1. What does student feedback entail?
The Student Feedback on Teaching and Courses project is in line with the principles of a developmental approach to quality enhancement. Eliciting student perceptions of teaching and learning is also a unique opportunity to celebrate best practice. Fundani offer support to academics throughout the feedback process. This includes support for the design and administration of student feedback questionnaires. Fundani also analyses the data and provide a confidential written report.

2. Who are the role players at CPUT?

    • Students
    • Academics
    • Facilitators
    • Teaching Assistants
    • Teaching and Learning Co-ordinators
    • Unit and Language Co-ordinators
    • Faculty Management (Deans, HoDs, HoPs & HoSs)
    • Fundani representatives
    • Centre for Innovative Educational Technology (CIET) personnel (Antoinette van Deventer & Mavela Mvuyisi
    • DVC: Academic

3. What is the procedure to elicit student feedback?
3.1 Pre-evaluation
Firstly, you should identify the reason for obtaining feedback as this will determine what type of question you will pose. You might want to determine collectively, or separately, student overall satisfaction of their subject or course, how much they have learned, what their experiences are or the perceived educational worth of their subject or course.You should also bear in mind the scope and scale of the project. In terms of scope, if you want to find out how students perceive their general teaching and learning experiences, then the questionnaire should focus on key aspects of teaching practice such as planning and organisation, learning outcomes, teaching strategies, resources, class interactions, assessment, and so forth. In terms of scale, a maximum of 25-30 questions is recommended. If the questionnaire is too long students might find it too tedious to complete.We provide lecturers with a bank of questions which can be used to customise discipline-specific questionnaires. This includes ranked statements and open-ended questions. Questionnaires can be administered in a paper-based or online format using Google Forms or Respondus in Blackboard. Consultations with Fundani staff and T&L Co-ordinators can be used to reflect upon the discipline-specific requirements of the subject or programme. This will enable lecturers to customise relevant questions to portray the essence of their subject or programme.

3.2 The evaluation process
Once questionnaires are finalised lecturers may send the questionnaire link to students via Blackboard or Google Forms. If a paper-based approach is followed, Fundani recommend that an independent person administers the questionnaire to eliminate potential bias. This may be a colleague, Teaching Assistant or the Student Feedback Coordinator.

3.3 Post-evaluation
Fundani use a thematic approach to analyse the data. This is followed by a confidential written report summarising student perceptions. The report will highlight best practice and/or recommend the need for intervention such as workshops, seminars, training and so forth.  It is recommended that lecturers triangulate student feedback data with other sources of data such as peer review, internal and external moderation reports, analysis of examination results and their own reflections.

3.4 “Closing the loop”
Boud and Molloy (2013:8) propose a debrief session during which the feedback is discussed with students. If required, actions and changes to be implemented are made in consultation with students. Such an inclusive approach signals to students the value of their feedback and allows them to experience the direct benefits of student feedback. Thus, students become active collaborators in the learning process.

Recent Posts

The characteristics of ethical teaching during Remote Teaching and Learning contexts


The shift to Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning (RTL) during the COVID 19 pandemic has forced lecturers to use online platforms such as Blackboard, Teams and other Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) such as WhatsApp.  The rapid change has been unsettling as lecturers anxiously tried to reach their students online. Lecturers had to revisit their teaching methods and focus on creating an online social presence through various activities such as short videos, podcasts, synchronous and asynchronous discussions, and peer and collaborative learning opportunities. Feedback from students shows that they adapted their learning and had to apply different learning strategies.  In the process, challenges and questions arose about the ethics of teaching online.   

Mutual engagement and interaction

Supportive engagement and interaction were essential to lecturers’ online teaching. They paid attention to establishing relations of care and trust with their students.  Feedback from students shows that most lecturers tried to create a caring and nurturing learning environment online. According to the students, lecturers played a supportive role in setting the proper tone and atmosphere during RTL. They displayed the capacity to show their social presence via controlled, yet ubiquitous online communication. The students explained that they were aware of the lecturers’ presence in the online environment.   Lecturers went on to create a nurturing and supportive environment during RTL by using a variety of strategies to engage students in learning activities, such as including synchronous and asynchronous forms of engagement, WhatsApp messaging and  Blackboard.

Generating student-centred learning activities

Our engagement with lecturers shows that student-centred learning activities online is a critical aspect of RTL. A student-centred approach to learning relies on constant dialogue and interaction between lecturers and students and ensures that student learning is at the heart of RTL. Lecturers focused on developing learning activities that cultivate understanding and autonomous learning opportunities. Rather than giving loads of notes and PowerPoints, a strategy of students-centred learning was developing activities that generate independent and critical thinking. Lecturers constructed activities that assist students in asking why and encouraged high order thinking. Too often, lecturers only rely on rote-learning questions and do not ask students to apply the concepts.

Providing peer support opportunities such as tutors and mentors

Remote teaching and learning can lead to students feeling alone in the learning process. What has to be accounted for is that learning is also a social activity and that lecturers have to develop opportunities for students to engage with one another in the learning process. A key feature of RTL is, therefore, providing access to peer learning and support. Some lecturers changed their pedagogical approaches by including peers, tutors and mentors and as part of the learning process. Online tutors and mentors played a crucial role in RTL so that students felt like they were part of a community of learners.  Having regular online tutor sessions allowed students to learn from their peers and to engage in the affective dimensions of RTL. Peer learning was encouraged through pedagogical strategies such as group work and paired learning activities in the online environment.

Extending the resources available to students

While we rely on texts in the traditional classroom, a vital element of RTL is to provide a range of resources for students to learn from such as audio, visual, print and online library resources. RTL forces lecturers to use audio and video as part of their pedagogical strategies. Ironically, print material is essential for students as lecturers fear that not all students would have access to the internet. The various pedagogical approaches resulted in lecturers attending to a broader range of students’ learning styles.

Responsiveness during assessments and ensuring that feedback is prompt

Assessments and feedback is a critical part of the RTL. Assessments always evoke anxiety and stress, and within the RTL context, anxieties about assessments are heightened. Responsiveness during assessments and ensuring that feedback is prompt was central to RTL. The feedback from students showed that students appreciated lecturers who communicated clearly about what to expect from assessments and those lecturers who responded to questions about assessments. For students to learn effectively, feedback after assessments must be prompt and must enable students to improve their work. Lecturers used various platforms to give feedback to students such as Blackboard and WhatsApp.

Utilising ICTs: To WhatsApp or not to WhatsApp?

Lecturers utilised ICTs tools extensively during RTL, and the most widely used tool was WhatsApp. The challenges were related to the style, and the manner of engagement as students would use a casual tone and would sometimes use expletives as part of their interaction with lecturers. Some lecturers did not want to impose themselves on the WhatsApp space and decided that a student representative should be part of the WhatsApp group and would in turn report to the lecturer.

Students studying at home

Factors such as as a noisy learning environment, an unsuitable place to study and learn and living with a large family impacted on RTL. Students also had to deal with psycho-social problems such as the anxiety and fear of not completing the academic year, the fear of COVID-19 and feeling alone while studying and not having the normal support of peers          

  1. Find an interesting article on Student feedback Leave a reply