Title: Developing understanding of student’s expectations: road to student success
Presenter: Dr Jessica Biles, Dr Kylie Murphy, Ms Patience Moyo
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health & School of Community Health
Session Type: Paper Presentation
When: Thursday 19th November 2020 @ 2 – 3pm
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 expectations.
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. Page 2 of 2
Conclusion: The findings of this research are important in the delivery of high-quality health-professions 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 also 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.