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Policy Learning and Teaching Student Evaluation of Subjects and Teaching Policy

Student Evaluation of Subjects and Teaching Policy


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Intent

James Cook University is committed to a University-wide approach to gathering feedback from students about their experiences of subjects and teaching and providing a timely response in consideration of their feedback.

This policy sets out the use of institutional survey instruments (YourJCU on the PULSE, YourJCU Subject and YourJCU Teaching Surveys) to provide insights into the JCU student experience of subjects and teaching for the primary purpose of enhancing the quality of subjects and teaching. The institutional surveys provide a mechanism for students, as stakeholders, to contribute to the continuous improvement of subjects and teaching.

Institutional survey data also supports benchmarking capability against sector wide student experience data and provides one source of evidence of teaching performance in curriculum review, recruitment, performance development and promotions processes.

Scope

This policy applies to the collection and use of YourJCU Survey data for all enabling, sub-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework subjects taught at James Cook University.

Definitions

YourJCU on the PULSE survey: an online survey deployed to students prior to census date of a study period to collect feedback on their early experiences of their studies within a subject. Resulting data is formative.

YourJCU Subject Survey: an online survey deployed to students towards the end of a study period to collect feedback on their learning experiences within a subject.

YourJCU Teaching Survey: an online survey deployed to students towards the end of a study period to collect feedback on a student’s experience of teaching within a subject. Teaching staff (other than JCU Singapore) must opt-in for a teaching survey to be deployed. JCU Singapore teaching staff will be automatically opted in to the YourJCU Teaching survey.

YourJCU Survey Suite: a set of surveys constructed to seek feedback on the student experience of subjects and teaching, comprising: YourJCU on the PULSE, YourJCU Subject Survey, YourJCU Teaching Survey

TRDB: Teaching Roles Data Base. Information contained in this database determines the relationship a teaching staff member has with a subject for survey purposes.

Teaching Staff: staff listed in the TRDB as a Subject Coordinator, Lecturer or Tutor

Principles

This policy is articulated according to six principles:

  1. Feedback on the student learning experience will be collected for all campuses, modes and study periods offered by the University.
  2. Students have rights and responsibilities in relation to providing and receiving YourJCU Survey data.
  3. Teaching staff have rights and responsibilities in relation to receiving and acting upon YourJCU Survey data.
  4. Divisions and Colleges have rights and responsibilities in relation to receiving and acting upon YourJCU Survey data.
  5. Participation by a representative sample of the student cohort is fundamental to obtaining reliable YourJCU Survey data.
  6. More than one source of evidence is required for evaluating and enhancing the quality of subjects and teaching

Policy

1. Feedback on the student learning experience is collected for all eligible subjects across campuses, modes and study periods.

1.1 Each study period, all JCU coursework subjects with current enrolments will be surveyed via the YourJCU on the PULSE survey, prior to census date.

1.2 Each study period, all JCU coursework subjects with current enrolments will be surveyed via the YourJCU Subject Survey.

1.3 Teaching staff must opt-in to participate in a student evaluation of their teaching via the YourJCU Teaching Survey at least once per calendar year.

1.4 The YourJCU suite of surveys is the primary instrument used for the collection of data from students about their experiences of subjects and teaching at JCU. The use of any survey instruments other than Your JCU surveys is solely the responsibility of the academic staff administering them and should be done in consideration of other institutional surveys that may be in progress, as per the YourJCU Survey Calendar.

2. Students have rights and responsibilities in relation to providing and receiving YourJCU Survey data.

2.1 Students have the right to:

a) Access a personalised, secure and easy to use platform for providing confidential feedback on subjects and teaching practices;

b) Receive a response from teaching staff on the feedback submitted for YourJCU on the PULSE. This response should be communicated within five university working days of the PULSE survey closing;

c) Receive aggregate YourJCU Subject Survey reports in accordance with the YourJCU Survey Distribution List;

d) Be informed that YourJCU Survey data will be collected and used for the purposes of enhancing the quality of learning and teaching and may also be used for promotion applications and excellence awards;

e) Be informed about the changes made to learning, teaching and assessment design, in response to previous cohorts’ YourJCU Survey data, in the subject outline;

f) Be informed about what constitutes effective and constructive feedback to support continuous quality improvement of subjects and teaching and in accordance with the Student Charter.

2.2 Students have a responsibility to:

a) Provide considered and constructive feedback about their experiences of subjects and teaching in accordance with the Student Charter.

b) Provide feedback in a manner consistent with the University’s expectations of students in respect of academic, personal and professional behaviour identified in the Student Code of Conduct.

