Student feedback plays a major role in the efforts to continuously improve the student experience. Much of that student feedback is captured through the various surveys that are managed by the Survey Services unit within the Planning, Quality and Equity Services Centre.
The main student surveys deal with a variety of subject matter from units, teaching and courses, to the support services you rely on such as computing facilities, student administration and retail outlets. Some surveys deal with specific student cohorts such as commencing students, mid-course students, research degree students or recent graduates.
A number of student surveys are nationally coordinated, which provides us with the opportunity to benchmark against other universities.
ECU has a Surveys Policy, which attempts to rationalise the increasing demands for running surveys among student and staff bodies.
For a full list of surveys students can download the survey schedule.
Unit and Teaching Evaluation Instrument
The Unit and Teaching Evaluation Instrument (UTEI) is a centrally administered survey which seeks student feedback on their units and teaching. The data generated is used to improve the design of units and maintain best teaching practice. ECU's policy is to survey all units and their teaching staff each time a unit is offered. Results are made available to the individual lecturer and tutor, unit and course coordinators, and school and faculty heads.
Mid-course Evaluation Questionnaire
Students who are approximately mid-way (40 per cent to 70 per cent) through their course are asked to provide feedback on their course to date. The questionnaire, normally administered in semester two, is an adaption of the course experience questionnaire, nationally administered to graduates as part of the Australian Graduate Survey.
In-Progress Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire
Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students are surveyed at the end of each year and asked to provide feedback on their experience with a range of issues such as supervision, infrastructure and intellectual climate. The In-Progress Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (IPREQ) is based on the national graduate PREQ, which means a level of benchmarking is available, albeit between current and completed students.
Student Services and Facilities Feedback Evaluation
The Student Services and Facilities Feedback Evaluation (SSAFE) survey is administered once every two years to all students. The focus of the SSAFE survey ranges from broad student experiences and satisfaction, to more detailed aspects such as enrolments, computing facilities, support services/helpdesks and campus environment. Feedback from previous SSAFE surveys has influenced the development of improvements in food outlets, expanded student accommodation, and improved parking facilities.
Australian University Student Survey of Engagement
ECU has participated in the Australian University Student Survey of Engagement (AUSSE) since 2009. The majority of Australian and New Zealand universities also participate in this survey. The AUSSE attempts to gauge the extent to which students are involved in 'engaged' behaviour promoting positive learning outcomes.
Australian Graduate Survey
Australian Graduate Survey (AGS) is administered to graduates approximately four-months following the completion of their course. There are three distinct components of the AGS:
- Graduate Destination Survey (GDS) looks at what type of work, further study and other activities graduates are involved in, post their initial studies;
- Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) explores graduates' perceptions on their course and teaching staff; and
- Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire (PREQ) seeks feedback from research postgraduates' on their experience in their higher degree course.
The AGS is nationally coordinated by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA). Survey Services manages the ECU campaign, codes responses from graduates and organises the final submission of data.
University Experience Survey
As part of the Commonwealth Government's performance-based funding mechanism, universities will be soon be required to participate in this new survey. At the time of writing, this is still under development, but is likely to be rolled out in 2012.
Commencing Students Survey
Early in the academic year students new to ECU are surveyed about their reasons for choosing to enrol at ECU and their experience of orientation. This survey is conducted in conjunction with the corporate marketing team.
Research Training Survey (for Graduate Research School)
Since 2009, Survey Services hosted several surveys of research training needs on behalf of the Graduate Research School.