Authorization and Approval

Responsibility: University Council
Authorization: University Council
Approval Date: December 19, 2019
Reformatted: n/a
Amended: n/a

Purpose

The University of Saskatchewan is committed to excellence in teaching, academic programming and students’ learning experiences. The university is committed to gathering feedback on a regular basis from students on their learning experience for the purpose of the enhancement of teaching and learning. The purpose of gathering student feedback is both formative (i.e., for the educator’s personal use to improve teaching practice and students’ learning) and summative (i.e., available as one component contributing to assessment of teaching quality through collegial and administrative processes). In addition, there is value in using aggregate information (aggregated across educators or across courses) for planning and programming purposes. Student feedback is thus one part of an overall teaching quality framework that also includes regular peer review, self-assessment, collegial processes and other forms of assessment as appropriate to inform ongoing quality enhancement. The information received from students is thus beneficial for educators, administrators and the institution, and enables students to engage in a meaningful reflection on their experiences. This policy document on course-related student learning experience feedback flows out of and acknowledges educator and university community commitments made in the University of Saskatchewan Learning Charter.

Principles

This document is predicated on the ideals that:

  • Educators seek feedback in their teaching and can use this feedback to enhance teaching and learning practice.
  • Students want to provide feedback on their learning experiences.
  • Feedback is collected, in part, to improve program quality and the quality of student learning.
  • The rights and dignity of both educators and students shall be protected in the process of gathering student learning experience feedback and the reporting of results.
  • The instruments that gather student learning experience feedback must be valid and reliable and must be approved by the college faculty council or department where such authority has been appropriately delegated to a department.
  • The processes of gathering student learning experience feedback shall be fair and transparent; the processes should be explicit and understood at the outset by educators and students.
  • Student learning experience feedback may be used as one part of a portfolio of evidence of teaching quality; interpretation of numeric results and weight given to qualitative responses shall be fair and transparent.
  • Feedback is most usable for an educator when it is provided in a timely manner; feedback provided to an educator mid-course can be used to improve the learning experience of the students providing it.

Policy Statement

1.  Under typical circumstances, feedback will be gathered for each undergraduate and graduate course each time it is offered. Such feedback is not limited to formal student learning experience feedback.

2.  Where classes are taught by multiple educators, feedback for each educator will be gathered.

3.  Educators will have the ability to add personalized questions to mid- and end-of-course questionnaires with responses to these questions available only to the educator.

4.  SLEQ feedback from end-of-course questionnaires are to be released:

4.1 to educators after final grades are approved by academic administrators (department heads or deans in non-departmentalized colleges or their delegates). Feedback from mid­course questionnaires will be released to only the educator and as soon as possible after the questionnaire close date.
4.2 to academic administrators according to the guidelines developed and approved by the department/college.

5.  All student learning experience feedback shall be confidential. Results will be provided to educators and academic leaders and their delegates in a form that creates anonymity of the student providing feedback unless the student chooses otherwise.

6.  It is recognized that student learning experience data will be used in multiple ways and presented in different forms to fulfill specific purposes. As such:

6.1 End-of-course numerical and written feedback may be used by educators, department heads and/or deans or their delegates to inform conversations regarding ongoing enhancement of teaching practice.
6.2 End-of-course numerical and written feedback may be used in personnel related decisions (e.g. renewal, tenure, promotion).
6.3 Mid- and end-of-course numerical and written feedback may be used in aggregate, eliminating the potential for identification of any individual educator activities, to inform activities such as ongoing curriculum and teaching and learning enhancement endeavours.
6.4 Mid- and end-of-course numerical and written feedback may be used in aggregate, eliminating the potential for identification of any individual educator activities, in ongoing student learning experience instrument development.

7.  The Vice Provost Teaching, Learning and Student Experience will be the data trustee of all student learning experience data.

Responsibilities

Institution:

  • Oversee the implementation and maintenance of this policy
  • Manage and coordinate the administration of the on-line instrument and support a platform for the University Council approved instrument in line with Procedures for Student Learning Experience Feedback
  • Provide support and education to university community members regarding the interpretation, use and value of student learning experience feedback
  • Ensure processes and this policy comply with other pertinent university policies (e.g., Academic Courses Policy, Academic Conduct Guidelines)

Colleges and Departments:

  • Develop student learning experience feedback guidelines that reflect this policy. These guidelines will include (but are not limited to) information about how student learning experience feedback is gathered (e.g., who is responsible for setting up the gathering of feedback for a course), how frequently feedback will be collected (e.g., will feedback be gathered on all courses in the college/department each term), how feedback is to be reviewed (e.g., is individual data to be reviewed regularly by a department head), and how feedback might be used by educators and academic leaders and their delegates (e.g., for program enhancement purposes)
  • Undertake the development of college, department, and/or program specific items for the student learning experience questionnaire as it relates to program enhancement
  • Manage the administration of student learning experience questionnaires within the college/department

Academic Leaders (school or department heads or deans in non-departmentalized colleges):

  • Ensure administrative resources are available for administration of student learning experience questionnaires
  • Use student learning experience feedback appropriately, recognizing its benefits and limitations
  • Act as data stewards of quantitative and qualitative student feedback from end-of-course questionnaires
  • When undertaken, oversee review of end-of-course student feedback as a component of the assessment of teaching quality
  • Act within the spirit and intent of this policy and college guidelines for interpreting student feedback data

Educators:

  • Act as data custodians of their own quantitative and qualitative student feedback, in particular mid-course questionnaires and educator developed questions, which are not shared with academic leaders
  • Honor and maintain student anonymity in the collection and use of feedback
  • Understand this policy and college guidelines and act within their spirit and intent
  • Where possible, find ways to communicate to students the value of their feedback and the ways in which data are/have been used to enhance teaching and learning
  • Review and utilize student feedback regularly to enhance teaching and learning
  • Discuss results with colleagues as appropriate including, for example, department head or dean

Students:

  • Commit to participate in the sharing of their experiences of teaching and learning
  • Provide respectful, ethical, thoughtful and constructive feedback so as to fuel educator and institutional reflection and enable processes of continuous enhancement of teaching and learning
  • Understand the benefits and limitations of student learning experience feedback including when feedback provided may be inappropriate (e.g., disrespectful and/or unethical) and therefore not used to inform enhancement processes

Related Documents

Questions?

If you have questions about this policy please contact:

Contact Person: Patti McDougall, Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Experience
Phone: 306-966-6203