Manual of Policies and Procedures

C/4.7 Evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience

Contact Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)

Approval Date

23/03/2018

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

31/03/2021

4.7.1 Purpose
4.7.2 Application
4.7.3 Roles and responsibilities
4.7.4 Principles
4.7.5 The QUT Evaluaiton Framework requirements
4.7.6 The QUT Evaluation Framework methods
4.7.7 Using evaluation data
4.7.8 Ethical principles for evaluation and research with students
4.7.9 Definitions
4.7.10 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

4.7.1 Purpose

QUT’s goal is to provide outstanding learning environments and high-quality teaching that aligns with the core knowledge, professional values and activities articulated in the Real World Learning 2020 Vision and the QUT Professional Standards Framework.

The purpose of the policy is to describe the approach taken to evaluation at QUT, incorporating evidence from a range of stakeholders to support reflection on, and the continuous improvement of courses, units, teaching and the student experience.

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4.7.2 Application

This policy applies to academic staff members engaged in a teaching role (whether ongoing, fixed term or sessional). Invited guest speakers are not included in the evaluation process.

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4.7.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)

  • approves evaluation instruments for courses, units, teaching and the student experience

Executive Deans

  • ensure the continuous improvement of the quality of courses, units, teaching and the student experience in their faculty by:
    • coordinating with associate deans (learning and teaching), heads of school, directors of faculty services and other University managers about the systematic and timely evaluation of learning and teaching within courses, units, teaching and the student experience
    • reflecting on evaluation data with associate deans (learning and teaching), heads of school, directors of faculty services and other University managers in order to determine continuous improvements for faculty courses, units, teaching and the student experience
    • monitoring planned improvement actions and the impact of those improvements, including ensuring that actions for improvement are communicated to students
  • reporting to Faculty Academic Board or other University committees and boards, as required, about results and planned improvement actions, and academic staff compliance with Performance planning and review for academic staff (PPR-AS) (B/9.2)
Course coordinators
  • facilitate the systematic and timely evaluation of learning and teaching across the courses they coordinate in conjunction with the associate deans (learning and teaching), heads of school, and unit coordinators
  • reflect on evaluation data in order to determine continuous improvements to the course and its units with associate deans (learning and teaching), heads of school, unit coordinators and course teams

Unit coordinators

  • ensure the continuous improvement of the quality of learning and teaching within their units by:
    • coordinating with associate deans (learning and teaching), heads of school and course coordinators about the systematic and timely evaluation of learning and teaching within the units they coordinate
    • reflect on evaluation data with heads of school, course coordinators, the unit’s teaching team and others involved in the delivery and develop improvement plans
    • communicate planned improvements to key stakeholders including students, teaching teams, and course coordinators
Supervisors (normally heads of school)
  • assist their staff to engage in the evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience by:
    • reviewing the academic staff member’s personal evaluation strategy as part of Performance Planning and Review for academic staff (MOPP B/9.2)
    • ensuring that evaluation plans and outcomes are documented and reported within the PPR-AS process
    • identifying and recommending appropriate professional development activities as part of the PPR-AS process
Associate deans (learning and teaching)
  • support and work with Executive deans, directors of faculty services and other University managers to ensure the stated requirements within the policy are enacted and met within their faculties
Academic staff engaged in teaching (ongoing, fixed term or sessional)
  • develop an annual personalised evaluation strategy in consultation with their supervisor.
Head of QUT Academy of Learning and Teaching
  • successfully deploy and manage the QUT Evaluation Framework by:
    • clearly communicating evaluation protocols to stakeholders including students, staff and University management
    • supporting stakeholders in the enactment of the Evaluation Framework through email and phone support, training and developmental resources
    • liaising with Department of Reporting and Analysis team
Director, Reporting and Analysis Team
  • implements and manages the technical infrastructure that underpins the University endorsed suite of evaluation tools

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4.7.4 Principles

QUT is committed to the achievement of outstanding learning environments and programs that lead to excellent outcomes for graduates based on effective learning and teaching informed by the following principles:

  • input and feedback from key stakeholders
  • involving and empowering all staff and students
  • systematic evaluation and use of qualitative and quantitative feedback as a basis for identifying, prioritising, and reporting on improvement opportunities and outcomes
  • universal student evaluation of courses, units, teaching and the student experience
  • alignment between probation, promotion and performance planning and review for academic staff.

