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Student Feedback on Subjects - Administration Procedures

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

Preamble

(1) Student feedback is one element of a comprehensive academic quality assurance system, the ultimate goal of which is to improve the student experience at La Trobe. 

(2) Results from the student feedback process will be used in summative and formative evaluation of subjects and in curriculum and program review and improvement, internal and external accreditation and other academic quality assurance processes.

(3) The Federal Government and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency may require the University to report aggregate SFS outcomes.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) The Student Feedback on Subjects (SFS), will be used to elicit, document and summarise data from students about their perceptions of subjects.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) Refer to the Student Feedback on Subjects Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Design

(6) The SFS questionnaires is designed to be valid, reliable, appropriate for purpose and context, effective and efficient.

(7) The questionnaires are developed by the Planning and Institutional Performance Unit (PIPU) in consultation with La Trobe Learning and Teaching (LTLT) and reviewed and approved by the Education Committee at least every five years.

Ethics and Anonymity

(8) Students must be confident that that their anonymity is protected and that staff cannot gain access to the data before academic results have been submitted to Student Services. 

(9) Students are made aware that their participation, while strongly encouraged, is voluntary. Students will also be provided with guidance about the scope of the SFS process (as opposed to the Student Feedback on Teaching process) and the desirability of their comments being thorough, respectful, and constructive.

Ownership and Management

(10) The SFS questionnaires and systems are owned by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and the administration of the business process and reporting is a responsibility of PIPU.

Administration of Questionnaire - Responsibilities

(11) PIPU will:

  1. set and communicate operational processes and deadlines
  2. ensure that questionnaires are available to students to complete
  3. analyse and report the data
  4. develop and publish guidelines to assist in the interpretation of student feedback data and provide necessary training in interpreting the data (in collaboration with LTLT)
  5. securely archive the data and reports

(12) Colleges and Schools will support the implementation of the process by encouraging student completion of the questionnaires, and have the primary responsibility for using the data as an input to subject review and improvement.

Alternative Formats

(13) Questionnaires are administered to students online as the default.

(14) Staff who become aware of students who will need to use an alternative format for the feedback form must contact PIPU (surveys@latrobe.edu.au) to discuss requirements.

Timing of Questionnaire Delivery to Students

(15) SFS surveys will not be administered in the final week or final session of a subject. They may be administered after approximately 75% of teaching is completed (usually during Weeks 10-11 of a 12-week semester or at an equivalent point during other teaching schedules). Questionnaires will be unavailable to students during the examination period.

(16) Academic staff are encouraged to seek feedback from students in a dynamic way during the course of the semester. The University will provide advice and support to academic staff in this process.

Response Rates

(17) PIPU and College leadership teams will ensure that appropriate steps are taken to secure a reasonable response rate every time a subject is taught.

(18) PIPU will provide the Colleges with reports to monitor response rate trends at relevant points during the process.

Improvement and Monitoring

(19) Results will be monitored by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Colleges and Schools and used to support continuous improvement. 

(20) Regular reports will be provided via Education Committee to Academic Board.

Reporting and Publication of Survey Results

(21) The Student Feedback on Subjects - Publication Procedures contain full details of this aspect of the process.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(22) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Questionnaire: the instrument (questions) used to conduct a survey.
  2. Survey: the method for collecting information.