Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 9, No. 1 (2012)

On-line, on-target and on-message Course evaluation enhancements at a regional university

Reed Rob, CQUniversity
Jo Miller, CQUniversity
Jan Thomson, CQUniversity

Abstract

CQUniversity has seen a step change in its response rates for course evaluations, rising from 3.8% in term 1 2010 to 48 % in term 2 2012, based on a current target of a response rate of 50% in all courses. This target aims to enable the University to hear about the learning experience of the majority of its students across all courses and offerings. Student evaluation of courses, termed ‘course evaluation’ at CQUniversity, is an essential component of course operation. Course evaluations provide information to assist academic staff in their enhancement of the development and delivery of courses. They provide the University with feedback from its key stakeholders, with the aim of providing a learner-centric view across all courses and programs, at all locations and in all modes of delivery. Without feedback from students on their learning experience, academic staff would be missing a vital component in assessing the effectiveness of course delivery, from the perspective of the learner. Course evaluation is undertaken for every offering of a course, in each term and year and at every location, including distance education. The mode of delivery of the course evaluation survey is online, through the learning management system (Moodle), through a customisation of the Moodle ‘survey’ software. An integral component of the process of course evaluation is that staff provide a response to students on enhancements that have been made as a result of student feedback as part of the process of annual course enhancement reporting, closing the feedback loop with students via the course profile. This ensures that past and future students can be aware of enhancements that have been made as a result of student feedback. A whole-of-University engagement strategy underpinned by a consolidated approach to course evaluations from Term 2, 2010 has been successfully embedded in practice across CQUniversity, with substantially enhanced response rates. An important aspect of the approach has been the automated addition of the course evaluation survey link within the learning management system, so that students and staff are aware of its consistent location across all courses.

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