About the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ)

The Institute for Teaching and Learning is responsible for administering and reporting the Australian Graduate Survey (AGS), which incorporates the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) for coursework students, or the Postgraduate Experience Questionnaire (PREQ) for research students. The AGS is an annual survey which is used by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) to gather information from graduates of all Australian Universities.

The Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) gathers data about graduates' perceptions of their higher education experience. The CEQ originated in the early 1980s and there is now over 20 years of research evidence which supports the theoretical and empirical basis of the questionnaire.


The Course Experience Questionnaire asks graduates to indicate the extent to which they agree, or disagree, with statements, using a five-point scale where '1' represents strong disagreement and '5' indicates strong agreement. The University of Sydney collects data for the two key scales of the CEQ, along with a single overall satisfaction item.

Good Teaching Scale (GTS) - six items
3. The teaching staff of this course motivated me to do my best work.
7. The staff put a lot of time into commenting on my work.
15. The staff made a real effort to understand difficulties I might be having with my work
17. The teaching staff normally gave me helpful feedback on how I was going.
18. My lecturers were extremely good at explaining things.
20. The teaching staff worked hard to make their subjects interesting.

The Good Teaching Scale is characterised by practices such as providing students with feedback on their progress, explaining things, making the course interesting, motivating students, and understanding students' problems. There is a body of research linking these practices to learning outcomes. High scores on the Good Teaching Scale are associated with the perception that these practices are present. Lower scores reflect a perception that these practices occur less frequently.

The Generic Skills Scale (GSS) - six items
2. The course developed my problem-solving skills.
5. The course sharpened my analytic skills.
9. The course helped me develop my ability to work as a team member.
10. As a result of my course, I feel confident about tackling unfamiliar problems.
11. The course improved my skills in written communication.
22. My course helped me to develop the ability to plan my own work.

The Generic Skills Scale is an attempt to take into account the extent to which university courses add to the generic skills that their graduates might be expected to possess. Discipline-specific skills and knowledge are often crucial to prospects for employment and further study. Nevertheless, the emphasis on generic skills stems from the belief that knowledge quickly becomes obsolete, and generic skills that may have been acquired in the learning process should endure and be applicable in a broader context. Skills typically identified in this context include communication skills, the capacity to learn new skills and procedures, the capacity to make decisions and solve problems, the ability to apply knowledge to the workplace, and the capacity to work with minimum supervision.

The Overall Satisfaction Item (OSI)
25. Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of this course.

This single item asks graduates about their overall level of satisfaction with their degree course.


Like most Australian universities, The University of Sydney also analyses and reports on its own CEQ data for internal purposes. The GCA uses a generic 'field of education' mapping in preparing the national reports (40 categories), however the actual mapping of areas of study to faculties varies between different universities. The Institute for Teaching and Learning analyses and reports the University's CEQ data using the mapping of ASCED field of study codes to faculties, determined by the University's Planning Support Office. Further details of the mapping process are available here.

CEQ results provide a wealth of data which can inform curriculum development initiatives. Information on graduates' perceptions of their teaching and learning experiences can provide university teachers useful insights into the needs of future students. The Institute for Teaching and Learning works with the university community to support staff in this use of the CEQ data.

Different faculties use different strategies to support the interpretation of the results. Comparison of CEQ data across several years, for the same field of study within the University is often helpful. The approach of comparing results with agreed internal benchmarks or standards is also used, for example; "at least 90% of graduates should agree that their lecturers gave them helpful feedback". For these purposes, the percentage of students who (dis)agree or strongly (dis)agree with a statement is often the most useful form of data.

Additional information on the CEQ data reporting conventions is provided in the section 'Reading the CEQ Report'.

If you have any questions about the CEQ please contact Dr Brad Ridout.