Responding to USE student feedback - Letting students know that we value their feedback
It is important to let students know that we value their feedback and that we consider it when planning our teaching. This website provides some examples of how you can respond to student feedback and outlines an ITL service (Closing-the-loop) to assist in doing so.
1. Collecting multiple-source feedback
As well as student feedback, Unit of Study Coordinators should consider feedback from other sources and their own insights as teachers. Evidence might be derived from sources such as students, peers, self-reflection, and the current literature on effective teaching and learning in higher education.
Once you have considered the USE data and any other sources of feedback on the unit, the university encourages you to 'close the loop' by letting students know that you have considered their feedback on the unit. See point 3 below.
2. Reflect on the student feedback
Consult the guidelines for interpreting data from the survey employed (e.g. Making use of data from Unit of Study Evaluations) and reflect on the student feedback received. Reflect also on your own impressions, feedback from colleagues, the goals of the unit and the student learning outcomes in order to compose a response to students. Some examples of responses to students are below. Your response can also be used when reporting within the faculty and a revised version could be used in your Unit of Study Outline, in the section on Student feedback and evaluation.
3. Communicate your response to your students.
From 2013, all students whose units of study have been surveyed, are being given access to the quantitative reports of their UoS. An option for Unit of Study Coordinators to provide a written response with that report has been developed. It can be found on the pull-down menu at the top of your electronic USE report, accessible through the ITL website using your Unikey. Click here for further information.
Another way is to email students using the University of Sydney online timetable all-student email service:
- Go to http://web.timetable.usyd.edu.au
- Enter the unit of study code and the required semester
- Click on the link 'email all enrolled students'
- Compose a message to students. A copy will be sent to your university email account.
You may also wish to place the information on the appropriate Faculty or Departmental website or in your Learning Management System (e.g. Blackboard).
Some examples of responses to student feedback
School of Information Technologies
As well as summarising student and tutor feedback, the School of Information Technology example discusses the students’ learning outcomes. The summary of student performance on the final exam is particularly valuable, as it’s an assessment on which students rarely receive feedback. Taken together, these sources of information provide a holistic picture of what occurred in the unit and what changes will be made as a result. Go to example.
Faculty of Education and Social Work
The Education and Social Work example considers students’ feedback on a particular unit of study with an emphasis on the students’ comments. In one particular case, the unit coordinator leaves the option open for students to contact him and in fact received several emails from students thanking him for considering their feedback e.g. It’s nice to see that our feedback has actually been considered and that there has been some re-structuring for the subject as a result. Go to example.
The example from the History department reports the number of students who responded to the evaluation and provides the unit coordinator’s responses to the summaries of student comments. Go to example.
For further information
Please contact Keith Trigwell