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Evaluation of Courses, Units, Teaching and Student Experience Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy outlines the approach to evaluation at QUT, ensuring the appropriate collection and use of evidence to support reflection on, and the continuous improvement of, courses, units, teaching and the student experience.

(2) This Policy assists QUT in meeting relevant Standards of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.

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Section 2 - Application

(3) This Policy applies to all staff members engaged in learning and teaching. The Policy does not apply to invited guest speakers.

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

Position
Responsibility
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic)
Approves evaluation instruments for courses, units, teaching and the student experience.
Approves the evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience protocols.
Executive Deans
Ensure the continuous improvement of the quality of courses, units, equivalents and teaching and the student experience in their faculty by:
  1. Coordinating with Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching), Heads of School, Directors of faculty services and other University Managers about the systematic and timely evaluation of learning and teaching within courses, units, teaching and the student experience;
  2. Reflecting on evaluation data with Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching), Heads of School, Directors of faculty services and other University Managers to determine continuous improvements for faculty courses, units, teaching and the student experience;
  3. Monitoring planned improvement actions and the impact of those improvements, including ensuring that actions for improvement are communicated to students.
Reporting to Faculty Academic Board or other University committees and boards, as required, about results and planned improvement actions, and academic staff compliance with Probation and Career Planning, Development and Performance Expectations for Academic Staff Policy.
Course Coordinators
Facilitate the systematic and timely evaluation of learning and teaching and equivalents across the courses they coordinate in conjunction with the Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching), Heads of School, and Unit Coordinators.
Reflect on evaluation data in order to determine continuous improvements to the course and its units with Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching), Heads of School, Unit Coordinators and course teams.
Unit Coordinators
Ensure the continuous improvement of the quality of learning and teaching within their units by:
  1. Coordinating with Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching), Heads of School and Course Coordinators about the systematic and timely evaluation of learning and teaching within the units they coordinate;
  2. Reflect on evaluation data with Heads of School, Course Coordinators, the unit’s teaching team and others involved in the delivery and develop improvement plans; and
  3. Communicate planned improvements to key stakeholders including students, teaching teams, and Course Coordinators.
Supervisors (normally Heads of School)
Assist their staff to engage in the evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience by:
  1. Reviewing the academic staff member’s personal evaluation strategy as part of Probation and Career Planning, Development and Performance Expectations for Academic Staff Policy;
  2. Ensuring that evaluation plans and outcomes are documented and reported within the career planning, development and performance expectation discussions; and
  3. Identifying and recommending appropriate professional development activities as part of the career planning, development and performance expectation discussions.
Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching) and equivalents
Support and work with Executive Deans, Directors of faculty services and other University Managers to ensure the stated requirements within the Policy are enacted and met within their faculties.
Academic staff engaged in teaching (ongoing, fixed term or sessional)
Develop an annual personalised evaluation strategy in consultation with their Supervisor.
Director, QUT Academy of Learning and Teaching
Successfully deploy and manage the QUT Evaluation Framework by:
  1. clearly communicating evaluation protocols to stakeholders including students, staff and University management;
  2. supporting stakeholders in the enactment of the Evaluation Framework through email and phone support, training and developmental resources; and
  3. liaising with Department of Reporting and Analysis team.
Associate Director, Data and Analytics
Implements and manages the technical infrastructure that underpins the University endorsed suite of evaluation tools.
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Section 4 - Purpose of Evaluation at QUT

(4) The purpose of the evaluation of courses, units, teaching and the learning experience at QUT is to:

  1. inform and support quality assurance (Quality and Standards Framework) of courses, units, teaching and the learning experience through evidence;
  2. afford opportunities for the student and staff voice in relation to courses, units, teaching and the learning experience; and
  3. ensure continuous improvement in learning and teaching through evidence-based critical reflection.
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Section 5 - Principles

(5) Evaluation at QUT is guided by the following principles:

  1. Evaluation is based upon multiple sources of evidence.
  2. QUT respects and values the feedback of students and staff on courses, units, teaching and the learning experience as an integral part of the University commitment to quality.
  3. All students are provided with opportunities to provide feedback on their learning experience.
  4. Evaluation is aligned with the core knowledge, professional values and activities articulated in the Real World Learning Vision and the Professional Standards Framework (QUT staff access only).
  5. Evaluation is designed to provide evidence of the quality of learning and teaching processes and outcomes to support the design and delivery of quality learning experiences at QUT.
  6. Evaluations at QUT are undertaken in an ethical and accountable manner with a commitment to integrity and fair conduct.
  7. Evaluation data is collected, managed and retained in accordance with relevant legislation and university policy.
  8. Evaluation is fair, equitable and there is a rigorous consideration and use of evaluation data in line with QUT's social justice and planning, quality and review policies.
  9. The process and outcomes of evaluation will be transparent to students and staff and they will be informed how their feedback is used to shape learning and teaching and the learning experience.
  10. Evaluation data will be considered in context (e.g. discipline, cohort characteristics, nature/level of unit or mode of delivery).
  11. Evaluation data may be considered in probation, promotion and performance expectation discussions for academic staff.
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Section 6 - The QUT Evaluation Framework

(6) Academic staff members engaged in a teaching role are required to develop an annual personal evaluation strategy in consultation with their Supervisor.

(7) The personal evaluation strategy informs discussions on teaching performance and should draw on multiple sources of evaluation data and focus on the impact on student learning.

(8) Evaluation data can be collected using a range of methods including the University-endorsed suite of evaluation methods as approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic). Evaluation methods are specified in QUT's Evaluation Framework Protocols.

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Section 7 - Using Evaluation Data

(9) Evaluation data is used to:

  1. critically reflect on and refine learning experiences and teaching at QUT;
  2. review, develop, recognise and reward quality in learning and teaching, including Fellowship and teaching awards; and
  3. support personal evaluation, promotion and performance expectation discussions for academic staff.

(10) Evaluation data from multiple sources is a key resource for supporting continuous improvement in learning and teaching, course performance reporting, course reaccreditation, unit and course reviews, performance management processes and other quality assurance processes.

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Section 8 - Ethical Principles for Evaluation and Research with Students

(11) QUT quality assurance and evaluation activities where the findings are intended to support the improvement and development of QUT learning and teaching and services to students are not classed as academic research unless they involve the publication of the research.

(12) The use of student information in quality assurance and evaluation activities does not require formal ethical review by University Human Research Ethics Committee but any use of student personal information must comply with QUT’s Information Privacy Policy and associated protocols.

(13) The use of student information in quality assurance and evaluation activities must also comply with NHMRC guidance on Ethical Considerations in Quality Assurance and Evaluation Activities. All research, including research using evaluation data, must comply with the QUT Code for Responsible Conduct of Research.

(14) Ethics approval is required for human research; this includes any research conducted with or about people, or their data. Therefore, ethics approval is required for academic research using evaluation data.

(15) QUT endorses the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (NHMRC). The Office of Research Ethics and Integrity (OREI) provides advice on ethical research and the level of approval required for a particular research project.

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Section 9 - Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

(16) QUT will not disclose personal information obtained from evaluation data, or identify and contact students or staff unless authorised in accordance with the Information Privacy Policy.

(17) The protocols for access to evaluation data outlined in the QUT Evaluation Framework Protocols will be consistent with the Information Privacy Policy and associated protocols.

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Section 10 - Exceptions to Policy

(18) The Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer is authorised to approve variations to this Policy in exceptional circumstances. Any such variation will be recorded by Human Resources.

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Section 11 - Delegations

(19) Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (VC137) (QUT staff access only).