Advice for Unit Assessors Regarding the Student Feedback System
In 2004 the University established an online survey of student evaluation of units as part of a mandatory and systematic approach to student feedback on learning and teaching at SCU. Following successful trialling of the system University Executive determined that from 2006 every student will have the opportunity to provide feedback on every unit coursework in every study period using the University's online feedback system.
The survey can only be completed online and students access it through their MySCU account at learn.scu.edu.au. There is no hard copy option available. Each feedback session usually runs from week 10 until the end of the study period.
The online instrument, titled Student Feedback on Learning & Teaching consists of a set of 7 core questions to be answered by all students, and 5 assessor selected optional questions. Each question also includes space to accommodate qualitative feedback (free text responses).
All responses are anonymous and confidential and cannot be linked to an individual student.
How are Students Advised of the Feedback Sessions
- Once the survey period opens all students enrolled in units in the particular study period are contacted by email to alert them to the availability and timing of the online survey.
- Regular email reminders are forwarded to students who have not completed the feedback survey.
Customising the Survey Questions
- For two weeks before each survey period Unit Assessors have the opportunity to customise the survey on the feedback website at staff.scu.edu.au/teaching/ufq by selecting 5 Optional Questions for their units from the Question Bank.
- If the Unit Assessor chooses not to select specific Optional Questions an approved default set Student Feedback System - Defaults for Customisable Questions will be automatically loaded to the survey instrument.
- Details regarding designated Unit Assessors for each study period are downloaded to the feedback system from Student One. It is imperative that Schools maintain accurate updated records of Unit Assessors on Student One for each study period, otherwise important feedback may be available to the wrong staff member, or if the listing is blank, not available at all.
- Customisation of the survey is only available to the designated Unit Assessor in the relevant study period (see Feedback Sessions Scheduled for 2013).
- Attempts to access the customisation facility by staff other than the designated Unit Assessor for the current study period will result in an error message:
You are not authorised to administer this system! If you believe you should have rights to do so as a Unit Assessor.
- Unit Assessors can customise the survey for their own units at Feedback Customisation.
- To complete the customisation of the Assessor Selected Optional Questions click on SET QUESTIONS. All units for which you are listed on Student One as Unit Assessor will display by study period. Units in the current feedback session will have a status 'Customisation' - click on the Edit button and select five questions from the Question Bank - then click on Save Selected Questions at the bottom of the list.
As the Unit Assessor you are also encouraged to add teachers/tutors to the Student Feedback System and customise the teaching questions.
To add additional staff follow the same steps outlined above to customise the Assessor Selected Optional Questions. You will see a link to Add/Remove Teachers, click on this link and you will be able to search for staff by typing their name into the search box.
HINT: It is generally easier to use the persons surname, and only type the first 3-4 letter to begin with. If the search retrieves a large number add the next letter to narrow down the search. Once you have found the person's name, click add teacher.
As the Unit Assessor you have the option to customise all teaching questions to be the same across all staff involved in the unit or you can invite the teachers/tutors to customise their own teaching questions. If you wish to customise all staff teaching questions you should tick the check box to prevent the automatic notification email being sent.
- Repeat for any other units in the current feedback session you wish to customise.
Should you need help with the customisation process, contact Sandy Archibald (x73421).
Student Response Rates
- To view response rates for a unit at any time during the feedback session click on REPORTS in the Student Feedback System at study.scu.edu.au/teaching/ufq.
- For units where feedback has been provided you will notice a gold bar in the column headed 'Response'. Hover your cursor over the gold bar (don't click) and a response rate will appear.
- All units for which you are listed on Student One as Unit Assessor will display by study period.
- Units in the current feedback session will have a status 'Running'.
Improving Response Rates
Our experience to date indicates that if we are to achieve a reasonable response rate using a fully online student feedback system it is essential for Unit Assessors and other teaching staff to actively encourage student participation during the survey period. This is particularly relevant for off-shore students where participation rates generally have been very low.
Teaching staff may make class room announcements or send email group messages (particularly for external and off-shore students) reminding students that we welcome their feedback and it will only take a few minutes to complete the online survey. Students also need to be reassured that the feedback is anonymous and confidential.
A proven effective strategy for on campus classes is for Unit Assessors/Lecturers to designate a quarter hour session in a computer lab or the Library during a scheduled class when students can complete the survey. Staff who do this regularly achieve a response rate of around 60%.
Student participation in the feedback surveys can also be reinforced by briefing students on the results from previous sessions and advising of actions taken to introduce improvements.
- Unit Assessors can download a full feedback report which includes rankings to the questions and student comments from the Student Feedback System at study.scu.edu.au/teaching/ufq .
- Unit Assessors can download a report of feedback from previous study periods.
- A report of the current feedback session can only be downloaded once grades have been published on the web to students. This usually occurs on the Monday following the Board of Assessors Meeting.
- In the page listing your units click on the bar graph icon on the right side of the study period for the unit. A report page will open displaying enrolment data and survey results and analysis. Scroll to the bottom of the page and there is a box in which you can select items to appear in the downloaded report. You can opt to have the ranking results sorted by study mode and/or location. Make sure you select the Survey Text Answers box for the comments provided by student, you can even sort these by response order or location. Click the Create PDF Report button and the report will download to your desktop.
- Heads of School have access to Unit Feedback Reports for all units offered by their School.
Student Feedback on Teaching
In 2009 the University began to collect feedback on student evaluation of teaching as an extension of the online unit feedback instrument. This process requires the Unit Assessor to enter the names of teachers into the feedback system. Students then have the opportunity to respond to a set of 6 System Wide Teaching questions and up to 5 specific Teacher Selected questions.
Teaching feedback reports are available to the Unit Assessor and nominated Teacher via the Online Unit Feedback site at study.scu.edu.au/teaching/ufq
Review of Unit Feedback System
As part of the recent Structural Adjustment Funding (SAF) the University identified teaching quality processes underpinned by advances in student feedback, student evaluation and associated systems as a priority. The Teaching Quality Processes Project is an 18 month project (2012 to 2013) funded through the successful SAF bid. The project will review student evaluation of units and teaching, and associated reporting.
Led by the Division of Teaching and Learning in conjunction with the Office of Planning, Quality and Review and Technology Services, the Teaching Quality Processes Project is under the sponsorship of the PVC(A), Professor Andrew McAuley.
For further information see Teaching Quality Processes Project.
If you would like further information about Student Feedback on Learning and Teaching please contact PQR: Request Form.
Updated: 14 May 2013