|Guidelines and Procedures for Using the FB Student Feedback Questionnaire (SFQ)|
|[Last modified January 2007]|
This document explains briefly the system for collecting student feedback on teaching in the Faculty of Business (FB). Students will be requested to give their opinions on the teaching of the staff member and subject, by means of the Student Feedback Questionnaire Form (SFQ), which applies to all programmes at the undergraduate, postgraduate and sub-degree levels.
The faculty/school-based SFQ instrument, guidelines and procedures were first developed in 2000/01 by a Faculty/School Working Party comprising one member from each of the departments in FB and one member from the Educational Development Centre. The system was further reviewed and revised in 2001/02.
In May 2005, a Working Group was set up by the Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC) to conduct a comprehensive study of the guidelines and procedures with a view to recommending changes, where appropriate, to the system so that the collection of student feedback in PolyU will align with the outcome-based approach to teaching, learning and assessment adopted by the University. The Final Report of the Working Group, which includes recommendations for relevant changes to the system, was endorsed by LTC at its 30th meeting held on 4 October 2006.
In June 2009, the Learning and Teaching Committee decided to add one more question on subject workload in the SFQ Form. The purpose of the addition is to obtain more quantitative data about students’ engagement in the learning activities of a subject.
The following set of guidelines has been developed with reference to the broad institutional framework for collecting student feedback endorsed by LTC
Feedback from students on their learning experience of the subject as well as on the teaching of the staff member will be collected via the revised SFQ Form for FB. The revised SFQ Form has two sections:
This first section focuses on students’ feedback on the subject and is sub-divided into two parts:
Section IA: This part consists of six university-wide standard items of the closed-response type, asking students to express their views on their learning experience of the subject.
Section IB: This part contains two open-ended questions which ask students to comment on their learning experience of the subject and suggest how it can be improved.
This second section aims to collect students’ feedback on the teaching of the staff member and is sub-divided into three parts:
Section IIA: This part has nine questions of the close-response type, in which seven are core Faculty items and two are university-wide standard items. The seven core items focus on the various aspects of the staff member's teaching, and the two standard items ask for students’ overall view about the teaching of the staff member. Out of the seven Faculty core items, three are universal across all classes. Depending on the class size, students of each class are required to respond to only two out of the four remaining items.
Section IIB: This part contains one university-wide standard item on the extent to which the staff member has used English during teaching.
Section IIC: This part contains two open-ended questions which invite students to comment on the staff member’s teaching and suggest how it can be improved.
The design of the questionnaire is to mainly cater for the evaluation of subject/teaching that is classroom-based. For the evaluation of subject/teaching that is web-based, project-based, etc., departments/individual staff members can develop their methods as appropriate.
All staff members who have teaching responsibility should be evaluated in the SFQ week - normally to be set within the last 2 weeks of the semester. A staff member should be evaluated with 2 classes per semester (with consultation with the department), if possible. When more than one staff member is involved in teaching a significant portion of a subject, the teaching of the staff member and the relevant part of the subject will be surveyed towards the end of his/her teaching. In the case where different staff members are teaching mass lectures and tutorials of the same subject, the section "About the subject" will only be surveyed in the SFQ exercise for the staff member teaching the mass lectures.
Part-time lecturers (visiting lecturers), teaching assistants or research assistants who are taking up teaching duties can be included in the SFQ exercises if the department so decides.
Subjects which are taught by other departments to the students in the class will not be covered by the SFQ exercise in the department to which the students belong. For service teaching, the teaching department will be responsible for carrying out the SFQ evaluation.
All subjects/classes offered by FB should be evaluated within a 2-year cycle. In other words, departments should ensure that each subject is surveyed at least once in every 2 years, with choice of classes to be decided by them
The optical-mark-read FB SFQ forms are available from the EDC. The departmental AO/EO is responsible for assembling sufficient copies of the SFQ forms for distribution. The forms should be put in a sealed envelope with a duly completed SFQ Administration Form attached to it.