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4.7.5 The QUT Evaluation Framework requirements

Academic staff members engaged in a teaching role are required to develop an annual personal evaluation strategy in consultation with their supervisor. The personal evaluation strategy informs discussions on teaching performance in PPR-AS and should draw on multiple sources of qualitative and quantitative data and focus on the impact on student learning.

The University recognises that a substantial portion of QUT’s learning environment comprises joint, double, or cross faculty initiatives and that evaluation practices and relevant roles and responsibilities will take account of such offerings.

Evaluation feedback can be collected using a range of methods including the University endorsed suite of evaluation tools. University endorsed evaluation tools are approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education).

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4.7.6 The QUT Evaluation Framework methods

Automated unit surveys

The University applies the following automated unit and learning evaluation surveys to measure stakeholder feedback:

  • The Pulse Survey - gathers feedback about students’ perceptions of learning early enough in the semester for academic staff engaged in teaching to respond to and close the feedback loop.
  • The Insight Survey - is designed to focus on a students’ experience of learning and is deployed centrally to all students, for every unit they are studying, towards the end of the semester.
  • The Unit Exit Survey - captures the reasons that contribute to students’ withdrawal from units and the units’ attrition rates and is provided to students the week after withdrawal from a unit.

Results of the automated evaluations of a unit are provided to the unit coordinator, their supervisor, relevant course coordinators, the head of school and the executive dean of faculty, directors of faculty services and other University managers as appropriate, and curriculum and learning designers engaged in course and unit design are released according to roles and responsibilities. Unit quantitative data is provided to all QUT staff through the Academic Analytic Profiles, Individual Unit Reports and Course Analytic Profiles, and to academic and professional staff undertaking course design, development, implementation and review.

Automated Student Perceptions of Teaching Survey

A Student Perceptions of Teaching Survey provides data to assess impact on student learning, inform approaches to transformative change in learning and teaching, the delivery of units, evidence based performance discussions and promotion applications. The survey is released for every teacher, for every unit they teach (subject to the exemptions specified in the QUT Evaluations Framework Protocols document). Results of the survey are shared with managers, unit coordinators and promotion panels and key staff in Human Resources, noting that restricted data access rights mean that line supervisors and unit coordinators would only have access to the data of staff under line supervision and promotion panels would only have access to data for staff applying for promotion.

Peer review of educational practice

The University supports three different approaches to the peer review of educational practice:

  • Higher Education Academy Fellowships (HEA) - are awarded to staff members who demonstrate that their practice is effective and aligned with the Professional Standards Framework. Peer reviewed applications for fellowship incorporate reflection on teaching practice, the integration of evaluation data, and supporting statements from referees.
  • Expert Peer Review of Educational Practice (ExPREP) - is an evidence-based review approach designed to build on, and inform, performance-based discussions between line managers and applicants. ExPREP is primarily summative in nature, undertaken by appointed reviewers, and results are provided to the staff member and to their supervisor.
  • Collegial peer review of educational practice – is an evidence-based review approach designed to provide developmental feedback from peers and enable staff members to reflect on and improve teaching practice. Collegial peer review is primarily formative in nature and results are confidential.

EXPREP Review is required for all staff who teach, when applying for all levels of promotion, during probation, and to inform the process for managing unsatisfactory performance. Further details on the HEA Fellowship Scheme, Expert Peer Review Educational Practice, and collegial peer review process are available in the QUT Evaluation Framework Protocols document on the Digital Workplace (QUT staff access only).

Self-selected tools

The self-selected, endorsed evaluation suite is designed to support and enhance the automated unit and learning evaluation activities. Academic staff engaged in teaching self-select a combination of strategies to satisfy and address evaluation questions and issues.  The endorsed tools are outlined in the QUT Evaluation Framework Protocols (QUT staff access only) and should be documented within the personal evaluation strategy.

