# 2010 Awards for Excellence

ISSN: 1754-2731

Publication date: 5 October 2010

## Abstract

#### Citation

(2010), "2010 Awards for Excellence", The TQM Journal, Vol. 22 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/tqm.2010.10622faa.002

### Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

## 2010 Awards for Excellence

Article Type: Guest editorial From: The TQM Journal, Volume 22, Issue 6

The following article was selected for this year's Outstanding Paper Award for The TQM Journal

Using critical incident technique (CIT) to capture the voice of the student''

Jacqueline A. DouglasRobert McClellandLiverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

John DaviesSalford University, Salford, UK

Lyn SudburyLiverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to compare the use of critical incident technique (CIT) for gathering student feedback in higher education (HE) with the more traditional and commonly used questionnaire survey method.Design/methodology/approach – The investigation involved a critical evaluation of the standard self-completion, multi- question tick-box'' quantitative survey questionnaire traditionally employed to collect student feedback in HE, against the more qualitative critical incident technique that was tested within the HE context. This evaluation was supported by a review of the extant literature to determine the advantages and disadvantages of both feedback methods and a comparison of the data gathered from university students using both survey instruments. Conclusions were then drawn regarding the value of both methods. The criteria used for the comparison were the design and administration of the survey instruments, analysis and quality of the data collected, and finally, the potential usefulness of the data to HE managers.Findings – The main issue regarding suitability of approach is resource utilisation. The CIT questionnaire is much quicker and easier to design than the traditional questionnaire, asking only a small number of questions. However, completion, input and analysis of the CIT questionnaire take longer than the standard tick-box questionnaire. The richness of the data more than compensates for these drawbacks. In principle, the qualitative critical incident technique should be used to complement the existing methods of gathering student feedback in order to find out what is significant to students. However, in practice, it is more likely that managers within HE will continue to use the more traditional survey questionnaire, because of the limited resources available to them.Research limitations/implications – Not only is CIT a method that can be used by researchers in the education sector nationally and internationally, to gather rich and useful data about the student experience but it may also be useful for gathering information from other stakeholders.Originality/value – The paper is the first to use CIT to gather feedback from students on their university experience. It proposes that, in order to obtain valid and reliable data on which to base service provision decisions, university management should consider using this qualitative technique in combination with more traditional quantitative methods of gathering student feedback.

Keywords Critical incident technique, Feedback, Higher education, Questionnaires, Students, United Kingdom

www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/17542730910965038

This article originally appeared in Volume 21 Number 4, 2009, pp. 305-318, The TQM Journal

The following articles were selected for this year’s Highly Commended Award

‘‘Improve constantly and forever: The influence of W.Edwards Demingin to the twenty-first century’’

Stephen B. KnousePaula P. CarsonKerry D. CarsonRonald B. Heady

This article originally appeared in Volume 21 Number 5, 2009, The TQM Journal

‘‘Exploring process management: are there any widespread models and definitions?’’

Klara Palmberg

This article originally appeared in Volume 21 Number 2, 2009, The TQM Journal

‘‘A proposed framework for combining ISO 9001 quality system and quality function deployment’’

Paulo A. Cauchick MiguelJose´ Celso Sobreiro Dias

This article originally appeared in Volume 21 Number 6, 2009, The TQM Journal