Surveys

Overview

CIA conducts a range of surveys to collect student feedback on learning and teaching at Western. We provide anonymised reporting to inform continuous improvement to subjects 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. Surveys are conducted for 31 sessions throughout the year.

Contact the Survey Team by completing this form Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests. Watch this video on how to raise a surveys related ticked with CIA team.

Student Feedback on Subjects Survey

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

Content

The SFS asks students to rate their subjects of study on the following aspects. Students are also asked to comment on the best aspects of the subject and areas in need of improvement.

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

Reporting

Results from the SFS are reported anonymously, meaning responding students cannot be identified. However, it is very important for respondents to not self-identify themselves in any free-text comments field – otherwise, they may be identifiable in the report.  

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

What's New?

CIA has released the new Student Feedback on Teaching Dashboard and the Student Feedback on Subject Dashboard as self-service portal instead of distributing PDF reports at the end of every session. The Student Feedback on Subject Dashboard will be accessible to Subject Coordinators and the Student Feedback on Teaching Dashboard will be accessible to Teachers. For more information, please find the feature release for dashboards attached with this email. To allow you to get comfortable with the dashboard, CIA will continue releasing SFS/ SFT PDF Reports for surveys conducted by COB 30th June 2022. 

Course Reports

The latest results from the SFS by course are available below. The reports feature the overall satisfaction students reported for their subjects within each course. The reports also feature the total result for all of Western for comparison. 

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 vUWS site under “Student Feedback on Subjects and Teaching”. 

Content

Students are asked to evaluate their teachers on the following aspects. Students are also asked to comment on the various aspects of the staff member’s teaching and areas in need of improvement.

  • 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 

Reporting

Like the SFS, results from the SFT are reported anonymously such that students students cannot be identified. However, it is very important for respondents to not self-identify themselves in any free-text comments field – otherwise, they may be identifiable in the report. 

 
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. 

Information for Academics

  • Data Sharing/ Collection: Schools share details of student enrolment and teaching allocation with Timetabling team before census date for each session. This data is uploaded on Allocate+ by Timetabling team. CIA team supports the process by sending reminder emails to School Managers and Administrative staff managing teaching allocation for each school before census date of each session.
  • Data Validation: CIA follows a 6-Step Email Communication Process with Schools for maintaining high level data quality. The purpose is to ensure that each teaching staff receives correct surveys for their subjects.
  • Survey Release: Surveys are released to all students enrolled in a subject each session. Release dates for each session can be found at 2022 Surveys Calendar. Please note that these dates can change to manage data quality or technical requirements. Academic staff can also monitor response rate for their subjects via SFS Response Rate Dashboard and SFT Response Rate Dashboard.
  • Report Release: Anonymous SFS/ SFT PDF reports are emailed for each subject after the date of result release. This is to ensure that students are provided with an opportunity to provide unbiased responses. Post report release, academic staff are provided 1 week to report derogatory comments, if any. Requests for removal of derogatory comments can be raised via Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests. Finally, results are uploaded on SFS Performance Dashboard and SFT Performance Dashboard where academic staff can download data from 2017 at their convenience. 

Timeline: Timeline for sessions can be found at Session Wise Timeline for SFS and SFT Surveys.

Schools can expect these emails from CIA team every session to ensure high level of data quality. The below process was revised and sent for feedback to School Managers on 29/04/2022. After accommodating all suggestions, the process stands approved by School Managers for each School as of 15/04/2022.  

S No. Email Purpose and attachments (if any) Timeline Email Recipients
1

Email Subject: [WSU] Class Check: Reminder to update teaching allocations in timetabling system.  

Purpose: Schools to check/ update teaching allocations in Allocate+ with Timetabling team. Updates to be made before deadline mentioned in email for each session.    

Attachment: None.  

Friday of the week prior to session commencement. Schools are given 2 weeks to provide data.  

School Managers, BAOs for each school,  Timetabling Team.  

2   

Recently added

Email Subject: [WSU] Class Check: Reminder to update teaching allocations in timetabling system.   

Purpose: Reminder for 1st email.    

Attachment: List of subjects with missing teaching allocations from Allocate+. Different tab for each school.   

1 week before deadline mentioned in 1st email for each session.   

School Managers, BAOs for each school, Timetabling Team.   

3   

Recently added.

