Siobhán S. Wills, Shannan J. Maisey


Live lectures and frequent, clear communications are key factors for keeping students engaged and motivated in online courses (Brew, 2008; Dixson, 2015; Murphy & Stewart, 2017). One area that has received less attention is that of inviting students to be partners in learning: of asking their opinions on the course and actively responding to this feedback during the teaching period to improve their online learning experience.

This project aims to investigate how students perceive being asked for feedback in an online course and if this intervention increases their engagement with the course.

Taking a phenomenographic approach to investigating students’ experiences and perceptions of giving feedback, a cohort of first-year chemistry students at The University of New South Wales were asked to evaluate their course twice during the teaching period via online questionnaires, with feedback summarised for lecturers to make course improvements. Qualitative questions on perceptions of evaluation and engagement were built into the questionnaires. At the end of the term, students were invited to participate in interviews to further understand their experiences of evaluating courses and being engaged as learning partners.

Preliminary results from this study will be presented, with a focus on students’ understanding of engagement and evaluation, and their perceptions of how this intervention affected their engagement with an online course.


Murphy, C. A., & Stewart, J. C. (2017). On-campus students taking online courses: Factors associated with unsuccessful course completion. Internet and Higher Education, 34, 1-9.
Dixson, M. D. (2015). Measuring Student Engagement in the Online Course: The Online Student Engagement Scale (OSE). 2015, 19(4). doi:10.24059/olj.v19i4.561
Brew, L. S. (2008). The role of student feedback in evaluating and revising a blended learning course. The Internet and Higher Education, 11(2), 98-105.


continuous course evaluation, students as learning partners, engagement

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