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2:42pm on Tuesday, 14th May, 2019:

Going Down


The latest results from the Student Assessment of Modules and Teaching survey are in. My modules CE317 and CE217 are ranked 18 and 19 respectively out of 56 undergraduate modules in total.

I don't know what I can do to improve this slide towards mid-table. I do, however, have a suspicion as to why it's happening.

My CE810 and CE817 modules are ranked 1 and 5 out of 35 postgraduate modules in total. CE810 is the highest-ranked module in the department. The thing is, CE810 covers largely the same material as CE217 (maybe 90% of the slides are the same) and CE817 is a direct clone of CE317 (the students attend the same lectures). In both cases, only the assessments being different.

This suggests to me that the reason I'm being marked down by undergraduates is that my modules are considered to be too hard.

CE217 is a second-year module. About half its students had to resit their first year at least once.

CE317 is a third-year module. It's harder to figure out how many students have had to resit at least one year at least once, because some students (generally, good ones) missed a year because they were on a placement or a year abroad. However, it looks to be about the same: around half have had to resit at least one year at least once.

Students who resit years tend to be weaker students, so they'll find material harder than students who haven't had to resit any years.

So, should I weaken the content in CE217 and CE317 next year, or keep them as they are?

Both used to be regularly in the top 5 undergraduate modules until recent years.

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