Institute of Teaching and Learning

Student Evaluation of Teaching and Units (SETU)

As noted in Deakin University's evaluation policy and procedures, all units and the teaching of those units must be evaluated each time they are offered. The generic instrument used to collect data for this purpose is the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Units (SETU) survey. SETU is administered by the Planning Unit, and reports are available on their survey website:

You'll note that course outcome and other useful survey data is also available on this website, including the graduate destination and course experience surveys (GDS and CEQ).

For the purposes of reviewing your teaching, as well as for promotion, probation and teaching awards, the SETU data provides general information that is useful for trend analyses. The Mean and Standard Deviation for each item is provided, though you may wonder how meaningful it is to look only at these measures. You'll find it is more useful to check the raw data in terms of number of responses and distribution patterns, and to look at items across semesters and years.

Results from SETU will not provide detailed information about the minutiae of your teaching. For that you will need to conduct other small evaluations with quite specific purposes. The use of open-ended questions or small group processes can provide the more detailed, qualitative data that informs changes in practice.

SETU 2003-2006: From 2003 until second semester 2006, SETU consisted of 18 items as shown here:

Q1. The teaching staff of this unit stimulated my interest in further learning
Q2. The teaching staff of this unit motivated me to do my best work
Q3. The teaching staff gave me helpful feedback on how I was going
Q4. The teaching staff made a real effort to understand difficulties I might be having with my work
Q5. This unit was well taught
Q6. I had a clear idea of what was expected of me in this unit
Q7. Course materials in this unit were of a high quality
Q8. This unit developed my analytical skills
Q9. This unit developed my problem-solving skills
Q10. This unit developed my written communication skills
Q11. This unit developed my ability to work as a team member
Q12. I consider what I learned in this unit valuable for my future
Q13. The library learning resources were appropriate for my needs in this unit
Q14. My experience in this unit encouraged me to value perspectives of people from different cultures
Q15. The amount of work required in this unit has been appropriate
Q16. Requirements for completing assessment tasks in this unit have been clear and specific
Q17. I would recommend this unit to other students
Q18. The use of on-line technologies in this unit enhanced my learning experience

You'll see that items 1-7 were related to teaching, while items 8-18 related to the unit. All Deakin staff and students have access to SETU data for items 8-18 across all units and faculties from 2003-2006. In respect to the data that was reported to Deakin Council in that period, the three most important items were numbers:

5: relating to how well the unit was taught,
17: relating to whether students' would recommend the unit to others, and
18: regarding the value of online teaching.

To be regarded as commendable, the mean must be 4 or above. Any mean below 3 is cause for concern.

New SETU survey 2006: A New SETU instrument (377 KB) was designed and implemented in second semester, 2006. It provides individual quantitative and qualitative feedback for up to five teachers per unit. The number of core questions has been reduced to 9 items. The new system allows for optional questions based on the faculty, school and/or category of class (tutorial, lab. class, etc). There are some restrictions in relation to this in the first implementation and further flexibility will be provided later. The key qualitative questions are now consistent with the qualitative questions included in the CEQ. This will allow a tool called CEQuery to provide simple structured analysis of the qualitative data to identify the key issues.

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30th November 2010