All about GOATS (an exciting new initiative by SUBU)

Ellie Mayo-Ward, Vice President Education Students’ Union Bournemouth University, shares news about an exciting  new initiative – ‘Go Out and Talk (GOAT)

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At SUBU we have started an initiative called GOAT which stands for Go Out and Talk. The GOAT team are a group of students who do exactly that, they go out and talk to students to collect qualitative data to enhance our knowledge on specific issues. GOAT formed as a response to various issues we found in SUBU. My initial reasoning was to have something that students could get involved in along the lines of student feedback without the need to be elected, primarily because I was conscious of students who ran to be a Rep but were unsuccessful and I didn’t want them to be turned away at the first hurdle. Secondly, in SUBU we are conscious of the amount of surveys students are asked to fill out and wanted a mechanism to collect feedback that didn’t feel like an onerous survey. By creating a GOAT team who talk face to face with students we are able to collect detailed qualitative feedback without the survey fatigue that goes with it as students engage in conversation rather than filling in tick boxes.

The team are also able to get involved with the ‘back end’ of the process so can analyse the data they collect, help with the research reports that SUBU make and help present these reports to the relevant places. Joe, one of our GOAT members, recently presented the results of our first question to Student Voice Committee.

A huge focus of SUBU this year is ‘closing the feedback loop’. The team ask students to provide their i-number if they want to be emailed the results from the question and direct students to the GOAT page on our website which shows current progress and what has happened as a result of their feedback.

We also try to make sure the GOAT team are talking to a wide range of students so, mid-collection, we look at the demographics of students spoken to and look to see which students we might need to target more. The team collected 322 pieces of feedback over two weeks between 12 members. We now have 16 members and can run two questions at a time and we expect this to develop over the pilot year.

For further information, Ellie can be contacted at SU VP Education

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