
ACT Responses to Student Feedback – 2023
Student Experience Survey – Focus Area Scores
The focus area with the lowest satisfaction is Learner Engagement – this is an acknowledged phenomenon across the higher education sector due to the particular questions in this area. This area at ACT has improved since 2015. A major contributor to this score is the proportion of students studying online, hence the lower score in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. Scores have since increased due to improvements in online delivery and students returning to face-to-face teaching. Note that the survey instrument has changed in 2023 for this focus area where some questions have been removed and others refined to be more descriptive.
While most ACT Affiliated Colleges meet ACT benchmarks in SES data, in recent times the ACT Academic Quality Committee (AQC) has requested two Affiliated Colleges respond to below benchmark scores in the Skills Development focus area and one Affiliated College in the Learning Resources area.
Graduate Outcomes Survey – Graduate Attributes Scale Scores
In recent times the AQC has requested two Affiliated Colleges to respond to below benchmark scores on the Collaborative Skills indicator and one Affiliated College in the Adaptive Skills indicator. The Social Research Centre do not provide National benchmark data on the Graduate Attributes Scale Scores, however for the Course Experience Questionnaire – Overall Satisfaction, the ACT scored 94% compared to the National average of 78.6%.
ACT conducts a process of using external moderators to review samples of assessment from units across the ACT Consortium in each of its sub-fields within the three main departments of Bible and Languages, Christian Thought and History and Ministry and Practice.
For Semester 1 2023 there were 1243 units in scope for moderation. There were no issues of concern raised for a significant majority of the units moderated. Of issues raised, the main concern of moderators was “Feedback to students” (104 units, 8.4%), and this issue is being addressed at the levels of marker, college, and consortium.
In the Bible and Languages department, moderators provided comments and feedback to the relevant markers, where units were flagged, on how they may improve provision of timely and constructive feedback to students. This is a consortium-wide issue, which has been addressed through a presentation to Affiliated College Academic Deans, and at a workshop at the ACT PD Conference. The New Testament Moderator noted that some students struggle to apply their exegesis to their ministry context (Learning Outcome C), and markers need to improve their feedback to students on application. Guidelines for Application for students and academic staff are being developed.
In the Christian Thought and History department, the Christianity in History Moderator noted that students tend to struggle with integration (related to the problems of application raised by the NT Moderator). The Theology Moderator commented that some students can have difficulty with theological reflection, as it pertains to Learning Outcome C, which also aligns with the observations of the New Testament Moderator. These issues are also being addressed through the presentations and workshops.
In the Ministry and Practice department, across the fields of Developmental and Educational Ministry, Evangelism and Missiology, and Pastoral and Church-focused Ministry, in contrast to the other departments, feedback to students was not the primary concern of Moderators. Concerns about feedback to students, along with the connected concerns of integration and application, are less evident is the more practical units.
Moderators have expressed that these issues form a small percentage of the units, that the quality of the work by staff and students is pleasing overall, and that this bodes well for the future ministry of ACT graduate