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School Survey: University Students Think They Do Well in School While Teachers Disagree


A survey conducted in a top-ranking university reveals that while students think they are performing quite well in academics, their teachers think the opposite.

A survey conducted among 1,410 undergraduate students at Aarhus University in Denmark reveals that nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of students believe they are well prepared for their lessons in school, Times Higher Education reported. Their teachers, however, do not agree as much, with only 43 percent saying their students are indeed prepared.

The study, which was presented earlier this month at the Society for Research into Higher Education's annual research conference in Wales, said less than half of all 283 teachers surveyed agreed that their students submitted thorough assignments, while 83 percent of students think they did.

Hanne Balsby Thingholm, assistant professor in education at Aarhus' Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media and a co-author of the study, said most students think they're are doing a good job in school, but teachers do not agree with that.

Thingholm notes that based on the survey results, there appears to be a lack of effective communication between students and their teachers. Educators should give more effort in explaining their expectations to their respective students.

The survey also revealed that 68 percent of students thought they were good at organizing their personal study times, but only about half (51 percent) of their teachers said they agree with them.

Thingholm notes that the study wasn't meant to check if Aarhus University had poor-performing students or exceptional educators. Rather, it was meant to look into the reasons why both students' and teachers' expectations are unmet.

She said that, according to the study, almost all (89 percent) of the teachers believe they had set clearly defined learning goals and made it known to their students, but only 59 percent of students agreed.

Teachers need to discuss their learning goals with their students, and not just focus on formulating them, Thingholm adds. They shouldn't just think about what they will teach to their students, but also whether their students are learning how to study what they teach.

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