The Evaluation of Learning and Teaching Policy encourages multiple means of collecting relevant information on the quality of learning and teaching. The Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) facilitates data collection through surveys of student views on the quality of their learning experience, and on the teaching quality in their units.
The main purposes of the surveys are for quality assurance and quality enhancement. Data collected through the evaluation tools (typically students indicate their agreement to various statements on a questionnaire and have the opportunity to write comments), should be used in conjunction with all available information, to demonstrate or improve the quality of learning and teaching in ACU.
The evaluation data, along with individual professional development activities, may be used to support a lecturer's probation/performance review and application for promotion.
Coursework units offered by ACU will be evaluated in accordance with the Evaluation of Learning and Teaching Policy and related procedures, using the SELT questionnaire. The SELT questionnaire is designed to collect student feedback on various aspects of learning and teaching quality at the unit level. SELT surveys are conducted online at specific times in the year. Further information on SELT surveys (e.g., questionnaire content and survey cycles) is available at the Resources section.
Survey field dates: May-July and October-December each year
The Professional Experience (ProfEx) survey is a formal process at ACU that gives students the opportunity to provide feedback on their experiences of learning in a specific workplace or another form of placement. The ProfEx questionnaire is specifically designed to reflect the unique learning that occurs at various stages when undertaking these units. Currently the survey is open to select units in the Faculties of Education and Arts and Health Sciences. Please note that any units evaluated using the ProfEx survey are not included in the SELT survey.
Survey field dates: First half and second half each year
As the SELT survey is an end of study period survey, any unit or teaching improvements can only apply to students enrolled in future offerings of the unit. Throughout the study period, especially in a semester, there are alternative, multiple opportunities to gauge student feedback, enabling teachers to make more immediate adjustments to their teaching and the unit if needed.
ACU Unitpulse is an online formative evaluation instrument that allows lecturers to gauge student sentiment, understanding, and progress in order to drive success. The immediate (live) feedback received from students enables lecturers to make timely adjustments if needed and address student concerns and affirm good practice.
The Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) is currently implementing ACU Unitpulse and making the tool available in selected units so that teaching staff can monitor student progress throughout the semester or study period.
Currently, Lecturers in Charge will have access to post questions in ACU Unitpulse. In the future, when all lecturers/tutors for a unit can view the question(s) posted for that unit (a feature that is expected to be available late in 2018), access to all 'teachers' to post questions can be enabled.
Staff are to follow the ACU Unitpulse standard process (endorsed by the University Learning and Teaching Committee) in their use of this tool. Please note:ACU Unitpulse is to be used for the purpose of quality assurance and internal reporting only.
What is unique about ACU Unitpulse?
ACU Unitpulse is fully integrated with LEO, ACU’s Learning Management System.
ACU Unitpulse reporting is anonymous – students can be assured that their names will not be identified when giving feedback.
ACU Unitpulse allows one-on-one communication between a lecturer and a student, even though the tool does not reveal any details of students.
ACU Unitpulse provides an open communication channel for all learning scenarios at ACU (traditional, online and blended units). Questions can be posted without linking to specific lecture content.
Bluepulse App: Students and lecturers can download an app to their smartphones making it easier to post and respond to questions.
Instructor’s Report: ACU Unitpulse provides lecturers with a downloadable report of all the activity. This provides a record that can be used for evidencing learning and teaching practice. This evidence can support their reflective practice, annual Performance Review and Planning process and career progress.
ACU Unitpulse is a product of eXplorance, a partner vendor with which ACU has a legal agreement. Therefore,the data storage is compliant with Australian Privacy Act.
One of the challenges for quality assurance in the higher education sector is that of engaging students in the evaluation process, including in the surveying of units and teaching in units. In order to increase participation in surveys, students need to know that their opinions are valued and that their contributions improve the experience of learning and teaching at ACU. Encouraging student engagement can, in turn, empower them to become more active in their learning experience. Closing the evaluation feedback loop is an essential part of this process.
Academic staff are encouraged to participate in reflective teaching practices through the ACU Peer Observation and Review of Teaching (PORT) program. PORT is a voluntary program at ACU and cannot be mandated without approval of the academic staff wishing to participate in the program. Peer observation is designed to be developmental for staff while peer review is designed to be evaluative for staff.