Measuring the impact of course transformation on student experience

Steph Wood

September 2022

Swinburne VET (Swinburne) is a leading vocational education provider in Melbourne, Australia. 

As part of their 2025 Strategic Plan, Swinburne VET sought to strengthen its market position by delivering a world-class student experience, and develop Future-Ready Learners: graduates with skills for modern workforces, leading in employability. A significant part of this program was course transformation, to create more work-like experiences.

To achieve this it was important to first understand the current student experience, and be able to measure the impact of course transformation as it happened. Swinburne committed to understanding, in real-time, the impact of these changes, while also supporting a cultural shift to educators regularly checking-in with their students. 

The question for Swinburne became how to efficiently capture student voice, sentiment and the impact of changes during the transformation process. And to have this data at the Course Area and Department level. To achieve this, Swinburne partnered with Ziplet, a cloud-based platform that provides continuous, instant student feedback to education leadership teams and educators. 

Each educator was equipped with Ziplet, with Swinburne using Ziplet to gather student feedback in three ways:

  1. Educators ask students four teaching and learning templated questions each class, each term, to achieve formative change in the classroom, and confirm programs are meeting student expectations. These include:
  • Do you know what is expected to be successful in this subject?
  • Do you know what your next assessment requires of you?
  • What are you struggling to understand in your current unit?
  • What change could I make to better support your learning?
  1. The Leadership team asks students a set of student experience questions - questions which are asked across a cohort of student.These are designed to measure the impact of broader changes, with three questions distributed to each student, each term. These include:
  • How supported do you feel as a learner at Swinburne? 
  • What is one change we could make to better support your learning at Swinburne? 
  • Has your course provided you with work, or work-like experience, industry collaborations, guest speakers, or other immersion opportunities? 

    Each Department Director and Course Area Manager receives feedback from students in their area each term, without requiring any effort on their part. They are also able to respond to any comments they receive from students, even if they are anonymous. This helps them to gain greater understanding and support ongoing continuous improvement. 
  1. The Leadership team also recently introduced asking educators a set of teacher experience questions. Similar to Student Experience, these questions allow educators to provide their own feedback to the Leadership team in a structured format, providing information regarding their level of support, professional development and ongoing improvements they have made in their classes. 

With educators and leaders using Ziplet within their vocational education courses, Swinburne has been able to both understand the impact of their course transformation and support continuous improvement. More than 80% of their courses have successfully undergone transformation; and data collected through Ziplet has validated their efforts in making courses more work-like, with evidence of strong and consistent progress of student satisfaction improvement following the changes. 

More than 75% of students provide regular feedback to Swinburne and their educators, allowing educators to gather quick, formative feedback from students to understand student learning, and for course leaders to continuously improve the student experience. 

Using Ziplet, Swinburne is able to monitor in real-time::

  • Student sentiment around all elements of their learning experience
  • The impact of change quantitatively
  • New continuous improvement opportunities that would otherwise go unsaid

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