Introduction to our data

Welcome to the results of the Learning Lexicon Student Shapers Research Project from Imperial College London.

Our team, made up of three second-year undergraduates and one teaching fellow, undertook a research project to understand how students feel about the language around their learning.

Are there words that students are particularly drawn to or repulsed by? Do they like and understand the language of the educational community, or does it sound like jargon? How do they prefer to be assessed and how do they prefer to work?

Educators often make assumptions about what students think or like, but do not often get the opportunity to challenge these assumptions and hear from the students themselves.

This research project was originally conceived as an on-campus activity, where students would be gathered or stopped on campus to answer surveys. Due to the closure of campus in March, the data collection plan was revised.

The team determined that an online survey using Qualtrics could be sent to a wide range of students by leveraging the student societies. This turned out to be a very successful data collection method and we present highlights of the results below.

The survey was taken over May and June 2020 by 172 students of Imperial College London (Figure 1).

There was a broad spread of students from across the different year groups and from 20 different degree courses. Survey respondents come from 35 countries and are native speakers of 36 languages, many of whom are multilingual.

Figure 1A. Degree course of survey respondents
Figure 1B. Year of study of survey respondents
Figure 1C. Native spoken language(s) of survey respondents
Figure 1D. Nationality(ies) of survey respondents

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