Where do your surveys go?
At the end of every teaching session, the university invites students to provide feedback on courses studied through the Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) survey. SELT is one of the University’s most important surveys as it is a major tool for assuring the quality of courses and levels of student satisfaction – but where do SELT surveys go?
Initially, completed surveys land with the University’s data custodians, the Planning & Service Performance (PSP). In fact, PSP take care of the entire SELT process, from the survey request phase right up to publishing of results and analysis. PSP ensures the data is collected confidentially, processed securely, distributed to the authorised staff members and analysed at the aggregate level.
Starting with a pilot in 2021, all responses are confidential. Information about the students providing feedback is not disclosed by ANU to teachers or course convenors. Instead, that information is only used for analyses designed to improve the student experience across ANU, and to follow up with a student under strict circumstances (e.g. if there is a concern for student or staff welfare).
For Semesters 1 and 2, the survey is activated in the last three weeks of teaching and continues to run until just after the end of the exam period. This large survey window gives students the greatest opportunity to provide feedback around their individual assessment schedule.
PSP analyses the data around response rates at multiple points during the survey window. This information is then passed onto colleges to assist with their promotion of SELT.
However, survey results are not viewed or distributed until after grades are finalised and issued to students. While this assists in preventing bias feedback and conflicts of interest, it does mean that SELT is not an appropriate avenue for issues that require immediate attention. In these instances, it is important to know where to find assistance for various issues.
For course related matters, the relevant academic school is the first point of contact. In addition to the schools, ANUSA (ANU Students' Association) and PARSA (ANU Postgraduate and Research Students' Association) are able to provide general guidance and assistance in finding more specific help, while the Dean of Students office is available to provide confidential, impartial advice and to act as a mediator. For personal matters, ANU Counselling, ANU Crisis Support Line and Lifeline can provide assistance.
ANU Counselling – matters related to mental health and wellbeing. Free, confidential and non-diagnostic service available to all students.
ANU Crisis Support Line– 5pm-9am weekdays, 24/7 weekends and public holidays. Call on 1300 050 327 or text 0488 884 170.
Lifeline – provides 24/7 telephone counselling. Call: 13 11 14.
SELT results are made available to teaching staff on ANU Insight after grades have been released to students. This includes both qualitative (student comments) and quantitative (numbered ratings) feedback. The course data is also made available to the course convenor along with their supervisors and University executive.
As a final step in distribution, quantitative data is published on Programs and Courses to assist students in making informed enrolment decisions. If a course receives 5 or fewer responses, the results are not published.
Once you have submitted your feedback, it is organised so that it can be read by your teachers and the course convenor after grades have been released. This is the primary purpose of SELT feedback – creating that opportunity for learners to share their experience of learning with their teachers.
The secondary uses of SELT feedback are all done at the aggregate level. That is, PSP combines individual responses to get an idea of how a course, degree program, School or College is doing in terms of learning and teaching. This could be used to identify where some extra teaching resources might make a difference or how class size may affect student experiences across different disciplines.
Students can also see the ratings of how other students felt a course went through the reports made available through Programs and Courses. While this can help students make decisions about which course to enrol in, they can also see how previous students felt about a course as a whole.
- Students are given 6 weeks to complete their SELT surveys.
- Confidential survey data is sent to PSP for processing.
- Final grades are released to students.
- Survey data processing is finalised.
- Results are published on ANU Insight for academic staff.
- Quantitative results are published on Programs and Courses.
- Teachers use feedback to make improvements to their course delivery and teaching.
- Aggregate analysis assists the University in understanding teaching and learning needs and improving student satisfaction.