- If a class/seminar or lecture is team-taught and teachers would like to collect feedback as a team, it is important for TQARO to be notified of this in advance. The data we hold does not identify whether a course is delivered in such a manner. The team will have to nominate one teacher to trigger the survey and for their name to be recorded as the ‘course convenor’. Results will be made available to the ‘course convenor’ in the first instance and can be shared accordingly. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if a teacher is acting as a ‘course convenor’ for team taught courses for the purpose of the survey.
Some courses at the School are taught by a number of different staff within a term and/or across the academic year. For example, the same lecturer might deliver lectures across a course's duration. But the class/seminar teaching might be delivered in 'blocks' by different teachers. In this case, students would experience a new teacher in each teaching block. The duration of the teaching block might vary across courses, e.g. three to five weeks. In other cases, different lecturers might lecture on the course, too, and the same lecturers might lecture at different times across the course's duration.
If individual lecturers and/or teachers on such courses deliver five or more weeks, it is compulsory for them to conduct a survey. It might be, however, that their lecturing or teaching block ends before the main School survey period in weeks 8 and 9; or that they deliver lectures at a number of different points across the course, but not in weeks 8 or 9.
Equally, lecturers and/or teachers on such courses who deliver less than five weeks might still wish to conduct a survey. They can use student feedback to help them identify strengths and weaknesses in their lecturing and/or teaching. They can also use the survey results to support an application to the School's promotion process. Their Departments can use the results as part of local quality assurance arrangements.
The School's survey system is flexible enough to provide arrangements outside of the main survey period for covering non-standard teaching of this kind. To do so, however, requires some planning and forethought by the Course Convener, lecturers and teachers involved. The data on which the School's survey is based does not identify whether a course is delivered by non-standard teaching. It is therefore incumbent on the staff involved to organise and deliver the survey on those courses in coordination with TQARO.
Surveying courses with non-standard teaching: two options
There are two ways to survey courses delivered by multiple lecturers and/or teachers:
1) each lecturer and/or teacher conducts a survey during the last lecture or class/seminar of his/her lecturing or teaching block; or
2) the Course Convener determines that lectures and/or classes should be surveyed at a particular time – or times – during the term.
For example, a half-unit course has one class group. It is taught by three different teachers, each of whom teach one three-week block (with one of the three delivering a revision class in week 10). Under option 1), each teacher should run a survey in the final class of their teaching block. To survey any course outside of the main weeks 8 and 9 survey run, teachers should collect a blank survey pack from their Departmental office. They should then conduct the survey in the normal way, carefully completing the information requested on the survey envelope (e.g. name, Department, course code and class/seminar group number). If the lectures on the course are delivered in the same way (i.e. in three-week blocks by different lecturers), the surveys should be carried out in the same way (i.e. in the final lecture of each lecturer's block).
Under option 1), each lecturer and teacher receives individual feedback about their lecturing and teaching, and about the course, for their three-week teaching block. Under this approach, however, there is a risk that students might develop 'survey fatigue', and the quality of their feedback might deteriorate in later surveys.
Option 1) assumes that lecturing and teaching on the course is delivered in blocks, e.g. each lecture or class is delivered in succession by the same lecturer or teacher. But some courses are not as neat as this: a lecturer might deliver lectures in weeks one, six and nine, for example. For these courses, it is down to the Course Convener to determine when lecture surveys ought to be conducted (i.e. option 2)).
Option 2) helps avoid 'survey fatigue', but at the cost of individual feedback for lecturers and teachers. Under this approach, the Course Convener needs to determine when to conduct the survey. This could be only at the end of the term, or it could be once at the end of week 5 and again at the end of term to track the development of student opinion across the course.
Under option 2), the results can only be attached to the course, not to an individual lecturer or teacher. To deliver surveys under this approach, the Course Convener should arrange for whoever is lecturing and/or teaching at the time to conduct the survey. That lecturer or teacher needs to advise students clearly before they complete the questionnaires that the 'lecturing' or 'teaching' questions relate to lecturing or teaching on the course in general, not to the lecturer or teacher in the class room at the time of the survey. The results provide feedback to the Course Convener about the overall lecturing and/or teaching on the course, and about the course itself, but the results cannot be considered as a performance indicator for any one lecturer or teacher.
For further guidance and support on surveying courses with non-standard teaching, please contact Tqaro Surveys.