Find out about the ITL Questionnaires

1. Numeric & Scannable Questionnaires
Teaching in Lectures
Teaching in Tutorials
Teaching in Demonstrations
Teaching in Clinic
Teaching On-Line

2. Open Response Questionnaires
Standard Open Response Questionnaire
Standard Group Open Response Questionnaire
Multiple Lecturer's Open Response Questionnaire
Tutorial Open Response Questionnaire
Distance Education Open Response Questionnaire

3. Design your own Open Response Questionnaires
Customised Open Response Questionnaire
Customised Group Open Response Questionnaire


1. Numeric & Scannable Questionnaires

Teaching in Lectures
Teaching in Tutorials
Teaching in Demonstrations
Teaching in Clinic
Teaching On-Line


Teaching in Lectures

This questionnaire deals in more detail with various aspects of individual teaching practice including structuring and presentation of content, student involvement in learning, teacher / learner communication and student perceptions of learning outcomes. Students are invited to not only give feedback using numerical ratings, but also to explain the reasons for their ratings. This questionnaire should meet the needs of those staff particularly interested in feedback on their individual teaching rather than feedback on the overall unit of study. It is suitable for gathering feedback on teaching in a number of large group teaching contexts including lectures and seminars.

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Teaching in Tutorials

This questionnaire has been designed for tutors seeking feedback on various aspects of their teaching activities, including tutor preparation, stimulation of interest, explanation and feedback, and classroom management. Students are invited to not only give feedback using numerical ratings, but also to explain the reasons for their ratings

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Teaching in Demonstrations

This questionnaire has been designed for laboratory demonstrators seeking feedback on various aspects of their teaching activities, including encouragement of questions, stimulation of interest, tutor preparation, explanation, feedback, and classroom management. Students are invited to not only give feedback using numerical ratings, but also to explain the reasons for their ratings.

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Teaching in Clinic

This questionnaire has been developed to meet the needs of those staff responsible for clinical or field education. It gathers feedback on factors related to teaching and learning in practical settings including the learning climate, students’ feelings of control of learning sessions, communication of goals, and promotion of self-directed learning. Students are invited to not only give feedback using numerical ratings, but also to explain the reasons for their ratings.

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Teaching On-Line

This questionnaire has been developed to meet the needs of those staff who use on-line learning and teaching methods (e.g. through WebCT or Blackboard), where these on-line experiences are intended to complement face-to-face teaching and learning. It gathers feedback on factors such as on-line feedback, moderation of discussions, quality of on-line activities and materials, and integration of the on-line component of a unit with the face-to-face component. Students are invited to not only give feedback using numerical ratings, but also to explain the reasons for their ratings.

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2. Open Response Questionnaires

Standard Open Response Questionnaire
Standard Group Open Response Questionnaire
Multiple Lecturer's Open Response Questionnaire
Tutorial Open Response Questionnaire
Distance Education Open Response Questionnaire

Where students provide written responses, using their own words.

It is possible to obtain rich information using open response questionnaires. The ITL offers a range of pre-designed open response questionnaires suitable for gathering feedback on teaching in such settings as seminars, lectures and tutorials as well as obtaining feedback on units of study. The ITL also offers a collaborative design service for staff wishing to devise such questionnaires for specific purposes. These questionnaires are administered in class time and detailed administration guidelines are provided. The forms are distributed and collected by a student representative and returned to the ITL in the same way as the closed response questionnaires. In order to preserve the anonymity of student responses, the survey forms containing handwritten student comments are not usually returned to the staff member until after the examination results are posted.

Applications & suitability: The use of individual open response questionnaires is highly recommended where student numbers are less than 30. Responses to such questionnaires can potentially provide more detailed feedback than closed response questionnaires and are particularly useful if staff are interested in obtaining student insights, explanations or comments instead of numerical ratings, for example.... "What has helped you learn in this unit of study?". The information provided by such questionnaires is typically more useful in planning improvements in teaching than the numerical ratings of student satisfaction provided by most closed response questionnaires. These questionnaires are also useful if staff wish to test a particular hypothesis in relation to a unit of study, for example... "Was there a particular reading set for this unit of study which made a lasting impression on you? Why?". The use of open questions permits student opinion to be communicated in their own words and responses are not limited to the predetermined labels inherent in a rating scale response. Student feedback in this form is particularly useful in planning or evaluating innovations in teaching or units of study.

While the use of open responses may provide more detailed and useful feedback it is usually impractical for staff to attempt to analyse individual written comments from a survey of a class of 400 students. The strategies described in this section permit staff to obtain comparable student feedback data from in large classes.

