Enhancement and Evaluation of Teaching and Courses Policy


This policy is applicable to all formal courses, and all staff members and students of the University


To support the University’s goal to develop and maintain a high quality learning environment by providing a framework for the enhancement, evaluation and quality assurance of the teaching and courses delivered by the University

This policy should be read with the Enhancement and Evaluation of Teaching and Courses Procedures and Enhancement and Evaluation of Teaching and Courses Guidelines



1.      An understanding of student learning is essential to effective teaching and course delivery

2.      Students shall have the opportunity to provide feedback about their experiences in their courses

3.      Academic staff are expected to reflect on their teaching contributions, set goals and objectives for teaching in the following year, and identify any assistance needed to achieve those goals as part of the Annual Performance Review (APR)

4.      As part of academic staff development, and for quality assurance purposes, staff will reflect on their teaching by using summative and formative methods of evaluation, including peer observation and review


Formal evaluation of courses and teaching


Course reviews

5.      Course Reviews are to be co- ordinated by course directors after every offering of a course. Course review reports will be included in the  documentation for the APRs of academic staff who have contributed to the delivery of the course


Summative evaluation of teaching and courses

6.        Regular, end-of-course student summative evaluations of courses and teaching are used:

  • to enable staff to reflect on the efficacy of their teaching practices
  • to monitor the quality and consistency of the student experience
  • as a source of evidence about teaching performance for APRs, and promotion or continuation applications
  • in planning and review processes at all levels

7.        Summative evaluations are to be undertaken online using University-agreed survey instruments and managed centrally by the Planning and Quality Office through the University’s evaluation system

8.        Student responses in summative evaluations are anonymous

9.        All courses and teachers making a significant contribution to a course will be evaluated every three years.

10.     Academic staff may request additional evaluations


Monitoring of evaluation information

11.     When an evaluation returns a student satisfaction result of less than 70% for the overall question on the quality of the course, formative and summative course and teaching evaluation must be undertaken in the next offering of the course

12.     The Planning and Quality Office will recommend an annual threshold pass rate for endorsement at a meeting of the Vice-Chancellor, deputies and deans (VCDD)

13.     Courses not meeting the threshold pass rate must be subject to additional review, which may include repeat summative evaluation, as detailed in the Enhancement and Evaluation of Teaching and Courses Procedures

14.     Evaluation information is monitored through its integration into planning and review processes at all levels, including:

  • course review
  • APR, promotion and continuation processes
  • University academic unit and programme review, and professional accreditation review
  • An annual review of summary evaluation results and pass rates information by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and TLQC
  • Annual discussions with faculty deans about courses not meeting the overall satisfaction or pass rates threshold

Access to evaluation information

15.     Evaluation information about individual courses will be available to academic staff who make a significant contribution to the course, and their academic managers (including academic heads and deans)

16.     Evaluation information about individual teachers will be available to individual teachers and their academic managers (including academic heads and deans)

17.     Summary evaluation information about courses and teachers will be available to staff and students


Feedback to students

18.     Individual teaching units have a responsibility to determine approaches for providing feedback to students appropriate to their context


Roles and responsibilities

19.     Students: providing honest, timely and constructive feedback on their experiences of the learning and teaching process through formative and summative evaluation processes

20.     Academic staff:

  • using course and teaching evaluation information, together with formative evaluation, to reflect on the learning and teaching experiences of students within a course
  • providing feedback to students on formative and summative course and teaching evaluations
  • using evaluation information in applications for promotion, continuation or teaching awards

21.    Course director: supporting the quality enhancement and assurance of a course by using course evaluation information in course review

22.    Academic head:

  • using evaluation information to monitor teaching quality and the learning and teaching experiences of students within an academic unit
  • reviewing course and teaching evaluation information as one source of evidence for APR, and promotion and continuation applications

23.    Dean (or nominated delegate):

  • determining, using agreed criteria, the courses that will be evaluated in each evaluation period
  • ensuring follow-up formative and summative evaluations are undertaken where courses do not meet the overall satisfaction and pass rates thresholds as determined by this policy and associated procedures

24.     DVC(A):

  • maintaining the policy framework governing course and teaching evaluations
  • ensuring faculties are informed of courses falling below pass rate and overall satisfaction thresholds and that they address contributing factors

25.     Planning and Quality Office: management of the evaluation system and process, including:

  • commissioning of evaluations
  • aggregated reporting for the Senior Leadership Team, University committees and academic managers

26.     TLQC:

  • advising and recommending on policies and procedures for the evaluation of learning and teaching
  • monitoring institutional-level reports on evaluation information

27.     SLT:

  • monitoring institutional-level reports on evaluation information

28.     VCDD:

  • approving the annually determined threshold for pass-rates


The following definitions apply 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 is formal evaluation using the standardised University survey instrument

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control

Prepared by: Senior Academic Quality Advisor

Owned by: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Approved by: Council

Date approved: 7 December 2015

Review Date: 7 December 2017