Academic Quality Procedures Handbook

5. Student Feedback

5.2 Student Module Feedback Questionnaire: Code of Practice

Module Feedback questionnaires are part of the University's continuing process of evaluating and improving the quality of its programmes.  Responses are used in conjunction with information derived from other sources (e.g. External Examiner reports; the National Student Survey; the outcomes of internal and external reviews) to monitor and enhance programme structures, curriculum content, teaching and assessment.  They should be seen in this context.  Module Feedback, together with information from other sources, is used in Annual Programme Review and Quadrennial Reviews in accordance with the University's Academic Quality Procedures.  It is therefore an important part of the Academic Quality Cycle.

Code of Practice

1. Schools/Departments are required to elicit feedback from students in a variety of ways including the use of standard questionnaires called Module Feedback forms.  Module Feedback is collected via two mechanisms at present, the use of paper-based forms which are read by Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and the use of online tools currently being piloted.  The maintenance of appropriate confidentiality is ensured for both mechanisms.  

2. About one third of modules in each School/Department should be assessed per year, with each module being assessed at least every 3 years, although Schools/Departments have the option to assess modules more frequently as required.  New modules or modules that have undergone major revision should be assessed in their first year of operation (for example, in cases where there have been changes to one-third or more of the module content or to the mode of assessment).  Outside this arrangement, assessment can be instigated where a particular need is identified or where areas of concern are highlighted.

3. A number of questions will be standard to all questionnaires and relate to the module overall.  Schools/Departments are also invited to choose their own questions from a bank of Optional Questions, giving the opportunity to invite feedback on particular aspects of modules.  There are also a set of questions that relate to individual members of staff teaching on the module.  In addition, students are invited to enter comments in the boxes provided on the questionnaire form.

4. Module Feedback can happen at any time during the semester however it will be better to undertake it once sufficient teaching has taken place to enable useful feedback to be elicited, for example in weeks 7-11.  Schools/Departments should encourage feedback from students throughout the Semester to ensure that any issues that can be easily resolved are raised early and acted on appropriately.

5. When operating Module Feedback, students should be advised that:

  • Participating in Module Feedback is a valuable opportunity for them to provide feedback, which is listened to, valued and acted upon as appropriate in order that a consistently high quality of teaching and learning can be assured for all students.  Programme Reps and Programme Presidents should encourage engagement with Module Feedback, the outcomes of which can be used constructively by them at future SSLC meetings.
  • Their responses are anonymous (unless their name has been entered by themselves on the paper-based forms) and their views are confidential, as the data is processed centrally, anonymised and aggregated before it is used by the University.
  • Students writing comments on the paper-based Module Feedback form are invited to enter their student I.D. number or name in the box provided.

6. With paper-based forms, upon completion, all paper forms will be collected by a nominated student, who will be invited to place them in an envelope, seal the envelope and put their signature across the seal.  The envelope will be returned by the staff member to a single designated person within each School / Department for inspection (i.e. to the Dean of School or their nominee/s).  They will remove and destroy any forms containing offensive comments.  Such forms will not form part of the statistical survey.  They will send all other forms to the Print Unit for OCR processing.

The use of Student Feedback Questionnaires

7. The responses to University-level questions will be used by the Dean of School or their nominee/s to monitor and enhance the provision of central services by the Library, IT Services and Facilities Management.

8. The data for questions relating to the module overall and more specifically to individual members of staff and any written comments from students which relate to individual members of staff will be made available, via the Dean of School or their nominee/s, to the staff member, PDR Reviewers and/or to probationary supervisors.  Where appropriate, it will be used to identify continuing professional development needs and inform the planning of provision to meet those needs.

9. Members of staff teaching on a module should draw on the outcomes of Module Feedback as part of the evidence-base to inform reflections for PDR or probation, and where appropriate to support applications for promotion, reward review and fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

10. The quantitative data for the questions relating to the module overall should be provided back to all students on the module as soon as possible, with one option strongly encouraged being via Learn, alongside a comment from the Module Leader or nominated responder that takes into account the qualitative free text comments, which is independently reviewed prior to publication.  The data for the questions relating to the module overall should also be provided to the Students’ Union Education Executive Officer in a timely manner.

11. Deans of School or their nominee/s will collate the data for the questions relating to the module overall and the responses from the Module Leaders/nominated responders and make these available to the appropriate Staff-Student Liaison Committee.  Reports should be submitted in the semester following the completion of the Module Feedback and will present the scores per module for questions relating to the module overall and any actions taken in response to low scores.  In particular, scores at or below 3.5 for any single question will require specific action and/or comment in the report to the SSLC.  Where no actions have been taken in response to student feedback, for example where the response rate is too low to be statistically meaningful, this should be made clear in the report.

12. Deans of School or their nominee/s will make the written report available to Associate Deans (Teaching)/Directors of Study/Programme Directors as appropriate from other Schools/Departments that take the module.

13. It is inappropriate to share with students the scores for questions relating to individual staff; however open and constructive dialogue about programmes and modules should be a central feature of SSLCs in order that the maintenance and enhancement of quality in teaching and learning can be assured.

14. The data for the questions relating to the module overall and the responses from the Module Leaders/nominated responders are provided to those involved with the Annual Quality Cycle, to inform the Annual Programme Reviews and Quadrennial Reviews.  The data from the free text comments (not relating to individual members of staff) may be analysed to inform the University overall and more specifically to support the enhancement of services for students and staff.

 

Approved by LTC 1 November 2016