Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of Student Feedback?

Student feedback (SFB) can have different purposes for different users, eg. do you need the data to include in a teaching portfolio, do you experience some kind of a challenge in your teaching, do you plan to change the curriculum, were there significant changes in the module/programme or perhaps in the cohort of students, etc?

 

Some of the main purposes of student feedback at SU are:

  • To empower lecturers to improve their teaching
  • To contribute to the professional learning of lecturers
  • To be used as part of the teaching and learning process
  • To enhance the students’ experience of learning and teaching
  • To ensure the effectiveness of course design and delivery
  • To help students reflect on their experiences and provide constructive inputs to the teaching and learning process
  • To identify good practice
  • To contribute to monitoring and reviewing of quality and standards

 

At Stellenbosch University, we encourage that student feedback should first aim to empower lecturers to improve their own teaching. Only thereafter should student feedback be used for any other purpose, and then with great circumspection.

 

Furthermore, it is up to the staff member involved to decide whether to discuss the feedback with colleagues and what action to take. The advisor from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) who is allocated to your faculty, is available to discuss the feedback and collaborate in the development of improved teaching strategies if requested.

 

You can find the CTL contact details here.

 

Student feedback is only one source of feedback on the teaching and learning process. Should you wish to discuss alternative ways of obtaining feedback on your teaching or modules, from sources other than students, please do not hesitate to contact the CTL advisor in your faculty.

Can lecturers also have a say in the student feedback process?

YES! We encourage lecturers to complete and submit the Lecturer Feedback form. This form gives lecturers the opportunity to report on their own experiences in presenting a particular module and can help to place the student feedback in context. Please click here for the Lecturer Feedback form.

Why did SU move to an electronic student feedback system?

Benefits of the electronic system are that it is more cost and time effective, less labour intensive and reports can be produced quicker. However, response rates might be lower in the electronic system. Lecturers are therefore urged to continuously remind students to complete the electronic questionnaires.

Moving towards an electronic system will also create the opportunity for a more flexible system which could contribute to such conversations. It will allow lecturers greater access to formative feedback possibilities and enable them to easily develop their own customised feedback instruments. In this regard, student feedback can thus play a much bigger role in the enhancement of modules, programmes and teaching. Reports could also be made available much quicker, so as to enable lecturers to respond to feedback, if necessary. Students will also be able to experience the outcomes of their feedback.

How can student feedback be collected?

Student feedback can be collected electronically on standardized questionnaires for feedback on undergraduate and taught postgraduate modules and programmes. The electronic student feedback questionnaires are made available via the electronic Student Feedback system.

 

Faculties will also have the option of adding an extra 5 questions to the standardized questionnaire in order to obtain information on aspects that pertain to the particular contexts of their faculties. These additional 5 questions have to be approved by the appropriate faculty board.

 

Students can complete the forms electronically over a set period of time.

How do I request electronic Student Feedback?

Please complete the e-registration form from our website and submit. The Student Feedback Office will create and activate the questionnaire in your academic module on the Student Feedback system. Lecturers will not be able to access these student feedback questionnaires as the anonymity of the students who provide their feedback, must be protected.

Send an e-mail to stv@sun.ac.za if you have any questions or uncertainties.

When will I receive my student feedback report?

Reports on feedback collected electronically will be available within 7 days after closing of the survey. You will receive an e-mail notification once your report is available. The Student Feedback Office will send you a link to access your reports in Sharepoint.
Your line management (HOD and Dean) will also have access to your reports on the Sharepoint platform.

Are there any guidelines that can help me to interpret my student feedback report?

Yes, see Guidelines for Analysing and Interpreting Student Feedback reports here.

Who can I talk to if I have a question about the administration of my survey forms, or the processing of my report?

Please send an e-mail to stv@sun.ac.za or call 021-808 9192 or 021-808 3081

I would like to design my own questionnaire. Is there anyone who can assist me?

The CTL advisor in your faculty can provide advice regarding the design of your questionnaire.

The Student Feedback Office can provide assistance with the technical set-up of your questionnaire.

Who can I speak to about curriculum review and institutional level teaching evaluation?

The CTL advisor in your faculty can assist with this.