Thu 1 Jun 2017

A very good impression

Students have given WITT a survey pass mark in the mid-90s for the second year in succession.

The First Impressions survey was carried out for the second year in a row by WITT to gauge student views and overall levels of satisfaction after six weeks’ study.

The satisfaction rate from 420 students this year was 96%, almost identical to the result in 2016 when students gave WITT a 97% per cent thumbs up.

Zanetta Hinton, WITT’s director of student support services said the results were extremely positive– and confessed she tended to focus more on the “red” marks – where students were not happy with part of their WITT experience.

“That is where we learn,” she said.

“Our students told us they want more information about course content and structure, and more activities, particularly at lunchtime, to get to know their tutors and fellow students. They want their assessments back sooner and they want better Wi-Fi,’’ she said.

Two common causes of complaint in the past – parking and the cafeteria – did not feature in 2017.

An opportunity to get to know their fellow students came up this week - students took part in a speed-meeting event at the WITT café from noon to 1pm on Wednesday.

Zanetta Hinton said it was “phenomenal’’ to be able to read through more than 400 sets of comments on each question and get a clear picture of what more students wanted.

The Wi-Fi issue was not a surprise because in the past couple of years there had been a huge increase in the number of students wanting to use their own devices on campus.

“Five years ago there were one or two, now a significant number bring their laptops to study.’’

Zanetta Hinton said she would be drilling down further to understand why a significant percentage of students had gone through periods of doubt about their study in the first six weeks. A total of 56 confessed they had thought about pulling out of their studies in this time – for a variety of reasons including a fear of failure, financial or family issues.

All 56 students chose to continue studying at WITT.

 “The number seems high and suggests we need to look at how we can better prepare them for study and support them when they are here, Zanetta Hinton said.

“Our single biggest driver at WITT is to get students through their courses, and understanding why students leave or consider leaving is an important part of this.’’