Student feedback

The University aims to offer the best possible environment and learning experience to encourage students to perform to their full potential.

Students play a critical part in the evaluation, development and enhancement of the quality of this learning experience. Feedback from students allows the University to evaluate how its service provision is viewed by its most important group of stakeholders, namely its students. Besides providing students with an opportunity to comment on the quality of the teaching and learning environment at the University, feedback ensures that lecturers and Boards of Studies are made aware of problems perceived or encountered by students, and provides an opportunity for the conduct of self-evaluation and revision, where necessary.

The Bologna Process has put an increasing emphasis on the need for involvement of students in the quality assurance of higher education. Student involvement requires that students act as collaborators in, rather than merely passive receivers of, teaching and learning.

During their years at University, students are asked to provide feedback both with regard to the individual study-units they are following, and also with regard to their experience at the University once they have completed the entire programme of study.

Study-unit evaluation
Study-unit evaluation is conducted at the end of each semester, towards the end of the lecturing period.To avoid student fatigue associated with the exercise, students are invited to provide feedback on a selection of the study-units they are following during the year. The questionnaire consists of 17 close-ended questions and a free-text section which allows students to comment on any aspect they wish. Students can decide to submit their feedback either before or after they have been assessed, and can do so either via the UM App or their e-SIMS portal.

The results of the feedback exercise are communicated to the lecturer/s concerned after the result of the assessment have been made available to students. The main issues highlighted during any feedback exercise are communicated to the Rector & Pro-Rector for Academic Affairs and any urgent/serious matters are discussed with the respective Heads of Department. Study-units which elicit a pattern of recurrent problems are monitored for developments.

Whilst only a selection of the study-units on offer during an academic year are included for feedback, the exercise is cyclical in nature and aims to ensure that all study-units would have been assessed over a  period of time.  Besides providing lecturers with feedback on how students view the quality of their lecturing, the results of the various feedback exercises should assist academic departments in the periodic review exercise which all departments are expected to carry out on all programmes they offer.

End-of-programme feedback
End-of-programme feedback is conducted after publication of the students’ final classification and continues up until the graduation period. It targets both undergraduate and postgraduate students and aims to gather information about the students' experience at the University.

The Study-unit feedback form  focuses on the following issues:
  • Comparison between study-unit descripiton and actual delivery
  • Lecturing methodology;
  • Lecturer attributes
  • Method of assessment
  • Resources
  • Any additional comments
The end-of-programme feedback form  consists of 45 questions organised under the following sections:
  • Student Profile Details
  • Programme content and delivery
  • Organisation and management 
  • Academic support
  • Assessment
  • Dissertation or final project
  • Generic skills acquisition
  • Learning resources
  • Programme experience (free text questions)
  • Personal growth 
  • Student support and representation.
Student feedback has three main objectives:
  • To provide students with the opportunity to comment on the quality of their learning experiences, as required in preparation for and as part of review processes
  • To assess the success of academic provision in relation to the expectations of students
  • To provide feedback to lecturers and Boards of Studies in order to improve delivery and/or content of the study-unit and/or programme
Both exercises are entirely confidential and anonymous.  The following procedures have been put in place to maintain anonymity and to ensure that students are not adversely affected by the feedback they submit:

Study-unit Evaluation
  • Students who complete the online form are not asked at any stage for their names or any other personal details which may be used to identify them.
  • Student response data is grouped together for the entire class for the purpose of data analysis.  It is therefore impossible to associate comments and responses provided with any individual student. Lecturers receive a report which summarises all the information collated as percentage values. Download an example.  
  • Although students must log on to eSIMS to provide feedback, the system uses this information to present students with the relevant study-units for review.  All student login data is kept separate from their feedback responses.
  • The online course evaluation system provides security and confidentiality that far exceeds that which is possible with traditional paper and pencil methods. The online format adopted is more conducive to maintaining student anonymity, since traditional paper and pencil methods require open-ended comments to be handwritten.  In addition to this, students are able to provide their feedback in privacy, rather than during class time and in the presence of lecturers and other students.
  • Lecturers receive the aggregated results of student feedback after they have submitted the results for the study-units being reviewed.  In the case of final year students, lecturers receive the results of feedback only once final classifications of degrees have been published.  This ensures that the assessment results of students, even though not identifiable on an individual basis, are not affected as a group by the feedback which is submitted.
  • Study-units which have less than five students registered on them are not included in the student feedback exercise.

Participation in student feedback is on an entirely voluntary basis. There is also no penalty of any sort for abstaining from submission of feedback, since all assessment results are published irrespective of participation or non-participation in the student feedback exercise.  Nonetheless, students are strongly encouraged to provide their feedback and use this opportunity to voice their opinions, since the validity of this exercise, and thus the continuing improvement of teaching at the University relies on a high response rate.

End-of-Programme Feedback
  • For the purpose of this exercise, SurveyMonkey is used to collect feedback from students.
  • Similar to the study-unit evaluation process, students who complete the questionnaire are not asked at any stage for their names or any other personal details
  • The reports which are generated through SurveyMonkey do not include any personal details and cannot be traced back to the students
  • For the purpose of data analysis, the reports which are made available to Faculties/Institutes/Centres and Schools group together the responses submitted by the entire student cohort.
The results of the student feedback processes, as well as the recommendations and the action taken on the basis of such recommendations are important considerations for the Programme Review which each Department is required to undertake. The ad-hoc Sub-Committee which is tasked with reviewing a particular programme of study should consider whether the feedback was satisfactory, what strengths and weaknesses were identified, whether any issues for concern were raised and what action has been or should be taken to remedy problematic areas which have been identified as a result of feedback.