The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) is pleased to announce the launch of the University’s new Subject and Teacher Evaluation Platform (STEP). STEP will herald a new approach to the conduct of subject and teacher evaluation surveys at UOW.
At the same time, a new Subject Evaluation by Students Survey is being introduced. The survey will be open for students enrolled in Trimester 3 subjects from 19 October and for students enrolled in Spring Session subjects from 2 November 2020.
Work on the new system and new survey has been overseen by a working group led by Associate Professor Rodney Vickers and with representation from all faculties and key stakeholder groups. The aim of the Subject and Teacher Evaluation Refresh project was to achieve a more systematic, student-focused, flexible and location-neutral approach to UOW’s evaluation surveys. Up to now, students have been invited to provide feedback on their subjects irregularly (with the requirement that subjects be evaluated at least once every five years) and student evaluations of teaching have been optional for academics and closely linked to their seeking to pass probation or to gain promotion. Surveys were mostly delivered to students on paper in class. From Spring Session 2020, students will be invited to provide feedback on their subjects and their teachers every year using a shorter survey delivered online. This is in accordance with new policy requirements that were approved by Academic Senate and Council in late 2017 (but made contingent on a new online system being in place).
The new Subject Evaluation by Students (SEBS) Survey and Teacher Evaluation by Students (TEBS) Survey* questionnaires were developed in consultation with students and staff over a two year period and were informed by extensive sector benchmarking. Questions were tested on six student focus groups with diverse representation. The questions were also trialled offshore by UOW College Hong Kong in late 2018. Further refinements were made in response to feedback received as part of a round of consultations undertaken in early 2019. This included a presentation to each Faculty Education Committee, targeted consultations and a broad call for comment. (*Note that the new Teacher Evaluation by Students survey will be introduced as part of Phase 2 of the project in early 2021).
Subject Survey – Summary of main changes
- Administered online across all delivery locations.
- Reduced number of core questions from 17 to 12 (10 quantitative and 2 open- ended).
- Option for additional, customised questions to be added.
- Simplified wording tested on a diverse group of students.
- Survey delivered to students via an email with an embedded link but can also be access via the subject Moodle site.
- Survey can be completed in class or at any time on any device – mobile, laptop, iPad etc
- Survey will remain open for longer – up to 4 weeks (extending to the end of the exam period).
- Survey results will be delivered directly to Subject Coordinators within two weeks of the survey’s closure.
- Aggregated reports will be available at a course, school, faculty, campus and institutional level.
New website coming
A new website is being developed which will contain information on the University approach to subject and teaching evaluations. There will be a range of resources for both students and staff including FAQS, tips for providing constructive feedback, tips for improving response rates, and a link to the survey questions. The website will be live by mid-October. In the meantime, for further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.