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ERIC Number: EJ1094148
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1443-2110
Student Feedback Surveys: An Holistic Approach to Maximising Their Value to Staff and Students
Young, Anne; McConkey, Kevin; Kirby, Mark
Journal of Institutional Research, v16 n1 p82-90 Jul 2011
Student feedback surveys are an important component of the continuous improvement cycle at the University of Newcastle. This article describes a recently adopted holistic approach to collecting, analysing, reporting and acting on student feedback on courses (units of study), programs (collection of courses leading to an award) and the student experience. The approach demonstrates the value to staff and students of an integrated system of reporting, based on clear definitions of purpose, well designed data collection instruments and analysis, and an unambiguous and prompt feedback system to all participants. It is supported by ongoing consultation and conversations about the survey processes, outcomes, and ways of addressing the survey findings. A focus has been placed on follow-up support to assist academic staff and their supervisors to respond to findings. Reports summarising quantitative and qualitative data have been designed as well as communication guidelines for managers, developed in consultation with academic staff, and through ongoing dialogue with them, resulting in a more transparent and collaborative approach to measuring and improving quality. Survey instruments have been revised following extensive consultation and are now administered online. Reporting back to students has been improved with survey results and actions communicated in a multiplicity of ways. The development of this approach has seen a rise student engagement with surveys and escalating engagement with student feedback by academic staff. Students and staff are developing stronger links to their university communities as they both participate in and benefit from this more consultative and coordinated approach to collecting and acting on student feedback. [This paper was first presented at the Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Institutional Research, "Has institutional research come of age in Australia?," in Geelong, 10-12 November 2010.]
Australasian Association for Institutional Research. 546 Gallymont Road, Mandurama, NSW 2792, Australia. +61-2-6367-5347; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A