1. The subject offering department should make arrangements for the staff member concerned to bring the SFQ forms (in a sealed envelope) to his/her own class for distribution, at the date, time and venue suggested by the staff member or Subject Leader concerned.
2. The staff member concerned should ask the student representative(s) to distribute the forms to their fellow classmates, and collect the completed SFQ forms afterwards.
3. The staff member concerned should be absent from class for about 15 minutes while the students are completing the SFQ forms.
4. The student representative(s) should put all the completed SFQ forms in the envelope, seal and sign it, and drop it into the Collection Box in the department immediately afterwards. Unused SFQ forms should not be put in the envelope; they should be returned separately.
5. The Departmental AO/EO is responsible for collecting the envelopes from the Collection Box each day.
6. Before sending the SFQ envelopes to the EDC for data input and analysis, the Departmental AO/EO is responsible for making arrangements to check that:
(a) the number of completed forms collected matches the entry on the SFQ Administration Form on the envelope, and
(b) the envelope does not contain any unused SFQ forms.
To ensure the validity of the student responses, the student representative(s) responsible for distributing and collecting the forms should be given clear instructions to follow strictly the procedures specified below.
The EDC will be responsible for analysing and reporting the SFQ data. They will produce two reports for each class-set of SFQ data collected. One report will be on the section "About the staff member"; the other will be on the section "About the subject". Individual staff member teaching the subject and the respective HoD will receive both reports.
The report about the subject will be sent to the respective department for further distribution to the Programme Leader, Departmental Learning & Teaching Committee Chairpersons for programme evaluation purposes. After the examination results have been finalised, all the completed SFQ forms will be returned to the staff member concerned so that he/she can peruse the students' responses to the open-ended questions.
EDC will also send a summary report to the Dean. If the department has provided service teaching to students of other departments, the teaching department should also send the results of the SFQ on the subject to the departments which were serviced
Various faculty/school and departmental norms based on different class sizes, study modes, subject levels and programme stages will be computed by the EDC, and made available on the Web.
Results of the SFQ can be used as follows:
1. The individual staff member will use the results for reflection to make improvements in various aspects of his/her teaching.
2. The appraiser will discuss the SFQ and its results with staff member for both judgmental and developmental purposes.
3. The Programme Leader will review and discuss the results with a view to improve the syllabus of the subject and the curriculum of the programme.
4. Chairperson of the Departmental Learning & Teaching Committee can review the report with a view to suggest ways to improve the teaching of the subject.
The student feedback results should be treated just as one source of information for appraisal and judgmental purposes. SFQ gives only the perception of students and deeper investigation is necessary for a better analysis/use. Student feedback results should be interpreted in context and in conjunction with comments provided by the staff member concerned. Reference should also be drawn from other valuable information, including peer reviews for the evaluation of the teaching performance of a staff member. For critical personnel decision, a more comprehensive review will be required.
Confidentiality is emphasised in the SFQ exercise. All SFQ data and reports on individual staff members are treated by the EDC as confidential to that staff member, except that a copy of the SFQ results will be sent to the respective head of department.
The EDC will not keep any hard copies of the SFQ results, and will not disclose the SFQ data of an individual staff member to anybody other than the staff member and the head of department concerned, or discuss it with anybody else. The only exception is that the Dean and the President have the right to see the SFQ results on demand.
When a staff member is applying for promotion, contract renewal, and other personnel exercises, he/she is required to submit full information about his/her SFQ results in the last 3 years for the perusal of the Selection Panels.
All matters in relation to the policies and procedures of the administration of the FB SFQ should be addressed to the respective Chairperson of the Departmental Learning & Teaching Committee, or directly to the Dean when faculty-level decisions are warranted.
The EDC assists the Faculty/School in processing and reporting the SFQ results. Help is also available from EDC for individual staff members in interpreting the SFQ results, and planning teaching improvements based on the results. Please refer to the following list for enquiries:
Online information and help are also available on the EDC Website for other forms of teaching evaluations and the interpretation of SFQ results: http://edc.polyu.edu.hk/sfq-collect.htm
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