3. Teaching staff have rights and responsibilities in relation to receiving and acting upon YourJCU Survey data.

3.1 Teaching staff have the right to:

a) Receive YourJCU Survey reports in accordance with the YourJCU Survey Distribution List;

b) Submit a written request to the Dean, Learning Teaching and Student Engagement for the removal or redaction of open-ended YourJCU Survey responses if they include malicious comments including threatening, intimidating, abusive or discriminatory content. Student feedback that is negative but not malicious is not eligible for removal after publication.

3.2 Teaching staff have a responsibility to:

a) Review YourJCU on the PULSE, Subject and Teaching Survey data in order to enhance the quality of subjects and teaching;

b) Inform students of actions undertaken in response to YourJCU on the PULSE data prior to census and to learning, teaching and assessment design in response to YourJCU Subject data in the subject outline for the subsequent year of subject delivery.

4. Divisions and Colleges have rights and responsibilities in relation to receiving and acting upon YourJCU Survey data.

4.1 Divisions and Colleges have the right to receive YourJCU Survey reports in accordance with the YourJCU Survey Distribution List.

4.2 Divisions and Colleges have a responsibility to:

a) Participate in determining benchmarks for YourJCU Survey results at different year levels and cohort sizes (as endorsed by Education Committee);

b) Acknowledge staff who achieve high student satisfaction scores or have demonstrated significant improvement in satisfaction scores;

c) Identify subjects that have received low student satisfaction scores. These subjects will be reviewed in accordance with the Academic Quality Framework and Processes to enhance the quality of learning and teaching.

5. Participation by a representative sample of the student cohort is fundamental to obtaining reliable YourJCU Survey data.

5.1 Student participation in the YourJCU Survey suite will be promoted by teaching staff, Course Coordinators and College Deans.

5.2 Innovative and appropriate communication strategies will be used across the institution to promote the YourJCU survey suite to all students to facilitate strong response rates.

6. More than one source of evidence is required for evaluating and enhancing the quality of subjects and teaching.  

6.1 All YourJCU surveys are conducted within the context of the subject being taught. As a consequence, interpretation of subject and teaching feedback needs to consider the impact of contextual variables on the scores obtained and comments made, before conclusions are reached.

6.2 More than one source of evidence is required for evaluating and enhancing the quality of subjects and teaching. Teaching staff are required to collect and document multiple forms of evidence of the quality of subjects and teaching (e.g. evidence of student learning, evidence of curriculum enhancement or transformation, evidence from peer review and scholarship of learning and teaching and other relevant professional indicators. See the 4Q Model of Evaluation ).

6.3 YourJCU Subject and Teaching Survey Likert-scale results, as well as YourJCU Subject Survey open-ended responses, will be incorporated into annual Performance and Development Planning conversations for all teaching staff.

6.4 YourJCU Subject and Teaching Survey data will be incorporated into the three yearly peer review of a subject’s assessment plans and grading practices as well as the cyclical three year subject review in accordance with the Academic Quality Framework and Processes (see also Learning, Teaching and Assessment Procedures 2.4.2).

6.5 YourJCU Survey data must not be used as the sole source of evidence for decisions regarding promotion, tenure or contract renewal.

6.6 Any use of YourJCU Survey data for research purposes must be supported by an Ethics Approval Notice from the JCU Human Research Ethics Committee.

Related policy instruments

Related documents and legislation

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015

Administration

NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Domain

Student Services

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review

08/11/2024

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Approved by

Implementation date

Details

Author

22-1

08/11/2021

Academic Board

01/01/2022

Major review.  Amended to align with policies, delete references to analytics, added definitions, reviewed and updated distribution list

Dean, Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement

17-2

06/11/2017

 

10/11/2017

Major review simplifying policy, removing procedural content, establishing principles and including reference to student Learning Analytics

Manager, Student Success

Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement

17/1

19/06/2017

 

28/07/2017

Increase clarity and alignment between SELT Policy and the associated Distribution List; Support the use of YourJCU Subject and YourJCU Teaching Survey data in the PDP process. New paragraph inserted enabling abusive, disparaging or unacceptable comments to be redacted.

Manager, Student Success

Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement

16-3

29/05/2017

 

30/05/2017

Minor amendments to ensure alignment with the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (YourJCU) Distribution List and to clarify use and sharing of YourJCU Teaching Survey data

Manager, Student Success

Learning, teaching and Student Engagement

Keywords

Learning, Teaching, feedback, quality enhancement, YourJCU

Contact personDean, Learning Teaching and Student Engagement