Email Subject: [WSU] Class Check: Unable to release surveys due to missing Teaching Allocations.  

Purpose: List of subjects for which our team is unable to organize SFTs due to missing teaching allocations.   

Attachment: List of subjects with missing teaching allocations in Allocate+.     

After deadline mentioned in 1st email for each session.   

School Managers, BAOs for each school,  Timetabling Team.   

4

Email Subject: [WSU] <Session Name> Class Check   

Purpose: Class Check Email to Subject Coordinators. Subject Coordinators to check/ update teaching allocations in Allocate+ with Timetabling team. Updates to be made before deadline mentioned in email for that session.     
Attachment: None.  

After Timetabling team has updated teaching allocations in Allocate+.  

Subject Coordinators  
5

Email Subject: [WSU] <Session Name> SFT Opening Soon  

Purpose: Class Check Email to teachers. Teachers to check/ update teaching allocations in Allocate+ with Timetabling team. Updates to be made before deadline mentioned in email for that session.  
Attachment: None. 

Note: Emails can only be released to teaching staff already in Allocate+. Our team would not be able to send emails to subjects with missing teaching allocation.

After Timetabling team has updated teaching allocations in Allocate+.  
Teachers  
6

Email Subject: [WSU] <Session Name> Are Now Live  

Purpose: Go Live Email to Subject Coordinators when surveys go live.  
Attachment: None.  
Right after survey release.   Subject Coordinators  

School Managers

  • Proactively ensure that teaching allocations for each teacher have been updated in Allocate+ before census date. Census date for all sessions is available at 2022 Academic year dateline.

Business Administrators/Staff responsible for sharing teaching allocations with schools

  • Proactively share correct teaching allocations with Timetabling team before census date for each session. Census date for all sessions is available at 2022 Academic year dateline
  • In case teaching allocations are not updated, the staff needs to respond to Class Check Email sent by CIA team before deadline mentioned in the email for each session. Any updates need to be emailed to Timetabling team, not CIA team. 
  • Respond to reminder email for Class Check: Check the list of subjects with missing teaching allocations and get them updated with Timetabling team immediately if required. 
  • Provide data for enrolled students and teaching allocations for online subjects which are not Timetabled and need SFS/ SFT surveys. 

Subject Coordinators

  • Proactively share correct teaching allocations with Timetabling team before census date for each session. Census date for all sessions is available at 2022 Academic year dateline.
  • In case teaching allocations are not updated, respond to Class Check Email by CIA team before deadline mentioned in the email for each session. Any updates need to be emailed to Timetabling team, not CIA team.
  • Ensure correct teaching allocations are available on Allocate+ before census date for each session. Census date for all sessions is available at 2022 Academic year dateline
  • Check and update incorrect teaching allocations on receiving Class Check email from CIA team. Any incorrect/ missing teaching allocations after this stage would be the responsibility of Subject coordinators. 
  • Provide teaching and student data for online subjects which are not Timetabled and need SFS/ SFT surveys.  

Teachers

  • Ensure correct teaching allocations are available on Allocate+ before census date for each session. Census date for all sessions is available at 2022 Academic year dateline
  • Check and update incorrect teaching allocations on receiving Class check email from CIA team. Incorrect/ missing teaching allocations after this stage would be the responsibility of Subject Coordinators and Teachers. 
  • Provide teaching and student data for online subjects which are not Timetabled and need SFS/ SFT surveys. 

Updating Teaching Allocations as advised by School, Subject Coordinators or Teachers before deadlines mentioned below. Please note that no changes will be accepted after these dates.

  • 1H - 18/05/2022
  • Autumn - 18/05/2022
  • Q1 - 04/02/2022
  • Q2 - 11/05/2022
  • Q3 - 29/07/2022
  • Q4 - 21/10/2022
  • 2H - 09/09/2022
  • Spring - 09/09/2022
  • Summer A - 19/01/2022
  • Summer B - 19/01/2022
  • Term 1 - 08/04/2022
  • Term 2 - 05/08/2022
  • Term 3 - 09/12/2022

There are many ways staff can encourage students to respond to the SFS 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 SFS and SFT response rate dashboards and want to receive their feedback.
  • Remind students in vUWS - Put up a reminder message on your subject's vUWS site requesting students complete the surveys. Students can access the SFS and SFT via the “Student Feedback on Subjects 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 subject.
  • 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 subject or learning experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Reports from 2017 are available on SFS Performance Dashboard and SFT Performance Dashboard where academic staff can download data from 2017 at their convenience. Reports before 2017 can be requested from CIA team via Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests.

