How students provide feedback
Student feedback is important to the University. Find out about the ways in which students can provide feedback on their experiences and how this feedback is used.
Why is student feedback important?
To monitor and make improvements, the University needs feedback on student experiences.
We’re committed to providing students with an outstanding learning and teaching experience, programmes of study that are challenging and of international calibre, and opportunities and support to achieve your academic and personal potential.
To ensure we continue to meet these commitments, we need to know how well we are doing and what you’d like to see done better. Student feedback is an important part of this process.
Your feedback also provides us with ideas and incentives to make further improvements in what we do for you.
How students can give feedback
Surveys, evaluations and systems of representation are some of the formal mechanisms the University has put in place to effectively capture and act on student feedback.
Students provide feedback on their experiences in courses by completing course and teaching evaluations through the SET, the University's Summative Evaluation Tool. For more information see Guide to SET for Students.
Learning and Teaching Survey
Students give us feedback on their overall experience of learning and teaching through the annual Learning and Teaching survey that a sample of students is asked to complete each year.
Transition to university
In March each year, students feed back on their experiences of orientation and transition to university.
International student experience
International students may be asked to provide feedback through the bi-annual International Student Barometer Survey.
Doctoral students complete an exit survey on their experiences of doctoral study and supervision, and an annual report on this survey is discussed by the Board of Graduate Studies.
Volunteering as a Class Representative is an excellent opportunity to provide feedback, and to pass on the feedback of your peers to your teachers. Class Representatives can also participate in academic unit and faculty-level staff-student consultative committees.
Student representatives sit on all of the University's key academic committees, including Senate, Education Committee, Academic Programmes Committee and Teaching and Learning Quality Committee. Representatives from the Postgraduate Students Association sit on the Board of Graduate Studies.
Elected student representatives from the different student associations across the University attend the Vice-Chancellor's Student Consultative Committee where they discuss issues of importance to students with the Vice-Chancellor and senior staff.
Student representation is coordinated by AUSA. For more information, see AUSA Student Voice.
Other ways students are involved
Students may also make submissions to academic unit and disciplinary area reviews or reviews of programmes. Students are also involved in preparation for whole-of-institution academic audits.
Student focus groups are frequently convened when feedback is required on specific University policies, projects or initiatives.
How student feedback is used
Find out what is done with responses to student evaluations and student surveys.
Learning and Teaching Survey
The University’s primary survey of student experience, the Learning and Teaching Survey is used to get student feedback on overall experience of learning and teaching at this University. The results of the Learning and Teaching Survey are presented to the University’s senior leaders and the Teaching and Learning Quality Committee, and detailed reports are given to each faculty on the results for their students. The open-ended comments (with no individual identifiers) are read by the Pro Vice Chancellor (Education), the Director of Learning and Teaching, and the Manager, Academic Quality. Sentiment analysis provides additional insights.
SET Course and Teaching Evaluations
Course and teaching evaluation (SET) results are returned to academic staff and the Academic Head (the head of the department or school). Teaching staff carefully consider the responses to the ‘tick the box’ questions, and read the anonymous open-ended comments from students. It is the responsibility of teaching staff to judge how best to use the feedback in making adjustments and/or improvements to their course, teaching practices etc. In some departments, meetings of all teaching staff are convened at the end of the academic year to discuss all evaluation results collectively, and share approaches and ideas for improvement.
Feedback to students
Teaching staff are strongly encouraged to tell students what changes will/have been made in the course and its teaching as a result of what students have said in their feedback.
Courses with low ratings
A summary of the evaluation results for each faculty is also provided to the respective dean. As mandated by University policy, this summary includes a list of all courses that do not reach a minimum 70% ‘agree/strongly agree’ response level to the question ‘overall, I am satisfied with the quality of this course.’ The dean discusses these courses in an annual meeting with the Pro Vice Chancellor (Education). The faculty reviews each course to determine what factors have contributed to the student rating, makes improvements where necessary, and subsequently assesses, through re-evaluation, if students rate the course more highly.
Where student evaluation results suggest a teaching staff performance issue, this is addressed by the responsible Academic Head, and may involve the dean of the faculty. All teaching staff have at least one formal performance review each year. The University devotes considerable resources to ongoing professional development of its staff in order to sustain, and where necessary, improve teaching practices.
University Teaching and Learning Quality Committee
The Teaching and Learning Quality Committee, which has student representation, also receives an annual summary of the student evaluation results.
Meetings with faculties
Each year the results of course and teaching evaluations, and the Learning and Teaching Survey results are analysed and reviewed alongside other student feedback in a series of meetings between the Pro Vice Chancellor (Education), the Director of Learning and Teaching, the Manager, Academic Quality, each faculty dean and other faculty staff to review what students have said, and what is planned in response. Faculties identify a number of priority initiatives that they will work on to improve the learning and teaching environment, as identified by students in their faculty. A summary of meetings with faculties is provided to the University's Teaching and Learning Quality Committee. These priorities inform projects that faculties undertake with the Ranga Auaha Ako the University's Learning and Teaching Design Unit.