Enhancement and Evaluation of Courses and Teaching Procedures


Application


These procedures apply to all staff members and students of the University

Purpose


To provide specific information about the collection of evidence within the framework for the enhancement, evaluation and quality assurance of the teaching and courses delivered by the University

 

This information allows staff to fulfil the requirements of the Enhancement and Evaluation of Courses and Teaching Policy   

 

These procedures cover student feedback through formative and summative evaluation, and the use of pass rates information.  These procedures are supported by the Enhancement and Evaluation of Teaching Guidelines

Background


The University of Auckland is committed to creating and maintaining an exemplary learning and teaching environment.  The University expects teaching staff and academic managers to use multiple methods of evaluation to provide a fully rounded and contextualised perspective on the quality of teaching and courses and, ultimately, student learning outcomes

Multiple strands of evaluation feedback, together with the monitoring of pass rates and regular course review, are required to build and enhance teaching strategies and course delivery

Student feedback on courses and teaching is collected through:

  • Formative evaluation
  • Summative evaluation

 

Student feedback collected through evaluation of teaching is used in the University:

  • To survey students’ satisfaction with their learning and teaching experiences
  • To inform University quality assurance processes
  • To inform individual reflection on teaching
  • To inform course review and oversight of the quality of a course
  • To inform performance review, promotion and other career processes
  • To allow oversight of the quality of small-group teaching (eg tutorials, laboratories) associated with a course

 

The University also collects information on student outcomes and quality assurance of courses through the monitoring of pass rates information

Procedures


Formative evaluation

1.        Formative evaluation will be conducted by individual teaching staff, or teaching teams, during a course to assess how well teaching is contributing to student learning

2.        Formative evaluation will normally be conducted between the third and tenth week of semester (or at corresponding points for other teaching periods)

3.        Teaching staff will provide students with a summary of their feedback and the actions they will take as a result of the feedback

Note: Further information about formative feedback can be found in the Enhancement and Evaluation of Courses and Teaching Guidelines

 

Summative evaluation

4.        Summative evaluations are to be conducted entirely online using the University’s evaluation system and the approved, standardised course and teaching questionnaires

5.        The standardised course and teaching evaluation questionnaires are used for all courses as stipulated in (7) below

6.         Supplementary questions cannot be added

7.        The courses to be evaluated are:

  • all formal undergraduate courses
  • all coursework postgraduate courses

Note: Thesis courses are excluded

8.        Only teachers making a significant contribution to the course are to be evaluated

9.        Tutors, graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) and demonstrators are exempt from the requirement to conduct summative evaluation, and are encouraged to use formative evaluation methods

10.     The results of the course evaluation question related to small-class teaching will be assessed by the course director, and will be discussed with tutors, GTAs and demonstrators, as appropriate

11.     Courses must be evaluated once every three years, or in the second offering of a new or significantly revised course

Note:  Some courses may be offered intermittently, e.g., every other year.  In such cases the once every three years should be interpreted as at least every third offering

12.     Teachers must be evaluated once every three years for continuing academic staff, or by the end of the second year of teaching for staff members new to teaching at the University of Auckland

13.        Course and teaching evaluations will be administered simultaneously towards the end of semester (and the corresponding period for quarterly taught courses)

14.     Evaluations will be open for completion by students for two weeks, except for evaluations conducted in the last week of class as described in (15) below  

15.     Evaluations should only be conducted during the last week of class when that is necessary to include all teachers in team-taught courses

16.        A schedule of evaluation periods will be published annually on the Evaluations website

 

Administration

17.        Individual teaching staff may request additional evaluations for promotion or continuation purposes

18.        An academic head may request additional evaluations for quality assurance monitoring purposes

19.        Where additional evaluations are requested, a combined course and teaching evaluation will be conducted.  This evaluation will satisfy the course and teaching evaluation frequency requirements

20.     Evaluations added on request will be included in aggregate reporting

21.     Prior to the evaluation period, a nominated professional faculty staff member will receive an email from the Planning and Quality Office granting delegated access to the list of courses and teaching staff in their faculty due for evaluation

22.     The faculty staff member will select the courses to be ‘opted in’ or ‘opted out’, and will provide a list of changes, with the appropriate academic justification for an amendment to the schedule, to the Planning and Quality Office, by the nominated due date

23.     Where more than one member of teaching staff is included in the evaluation, they will be ordered alphabetically

24.     A list of courses open for evaluation will be made available to teaching staff through the online evaluation system

25.     Staff members will be able to monitor response rates during the evaluation period

26.     Students will be notified about evaluations due for completion through email and through notifications in Canvas.  Students will receive targeted reminders

27.     Teaching staff will notify students within class that the evaluation period is open, and discuss the purpose of the evaluation and its value to teachers, students, and to the University

 

Note: For further guidance see the Enhancement and Evaluation of Courses and Teaching Guidelines.

