Evaluation and Feedback of the material
"Absolutely amazing. It is really nice to hear other students put words on things, that I think most of us experience. I am very fortunate to have a great study group, where I feel safe in sharing my insecurities, but I don't think everyone has this. Therefore I believe, that there will be many who can benefit from hearing the podcast. And I would love to listen to more episodes" - student feedback
Developing material in close collaboration with students
Pernille Steen Pedersen uses her research and close collaboration with students to develop new methods and material to address issues of stress among students at CBS. She has discovered that an important step is to shed light on the different kind of pressures and potential stress students can experience during their study life by speaking loud about it. This serves both to normalize such feelings and experiences, as research shows it is very common and widespread, but also to set a vision for an environment where students can feel comfortable and at ease in talking about it. Pedersen thus developed a podcast format where she can share broadly from interviews and surveys of large number of students in dialogue with a small group of students, who reflect on the research and share their own experiences. The podcast can be used by students at home, in study groups, in teaching situations or at workshops, for example in the introductory weeks at CBS.
The close collaboration with student is central to this research project and the podcast format there is also developed and refined through tests and feedback from students. Initially the podcast "Hvorfor faen snakker vi ikke om det?" ("Why the hell are we not talking about it?") was tested within:
- The student research panel of the project
- HA(psyk.) students in the elective ”Stress, skam og ledelse”
- Cand.soc. students participating in a well-being workshop
- HA(jur.) students at 3. semester in a well-being workshop
Student evaluation and feedback
After listening to the podcast the students were asked to give their feedback and to relate to three statements one a scale from 1-5 declaring to which extent they agree or disagree. The general feedback was very positive where many wrote that it is an important topic, something they can relate to, and that it is nice to hear that others are experiencing similar things. Many also suggested that it would be ideal for particularly new students, for example that it could be an obligatory part of an introductory week. Here are a few example of what students wrote:
In one group 26 students were asked to rate in a questionnaire, on a scale from 1 (agree) to 5 (disagree), their view on the following three statements:
1. The podcast helps break taboos about what characterizes the "ideal student." To this 50 % said they agreed (1) that the podcast help to break taboos, 38 % partly agreed (2), 4 % said either/or (3), and 8 % partly disagreed (4).
2. The podcast is relevant for new students. To this 92 % agreed (1), and 8 % said they partly agreed (2).
3. I can recognize the feelings the podcast addresses. To this 69% agreed (1), 19 % partly agreed (2) and 12% said either/or (3).
- "Interesting to hear what one's fellow students have thought, felt and experienced, even if we are at different stages in the studies"
- "Interesting and relevant"
- "Interesting to listen to and nice to know that you are not alone in all the things, that are not talked about"
- "I think it is nice to hear that I am not alone in having doubt, particularly in the choice of study, but also in one's capabilities"
- "Good and informative podcast on a very relevant topic that everyone can relate to"
Feedback for further research
The evaluation and feedback from students also gives great inputs to areas that need further exploration in research. For example, a few students have mentioned that they experience a pressure from feeling that they need to live up to an ideal about being social - and social in particular ways. As one student puts it: "Good and relevant (podcast). I miss something about that the answer is not always just to be social. It can be difficult and tiresome in the beginning, even if you normally are quite social. It is important to remember that it will work out and that you are not abnormal just because you don't participate in all events. There are many who feel they are abnormal or wrong, if they don't feel like joining everything."
Overall the feedback thus far tells us that for many students it is helpful to hear that they are not alone in experiencing insecurities and pressure in relation to their study life. That many can recognize it and to feel a sense of relief from knowing that they are not alone in it, is perhaps the most common feedback across all the material. This in turn stresses the need for normalizing these experiences students might have at different times during their studies. Another common feedback is that this kind of information would have been nice to have heard and been exposed to at the beginning of one's studies. It emphasizes, what Pedersen suspected, that particularly new students might benefit from the podcast and other ways to communicate this kind of information that helps address some stress-related issues upfront and debunk some myths around being a CBS student.
Last updated by: Anne Sofie Fischer 12/10/2021