Teaching Quality

Student Feedback

The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies is committed to collecting and acting upon student feedback on our teaching activities.

In collaboration with ITL, we collect data on student evaluation of teaching using three main surveys: USE, SCEQ and CEQ. These surveys are conducted at the end of the semester, at the end of the year and upon completion of the degree, respectively. We have a well-establish process of analysing the data, identifying issues raised by students and setting strategies for addressing these issues.

We also collect student feedback during the semester via the student-staff liaison meetings and the mid-semester surveys, run by the schools. These meetings and surveys aim to identify major issues in the delivery of courses and act on them quickly.

Faculty USE Process

The Faculty collects student feedback using the USE surveys every semester, for every Unit of Study (UoS). It has a well-established quality assurance process for monitoring the student feedback and acting on it. This process was introduced in 2001 by the Associate Dean Learning and Teaching John Currie and Dean Greg Hancock and refined over the years by the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee to reflect the Faculty and University priorities. It has resulted in greatly improved student satisfaction.

The current Faculty minimum standard, in line with the agreed University standards and the Faculty USE Compact, is:

  1. % disagreement on Q12 (overall satisfaction) should be lower than 20% and
  2. % disagreement on Q8 (feedback) should be lower than 20% and
  3. response rate should be higher than 20%.

The process that the Faculty follow is:

  1. UoS coordinators not meeting the minimum standard discuss the written comments with their mentor or HoS nominee and prepare individual reports detailing the reasons for the issues and the changes that will be made in the next offering of the unit to address these issues.
  2. The school prepares a report including:
    -Summary of issues during the semester and actions that will be taken at school level to address them;
    -Summary of systemic issues over the last three years and actions that will be taken to address them;
  3. The combined report (school + individual) is sent to the Sub-Dean (Learning and Teaching). This is followed by a meeting of the Associate Dean (Education) and the Sub-Dean (Learning and Teaching) with the Heads of School and the School Directors Learning and Teaching to discuss the report and prepare an action plan to address the issues.

In addition, the Sub-Dean Learning and Teaching analyses the Faculty USE data and prepares a report for the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee. It includes the overall results for the schools and the Faculty for the current semester/year. The committee discusses the results, identifies strong and weak areas and sets priorities. The Learning and Teaching Directors analyse the data for their school and present a summary at school level (trends, strong and weak areas) and sets strategy for addressing the issues.

Faculty USE Compact

The Faculty USE Compact is part of the University Teaching Quality Standards Project. It sets the Faculty targets and strategies to achieve them and was developed in collaboration with ITL.

Minimum standards proposal approved by SEG

Faculty CEQ and SCEQ Data

CEQ
The Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) is part of the Australian Graduate Survey. It is a national survey, for graduates of all Australian universities, conducted annually since 1980 and administered by Graduate Careers Australia. It collects information about the educational experience of recent graduates at a degree level. It is mailed to all graduates 6 months after graduation (in April), the data collecting is completed in September and the results are available in March, thus there is a 2-year delay. CEQ is one of the two components comprising the Australian Graduate Survey; the other component is the Graduate Destination Survey.

The CEQ questionnaire includes 13 closed-ended (numeric) and 2 open-ended (free text) questions:

  • The responses of the closed-ended questions are measured on a five-point scale from 1 ("strongly disagree") to 5 ("strongly agree"). These questions are grouped into three KPIs: good teaching, generic skills and overall satisfaction, measured in percentage agreement ("agree" + "strongly agree"). The CEQ numeric results are available from the ITL's web page.
  • The two open ended questions are: "What were the best aspects of your course?" and "What aspects of your course were most in need for improvement?" The open-ended responses are sent to the faculty.

The Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee analyses both the numeric data and free text comments and makes recommendations to address the issues.

Analysis of CEQ numeric data (This document is password protected and is available to faculty staff only)

SCEQ
The Student Course Experience Questionnaire (SCEQ) collects information about the quality of teaching and learning, administration and student support services at a degree level for current students. It was developed by ITL and is a University survey - only for students from the University of Sydney. The SCEQ survey includes the CEQ questions and also some additional questions relevant for the University of Sydney students. It has been administered by ITL since 1999. The SCEQ survey is conducted every second year, at the end of semester two and the results are available at the beginning of the next year. The survey is sent to a sample of current undergraduate and postgraduate students; more information about the data collection and sampling is here.

The SCEQ numeric results are available from the ITL's web page. A summary of the numeric results for all faculties in the University is provided here. In addition to the numeric results, the Faculty also receives the open-ended responses. The Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee analyses the data, identifies trends, strengths and weaknesses, and sets strategies to address the issues raised by students.

Faculty response to SCEQ 2009 data