Good teaching and learning can olny happen in cooperation. At the end of each semester, University of Tartu students can give feedback on courses for which they registered. The course feedback questionnaire enables the teaching staff to get feedback on students’ learning experience on the course as a whole and is primarily meant to help staff to develop their courses. When a course is taught by several lecturers, the lecturer in charge can use the information for developing the course.
The aim of collecting feedback on courses is to improve teaching. The formulation of statements in the questionnaire enables the teaching and administrative staff to draw conclusions about the better aspects of the course and about what might need to be changed. Questions are asked about the clarity and adequacy of organisation of the course, the diversity of teaching methods and the opportunities for discussion, and about feedback and assessment. Conclusively, learners can assess whether the subject was valuable for them. The questionnaire enables the teaching staff to understand which aspects of the course supported students’ learning and which aspects of teaching the students were not satisfied with. Explanations and recommendations on how to understand and use feedback assessments can be found in the teaching staff guide for interpreting the course feedback questionnaire.
Each student must assess at least four courses (for doctoral students one course). Students who have registered for fewer than three courses in the current semester must assess all the courses of the semester. Feedback on courses can be given until the official end of the semester.
Feedback on courses can be given in SIS: the link to the questionnaire can be found on the dashboard. The questionnaire consists of 14 statements which the student must assess and 5 open-ended questions, the answers to which enable students to explain their ideas and substantiate their opinions. If it cannot be assessed using some statements, “Not applicable” can be chosen.
Feedback data from questionnaires are connected with data on the student and his/her student place in SIS, but the results of the questionnaire are publicised in the Study Information System, research and analyses only in an impersonal form. Feedback answers can be associated with a person by those who have the appropriate level of access. The university has the legal obligation to issue the data to, for example, a court, the public prosecutor’s office, the police. Read more about personal data protection here.
Meaningful and constructive feedback is highly appreciated. Before responding to the questionnaire, it is essential to read the good practice of giving feedback.
The Office of Academic Affairs has the right to delete comments that ignore the good practice of giving feedback. If an answer is deleted, that data is processed in an impersonal form, i.e. the comment is not associated with the respondent.
The learners can use the "Course feedback” link on the SIS opening page to give feedback. Courses generally open for assessment two weeks before the first exam or pass/fail evaluation on the SIS timetable (if there are none, two weeks before the last class). Feedback on courses can be given until the official end of the semester. Although feedback on courses can be given earlier, it is recommended to give feedback after the exam or pass/fail evaluation as some questions will be easier to answer.
From the first day of the new semester, the courses of the new semester are open for assessment for learners who have assessed the required number of courses of the previous semester. Students who have not assessed the required number of courses of the previous semester by the beginning of the new semester can still see the courses of the previous semester.
Courses are open for assessment throughout the semester. Students who have not assessed the required number of courses get a notification four weeks before the end of the semester. This is the best time to decide which courses to assess this semester. If the student has not assessed the required number of courses by the official end of the semester, his/her rights to use the SIS are restricted. This means that the student can only give feedback on courses in SIS, no other activities are allowed until the required number of courses has been assessed.
Course feedback results become visible after the end of the semester.
The results are displayed for all users logged into SIS depending on their role.
a. Students can see the general graph of parts 1, 2 and 3, subgraphs of multiple-choice questions and summary tables of the number of answers and respondents but not the verbal comments. As an exception, students can see the comments to question “Learning recommendations for future students".
b. In addition to clause a, teaching staff members can see answers to open-ended questions about the courses they teach.
c. Programme directors and heads of institutes, vice-deans for academic affairs, deans and those authorised by deans and the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and those authorised by Vice Rector for Academic Affairs can see, in addition to the items mentioned in clauses a and b, answers to the open-ended questions in part 2.
Results are only shown for courses to which at least five students gave their feedback. Teaching staff members can see answers to open-ended questions a week before others (depending on their roles, as mentioned in clauses a to c))
The results of course feedback questionnaires are used by
• the teaching staff to improve the quality of teaching on their courses,
• programme directors and programme councils for internal assessment and development of curricula,
• heads of academic structural units for assessment of staff members’ work, including assessment of their suitability for teaching or research posts, at development interviews, progress reviews, planning of staff members’ continuing education and acknowledgement of staff members.