 

Feedback to students

28.     Course and teaching evaluation reports will be available to teaching staff and course directors immediately after the end of the evaluation period

29.     Teaching staff will discuss the results of evaluations with students, including actions to be taken as a result of student feedback, where appropriate. For further guidance see the Enhancement and Evaluation of Courses and Teaching Guidelines

 

Reporting

30.     Teaching evaluation reports will be made available to the individual academic concerned, and his or her Academic Head

31.     Course evaluation reports will be made available to each member of the academic staff making a significant contribution to the course, the course director, and the academic head

32.     Teaching staff will access course reports, and their own individual teaching reports, through the dashboard in the online evaluation system.  For further information on interpreting evaluation reports see the Enhancement and Evaluation of Courses and Teaching Guidelines

33.     New course convenors will be able to access past course evaluation reports (qualitative and quantitative components) to facilitate quality improvement of the course

34.     Faculty deans and associate deans (academic) will have access to University dashboards for oversight of evaluation results

35.     An evaluation that does not meet the threshold of five responses will not be included in aggregated reporting

36.     Aggregated and summarised reporting will be made available on the University website for staff members and students and notified to the University community

 

Monitoring of evaluation results

37.     A summary annual report on evaluation results and pass rates information for the University is reviewed by TLQC

38.     Summary annual faculty reports and details of courses with an overall student satisfaction result of less than 70%, and pass rates under the threshold rate, are notified to and reviewed with faculty deans

39.     When an evaluation returns an overall student satisfaction result of less than 70%:

  • an evaluation must be repeated in the next offering of the course or the next semester of teaching
  • a reflective statement reviewing issues that contributed to the low student satisfaction and discussing progress in resolving them should be submitted to faculty deans or their nominated delegate

 

Monitoring of pass rates

40.     Pass rates are monitored at the level of the academic unit (through course review and examiner’s meetings); at the faculty level and at the University level

41.     In accordance with an Education Committee requirement, faculties provide a report and commentary on pass rates every two years

42.     When a course has a pass-rate under the defined threshold rate:

  • the academic head must review the outcomes of the course on its next offering
  • a reflective statement reviewing issues that contributed to the low pass rate and discussing progress in resolving them is to be submitted to faculty deans or their nominated delegate
  • faculty deans or their nominated delegate are responsible for ensuring appropriate response actions are taken, and for monitoring subsequent pass rate information

43.     When an evaluation returns an overall student satisfaction result of less than 70%, AND has a pass rate under the threshold rate:

  • an evaluation must be repeated in the next offering of the course or the next semester of teaching
  • a reflective statement reviewing issues that contributed to the low student satisfaction and low pass rate and discussing progress in resolving them is to be submitted to faculty deans or their nominated delegate
  • reflective statements and the results of subsequent summative evaluations may be reviewed by the DVC(A) with faculty deans or their nominated delegate

44.     Where a course does not meet the threshold pass rate in consecutive offerings the DVC(A) will advise the Vice-Chancellor

Use of evaluation information       

45.     An academic staff member is required to include their course and teaching evaluation results in their academic career portfolio, for the purpose of Academic Performance Review, Continuation and Promotion.  Staff members may also choose to share their evaluation results with others for their individual professional development

46.     Summative evaluation information is considered in context when used for the purposes of performance review or career progression.  Staff members may provide contextual comments to quantitative evaluation results. See the Enhancement and Evaluation of Courses and Teaching Guidelines

 

Confidentiality

47.     The responses of individual students must remain confidential at all times.  Student identification numbers and/or names must never be identified in any reporting or in response to any request in regard to student evaluation data

48.     The University will ensure that evaluation data identifying individual students is kept confidential at all times.  So as to ensure this:

  • student identification will be used only to follow up survey non-respondents and to link to student attributes as recorded on the student management system for the purposes of further demographic analysis of results
  • student identification will only be available to staff in the Planning and Quality Office who require the information to fulfil these duties

49.     Open-ended comments will be provided to staff members unedited

50.     A staff member may apply to have offensive or threatening comments removed from their evaluation results, with approval from their academic head, by contacting the Planning and Quality Office with the relevant details and approval

51.     In cases where an individual student or member of staff is identified in open-ended comments, those comments will be treated confidentially


Resources and assistance

52.     Further assistance with the evaluations process, including advice on the interpretation of evaluation results, is available from the Planning and Quality Office.  Please contact the Evaluations and Survey Analyst, quality@auckland.ac.nz

53.     Further guidance on evaluation practice is available from:

Definitions


The following definitions appy to this document:

Course Review is a review, involving all academic staff contributing to a course, conducted after the end of each delivery of the course

Formative evaluation is in-course feedback gathered by a variety of means during course delivery to understand how students are responding to the course and the teaching methods

Pass rates are the percentage of the enrolled students in a course who gain a pass grade.  Enrolments are measured in EFTS.  All students who remain enrolled after the deadline for deletion of enrolments are included in the calculation of pass rates

Peer observation and review is normally a collaborative process in which academic partners work together to understand and improve their teaching practices

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part-time basis

Summative evaluation of courses and teaching is formal evaluation using the standardised University survey instrument

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control


Owner: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Content manager: Senior Academic Quality Advisor

Approved by: Council

Date approved:     

Review date: February 2018