Using visual metaphors to obtain student feedback on changes in teaching practice
Questionnaires usually provide student feedback on the quality of teaching and learning at the end of the semester. Few studies have been conducted into considering more student-centred approaches to gaining feedback which may provide more vibrant and more useful feedback. This work is part of a more extensive study to assess how safer learning environments can be created in Indonesia which could enable graphic design students to be more creative and reflective. Tutor approachability had been identified as playing a vital role in this. This study looked at the usefulness of visual metaphors in gathering graphic design students’ feedback on their tutors. A visual metaphor uses one or more images that represent a direct association between two things. A feedback approach using visual metaphors was investigated as a means of identifying perceived changes in tutors behaviour and teaching methods to increase tutor approachability. Six tutors participated in an intervention through action learning sets (ALS) to improve their relationships with students by being more approachable. Eighty-nine students described their tutors’ character and behaviour by creating visual metaphors depicting the tutors’ character and behaviour before and after the intervention. The student’s visual feedback before and after the intervention was used to encourage tutors to recognise their strengths and weaknesses then reflect on the changes students saw in them. This study demonstrates that visual metaphors could be a useful approach to measure change over time and to provide a more exciting and insightful means of gaining student feedback.
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