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4.7.7 Using evaluation data

Insight Survey scores, the Student Perception of Teaching Survey scores, and the Expert Peer Review of Educational Practice report have been approved as the three Learning and Teaching performance indicators that form part of a suite of ten Academic Performance Expectations. Outcomes are recorded on Academic Analytic Profiles and inform discussions on teaching performance in PPR-AS. An ExPREP report and/or evidence of HEA Fellowship is mandatory for all promotion applications except for research-intensive applications.

Students will be informed, through the appropriate unit and course information, what actions, if any, were taken as a result of prior student feedback. This information should be updated at least annually.

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4.7.8 Ethical principles for evaluation and research with students

QUT quality assurance and evaluation activities where the findings are intended to support the improvement and development of QUT learning and teaching and services to students are not classed as academic research unless they involve the publication of the research. The use of student information in quality assurance and evaluation activities does not require formal ethical review by University Human Research Ethics Committee but any use of student personal information must comply with QUT’s Information Privacy policy (F/6.2) and associated protocols. Ethics approval is required for human research; this includes research designed to contribute to the scholarship of learning and teaching (QUT staff access only). The Office of Research Ethics and Integrity (OREI) provides advice on ethical research and the level of approval required for a particular research project.

QUT endorses the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (NHMRC), which was developed jointly by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia.

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4.7.9 Definitions

QUT Professional Standards Framework (QUT PSF) for teaching and supporting real world learning is designed to align with the UK Higher Education Academy’s Professional Standards Framework and adapted to support QUT’s Real World Learning 2020 Vision.  The framework focuses on three core dimensions: areas of activity, core knowledge, and professional values and underpins the Expert Peer Review of Educational Practice model.

QUT Evaluation Framework Protocols provide the approach and process for academic staff and administrators regarding the evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience at QUT.

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4.7.10 Delegations

Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (VC137).

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Related Documents

MOPP A/2.4 QUT Quality Framework

MOPP B/3.5 Academic leadership roles in teaching and learning

MOPP B/9 Performance planning and review

MOPP D/2.6 QUT Code for responsible conduct of research

MOPP D/2.8 Management of research data

MOPP E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct

MOPP F/6.2 Information privacy

QUT Evaluations Framework: Protocols (QUT staff access only)

Office of Research Ethics NHMRC Human Research Ethics Application (QUT Staff access only)

NHMRC guidance on ‘Ethical Considerations in Quality Assurance and Evaluation Activities

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

30.09.19 All Provost Approved position title change for Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)
09.01.19 All Director, Governance and Legal Services Policy revised to include approved position title change from assistant dean/s to associate dean/s
30.07.18 C/4.7.3 Governance and Legal Services Editorial revisions to update position title - Faculty Manager discontinued, new role Director of Faculty Services
23.03.18 All University Academic Board Revised and simplified policy to integrate Expert Review of Educational Practice and alignment with the Academic Performance Indicators
22.07.16 All University Academic Board Policy revised to introduce and integrate the Student Perceptions of Teaching Survey into QUT's evaluation framework
23.11.12 All University Academic Board Policy revised to integrate the approved Reframe approach to evaluation

20.04.11

All

Council

Policy revised to reflect committee name change from University Teaching and Learning Committee to University Learning and Teaching Committee

19.02.11

All

Vice-Chancellor

Policy revised to include approved name change for Office of Teaching Quality to Learning and Teaching Unit and position title for Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching Quality) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)

07.10.10

All

Office of Teaching Quality

Revised terms of reference due to the 'TellQUT' survey instrument replacing 'QUT Pulse'

29.07.09

C/4.7.2

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching Quality)

Minor amendment relating to release of quantitative data on unit evaluation for the purposes of course design, development and review

14.11.08

All

University Academic Board

Policy renumbered to C/4.7 (formerly C/7.7)

16.03.07

All

University Academic Board

Revised policy (endorsed by Teaching and Learning Committee 27.02.07 and Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Committee 28.02.07)

02.05.06

All

Chair, University Academic Board

Revised policy consistent with new policy on evaluating teaching quality (B/9.7) (endorsed by Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 22.02.06)

20.06.03

All

University Academic Board

New policy (effective from Semester 1, 2004)

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