The AGRS is committed to delivering a high-quality training program and provides mechanisms to capture student feedback on our current training provision and the CaRST program as a whole.
Following each CaRST activity organised by the Adelaide Graduate Research School, students are invited to complete a workshop evaluation. These results are compiled and analysed for program development and quality assurance purposes.
2019 workshop feedback
In 2019, survey invitations were sent for 37 of the workshops organised by the Adelaide Graduate Research School. We had a response rate of 19% with 472 responses in total. Student feedback was positive overall and on par with ratings from previous years.
The highest rated workshops overall were: Stand Up, Speak Up, and Persuade, Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Research Students, and Turbocharge your Writing. These were also rated as the most helpful overall.
Written feedback across our workshops was also positive:
“CARST is really helpful and I think it is a great programme, particularly because it can be customised.”
“Thank you for running CaRST. I believe this offers HDR with an increased capability prior to entering the workforce.”
“Loved this course. I put several things into action immediately.”
“I really enjoyed the workshop and found it encouraging.”
2018 workshop feedbackIn 2018, we received 545 responses covering 47 workshops or series managed by the Adelaide Graduate Research School, which equalled a 21% response rate. Student feedback was positive overall, and on most measures surpassed ratings from 2017. Key results include:
- 97% of respondents gave the workshop they attended an overall rating of ‘Good’ or higher with 83% rated as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’.
- 99% of respondents rated the workshop they attended as helpful with 83% rated as either ‘Extremely helpful’ or ‘Very helpful’.
- 86% of respondents rated the speaker/presenter of the workshop they attended as either ‘Extremely engaging’ or ‘Very engaging’.
- 87% of respondents were likely to recommend the workshop to a classmate.
- The highest rated workshops overall were: Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Research Students, Workforce Skills Workshop and Improve your Confidence with Improv.
- The workshops rated as most helpful were: Presenting your Research with Confidence, The Balanced Researcher and Turbocharge your Writing.
2017 workshop feedbackIn 2017, we received 459 responses covering 37 workshops or series managed by the Adelaide Graduate Research School, which equalled a 22% response rate. Key results include:
- 94% of respondents gave the workshop they attended an overall rating of ‘Good’ or higher with 76% rated as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’.
- 95% of respondents rated the workshop they attended as helpful with 75% rated as either ‘Extremely helpful’ or ‘Very helpful’.
- 87% of respondents rated the speaker/presenter of the workshop they attended as either ‘Extremely engaging’ or ‘Very engaging’.
- 83% of respondents were likely to recommend the workshop to a classmate.
- The highest rated workshops overall were ‘Persuasive Personal Brand’, ‘Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Research Students’, and ‘Creative Tools You Can Use’.
- The workshops rated as most helpful were ‘Creative Tools You Can Use’, ‘Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Research Students’, and ‘Communicating the Impact of your Research’
2017 CaRST feedback survey
In 2017, the Adelaide Graduate Research School invited all CaRST students and their supervisors to complete a CaRST Feedback Survey. The survey included questions about understanding of the program requirements and resources, achievability, procedures, local area support, training interests, career knowledge, and interest in industry engagement activities.
The total number of student responses to the online survey was 98, which was a 23% response rate. The total number of supervisor responses was 69.
- Most respondents report a high level of understanding of program requirements and awareness of resources available, which suggests that communication/education efforts throughout the first year have been successful.
- Strengths: A majority of respondents report that the program is achievable and are generally positive about the initiative. Major themes cited in support of CaRST include: the number of hours required is a reasonable and worthwhile commitment, the flexibility and choice of options makes it easy to attain the hours required, students are already demonstrating good progress, and it helps to formalise activities students were already undertaking.
- Development areas: Nearly half of all respondents indicated that the current process of tracking and recording activities is poor. Just over half of all respondents rated their local area supportive of CaRST (59%). A small minority of respondents, primarily supervisors, were generally opposed to CaRST primarily concerned it is a distraction from research.
Based on the survey results, the critical area prioritised for improvement was the implementation of a centralised system for tracking and recording CaRST activities online. This was subsequently introduced in 2018.
Other improvements since the survey have included:
- Increased training provision in skill areas prioritised by students, e.g. grants, communication, career options and career planning
- Expanded online provision and introduced live streaming
- Where possible, reduced the duration of workshops to 2 hours or less to match their preferred workshop length
2014 HDR skills development survey
In 2014, the Adelaide Graduate Research School conducted a survey of HDR students to ascertain their skills development needs with respect to research training and career preparation.
The top ranked transferrable skills development needs identified from 180 responses were:
- Communication skills, report writing and understanding your audience
- Leadership and understanding of people’s abilities
- Management/Project management/Team management
- Career pathways and career planning
A majority of PhD students also indicated that they would be willing to devote 2 hours per week per year of candidature improving work-ready skills; only 9% said none.
This feedback was used to inform the development of CaRST, which has expanded HDR training to take into account a variety of career destinations and skills development needs. At least 26 new workshops were introduced over 2016-2018 in the above priority categories.
Want to know more?
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank you for your participation in these surveys and welcome your feedback anytime.