In 2017, the Adelaide Graduate Centre 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