Policy

Course and Teacher Surveys - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy outlines the rationale, processes and responsibilities for the conduct of surveys involving students of The University of Queensland.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

No entries for this document.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

The policy applies to all staff at The University of Queensland and is limited to surveys that are focused on obtaining feedback on The University of Queensland student experience and teaching and learning outcomes.

The policy does not apply to surveys that might arise from research projects that seek to canvass student opinion on other topics (for example, public transport usage).

4. Policy Statement

Student surveys are conducted with the aim of informing the University's commitment to continuous improvement in the delivery of high quality learning experiences for current and future students. They are used also to gauge the satisfaction of graduates with various aspects of their UQ experience and provide important data for quality assurance and benchmarking purposes.

Student feedback on all aspects of teaching and assessment is obtained through the administration of a series of regular, systematic and methodologically sound student survey instruments, with the resulting data being analysed and interpreted to inform the aims listed above.

At UQ, student surveys inform a number of mandated quality assurance processes, including the Curriculum and Teaching Quality Appraisal process, the Academic Program Review process, the School Review process and the School Based Performance Framework.

5. Student Survey Framework

Student surveys play an important role in informing teaching and learning improvements. To regulate the conduct of student surveys, the University of Queensland Student Survey Framework (the Framework) - Guidelines 3.30.02c has been established, to ensure that surveys conducted in the name of the University of Queensland:

  • are of a consistently high standard;
  • adhere to appropriate ethical standards;
  • do not duplicate data collection conducted through other University surveys;
  • do not compromise population samples through the overlap of surveys;
  • do not over-survey the University’s core stakeholders; and
  • are disseminated and utilised appropriately.

All student surveys conducted for the purpose of informing teaching and learning and student experience outcomes are required to conform to the Framework and its associated approval mechanisms.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) is responsible for the approval of University surveys within the Framework and for monitoring compliance with the Student Study Framework - Guidelines 3.30.02c.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson

Procedures

Course and Teacher Surveys - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the processes and responsibilities for the conduct of surveys involving University of Queensland students.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

SECaT — Student Evaluation of Course and Teaching

SETutor — Student Evaluation of Tutor

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all staff at The University of Queensland and are limited to surveys that are focused on obtaining feedback on The University of Queensland student experience of teaching and courses.

These procedures do not apply to surveys that might arise from research projects that seek to canvass student opinion on other topics (for example, public transport usage).

4. Procedures Statement

Student surveys conducted at The University of Queensland are undertaken to investigate, report and respond to feedback on the delivery and quality of learning experiences for current students, and the provision of facilities and services used by students at UQ. Surveys may also be undertaken to gather perceptions of future students.

Annual surveys are undertaken of all UQ graduate to gauge the satisfaction of graduates with various aspects of their UQ experience. These surveys provide important data for quality assurance and benchmarking purposes.

Survey instruments approved for delivery to students including Student Evaluation of Course and Teaching (SECaT) surveys are listed in Section 6.

Student survey instruments must be approved through the submission of a Student Survey Proposal to the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation through the Manager, Evaluation Unit. The proposal provides information from applicants wishing to administer a new student survey that relates to the purpose of the survey, the target population, the survey design and intended timing.

The activities involved in developing and gaining approval for a new student survey are listed below:

  • identifying the objectives and rationale for the survey;
  • determining whether there is an existing survey instrument that can be used;
  • determining whether approval from the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation is required;
  • confirming timing and commencement of the survey; and
  • collating and reporting survey results in accordance with the survey objectives.

5. UQ Student Survey Proposal

Applicants must complete the PPL 3.30.02 UQ Student Survey Proposal - Form and include the following information:

  • objectives and rationale;
  • survey population;
  • survey method;
  • method of population sampling;
  • data collection methods;
  • a copy of the survey instrument; and
  • proposed dates of data collection commencement and completion.

Proposals that fall within the scope of the PPL 3.30.02 Course and Teacher Surveys - Policy (refer section 3) must be submitted to the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation through the Manager, Evaluation Unit.

Persons undertaking surveys for the purposes of academic research (except where the surveyed activities span a significant proportion of the student population) must submit the proposal to the Academic Registrar.

