Quality & Risk Office

The Quality & Risk Office (QRO) provides National leadership and expertise across the academic portfolio for matters relating to quality management and risk with a focus on maintaining high quality learning experiences and educational outcomes for students. This involves oversight of a range of institutional quality assurance activities which includes collecting feedback from students on their learning experience at Notre Dame.

Student Evaluation FAQS

What are Teaching Performance Evaluations (TPE) and Course Content Evaluations (CCE)?

Notre Dame has two cycles for evaluating teachers and courses: summer term/semester one and winter term/semester two. Teaching Performance Evaluations (TPE)* is the current instrument used to capture students’ feedback on their experience of teaching and Course Content Evaluations (CCE)* is the current instrument used to capture students’ feedback on their experience of course content. The QRO coordinates the responsibilities involved in undertaking TPE and CCE in close liaison with the Faculties and Schools.

*Revised instruments are currently in development are were trialled with selected teachers and courses in 21ST/21S1.

Why is student feedback so important? How is this information used?

At Notre Dame, TPE and CCE contribute to capturing, understanding and responding to “the student voice”. The feedback gathered from students is typically used to monitor the teaching and academic content quality of the University, identify improvement areas, and commend exemplary teaching.

What is the process for completing online evaluations?

Preparations for the deployment of online evaluations is undertaken by the QRO. Results are dealt with in strict confidence, with all student responses anonymised. TPE and CCE are conducted according to a schedule, therefore some of the lecturers/tutors may not be evaluated in every round – so, not every student will receive an invitation to provide feedback.

Eligible student participants are sent a launch email with a unique link to complete an online survey; student responses are given a value from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) for each statement, with an overall result taken from the average of all student responses. It is very important that students read and follow the instructions to make sure that the 1 to 5 ratings used correctly evaluate the teacher and/or course – once submitted, the feedback cannot be changed.

There is also opportunity for students to write open comments, which is considered an important element of the feedback information. During the time the survey is open, weekly reminders are sent automatically by the surveying platform to eligible student participants with survey links that have not been completed, and the staff member being evaluated will receive a notification in the final week if the response rate requires improvement.

Who sees the processed evaluation results, and how are they kept anonymised?

Over the course of the evaluation process, measures are in place to ensure the anonymity of the responses at all times. The surveys are set up using an automated system and links inviting participation sent only to students’ Notre Dame email address. Each email contains a unique link to ensure that only those students identified as being eligible (because of the evaluation schedule) to carry out the survey are able to get access – use of the link turns off automated reminders for that survey once the system detects that the link has been successfully used. Once the survey has been completed, the recorded response does not contain any reference to the link, the email address or student it was sent to.

Does the use of a unique link compromise anonymity, and what data are stored?

When a survey is launched, it will generate a unique instance of the survey for each participant, before allocating and distributing the links via email. This allows the system to control reminders for open survey links, and ensure that only students with a valid link can fill out the survey allocated to them – it does not use any personal information, and is used only to direct the recipient of the link to the right survey.

Once submitted, the system will not allow any further access to the survey via the unique link. The responses are recorded with only the details of the course and staff members, along with the values for each question and any open form answers submitted. This data cannot be seen or accessed from outside of the surveying system.

If a student makes a mistake, can they retake / amend their survey?

Due to the system not recording any participant information in the survey, the QRO is unable to identify any survey response as being made by any specific participant, so no completed surveys can be resent, retaken or amended in any way. However, if advised of an issue, the QRO is able to monitor the results of a survey to ensure that any outlying results do not impact on the overall outcome, and advise the School if there is likely to be a negative repercussion from incorrect surveys. Due to the size of most survey groups, most anomalies will not have a significant effect on the outcome.

Can a student save and resume their survey at a later date?

Yes, the save function is built in and can be used as long as the survey remains open – this is usually three weeks but may change depending on particular School instructions. The links in the survey and reminder emails are unique to the survey, and at any time the student can click the option to save their progress. As long as the survey has not reached its close date as noted in the launch and reminder emails, using the unique link will go back to the survey that was saved, which can then be resumed.

Can a survey for one teaching staff member be completed for a different staff member? What if I get the wrong link?

No – each survey is set up specifically with the details of the staff member outlined in the invitation email. If a student has received an invitation to give feedback regarding a staff member or course that they have not been involved in, they should disregard the email and contact the QRO on qro@nd.edu.au to discuss what can be done.

Contact us

Sofia Elliott National Director, Quality and Risk 08 9433 0908 sofia.elliott@nd.edu.au
Adam Shaw Quality Officer 08 9433 0941 adam.shaw@nd.edu.au