Student Evaluation of Teaching

Evaluation is one of many mechanisms for gaining information that the University uses to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and the learning process. At UC there are four (4) types of permissible Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) undertaken:

  • Course Evaluation
  • Teaching Evaluation
  • Teaching Assistant (TA)/ Tutor/ Lab Demonstrator Evaluation
  • Programme Evaluation (contact Survey Coordinator for further discussion)

Use the tabs below to navigate to the evaluation you are interested in.

Policy

Teaching, Course and Programme Surveys Policy, Procedures and Principles (PDF, 448KB)

Principles  

  • Care must be taken not to over-analyse quantitative measures – they are indicative only, as there are a number of issues which may compromise such data. 
  • In particular, caution is to be taken in interpreting low response rates and small class size evaluations, and in setting the timing between successive evaluations which should neither be too short nor too long. 
  • Similarly, courses with content that is challenging by nature (e.g., philosophically opposed to students’ beliefs) may derive responses that do not evaluate the teaching and learning, but rather elicit the personal views of content or personal beliefs of the students.
  • There is also a need to exercise caution when it comes to making possible comparisons of survey scores both across faculties and within similar disciplines.

Procedures

The evaluation system will be administered via LEARN and an electronic link will be triggered based on enrolment in courses.

The evaluation responses will be anonymous to teaching staff, but will be available to staff from the Evaluation and Student Insights (ESI) Team to carry out institutional research. Only aggregated data without identities may be published by the ESI Team.

Students are to be made aware by express wording at the point they commence a evaluation online that the University has a Prevention of Harassment and Bullying Policy  (PDF, 227KB) and Discipline Regulations (University Regulations website), and that offensive or threatening responses may lead to the evaluation respondent’s identity being traced and consequent action being taken.

In responding to evaluations, students are encouraged to provide constructive feedback rather than negative comments directed to the personal characteristics of staff or about content to which they personally object. Lecturers are expected to contribute to the quality of evaluations. They should take action to positively influence evaluation response rates by some or all of the following actions: 

  • Telling students about how previous feedback has been used and acted on;
  • Early information about the purpose and process of evaluations, whether in lectures or by class emails etc;
  • Reminders of any specific issues lecturers would like feedback on;
  • A personal reminder via a posting on LEARN or via email;
  • Publishing on the web (e.g., the Course Information System (CIS)) summary of comments from previous years and how the feedback has resulted in change);
  • Dedicating a specific period in class (e.g., ten minutes) when students are encouraged to log in to LEARN via their own device and complete the survey. This should be mentioned in the previous class to allow students to be prepared in advance. Evaluations started in class may be completed at a later time.

Course Evaluation

Course evaluations are designed to ascertain student perceptions of the delivery of courses. Course evaluations takes place every three years for all taught courses and will be automatically selected when it is due.

2022 Semester 2 and Whole-year Course Evaluation

The Semester 2 and Whole-year Course Evaluation will rollout on 10 - 30 October. See 2022 Semester 2 & Whole-year Course Evaluation List for courses that are due this semester. If you don't see the course in the list and would like a course evaluation, please put in your request in LEARN. The cut-off date to make this request is before 11 September.

NOTE: Teaching evaluation is a separate evaluation and it is upon request by staff. Please see Teaching Evaluation for more information.

2022 Semester 1 Course Evaluation

The course evaluation results are now available. Please see guide on how to download your results.

Check out the Course Evaluation Trends dashboard to see how your course has progressed over the years.

It is now possible to add 3 custom questions or choose questions from the question banks. Please see the following link for instructions on how to do this:

Adding custom questions to SET evaluations (PDF, 164.5KB)

In line with Teaching, Course and Programme Surveys Policy, Procedures and Principles (PDF, 448KB), evaluation results will be made available as soon as grades have been released to students (please refer to Examinations Intranet). A benefit of the new system is that lecturers and HODs can access results immediately on this date without any processing time.

To gain access to the course evaluation results, staff would need to assign “Access to SET Results” in Learn. Please see following document for instructions:

Assigning the Access to SET Results Role in Learn (PDF, 214.3KB)

We invite all staff to actively engage in closing the loop using such practices as detailed below.

Guidelines on Feedback to Course Evaluations (PDF, 142.5KB)

If a teacher wishes to respond directly to feedback given in a SET response, the following template form can be used and then uploaded to LEARN:

Student Evaluation of Teaching: Feedback to Students on Courses (PDF, 96KB)

Student Evaluation of Teaching: Feedback to Students on Courses (DOCX, 70.1KB)

For further information regarding closing the feedback loop, and for an example of how previous feedback has been integrated into a course outline please see the following documents:

School of Biological Sciences, BIOL377 Global Change and Biosecurity (PDF, 280KB)

Using Student Evaluations to Enhance Teaching Practice - Closing the Loop (PDF, 1.54MB) (Stein, S. J., Spiller, D., Terry, S., Harris, T., Deaker, L., & Kennedy, J. 2012. Using student evaluations to enhance teaching practice: Closing the loop. Wellington, New Zealand: Ako Aotearoa.)

Checkout the Course Evaluation Trends dashboard on the ESI Dashboard homepage (for staff only) for course evaluation results starting from 2016. 

For course and teaching evaluation summary results, please refer to Historical Data and College Averages Intranet (for staff only).

Teaching Evaluation

Teaching Evaluations can be a useful feedback tool for staff and are required by the University’s academic promotions process.

Staff will be able the request evaluations via LEARN. For actual "How to" instructions on requesting a teaching evaluation please see the link below:

Request a Teaching Evaluation  (PDF, 167KB)

The best time to have your teaching evaluation is towards the end of your teaching and when students are still actively using LEARN. Please see the calendar for the scheduled teaching evaluation windows and note the deadline for each window:

2022 Student Evaluation of Teaching Calendar (PDF, 280KB)

There are 5 mandatory teaching evaluation questions (PDF, 72KB) (staff only). Similar to the course evaluation, it is now possible to add 3 custom questions or choose questions from the question banks. Please see the following link for instructions on how to do this:

Adding custom questions to SET evaluations (PDF, 164.5KB)

Similar to the course evaluation, the evaluation results will be made available as soon as grades have been released to students.

TA/Tutor/Lab Demonstrator Evaluation 

Teaching assistant (TA)/tutor/lab demonstrator evaluations enables students to provide feedback to specialist staff.

Similar to teaching evaluation, TA/tutor/lab demonstrator or the course coordinator (on behalf) can made a TA/tutor/lab demonstrator evaluation request via LEARN. For actual "How to" instructions on requesting a TA/tutor evaluation please see the link below:

Request a Teaching Evaluation  (PDF, 167KB)

There are 3 mandatory TA/tutor evaluation questions (PDF, 78KB) (staff only). Similar to the course and teaching evaluation, it is now possible to add 3 custom questions to TA/Tutor evaluations. Please see the following link for instructions on how to do this:

Adding custom questions to SET evaluations (PDF, 165.4KB)

Similar to the course and teaching evaluation, the evaluation results will be made available as soon as grades have been released to students.

Frequently asked questions

For a list of frequently asked questions about the new SET system and their responses please see the following document:

Student Evaluation of Teaching SET FAQS(PDF, 142KB)‌

For any further information please contact the Survey Coordinator at studentevaluationofteaching@canterbury.ac.nz.