Hearing everyone in the feedback loop: using the new discussion platform, Unitu, to enhance the staff and student dialogue


Changes within the higher education sector have started to redefine some aspects of the relationship between the learner and the learning institution. In particular, there is now significantly more emphasis on ‘the student voice’, whether as a form of ‘customer’ feedback or as a vehicle for change in which students become active agents supporting enhanced provision within their learning environments. Institutions have become increasingly cognisant of the need to increase the amount, timeliness and ease with which students can provide feedback. This article will explore the design, implementation and impact of a project to introduce a new student discussion platform, Unitu, into the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading from 2015 to 2016. It finds that this form of online engagement, together with the functionality of the platform, has the potential to encourage student feedback, indicate how representative this feedback is, support the role of student representatives, enable timely staff–student dialogue and enhance the visibility of institutional responses in order to help improve teaching and learning provision.

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Appendix 1: Mock-up example of student Course Hub only available to enrolled students


Appendix 2: Mock-up example of Departmental Feedback Board accessible to both enrolled students and nominated staff


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Mayhew, E. Hearing everyone in the feedback loop: using the new discussion platform, Unitu, to enhance the staff and student dialogue. Eur Polit Sci 18, 714–728 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-019-00211-7

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  • Technology-enhanced learning
  • Student voice
  • Student feedback