(CS EdX Sessions) Moyo, Patience

Title: Developing understanding of student’s expectations: road to student success

Presenter: Patience Moyo (Lecturer in Nursing)

Co-presenter(s): Dr Jessica Biles, Dr Kylie Murphy

Faculty / Division: FoSH

School / Unit: Nursing, Paramedicine and Health Science

Session Type: Paper

When: Thursday, 18 November 2021 @ 12:15pm – 1:15pm

Where: Zoom meeting link


Background: Expectations and experiences can impact students’ satisfaction and academic
success positively or negatively. University staff may make assumptions about the expectations of
students, but these assumptions may be erroneous and student experiences may not meet their

Objective: This study explored Charles Sturt University undergraduate nursing students’
expectations of their university learning, and their corresponding experiences and satisfaction.
Participants and Methods: A total of 82 undergraduate Charles Sturt nursing students completed
an online survey, with items addressing various domains of each student’s course experience. A
purpose-designed mixed-methods survey was used to investigate the students’ expectations,
experiences and satisfaction levels, and the relationships between these variables. Data analysis
involved a mixture of descriptive and inferential statistics, including Pearson’s r correlation
analysis. In addition, qualitative thematic analysis was undertaken using NVIVO.
Findings: Experience of flexibility in subject requirements, helpfulness of academic staff, and
clarity of teacher communications correlated strongly with satisfaction in those respective areas.
Expectation-experience discrepancies correlated strongly with satisfaction in the following
respective areas: support to navigate university systems, timing of subject availability, helpfulness
of academic staff, and timetable suitability. In relation to those areas, less discrepancy was
associated with greater satisfaction. However, by far the strongest predictor of students’ overall
satisfaction with their course was the extent to which they felt they received support to navigate
university systems.
Conclusion: The findings of this research are important in the delivery of high-quality healthprofessions
focused higher education in Australia. The results contribute to the existing literature
by demonstrating strong connections between expectations, experiences, and levels of satisfaction
among undergraduate nursing students. The findings provide insights into the importance of
knowing and meeting student expectations and managing or modifying student expectations when
these are not realistic. Meeting or exceeding students’ expectations results in greater satisfaction
for students with their learning experiences, and this is likely to facilitate better learning outcomes.
Conference themes addressed: This paper addresses one of the conference themes. “Future
focused” is addressed because success should encompass positive student experience and the
findings of this paper point to the importance of flexibility in understanding and
addressing students’ expectations and satisfaction levels. This study identifies important areas of
expectation and satisfaction to focus on in the future.