Introduction to the Teaching Evaluation and Enhancement Service

The ITL offers the University community support in the evaluation and enhancement of teaching and student learning at three main levels:

  1. Institutional
  2. Unit of Study
  3. Individual Teachers

Information on different surveys used at each level is provided below and summarised in this table see attached.

The ITL also provides a consultative service to support major curriculum review and course evaluation activities. The Institute's Teaching Evaluation & Enhancement Service is intended to support the Academic Board resolutions on The Management and Evaluation of Coursework Teaching which were approved at the meeting of the board in May 2001.

The ITL survey system is based on research into student learning. Some of the key publications reporting this research are available on this site.

1. Institutional: CEQ, SCEQ, PREQ, SREQ & UES

The ITL provides support for the University's institutional level teaching quality assurance and improvement processes. Development of this aspect of the ITL service commenced in 1999. The Institute manages the University's administration and data collection for the following surveys:

Australian Graduate Survey - a national survey of all graduates of Australian universities which includes the Graduate Destination Survey (GDS) along with either the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) (for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Coursework graduates) or the Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (PREQ) for Postgraduate Research graduates.

The ITL is responsible for the analysis and dissemination of the University's CEQ and PREQ results while Graduate Careers Australia disseminates the GDS results. Reporting on previous years' CEQ results and PREQ results can be accessed through the ITL website.

The Student Course Experience Questionnaire (SCEQ) – a biannual survey of current undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students of the University of Sydney. Results from previous years can be accessed here.

The Student Research Experience Questionnaire (SREQ) is a survey of current postgraduate research students. Results from previous years can be accessed here.
The ITL facilitates the dissemination of the results of these surveys throughout the university community and provides support in interpreting the results of the SCEQ and SREQ and responding to issues identified at both university and faculty levels.

Analysis and reporting of the qualitative CEQ, SCEQ & SREQ Open Ended Responses can be accessed through the university's Learning & Teaching website.

The ITL is also the contact point for information on the federal government's University Experience Survey (UES).

2. Unit of Study Evaluation (USE) system

The ITL provides support for the University in the evaluation of units of study.

The Unit of Study Evaluation (USE) service aims to support unit of study coordinators in enhancing the quality of student learning in units of study and also to support faculties in recognising the contribution of outstanding units of study to the overall quality of teaching and learning in the faculty. The ITL provides support for the development, administration, data entry, analysis and reporting of a standard USE survey. The Institute also supports the University community in interpreting the survey data and in planning responses on the basis of the evaluation results.

In keeping with the Academic Board Resolution, the ITL offers a standard Unit of Study Evaluation (USE) survey. However, the survey is customizable at faculty level by the addition of four, faculty-designated items if requested. The development of these faculty items is the responsibility of the Faculty's Associate Dean Learning and Teaching.

It is envisaged that faculties will decide these items for the full period of the three-year unit of study evaluation cycle specified in the policy. The standard items reflect a student-centred approach to teaching and learning and are derived from the SCEQ / CEQ factor scales and the key aspects of the Academic Board Resolutions. The survey gathers students' numerical ratings and explanatory comments for each item.

3. Feedback for Teachers

The Feedback for Teachers service is designed to support staff in reflecting on their teaching and in planning and monitoring improvements. Results from the standard surveys can contribute evidence of individual teaching quality to applications for promotions and awards. It is a confidential service for individual teachers in that the ITL will not provide the results of these surveys to a third party.

The service employs a range of feedback and evaluation strategies. The strategy most commonly used by staff is the range of standard ITL student feedback surveys. These are computer scannable surveys which gather data in the form of students' ratings on standard items. There are surveys for a range of teaching contexts such as lecturing and tutoring. These surveys are also available as on-line questionnaires through the On-line Student Feedback Service. The ITL also offers a range of standard open response surveys which gather student comments in their own words. These surveys can be adapted for use with large groups and the ITL also supports staff in developing their own customised open response questionnaires.

The service also includes resources to support staff in gathering their own feedback on teaching using in-class feedback techniques. There are resources to assist staff in designing and conducting student group interviews and focus groups as well as resources to support staff in engaging in collaborative peer review of teaching. The following Surveys are available:

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

Curriculum Review and Course Evaluation

The ITL provides the University with consultative support in major curriculum reviews, course evaluations and the evaluation of educational innovations. Wherever possible such evaluations make use of existing ITL evaluation processes and facilities (eg the SCEQ data or the USE). The ITL also provides consultative support in interpreting the results of such evaluations and planning curriculum developments in response to these.

For more information on these services click here for contacts.