What are Course Enhancement Questionnaires used for?

Course Evaluation Questionnaires (CEQs) provide insights that can be used to better understand and enhance the quality of learning, teaching and assessment. They are to be used alongside other sources of information such as external examiner reports, staff judgement, and institution-level surveys.

Enhancing learning

The primary purposes of Course Enhancement Questionnaires are to enhance student learning. CEQs provide staff with information that they can use in conjunction with other data sources to guide and evaluate changes in course content and teaching, and to enhance learning and support for learning across programmes and the broader University.

CEQs are central to the University’s commitment to student engagement and to its quality assurance and quality enhancement agenda. Taken alongside other sources of data, CEQs provide a rich source of information on the student experience at course, programme and School level.

Our students are thinking, learning adults who are well placed to provide formative feedback to their University.  Course evaluation questions must therefore cover issues that relate to course structure, logistics and assessment, as well as the methods used, skills demonstrated, approachability, and willingness to help shown by those who teach.

Recognising and rewarding good teaching

We have already made major efforts to improve the integrity and fairness of our reward processes in several respects.  Grade profiles provide a clear and balanced view of academic roles that combine a range of types, from research-oriented to teaching-oriented.  The University’s Exemplars of Excellence in Student Education aim to assist colleagues whose role includes a strong element of teaching to evidence their achievements. The Criteria for a Personal Chair have been clarified to emphasise the need for teaching excellence and leadership in teaching and the Criteria for a Readership have been rewritten to assess and award Readerships on any combination of teaching, research and academic leadership.  All of these opportunities to recognise excellence in teaching require evidence in several forms, from several sources. CEQ data, carefully analysed and properly interpreted, are an important component of that body of evidence.

Staff development

Our good and outstanding teachers teach well because they are partners in our students’ education, driven by a professional desire to help students learn.  Nevertheless, good teaching (like good research) should be recognised, supported, and encouraged by good management, and areas for improvement should be addressed.

As discussed in How should CEQ data be used?, CEQ data should not be used in isolation. Along with the Exemplars of Excellence in Student Education, external examiner reports, staff judgement, peer review, and other University level survey, CEQs can build up a picture over time of:-

  • Teaching that is outstanding
  • Teaching that is excellent and sustained
  • Teaching that is in need of improvement

The aim of any data collection, including CEQ data, is:

  • To recognise outstanding teaching
  • To support excellence
    • in particular, to relieve those who are working hard and delivering good teaching from further pressure
  • To improve any teaching that falls short of what our students deserve.

Further resources

There is more guidance for academic staff on annual reviews available at the Human Resources website.

Human Resources Learning & Development site

The Institute for Academic Development also provides information on teaching feedback.

Institute for Academic Development - Feedback on your teaching