6. Student Evaluation Instruments

Internal quality assurance surveys undertaken for the evaluation of student perceptions of aspects of their experience of the University include the following:

  • SECAT – for a course taught by a single staff member;
  • SECATs – for a course taught by more than one staff member;
  • SETutor – for an individual tutor;
  • Open Response Questionnaire – for classes with less than 6 possible responses.

6.1 Student Evaluation of Course and Teaching (SECaT)

The SECaT/s survey is administered for every course with 6 enrolments or more each time it is taught and for every teacher with a substantial teaching load on the course. Evaluations are undertaken in the final weeks of each semester including Summer Semester.

Teaching staff who teach solely in the first semester of a year-long course may have a SECaT evaluation administered at the end of their teaching semester.

6.1.1 Applying for exemption from SECaTs

All thesis-based courses which are conducted in a one-to-one supervision mode are automatically exempt from the SECaT process. There may, however, be instances when it is appropriate for courses outside of thesis-based courses to apply for exemption from the SECaT processes. If both the course coordinator and the chair of the school teaching and learning committee are of the view that an exemption is appropriate, the course coordinator is to discuss a request for exemption with the Evaluation Unit.

Where a case for exemption is agreed, a confirmatory email is sent to the Evaluation Unit from the Chair of the School's Teaching and Learning Committee with a copy to the Faculty's Associate Dean (Academic).

A copy of the email is kept on record in the Evaluation Unit database and recorded in standard reporting processes to faculties and schools.

6.1.2 Reporting

Individual summary reports are generated at the questionnaire item level for course and teaching.

Reports are released after the date for the official release of results each semester.

If the number of completed questionnaires is fewer than 6, the numerical analysis is not undertaken. When there are fewer than 6 responses, reports containing open-ended comments are released to relevant staff after student results are released.

Course quantitative results are publically accessible through the Reportal and other UQ dashboards and reports, such as the student dashboard, and the CTQRA dashboard and reports. Individual teaching results are available via the Reportal and the QIndex.

In addition to the release of the Course quantitative results, the results of all quantitative, qualitative, past, and present SECaT evaluations, are released according to the following roles and rules:

  1. Individual teachers – All their own individual teaching results.
  2. Course Coordinators – All quantitative, qualitative, past and present results related to the specific course, including the teaching results of all members of teaching staff involved in the course delivery.
  3. Head of School – All quantitative, qualitative, past and present results of all teaching and course evaluations for the School.
  4. Executive Deans and Associate Deans (Academic) – All quantitative, qualitative, past and present results of all teaching and course evaluations for the Faculty.
  5. University Executives (VC, DVCs, PVCs, and Directors of Administrative Units/Divisions) – All quantitative, qualitative, past and present results of all teaching and course evaluations for the University.
  6. Heads of School, Executive Deans, Associate Deans (Academic) and University Executives may delegate their authority of access to other UQ staff as required. Any delegation of authority must be provided to the Evaluation Unit in writing.
  7. Students via the ECP – To provide students with feedback on the evaluation process, the ECP has a field that requires course coordinators to provide a brief summary as to how they have responded to previous course evaluations.
  8. Course and teaching results can also be released to UQ Staff in raw data format (linking quantitative and qualitative responses), upon request, and according to their role and data release rules.

6.1.3 Data Confidentiality

The University will ensure that student confidentiality is protected according to the Information Privacy Act 2009.

Academic staff will not be provided with information that will identify a student who has made a comment about them on the survey unless the University is required to provide that information to meet legal compliance obligations. However, when comments collected through the SECaTs identify behaviours or actions which compromise the University’s Duty of Care obligations to students or staff, information about the identity of students and staff may be accessed by the University so appropriate action can be taken. For example, comments that appear to contain threats to students or staff, or that are perceived to be abusive, vilifying or otherwise offensive to the extent they may constitute misconduct or serious misconduct, will be handled according to the provisions within the Information Privacy Act 2009, relevant UQ policies relating to student and staff misconduct, and the Staff Enterprise Agreement.

Comments containing allegations about serious student or staff misconduct will be referred to the appropriate University Officer for confidential investigation:

  • Students may be contacted by the relevant University Officer to investigate whether or not further actions must be taken by the University to meet our Duty of Care obligations.
  • Staff may be contacted by the relevant University Officer to investigate whether or not further actions must be taken by the University to meet our Duty of Care obligations and according to the provisions under the Enterprise Agreement and Staff Code of Conduct.

