Increasing undergraduate student satisfaction in Higher Education: the importance of relational pedagogy

Bell, K. (2022) Increasing undergraduate student satisfaction in Higher Education: the importance of relational pedagogy. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 46(4), pp. 490-503. (doi: 10.1080/0309877X.2021.1985980)

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How to increase student satisfaction is a question that Higher Education institutes have become increasingly focussed on. While previous research indicates a number of factors can contribute to student satisfaction, teaching has been found to be of high importance. This study interviewed students and staff in a UK university that had achieved high student satisfaction ratings in a national survey. The programme leader interviews (n8) and student focus groups (n20) discussed the teaching and learning behaviours that seemed to increase and decrease satisfaction levels. The study revealed new insights regarding the fundamental importance that students place on warm and respectful interactions with staff in the context of trusting relationships. The students particularly emphasised staff approachability, empathy, sensitivity and caring. The staff also thought relationships were important but put more emphasis on course organisation. Staff training and institutional evaluations which take account of relational pedagogy would be helpful in increasing student satisfaction. However, sensitive and caring teaching needs to be supported by secure jobs and adequate staffing levels so that teachers have the time and peace of mind to develop these quality relationships.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bell, Dr Karen
Authors: Bell, K.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Further and Higher Education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9486
Published Online:01 November 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in Journal of Further and Higher Education 46(4): 490-503
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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