What is the University's policy on evaluation of units of study?
The minimum standards for Unit of Study Outlines as well as the requirements for evaluating units of study are set out in the Academic Board Resolution on The Management and Evaluation of Coursework Teaching. The policy also describes the characteristics of a 'student centred approach to teaching' which Academic Board encourages teachers to adopt.
Student-centred teaching has many of the following qualities:
Faculties will decide on the activities most appropriate for their respective staff members, but possibilities could include:
- lecturers are confident that students understand the integration of course/unit aims, curricula, teaching methods and assessment practice;
- students become responsible for their own learning, and receive adequate support to come to accept this responsibility;
- where appropriate, teaching methods encourage active student engagement with subject materials, in contexts that help students create meaning and insight;
- student evaluations of their experiences of courses and units are used to improve the learning experiences of future students;
- students are encouraged to participate in the development and review of courses and units, and more broadly in University governance;
- faculties and departments establish procedures for seeking regular feedback from students on all matters affecting them in their studies and for involving them, where appropriate, in decisions and discussion affecting their learning, as recommended in the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee's Guidelines for Effective University Teaching
- faculties and departments regularly review procedures and processes involving students, to maximise benefits and minimise inconvenience, and to ensure that the unit's academic goals are pre-eminent.
(Academic Board Resolution The Management and Evaluation of Coursework Teaching, Part 4.1.2, page 12)
The policy requirements for Unit of study evaluation are:
- Units of study will be evaluated at least once every three years, at faculty level.
- Summaries of the results of student evaluations of units will be forwarded by heads of departments or faculty unit co-ordinators to deans for information and action if needed. Deans will refer non-confidential information on the evaluations to Faculty Teaching and Learning Committees and to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) for advice and comment. Unit of study evaluations may be used to inform the University’s internal quality audit process, including the annual faculty reviews conducted by Academic Board.
- Units of study may be evaluated by the standard survey form devised by the Institute for Teaching and Learning or another faculty-approved form. Co-ordinators, heads and deans must provide a summary of the results of the most recent student evaluation of units on a unit of study website or in handouts. This summary will refer to actions taken in response to student comments.
Academic Board Resolution The Management and Evaluation of Coursework Teaching, Part 5.2, page 14