Sampling and use of Open Response Questionnaires: It is possible to use sampling procedures when collecting student feedback using open response questionnaires in much the same way as sampling is used in any other research or data collection exercise. Many university teachers gather useful feedback using open response questionnaires administered to a random sample of their students. It is essential that the sample used is representative of the group from which it is drawn. There are several strategies staff may use to select a subgroup of students. Some of the commonly used techniques include-:

  • Distributing questionnaires to every third student as they enter a lecture
  • Asking the students to pass the questionnaires along the row and every third student to take one
  • Randomly selecting from a list of names
  • Asking the student on the end of every row to fill in a questionnaire
  • Asking a different tutorial group to provide feedback on the lecture each week.

A useful strategy to further ensure that the sampled feedback is representative, is to check on any significant issues with the whole class before acting on them.


Standard Open Response Questionnaire

This questionnaire has been designed so that students can provide feedback in their own words to staff about aspects of the unit of study and their experiences of the teaching.

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Standard Group Open Response Questionnaire

This technique is a highly effective means of obtaining useful feedback from larger classes. The process is similar to that of designing and implementing an individual open response questionnaire however the students are organised into small groups and each group completes one questionnaire only. The staff member meets beforehand with an ITL staff member to develop the questions and written instructions for administering the survey are provided. The process takes place during class time and usually takes about 20 - 30 minutes dependent on the size of the class and the number of questions. On the day of the survey, the staff member explains the process, organises the groups, distributes the questionnaire and then leaves. The class is divided into groups of 5-10 students and the groups are asked to discuss their responses to the questions under tight time constraints. A typical question might be, "What is it about the teaching that has helped you to learn in this units of study?". A scribe records the responses for each group indicating the extent of agreement with each issue identified in the feedback.

Applications & suitability: This process provides similar information to an Open Response Questionnaire with some additional benefits. As the students discuss their individual responses before recording a group response, more 'considered' feedback is often obtained. Differing opinions are debated and a consensus is usually reached in the small groups. In cases where different opinions prevail, these are recorded and an indication of the extent of agreement with each view is noted. This is a very effective means of obtaining high quality feedback on student learning experiences in larger classes. Staff using the technique have reported that it promotes active student involvement in the feedback process and that feedback obtained in this manner is typically well thought through, considerate and particularly useful in planning improvements to teaching.

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Multiple Lecturer's Open Response Questionnaire

This questionnaire was developed specifically for units of study which involve the teaching of multiple lecturers.

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Tutorial Open Response Questionnaire

This questionnaire has been designed to collect feedback on students' perceptions of the tutorial program, including the tutorial teaching.

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Distance Education Open Response Questionnaire

This questionnaire is particularly suitable for units of study which are offered in distance mode. This might mean that many of the planned learning situations occur outside of a face to face format, but does not exclude it. The questionnaire asks students to comment on learning/resource materials which are experienced through other means (eg. study guides, phone calls, email, video). Students are encouraged to provide feedback on all aspects of their learning experience. There is also a provision to obtain feedback on classroom teaching if applicable to the unit of study.

Staff interested in using this questionnaire are strongly advised to contact the ITL on extension 14821, or email itl.studentfeedback@sydney.edu.au, as administrative arrangements require close liaison.

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Administrative Guidelines
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3. Design your own Open Response Questionnaires

Customised Open Response Questionnaire

The ITL can assist staff to design questionnaires more suitable to your individual teaching context. The ITL encourages staff to think carefully about the teaching and learning issues in which feedback is sought.

Talk to the ITL about developing a Customised Open Response Questionnaire

Customised Group Open Response Questionnaire

This technique is a highly effective means of obtaining useful feedback from larger classes. The process is similar to that of designing and implementing an individual open response questionnaire however the students are organised into small groups and each group completes one questionnaire only. The staff member meets beforehand with an ITL staff member to develop the questions and written instructions for administering the survey are provided. The process takes place during class time and usually takes about 20 - 30 minutes dependent on the size of the class and the number of questions. On the day of the survey, the staff member explains the process, organises the groups, distributes the questionnaire and then leaves. The class is divided into groups of 5-10 students and the groups are asked to discuss their responses to the questions under tight time constraints. A typical question might be, "What is it about the teaching that has helped you to learn in this units of study?". A scribe records the responses for each group indicating the extent of agreement with each issue identified in the feedback.

This process provides similar information to an Open Response Questionnaire with some additional benefits. As the students discuss their individual responses before recording a group response, more 'considered' feedback is often obtained. Differing opinions are debated and a consensus is usually reached in the small groups. In cases where different opinions prevail, these are recorded and an indication of the extent of agreement with each view is noted. This is a very effective means of obtaining high quality feedback on student learning experiences in larger classes. Staff using the technique have reported that it promotes active student involvement in the feedback process and that feedback obtained in this manner is typically well thought through, considerate and particularly useful in planning improvements to teaching.

Talk to the ITL about developing a Customised Group Open Response Questionnaire