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Case study: SOAS University of London


SOAS University of London 


SOAS University of London ‘The world’s university’ is a small specialist and research intensive institution that uses its expertise in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as a lens to inform and shape current thinking about the economic, political, cultural, security and religious challenges of our world. 

Screenshot 2023-12-21 at 16.12.25SOAS strives to provide an intimate, welcoming and dynamic experience for their students and empowers them to question the global status quo and find solutions to the issues facing the world today. With a focus on high levels of student engagement via a rich and distinctive curriculum, they make effective use of technology to support learning. Programmes are taught by respected international academics with inter-disciplinary expertise who are engaged in fieldwork and research that influences governments, industries and communities across the world.

Why Studiosity?

Responding to student feedback (NSS, SEMS, TESTA) and looking to improve continuation, completion and attainment, SOAS were looking at ways to further support their final year undergraduate Independent Study Project (ISP) and PG students.

Particularly SOAS were looking to extend academic support outside of university core hours, improve writing skills, and identify the need for early intervention for students the most at risk of non-continuation. Additional support needed to complement their wider offering by the University’s Student Learning Centre, one-to-one in person tutorials, and workshops. 

A pilot was trialled for six months in three departments and was accessible via their LMS, Moodle. After this successful trial, Studiosity was launched university-wide in November 2022. 

Dr Sarah O'Malley, Student Skills Developer, Learning and Teaching Enhancement delivered a SOAS case study presentation during Universities UK Access, participation and student success conference: 

"Observations of the service to date are that Studiosity enables more accessible support, students like the speed of feedback, they find reassurance in, and respond well to, positive feedback and the anonymity of the service is an appeal. As a next goal, SOAS aims to further optimise student use of the service as a skills building tool."

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Since launch, the highest levels of engagement have been amongst PGT followed by Year 2 undergraduate students, with peak around submission deadlines. The most requested feedback is in academic writing structure, choice of language, spelling, grammar and use of sources.

"Studiosity has reached our less engaged students and complimented our existing services as the traditionally 'hard to reach' students, are now starting to reach back in to other support services."


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  • 1,055 students created Studiosity accounts
  • 703 active users since full launch in November (c.810 total)
  • 3,456 total interactions, average 4 per student
  • 12% sign up rate, 8% active engagement rate

PGT students account for 52% of all engagements with Studiosity, and PGT students account for 26% of total SOAS students. Engagement by department:

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Key performance measures - student satisfaction:

  • 92% student satisfaction rate
  • 94% of students say they are more confident
  • High usage with 148% of predicted engagement used
  • 3 hours average Writing Feedback return time 
  • 94% connection time in under 5 mins for Connect Live
  • 66% out of hours support
  • 95% of students said they got the help they needed

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What do students say?

The service allows students to provide feedback each time they use the service. Here is a selection of comments provided by SOAS University of London students:

"I liked the feedback on structure - I was really struggling with how to rephrase certain points so that I had a coherent essay, this feedback really helped!" 2nd Year Undergraduate

"Your detailed comments and specific examples on where and how improvements should be made were very useful! thanks." Postgraduate Taught

"Sian is extremely dedicated, concise and helpful in feedback. After not doing academic writing for some years I find this input invaluable!" Postgraduate Taught

"I appreciated the tips and the fast response time. It is really beneficial with assignment deadlines coming up." 2nd Year Undergraduate

"I appreciate your thorough feedback. It shows that you carefully read my works and dive into the very detailed. This is overall a constructive review that will surely improve my work. Thanks a lot!" Postgraduate Taught

"I am finally being taught how to use semicolons. Thank you so much!" 1st Year Undergraduate

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