Archive for February 15, 2012

Notional Student Survey

Posted in Education with tags , , , on February 15, 2012 by telescoper

The first couple of weeks of this term have been hectic, primarily because of our new-style Consolidated Astronomy Grant Proposal to the Science and Technology Facilities Council which has just gone in with a deadline of tomorrow, but also because I’ve just started teaching Nuclear Physics for the first time, a subject I know absolutely nothing about about which I am a little rusty. I’m only just keeping up with the lectures and problem sheets, and am glad the students are being patient. So far, anyway.

I had only just got back on schedule with this morning’s lecture when I find that tomorrow I have to give up part of the next one by advertising the National Student Survey and encouraging my third-year class of 85 or to participate; the NSS taking place over the next few weeks.  Apparently the rate of return by Physics students is especially low and the University is keen that it should increase. For some reason I’ve been singled out as a suitable person to persuade our third years to provide their input and have been given a special powerpoint presentation to show to encourage all eligible  students – i.e. students in their final year – to complete the survey, so I thought I’d share it here in order to spread the message as widely as possible. I’m not sure what fate awaits me if our rate of return doesn’t improve…

It doesn’t take long to complete – it’s all online – so I hope anyone reading this will take the time to respond. That’s not just for Cardiff Physics students – although I know a few of them do read this blog – but also for students elsewhere in the United Kingdom. If you don’t tell us what you think we don’t know what we could be doing better, so please fill it in. You know it makes sense.

The NSS have also given me a boomerang. I think it’s meant to symbolize a high rate of return. Or something. I may attempt to throw it in tomorrow’s lecture, although I’m not sure that’s allowed on Health and Safety grounds. At least it will provide a bit of light entertainment before I launch into the deep joy that is the semi-empirical mass formula.

P.S. Coincidentally, there’s a nice a typically snarky piece about the NSS by Laurie Taylor in a recent Times Higher.