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ABOUT THE SCOTS PROJECT

Academics typically receive student feedback, comments and ratings on their teaching through end-of-unit evaluations and large student surveys such as the National Student Survey. All of these mechanisms can, and have been, critiqued, but perhaps their most undisputable weaknesses are that they are impersonal and untimely. The purpose of the SCOT (Students Consulting on Teaching) project is to enhance teaching and learning at the University of Lincoln by providing academics with another source of informed feedback other than student questionnaires.

The project supports the University of Lincoln strategic goals for continuous improvement of teaching and related professional practice, alongside the aim to provide students with relevant experiences to enhance their prospects, with students being valued as producers and peers. Upon request by an academic, a trained student consultant/reviewer, who is not a member of the academic’s classes, is invited to provide feedback on teaching and learning in a particular session, module or unit. This can be undertaken in a number of different ways, for example; observation; interviews; video recording; taking notes. Because invited student consultant/reviewers are not enrolled in that course, or have not previously taken that course, the feedback that academics receive is from an impartial student’s perspective.

In its design the program is ‘teacher driven’ and interaction between the academic and student observer is covered by pre-agreed boundaries of confidential. Student observers/consultants are trained and paid, they also gain valuable experience that will be useful for their own development.

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