Surveys

We want your feedback.

BIP conducts a range of surveys to collect student feedback on learning and teaching at Western. We provide anonymised reporting to inform continuous improvement to units based on what current students have to say about their experiences.

Student feedback is important to the University. It informs our institutional monitoring, review and improvement activities.

Contact the Survey Team at surveys@westernsydney.edu.au.

Student Feedback on Units Survey

The Student Feedback on Units (SFU) survey is run for every unit in every teaching session throughout the year. When the survey opens, students can find their survey links in the “Student Feedback on Units and Teaching” vUWS site.

Content

The SFU asks students to rate their units of study on the following aspects:

  • Learning materials
  • Assessments
  • Opportunities for collaboration
  • Technology
  • Help and advice
  • Workload
  • Critical and analytical skills
  • Work-related skills
  • Overall satisfaction

Students are also asked to comment on the best aspects of the unit and areas in need of improvement.

Reporting

Results from the SFU are reported anonymously, meaning responding students can never be identified. A minimum of five responses is needed for a report to be generated.

The results are accessible to Unit Coordinators, Deans, Deputy Deans and Directors of Academic Programs (DAPs), as well as several professional offices involved with quality assurance and improvement. Unit Coordinators are required to review their units every year, including SFU feedback, and critically reflect on required changes. Aggregate SFU survey data is also used in annual course reporting to measure course quality and effectiveness.

Student Feedback on Teaching Survey

The Student Feedback on Teaching (SFT) survey is run for all teachers allocated to a class activity in the timetable each session. When the survey opens, students can find their survey links in the “Student Feedback on Units and Teaching” vUWS site.

Content

Students are asked to evaluate their teachers on the following aspects:

  • Encouraging students to participate in learning activities
  • Having an effective teaching style
  • Being well-prepared
  • Being approachable
  • Creating a learning environment of fairness and respect
  • Providing a variety of perspectives and evidence
  • Providing feedback that supports learning
  • Overall satisfaction

Students are also asked to comment on the best aspects of the staff member’s teaching and areas in need of improvement.

Reporting

Like the SFU, results from the SFT are reported anonymously such that students can never be identified. A minimum of five responses is needed for a report to be generated.

The results are accessible to the relevant staff member and Dean only. The survey results are used by teaching staff to learn about their teaching effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

Give Quality Feedback

Student feedback is the most valuable when it is accurate, balanced and constructive. Make your feedback count by following the ABC principles:

Accurate: Provide specific evidence and avoid sweeping generalisations. Instead of saying: "The teacher is always late". A more accurate statement could be: "The teacher was 15 minutes late to three tutorials this semester".
Balanced: Evaluate both the positive and negative aspects. Instead of: "The whole unit was worthless and had no practical application". A more balanced statement could be: "While the theory was taught well, the unit would benefit from more practical work".
Constructive: Offer solutions to the issue or problem. Instead of: "The tutor was terrible and didn't know what they were doing". A more constructive statement could be: "The tutor needs to come to class prepared with a plan of work for the lesson".

Source: Adapted from material by Sparqs Introductory Course Rep Training 2017.

Maximise Responses

There are many ways staff can encourage students to respond to the SFU and SFT. Try the following strategies:

  • Allocate time during class - Higher response rates are achieved when teachers remind students to take the surveys during class. Allocate a specific time during lectures or tutorials for students to complete the survey online using computers or mobile devices. Presentation slides have been created to assist with promoting the surveys in class.
  • Monitor the response rate - Inform students that staff are monitoring the response rate via the SFU and SFT response rate dashboards and want to receive their feedback.
  • Remind students in vUWS - Put up a reminder message on your unit's vUWS site requesting students complete the surveys. Students can access the SFU and SFT via the “Student Feedback on Units and Teaching” vUWS site on their homepage. You cannot link directly to the survey in vUWS because each student gets a unique link to their survey for each unit.
  • Prove their responses matter - Discuss the surveys with students. Talk about why their responses are important and give examples of how student feedback has been used in the past to inform improvements to the unit or learning experience.

Contact Us

To contact the staff of the Office of Business Intelligence and Performance, refer to the Staff Directory.

General enquiries can be directed to:

Surveys

Contact the Survey Team via email at surveys@westernsydney.edu.au

Mail

Office of Business Intelligence and Performance
Building K, Level 2, Room 51, Penrith campus (Kingswood)
Western Sydney University
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751
Australia