Course feedback questionnaire
Good teaching and learning happen only in cooperation. At the end of each semester, students of the University of Tartu can give feedback on courses for which they registered. The course feedback questionnaire applied at the University of Tartu from the spring semester of 2019 enables the teaching staff to get feedback on students’ learning experience in the course as a whole and is primarily meant to help them to develop their courses. When the course is taught by several lecturers, an essential role belongs to the lecturer in charge who can use the information for developing the whole course.
The aim of collecting feedback on courses is to improve teaching. The formulation of statements in the questionnaire enables the teaching and administrative staff to draw conclusions about the good sides of the course and the necessary changes. Questions are asked about the clarity and adequacy of organisation of the course, the diversity of teaching methods and creating opportunities for discussion, about giving feedback and assessment. Conclusively, learners can assess if the subject was valuable for them. The questionnaire enables the teaching staff to understand which aspects of in the course supported students’ learning and which aspects of teaching the students were not satisfied with. Explanations and recommendations how to understand and use feedback assessments can be found in the teaching staff guide for interpreting the course feedback questionnaire.
FILLING THE QUESTIONNAIRE
Each student must assess at least four courses (in doctoral studies one course). Learners who have registered for fewer than three courses in the current semester must assess all the courses of the semester. Feedback on courses can be given until the official end of the semester.
Feedback on courses can be given in SIS; the link to the questionnaire can be found on the dashboard. The questionnaire consists of 15 statements to be assessed and 5 open-ended questions, answering to which enables students to explain their ideas and substantiate their opinions. If the curriculum does not enable to assess some statements, the variant “Not applicable” can be chosen.
In the Study Information System, the data of feedback questionnaires are connected with the data on the student and his/her student place, but the results of the questionnaire are publicised in the Study Information System, research and analyses only in an impersonal form. Feedback answers can be associated with a concrete person by persons who have the right of access to them. The university has the legal obligation to issue the data e.g. to the court, public prosecutor’s office, police. Read more about personal data protection here.
Meaningful and constructive feedback is highly appreciated. Before responding to the questionnaire, it is essential to read the good practice of giving feedback.
The Office of Academic Affairs has the right to delete the comments that ignore the good practice of giving feedback. When answers are deleted, the data are processed in an impersonal form, i.e. the comment is not associated with the respondent.
The learners are informed of the possibility to give feedback on courses by the link "Course feedback” on the SIS opening page. Courses generally open for assessment two weeks before the first exam/pass-fail evaluation in the SIS timetable (if there are none of these, two weeks before the last class), and feedback on courses can be given until the official end of the semester. Although feedback on courses can be given earlier, it is recommended to give feedback after the exam or pass/fail evaluation. When giving feedback earlier, some questions may be difficult to answer.
From the first day of the new semester, the courses of the new semester are open for assessment for learners who have assessed the required number of courses of the previous semester. Learners who have not assessed the required number of courses of the previous semester by the beginning of the new semester can still see the courses of the previous semester.
Courses open for assessment continuously during the semester. Learners who have not assessed the required number of courses get an e-mail four weeks before the end of the semester. This is the best time to decide which courses to assess this semester. If the learner has not assessed the required number of courses by the official end of the semester, his/her rights to use the Study Information System are restricted. This means that the student can only give feedback on courses in the SIS, and no other activities are allowed until the required number of courses has been assessed.
Course feedback results become visible from the beginning of the next semester.
The results are displayed to all users logged into SIS depending their roles.
a. Students can see the general graph of parts 1 and 3, subgraphs of multiple-answer questions and summarising tables about the number of answers and respondents but not the verbal comments. As an exception, students can see the comments to question 3.8 “Learning recommendations for future learners".
b. In addition to clause a, teaching staff members can see answers to open-ended questions about the courses they teach.
c. Programme directors and heads of institutes, vice-deans for academic affairs, deans and persons authorised by deans and Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and persons authorised by Vice Rector for Academic Affairs can see, in addition to the items mentioned in clauses a and b, answers to open-ended questions of part 2.
The results of course feedback questionnaires are used by
• the teaching staff to improve the quality of teaching of their courses,
• programme directors and programme councils for internal assessment and development of curricula,
• heads of academic structural units for assessing the proficiency of staff members’ work, including the assessment of their appropriateness for teaching or research staff posts, at development interviews, progress reviews, planning of staff members’ continuing education and for acknowledgement of staff members.