Eliciting student feedback for course development: the application of a qualitative course evaluation tool among business research students
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Student evaluations of teaching and learning are playing an increasingly important role in the delivery of high-quality, student-centred education. Insights into student perceptions of their learning experience provide important information that can be used to inform course design and development. The majority of course evaluations take the form of quantitative surveys, but research suggests that a reliance on survey data alone can be problematic from a teaching and learning perspective. Qualitative course evaluations have been cited as a viable alternative to quantitative evaluations, but less research has been conducted into their efficacy when compared to quantitative evaluations. The study on which this article reports attempted to contribute to addressing this shortcoming by describing and assessing a novel approach to eliciting qualitative feedback from students in a research methodology course at a higher education institution in South Africa. Conventional content analysis was used to analyse the qualitative feedback received from students. The qualitative course evaluation approach was then appraised in terms of the degree to which it has the potential to overcome the shortcomings associated with quantitative course evaluations and the extent to which the information gathered could be used to improve the design and delivery of the academic programme.