If your subject is available on Allocate+, then we will automatically release surveys for your subject. Otherwise, you can raise a request for releasing surveys for your subject via Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests. Deadlines for requesting surveys for each session are as follows:

  • 1H - 18/05/2022
  • Autumn - 18/05/2022
  • Q1 - 04/02/2022
  • Q2 - 11/05/2022
  • Q3 - 29/07/2022
  • Q4 - 21/10/2022
  • 2H - 09/09/2022
  • Spring - 09/09/2022
  • Summer A - 19/01/2022
  • Summer B - 19/01/2022
  • Term 1 - 08/04/2022
  • Term 2 - 05/08/2022
  • Term 3 - 09/12/2022

Our team offers a facility for early release of SFS / SFT surveys under 4 sessions mentioned below. Please ensure that correct staffing allocations are updated in Banner, Handbook and Allocate+ before requesting for early release. Our team can only release surveys based on information available on these platforms. Unfortunately, we are unable to update staffing allocations at our end.

Requests can be raised by Teaching staff and Subject Coordinators for subjects taught / coordinated by them. School Managers, Deans, Administrative staff can also share a list of subjects requiring an early release for their school.

Early surveys can only be requested for a subject under special circumstances. For example, a subject has a shorter duration as compared to other subjects in a session due to campus placements. Subject Coordinators/ Teachers can request an early release. 

Our team will access your request and confirm if your subject qualifies for early release. Unfortunately, we would not be able to accommodate any requests post deadlines mentioned below.

Session Name Early Release Request Deadline Early Release Date
1H 15/04/2022  02/05/2022
Autumn 15/04/2022  02/05/2022
2H 08/08/2022  29/08/2022
Spring 15/07/2022  01/08/2022

Each School will have one or more designated staff performing this role. Reaching out to your school admin team in the first instance should enable you to request changes to course information most efficiently. Please note that it is the responsibility of teachers/ Subject Coordinators/ Dedicated school staff to ensure that correct teaching allocations are made available to Timetabling team. It is then the responsibility of Timetabling team to update correct teaching allocations in time to allow timely release of surveys.  

This is possible if your details are not available on Allocate+ and SFT/ SFS Staffing Allocation Dashboard (Add link). To update data on Allocate+, kindly contact Timetabling team at timetabling@westernsydney.edu.au. Once the data is available in Allocate+, it will be updated automatically the dashboard.

The grade release date is the date when students receive results for their course. Each session has a common date for result release which is available at 2022 Academic year dateline. SFS/ SFT surveys are scheduled to close before the date for result release to avoid bias in receiving student feedback. Similarly, academic staff cannot view their survey results until the results are released, to avoid grades being adversely affected by student feedback. 

Students will be sent one email including survey link/ links for all subjects they are enrolled in for that session on their student email address. 

Yes, responses are confidential, and individuals are not identified in distributed reports. However, it is very important that respondents do not self-identify themselves in any free-text comments field – otherwise, they may be identifiable in a report. 

Anonymous SFS/ SFT PDF reports are emailed for each subject after the date of result release. This is to ensure that students are provided an opportunity to provide unbiased responses. Post report release, academic staff are provided 1 week to report derogatory comments, if any. Requests for removal of derogatory comments can be raised via Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests. Finally, results are uploaded on SFS Response Rate Dashboard and SFT Performance dashboard where academic staff can download data from 2017 at their convenience. Kindly raise a request via Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests if you are unable to access the dashboard. 

Please note that SFS results are accessible to whole Western Sydney community via SFS Response Rate Dashboard. However, SFT results are only available to selected academic staff via SFT Performance dashboard in order to maintain confidentiality of data.

Updates to the reports to remove derogatory comments can be made within one week of the distribution of the PDF reports via Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests. The deadline will be mentioned in the email shared while distributing the reports. After the mentioned deadline, results will be posted on SFS Performance Dashboard and SFT Performance Dashboard respectively.

Unfortunately, that is not possible under current procedure.  

Since SFS/ SFT PDF reports contain crucial information, they can be shared only in the cases shared below. Access to the dashboards is provided as pre-decided along with schools.

Report Name Past Year report requests from Can reports be shared?
SFU Reports Teachers. Yes
  Subject Coordinators as recorded for that course when the survey was released.   Yes
  New Subject Coordinators who were not the Subject Coordinator at the time of releasing survey.   Yes
 

Directors of Academic Programs (DAPs) for the programs which they are responsible.  

Deans, Deputy Deans and Associate Deans Learning & Teaching for all Subjects within their School.  

Yes
SFT Reports

Teachers.

Yes
 

Subject Coordinators as recorded for that course when the survey was released.  

Only the employee’s supervisor and head of the academic unit (Dean) for the purposes of an Academic Career Development, Planning and Review meeting (see clause 18 of the Student Feedback on Subjects and Teaching Survey policy and clause 24.12 of the Academic Staff Agreement).
 

New Subject Coordinators who were not the Subject Coordinator at the time of releasing survey.  

 

Directors of Academic Programs (DAPs) for the programs which they are responsible.     

Deans, Deputy Deans and Associate Deans Learning & Teaching for all Subjects within their School.

SFS/ SFT results are released after result release for each session. Unfortunately, results can not be requested earlier than these scheduled dates. 

As confirmed by University's General Counsel, survey results can now be released for smaller cohorts receiving less than 5 responses. This means feedback results will be released even if there are less than 5 responses collected for SFS/ SFT survey. All the responses are treated as confidential and not identified in the performance dashboard and distributed reports. Students are also provided a disclaimer not to self-identify themselves in free context comments or they may be identifiable in the report.

Information for Students

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 subject was worthless and had no practical application". A more balanced statement could be: "While the theory was taught well, the subject 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. 

Steps for completing an online survey

How to Access Your Surveys?

  • STEP 1: Log in to vUWS. IMPORTANT! Your surveys can now only be accessed by first logging into vUWS.
  • STEP 2: Go to the Student Feedback on Subjects (SFU) and Teaching (SFT) vUWS site, which you should see listed under “Companion Sites”.
  • STEP 3: Click “Evaluate Subject” or “Evaluate Teacher” to complete each available survey for your Subject and teachers this session. The surveys take only a few minutes but provide valuable information that will help improve the quality of teaching and learning at the University. All responses will be kept secure and confidential.

The surveys take only a few minutes but provide valuable information that will help improve the quality of teaching and learning at the University. All responses will be kept secure and confidential.

Survey results

Anonymous SFS/ SFT PDF reports are emailed for each subject after the date of result release. This is to ensure that students are provided an opportunity to provide unbiased responses. Post report release, academic staff are provided 1 week to report derogatory comments, if any. Requests for removal of derogatory comments can be raised via Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests. Finally, results are uploaded on SFS Response Rate Dashboard and SFT Performance dashboard where academic staff can download data from 2017 at their convenience. Kindly raise a request via Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests if you are unable to access the dashboard. 

Please note that SFS results are accessible to all western Sydney community via SFS Response Rate Dashboard. However, SFT results are only available to selected academic staff via SFT Performance dashboard in order to maintain confidentiality of data.

Frequently asked questions (Students)

SFS/ SFT Surveys are conducted for 31 sessions throughout the year. Important dates for each session are available at 2022 Surveys Calendar. For non-standard surveys, these dates vary according to the course.

Your responses are treated as confidential, and individuals are not identified in distributed reports. However, it is very important that respondents do not self-identify themselves in any free-text comments field – otherwise, they may be identifiable in a report. 

Students can provide feedback on subjects and teaching quality. The surveys enable students to provide feedback on any class the student is enrolled in. In the case of teaching evaluations, students can provide feedback on any lecturers or tutors associated with that course, whose names appear on their SFT survey form. 

It is not compulsory for students to complete SFS/ SFT survey, however, survey participation is highly encouraged. Feedback gathered under these survey responses helps to improve the delivery of courses and teaching.

Unfortunately, surveys cannot be re-opened after the closing date. However, students can still provide their feedback by contacting their lecturer or Subject Coordinator directly. 

Survey Calendar 2022

Contact Us

To contact the staff of the Office of Competitive Intelligence & Analytics, refer to the Staff Directory or complete the Competitive Intelligence & Analytics Requests form.