There are several ways you can evaluate your teaching to obtain information for reflection and development. One of the mechanisms you can use to get direct feedback from students on your own teaching is a Learner Evaluation of Teaching (LET) survey. This is a survey that only you can order for yourself – and right now is the time to get your order in!
What is an LET survey?
The Learner Experience of Teaching (LET) survey is available for all Macquarie teaching staff (including those at Macquarie University College). The LET survey is designed to inform reflective practice by providing an individual teacher with feedback from their own students and so identify areas of success and opportunities for improvement. It provides teachers with the students’ perspective in the form of responses to both scale and open-ended questions.
LET vs LEU surveys – what’s the difference?
There are several important differences between LET (Learner Experience of Teaching) and LEU (Learner Experience of Unit) surveys – these are summarised in the table below. Note that both the LET and LEU surveys are designed to inform reflective teaching practice.
|LET Survey (Learner Experience of Teaching)||LEU Survey (Learner Experience of Unit)|
|Survey focus||Obtain student feedback on the teaching experience||Obtain student feedback on the unit/curriculum experience|
|Do I need a survey?||The Academic Staff Enterprise Agreement requires that teachers administer at least one LET per year to a class of their choice.||University policy requires LEUs to be run on all offerings of a unit.|
|Who orders the surveys?||LET surveys can only be ordered by the teacher concerned; they cannot be ordered on behalf of another teacher.||LEU surveys are organised by TEDS, the Teaching Evaluation for Development service. Refer to the Survey Calendar.|
|When are the surveys ordered?||LET surveys can be ordered at any time from the second week of the study period onwards. They must be ordered at least two weeks prior to the date you want the survey to commence.||LEU surveys are ordered by TEDS in the week following the teaching census date for all study periods.|
|When should the surveys run?||The LET survey can be run at any time during the study period once the students have had sufficient experience of the teaching to provide informed comments.|
The LET should not be run at the same time as the LEU.
|LEU surveys are run towards the end of the study period from week 10 to 12|
|How long should the survey be open for?||LETs should be run over a two-week period.||LEUs are run over a three-week period for Sessions 1 and 2, and for a two-week period for other study periods. Refer to the current (2023) Survey Calendar.|
|Who can see the survey results?||LET survey results are only released by TEDS to the person being surveyed (ie. the person who ordered the survey).||Responses to scaled LEU questions are posted to the Grade Ratification dashboard shortly after the surveys close.|
Result compilations, including open-ended comments, are released to discipline, department, and faculty Learning and Teaching staff after the results have been released to convenors.
Why order an LET survey?
- To understand the experience of your students
- To inform reflection on your teaching
- To identify aspects of your teaching you may wish to develop further
- To obtain evidence to support career progression, an award application or professional recognition.
What questions do students get asked in the LET survey?
Information about survey types and a list of all the questions students will be asked can be found here.
When and how to order an LET survey?
It is recommended that LET surveys be conducted towards the end of the teaching session; although factors such as split teaching could impact the exact timing of your survey. To avoid any overlap with Learner Evaluation of Unit (LEU) surveys (which run in weeks 10-12 of session), it is suggested that LET surveys be run in weeks 8, 9, 12 or 13 of Session 1 and 2.
The 2023 L&T Survey Calendar lists the survey dates for all sessions. LET surveys should run for no longer than 2 weeks. When you order your LET survey you will select the date for the survey to open and the date for it to close.
Once session commences, staff can order LET surveys here. Only the person teaching the class can order an LET survey in their name, and the survey results will only be released to that person. LET orders must be placed at least 2 weeks before you want the survey to start to allow sufficient processing time.
A maximum of two LET surveys per unit availability, per staff member, are allowed. Therefore, if a unit has both a face-to-face and an online availability, and the staff member teaches in both, then they can order up to four LET surveys (two for each availability, assuming there are at least two classes in each).
How is the survey conducted?
All L&T surveys at MQ are conducted online.
Both the teacher and students will receive an email around 8am on the day the survey opens. NOTE: given the number of invitations sent for session 1 and session 2 surveys, the invitations may not arrive in your email inbox until later in the day.
Students will receive a unique individual click-link to their survey in that email, and a survey link will also become live on the students’ iLearn homepage in the Student Feedback Surveys block (found by opening the block drawer). There is no single ‘survey link’ to share with all students, however there are slides you can use in classes to promote the survey – and students will be able to navigate to the survey via the iLearn or email ink, to complete the survey.
Before completing any learning and teaching survey at Macquarie, students must respond to a privacy statement (see below) and check a box acknowledging that they could be identified if they breach the Student Code of Conduct. Student responses are kept confidential – the teacher won’t know which students have responded. Reports are not even released unless there are five or more responses to a survey.
When are survey results released?
After the student exam results are ratified at the end of the session you will receive an email with the survey results attached. However, if fewer than five students responded to your survey, no results report will be attached.
Top 5 tips for getting reliable survey results
Following the tips below will not guarantee that you will get reliable results – but experience has shown that if you do follow them, it is highly likely that you will get useful results that you can apply to the class as a whole.
The single most important thing you can do to get useful results is to administer the survey in class. The Student Survey Policy Section 2 (13) requires students to be given the opportunity to complete surveys in class (online or on campus), where the unit has scheduled classes.
- Explain to students the purpose of the survey
- Plan ahead to provide clear direction to students on when they should complete the survey
- Guide students to the correct link
- Assure confidentiality and encourage feedback
- Track your survey response rate
Questions? Contact the Teaching Evaluation and Development (TEDs) Team – email email@example.com
Resources for reflection and evaluation
- Mythbusting the reporting of Learner Experience of Unit (LEU) surveys.
- Prompts to reflect on learning and teaching.
- Actioning the results of Learner Experience of Unit Surveys
- A quick guide to actioning evaluation
- 15 ways to evidence your teaching achievements at university
- A quick guide to evidencing your teaching
Banner image: Photo by Billion Photos on Shutterstock
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Alana Mailey and Michael Marsten for the information.
Post edited by Kylie Coaldrake.