Relevant University Officers include Student Services, Student Complaints and Grievance Resolution, Employee Relations, School/Faculty-based Executives, and University Executives (VC, DVCs, PVCs and Directors of Administrative Units/Divisions).

6.2 Student Evaluation of Tutors (SETutor)

SETutor is a mechanism for students to evaluate tutors of a course. Administration of the SETutor instrument is currently not compulsory, but is actively encouraged.

  • Tutors and Course Coordinators are able to request a SETutor questionnaire via the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation website.
  • Requests for SETutor questionnaires must be placed by week 8 of semester.
  • SETutor evaluations should be administered according to the standard administration instructions published with the questionnaire before week 11.

6.2.1 Reporting

  • Individual tutors will receive a summary report of all results when:
    • the number of completed questionnaires contains 5 or more responses.
    • there are fewer than 5 responses, the numerical analysis is not undertaken. If there are fewer than 5 responses, reports containing open-ended comments are released to relevant staff after results are posted.
  • The quantitative, qualitative, past and present results of all SETutors conducted for each course can be requested by the Course Coordinator, Heads of Schools, Executive Deans and Associate Deans (Academic).
  • Heads of School, Executive Deans and Associate Deans (Academic) may also delegate their authority of access to other UQ staff as required. The delegation of authority must be provided to the Evaluation Unit in writing.
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson

Guidelines

Student Survey Framework - Guidelines

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1. Purpose and Objectives

The UQ Student Survey Framework seeks to provide a procedure to ensure student surveys at UQ:

  • are consistently of a high standard;
  • do not duplicate or overlap with other UQ surveys;
  • do not over-survey UQ students and graduates;
  • adhere to right to information and ethical standards;
  • are disseminated and utilised appropriately.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

No entries for this document.

3. Guidelines Scope/Coverage

The Student Survey framework applies to all student surveys that target the whole UQ student population or a random sample of the whole UQ cohort.

3.1 Surveys within scope of this framework

Surveys within the scope of this framework include University-wide surveys where the surveyed activities span a significant proportion of the student population. These surveys may include, but are not limited to:

  • internal quality assurance surveys (e.g. surveys conducted for quality audit purposes, or by Schools or Faculties in respect of learning and teaching, or for the evaluation of student perceptions of aspects of their experience of the University);
  • surveys commissioned by Government departments or agencies, or other external individuals or organisations;
  • internal market research surveys; and
  • internal surveys of student attitudes and opinions (e.g. satisfaction surveys, climate surveys).

A University-wide survey might include, for example, a survey of all postgraduate students, international students or first year students. It could also include surveys of students from several faculties concerning one or more specific issues.

3.2 Surveys outside the scope of this framework

Matters within the scope of the Ethics Committee are normally outside the scope of this framework.

3.3 Exemptions from review

The following types of surveys are exempt from review under this framework:

  • surveys undertaken by academic staff for the purposes of academic research, except where the surveyed activities span a significant proportion of the student population;
  • surveys conducted by individual academic staff with students enrolled in their courses as part of learning and teaching quality assurance processes; and
  • simple feedback surveys intended for quality assurance and improvement of administrative processes.

4. Guidelines Statement

4.1 Compliance with UQ Policies and Guidelines

It is the responsibility of survey applicants to ensure that they adhere to relevant University policies.

The Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation emphasises the importance of adhering to these policies; however its role does not include monitoring and policing of these practices.

All surveys must comply with relevant University policies and guidelines including, but not necessarily limited to:

5. Student Survey Proposal

The PPL 3.30.02d1 Student Survey Proposal Form includes information to be submitted to the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation for approval of a new student survey.

Approved surveys will be displayed on the UQ Student Survey Register.

6. Student Surveys Currently Undertaken at UQ

The Student Survey Framework is accompanied by a UQ Student Survey Register in which all student surveys undertaken at the University are recorded.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson

Forms

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UQ Student Survey Proposal - Form

UQ Student Survey Proposal - Form

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Description: 

The Student Survey Proposal Form is to be used when seeking approval of a new student survey.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson