Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Procedures

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Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Procedures

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Approval authority
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Responsible officer
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Designated officer
Director, Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching
First approved
5 January 2012
Last amended
28 July 2016
Effective start date
23 September 2014
Review date
2 October 2017
Status
Active
Related documents
Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy

These procedures should be read in conjunction with the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy.

1. Definitions

In these procedures the following definitions apply:

Course Feedback Report (CFR) means the document completed by the Course Coordinator after reviewing all the relevant evaluation data available. The CFR is the result of critical reflection on the feedback and the development of strategies for the implementation of identified improvements to the course.

Data means all feedback collected by the SETAC survey process including both qualitative and quantitative formats.

Early Evaluation means an evaluation that is deployed earlier than the Main Evaluation Period.

Extraordinary Evaluation means deployment of SETAC evaluations outside the Early or Main Evaluation Period at the request of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Faculty Executive Dean, Faculty Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) or Head of School.

Main Evaluation Period means the time frame for deployment of SETAC evaluations other than Early Evaluations and Extraordinary Evaluations. The Main Evaluation Period commences two weeks prior to the end of the teaching period, as identified in the University’s academic calendar and closes one week after the conclusion of the teaching period’s examination period (where relevant) or one week after the conclusion of the teaching period (where no examination period is specified). This time frame enables students to reflect on the full teaching/course experience in their SETAC response.

Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) means the standardised, University approved, University-wide student feedback instrument that may include optional questions selected by the survey initiator.

Teaching Feedback Report (TFR) means the document completed by the teacher after reviewing all the relevant evaluation data available. The TFR is the result of critical reflection on the feedback and the development of strategies for the implementation of identified improvements to individual teaching performance and teaching methods for the course into which the teaching was performed.

Teacher(s)/Teaching Staff means staff of the University who have a full time, fractional or sessional appointment who undertake teaching activities including lecturing, tutoring, conducting seminars and workshops, with the exception of guest lecturers and staff whose role is limited to practical demonstrating.

2. Approaches to evaluation

2.1 The University encourages teaching staff to collect, and subsequently respond to, feedback on teaching and courses using a range of evaluation mechanisms.

2.2 The University provides a formal survey instrument, the “Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses” (SETAC), to support the collection of student feedback on teaching and courses on a regular basis.

2.3 Informal student feedback on teaching and courses should be welcomed and given equal consideration to that received through the SETAC evaluation mechanism.

3. Purpose of evaluation of teaching and courses

3.1 The purpose of conducting evaluations of teaching and courses is to:

a) facilitate the routine evaluation of a course to assure the University that the course is contributing to learning in the program as intended and that the learning outcomes are consistent with those stated for the course;

b) encourage teaching staff to engage in scholarship of teaching by reflecting, in the light of evaluation data, on the course design and delivery and the development of new or improved approaches to learning and teaching;

c) provide a mechanism for students to provide feedback to enhance the quality of learning and teaching;

d) improve students’ experience of teaching and learning at the University, and;

e) gather evidence that may be used to demonstrate quality teaching and curriculum design.

4. Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC)

4.1 SETAC is supported by a standardised process for the University-wide collection, analysis, and release of results of student feedback on teaching and courses. This process is managed by the University’s Strategic Information and Analysis Unit.

4.2 The SETAC consists of two components: teaching evaluation and course evaluation.

4.3 The teaching evaluation component is designed to:

a) provide students with the opportunity to comment on their satisfaction with key elements of teaching;

b) provide evaluation data to allow teaching staff to engage in a scholarly process of critical reflection, interpretation and implementation of improvements to the teaching of the course;

c) enable the collection of feedback on a core set of elements of teaching that may be used for intra-university comparison and inter-university benchmarking;

d) allow teaching staff to ask questions about additional area(s) of particular interest, such as: an area where they need more information than that provided by the core set of questions alone; or specific features of teaching. In this way the instrument can be sensitive to individual evaluation needs and specific teaching contexts, and;

e) provide teaching staff with qualitative comments. Individual comments should assist in the understanding of the quantitative results received by providing reinforcing or diagnostic feedback on aspects not necessarily covered by the instrument’s items.

4.4 The course evaluation component is designed to:

a) provide students with the opportunity to comment on their satisfaction with key elements of a course;

b) provide evaluation data to allow the course coordinator to engage in a scholarly process of critical reflection, interpretation and implementation of improvement to the teaching of the course and the course itself;

c) enable the collection of feedback on a core set of elements of a course that may be used for intra-university comparison and inter-university benchmarking;

d) allow Course Coordinators to ask questions about additional areas of interest, such as, an area where they need more information than that provided by the core set of questions alone; or specific features of a course. In this way the questionnaire can be sensitive to specific evaluation needs and course contexts, and;

e) provide Course Coordinators with qualitative comments. Individual comments should assist in understanding the quantitative responses received by providing reinforcing or diagnostic feedback on aspects not necessarily covered by the instrument’s items.

4.5 Completion of the SETAC by a student is taken as consent for the University to make use of the data including the possible use by staff for research and publication purposes. In all cases, the anonymity of the participants who provide SETAC data to the University will be maintained.

4.6 The Director, Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching is responsible for designing and periodically reviewing the SETAC instrument.

5. Initiation of Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC)

5.1 The Strategic Information and Analysis Unit will provide guidance on the processes associated with initiating SETAC.

5.2 Requests to initiate evaluations that are received after the due date specified by the Strategic Information and Analysis Unit for that teaching period will not be processed.

5.3 All teaching staff (with the exception of guest lecturers and staff whose role is limited to practical demonstrating) must initiate SETAC teaching evaluations in accordance with Section 3.3 of the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy. This is the minimum required frequency of teaching evaluations. Teaching staff may request evaluations in addition to the minimum evaluation requirements in the method specified by these Procedures.

5.4 In addition, SETAC teaching evaluations may be initiated by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Faculty Executive Dean, Faculty Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching), Head of School, or a teacher for purposes including:

a) to assess the developmental requirements of staff;

b) to monitor the implementation of the response identified in the Teaching Feedback Report (TFR);

c) to assess and address any substantial issues with the teaching that impact on the achievement of learning outcomes, or;

d) to provide supplementary evaluation data to the SETAC survey requirements detailed in Sections 3.3 and 3.4 of the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy.

5.5 SETAC teaching evaluations will survey all instances of teaching undertaken by the teacher within the nominated course in the teaching period.

5.6 The Strategic Information and Analysis Unit will automatically initiate SETAC course evaluations for all courses offered in each teaching period.

5.6.1 Course Coordinators may cancel a centrally initiated course evaluation subject to complying with Section 3.4 of the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy.

5.7 In addition, SETAC course evaluations may be initiated or re-initiated (following cancellation by a Course Coordinator) by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Faculty Executive Dean, Faculty Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching), Head of School, or the Course Coordinator for purposes including:

a) when an existing course is newly offered into a program;

b) to monitor the implementation of the response identified in the Course Feedback Report (CFR), or;

c) where issues have been identified with the current or a previous offering of the course.

6. Promotion of Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC)

6.1 The promotion of SETAC needs to be approached from a multi-layered, University-wide perspective and to be targeted at the levels of both staff and students.

6.2 At the staff level, promotion of SETAC advises and reminds staff of:

a) their responsibilities in relation to initiating and responding to student feedback collected via SETAC, and;

b) the support available to them for interpreting, reviewing and responding to student feedback collected via SETAC.

6.3 At the student level, promotion of SETAC aims to:

a) maximise participation, and;

b) convey the value placed by the University on constructive feedback by students.

7. Deployment of Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC)

7.1 SETAC evaluations will be deployed to students using online technology which is accessible via internet connection. Access to SETAC will be through web links embedded in emails or through direct access via the Learning Management System (Blackboard).

7.2 The majority of SETAC evaluations will be deployed in the Main Evaluation Period.

7.3 A teacher or Course Coordinator may request an Early Evaluation. An example of a situation in which early deployment of an evaluation may be appropriate is where teaching in a course finishes prior to the end of the teaching period, as identified in the University’s academic calendar.

7.3.1 The facility to request an Early Evaluation is included in the process for initiating evaluations coordinated by the Strategic Information and Analysis Unit.

7.3.2 It is the responsibility of the teacher or Course Coordinator who submits the request to initiate an evaluation to identify that an early evaluation is required. Where an evaluation is not identified as requiring an Early Evaluation it will be deployed in the Main Evaluation Period.

7.3.3 Requests for Early Evaluation require the approval of the relevant Head of School. The Strategic Information and Analysis Unit will progress requests for Early Evaluation for approval by the Head of School on behalf of teaching staff and Course Coordinators.

7.4 The time frame for Early Evaluations is determined as follows:

7.4.1 In the case of courses for which the duration of course delivery is greater than two weeks, evaluations will be deployed by the Strategic Information and Analysis Unit two weeks prior to the conclusion of teaching as identified in the request to initiate evaluations and where the request is received with sufficient notice, or as soon as practicable upon request. In the case of courses for which the duration is less than two weeks the evaluation will be open for student completion following the conclusion of teaching. Early Evaluations deployed under Section 7.4.1 will close one week after the conclusion of the teaching period’s examination period (where relevant) or one week after the conclusion of the teaching period (where no examination period is specified) as identified in the University’s academic calendar.

7.4.2 Teaching evaluations requested by an individual whose teaching finishes prior to the conclusion of the course delivery will be deployed by the Strategic Information and Analysis Unit two weeks prior to the conclusion of teaching as identified in the request to initiate evaluations and where the request is received with sufficient notice, or as soon as practicable upon request. These evaluations will close one week after the conclusion of the teaching period’s examination period (where relevant) or one week after the conclusion of the teaching period (where no examination period is specified) as identified in the University’s academic calendar.

7.5 The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Faculty Executive Dean, Faculty Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) or Head of School may request the deployment of an Extraordinary Evaluation.

7.5.1 Extraordinary Evaluations will be deployed by the Strategic Information and Analysis Unit as soon as practicable upon request and will be open for student completion for a period of two weeks

8. Courses excluded from SETAC surveys

8.1 In-country, GO Program Exchange courses, enabling and thesis-based courses are excluded from the SETAC survey requirements detailed in Sections 3.3 and 3.4 of the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy.

8.2 A Head of School through the Faculty Executive Dean can make a request, based on exceptional circumstances and including a rationale, to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor that a course other than those identified in Section 8.1 be excluded from the SETAC survey requirements as detailed in Sections 3.3 and 3.4 of the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy.

9. Release of Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) data

9.1 Staff to whom SETAC results are released are expected to ensure that evaluation data and results are used in a manner which accords with the purpose of evaluation of teaching and courses detailed in Section 3. Use of SETAC data must at all times respect the rights, privacy and dignity of teachers and students involved in the SETAC process.

9.2 To preserve student anonymity, SETAC results will be withheld from release where the number of responses to an evaluation is less than five. Where there are less than 5 responses, a teacher or Course Coordinator may make a request to the Director, C-SALT to release specific information relevant to course or teaching improvement if the information requested does not threaten student anonymity.

9.3 Results from student feedback collected via SETAC will be available after the official release of student grades for the teaching period.

9.4 Release to teaching staff

Individual teachers will receive collated data on student feedback on their teaching which will include quantitative and qualitative results for all compulsory and any optional items evaluated.

9.5 Release to the Course Coordinator

Course Coordinators will receive collated data on student feedback on the courses they coordinate which will include quantitative and qualitative results for all compulsory and any optional items evaluated.

9.6 Release to course teaching staff

The Course Coordinator will discuss SETAC course evaluation results with course teaching staff which may include the review of quantitative and qualitative results for all compulsory and any optional items evaluated. The Course Coordinator must suppress any references to individuals in student comments for the purpose of this collaborative review.

9.7 Release to students

A summary of the student feedback on the course which incorporates student feedback on teaching will be made available to students via the Learning Management System (Blackboard).

9.8 Release to Program Coordinators

Program Coordinators will receive collated data of all student feedback on courses for all courses identified as required in their program. This will include quantitative and qualitative results, but exclude optional items.

9.9 Release to Heads of School

Heads of School will receive collated data of all student feedback on courses and teaching for all courses and teachers in their School. This will include quantitative and qualitative results, but exclude optional items. Heads of School may, at their discretion disseminate course SETAC data to relevant School or Faculty Committees. Heads of School may also, at their discretion disseminate SETAC teaching evaluation results to relevant supervisory staff and course evaluation results to staff other than the incumbent Course Coordinator who were involved in the development or coordination of a course. In all cases of further distribution of SETAC evaluation results, the Head of School must suppress any references to individuals in student comments prior to distributing the results.

9.10 Release to Faculty Executive Deans and Faculty Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching)

9.10.1 Faculty Executive Deans and Faculty Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching) will receive collated data of all student feedback on courses and teaching for all courses and staff in their Faculty. This will include quantitative and qualitative results, but exclude optional items.

9.10.2 Faculty Executive Deans and Faculty Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching) may, at their discretion disseminate course SETAC data to relevant Faculty Committees ensuring the removal of any reference to individuals in student comments.

9.11 Release to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor will receive aggregated data of all student feedback on courses and teaching for all courses and the staff of all Faculties. This will include quantitative and qualitative results, but exclude optional items.

9.12 Release to panel members appointed to review programs and courses

Collated course evaluation data will be provided to panels undertaking formal reviews of University programs and courses. This may include quantitative and qualitative results, but exclude optional items. Any reference to individuals in student comments will also be removed.

9.13 Release to the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching

9.13.1 Student feedback that identifies excellent teachers/teaching will be made available to the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching at the discretion of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the purpose of identifying and supporting award and grant applicants.

9.13.2 Quantitative SETAC course evaluation data, at aggregated levels, such as programs, Schools, Faculties and the University as a whole will be made available to the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching for informing professional development planning.

9.14 Release to University Council and committees

9.14.1 A report on aggregated quantitative SETAC course evaluation data that identifies areas of strength or concern will be made available to the Learning and Teaching Committee by the Strategic Information and Analysis Unit annually. This will be for the purposes of policy development, identifying priorities for funding and support and developing strategies for learning and teaching.

9.14.2 Aggregated quantitative SETAC course and teaching evaluation data will be made available for quality assurance and performance measurement purposes.

9.15 Release to external bodies

SETAC results, at course and aggregated levels for programs, Schools, Faculties and the University as a whole, may be released to professional, statutory, benchmarking partners and regulatory bodies to demonstrate quality and meet compliance reporting requirements.

9.16 Release to the public

Quantitative SETAC course evaluation results, at aggregated levels, such as programs, Schools, Faculties and the University as a whole may be made publicly available through the University website, media releases and promotional activities as appropriate.

9.17 Ad Hoc requests for data

Release of evaluation data in response to ad hoc requests will adhere to the provisions of release of SETAC data detailed in Section 9.

10. Responding to Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) data

10.1 Responding to SETAC teaching evaluation data

10.1.1 A teacher is expected to discuss results of their teaching evaluations with their Course Coordinator and/or Head of School and to engage in a scholarly process of critical reflection, interpretation, and implementation of improvement. The Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching will provide resources to assist in the reflection and improvement cycle. This process is documented in the form of the Teaching Feedback Report (TFR) completed after each teaching evaluation. The TFR includes a summary of actions arising from the consideration of SETAC teaching evaluations. The summary of actions are forwarded to the Course Coordinator to inform the Course Feedback Report, which is to be published on the Learning Management System (Blackboard).

10.1.2 A Course Coordinator is expected to receive summaries of actions arising from TFRs for all teachers of a course who have undertaken SETAC in the teaching period.

10.2 Responding to SETAC course evaluation data

10.2.1 The Course Coordinator is expected to engage in a scholarly process of critical reflection, interpretation, and implementation of improvements to both the teaching of the course and the course itself using all relevant evaluation data that is available. The Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching will provide resources to assist in the reflection and improvement cycle. This process is documented in the form of the Course Feedback Report (CFR) completed after each course evaluation. The CFR requires a summary of actions arising from the consideration of SETAC course evaluations and summaries of action from teachers in the course and other available data, to be formulated for approval by the Course Coordinator’s Head of School. The summary of actions should address both issues that were raised that have resulted in changes to the course and issues that were raised but did not result in any change and reasons for not doing so.

10.2.2 The Course Coordinator is responsible for publishing the approved Course Feedback Report for the course via the Learning Management System (Blackboard).

10.2.3 The Program Coordinator utilises the SETAC course evaluation data and CFRs from required courses in their program to engage in a process of critical reflection, interpretation, and implementation of improvements to the program and to provide the Head of School and Faculty Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) with a summary report on the evaluations and Course Feedback Reports for all required courses in their program.

10.2.4 The Faculty Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) utilises the SETAC course evaluation data and CFRs from courses within their Faculty to engage in a process of critical reflection, interpretation, and implementation of improvements to courses and programs and to provide the Learning and Teaching Committee with a biannual report on the Faculty’s SETAC evaluations, the outcomes and resulting actions.

11. Roles and Responsibilities

11.1 Student

11.1.1 A student is expected to provide constructive feedback about teaching and courses through their participation in quality improvement activities such as SETAC and other surveys. A student is expected to respond in a constructive manner, focusing on learning and teaching issues, avoiding content of a personal or inappropriate nature.

11.2 Teaching staff

11.2.1 Individual teaching staff are expected to initiate and oversee the process of their own SETAC teaching evaluations in consultation with their Course Coordinator and/or Head of School and according to the time frame specified in Section 3.3 of the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy.

11.2.2 Teachers are expected to assist in optimising student participation in SETAC through active promotion of the system.

11.3 Course Coordinator

11.3.1 The Course Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that SETAC course evaluations take place according to the time frame specified in Section 3.4 of the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy.

11.3.2 Depending on the nature of the changes proposed for the course, the Course Coordinator is responsible for initiating the approval process as identified in the University’s Program Accreditation and Course Approval - Governing Policy.

11.3.3 Course Coordinators are expected to assist in optimising student participation in SETAC through active promotion of the system.

11.4 Program Coordinator

11.4.1 The Program Coordinator is responsible for monitoring the SETAC course evaluations of required courses (excluding Core Courses) in their programs, providing the Head of School and Faculty Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) with a summary report on the evaluations and Course Feedback Reports (CFR) for all required courses in their program.

11.5 Head of School

11.5.1 The Head of School is responsible for ensuring that SETAC (teaching and course) evaluations have been conducted according to the timeframe specified in Sections 3.3 and 3.4 of the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses (SETAC) - Academic Policy and for evaluating the outcomes and subsequent actions resulting from the evaluation of teaching for staff they supervise and courses for which their School is responsible.

11.5.2 The Head of School has responsibility for approving the Course Coordinator’s Course Feedback Report before it is released to students via the Learning Management System (Blackboard).

11.6 Faculty Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching)

11.6.1 Faculty Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching) are responsible for providing the Learning and Teaching Committee with a biannual report on the Faculty’s SETAC evaluations, the outcomes and resulting actions.

11.7 Faculty Executive Dean

11.7.1 Faculty Executive Deans must ensure that the Course Feedback Reports (CFR) feed into a robust quality improvement process that aligns with the USC Quality and Standards Framework.

11.8 Director, Strategic Information and Analysis Unit

11.8.1 The Director, Strategic Information and Analysis Unit has responsibility for administering the SETAC survey process, training staff in the use of SETAC, ensuring production and dissemination of course and teaching evaluation results reports, aggregated and analytical reports for assessment of University performance and legislative requirements, and coordinating the resolution of system related issues.

11.9 Director, Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching

11.9.1 The Director, Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching has responsibility for designing and periodically reviewing the SETAC instrument and using aggregated SETAC course evaluation data to inform the University’s professional development programs.

11.9.2 The Director, Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching is responsible for the development of the Course Feedback Reports (CFR) and Teaching Feedback Reports (TFR) templates and assisting staff in the interpretation of evaluations and developing appropriate responses.

11.10 Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

11.10.1 The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor has responsibility for approving the SETAC instrument developed by the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching.

11.11 Learning and Teaching Committee

11.11.1 The Learning and Teaching Committee has responsibility for reviewing the aggregated SETAC course evaluation data provided by the Strategic Information and Analysis Unit and the biannual reports from the Faculties’ Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching).

END

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