Student Feedback on Teaching at Lakehead University

Policy Category: 
Approved By: 
Effective Date: 
10 December 1986 [Revised 26 January 2007; 17 April 2009; 25 February 2015]


1.0 Preamble

Teaching is a complex and multidimensional activity.  Student feedback is important as one measure, among many, used to enhance and provide evidence of teaching quality.

2.0 Purpose

The main objective of seeking student feedback on teaching at Lakehead University is to assist instructors in monitoring and improving their effectiveness as teachers. The information may be used as one means of demonstrating teaching effectiveness for decisions regarding merit, renewal, tenure and promotion, and to provide information that may be used to support exceptional teachers nominated for teaching awards.

3.0 Policy Guidelines

3.1 Because feedback is sought about the instructor, rather than the course, and because of the need to protect student anonymity, the Student Feedback on Teaching questionnaire will be administered to each section of a course in which there is a minimum class size of five.

3.2 Feedback questionnaires will be distributed near or at the end of each course given over one or two terms. For all other courses, feedback should be obtained as close to the end of the course as practical and possible. In the case of any course given by several instructors, feedback may be obtained in the last week of each instructor's portion of the course or conducted simultaneously according to the timeline indicated above.

3.3 The anonymity of student responses to the Student Feedback on Teaching questionnaire is of fundamental importance in maintaining confidentiality and encouraging open feedback on teaching and learning.  The procedures shall ensure that students are not identified once the questionnaires have been submitted.

3.4 The transmission and storage of the questionnaire data will be undertaken in a manner to protect the confidentiality of the instructor's results. Individual course results, and specific student feedback, shall be given only to the instructor concerned, except in the case where the instructor has agreed to make his/her course feedback public. Instructors who wish to make their questionnaire results available must sign and return authorization to the Office of Institutional Analysis and Government Relations prior to the questionnaires  being circulated.  As well, instructors are required to provide the summary report for the set of questions jointly agreed to by the Association and Board and the class mean for each course taught as part of their annual reports.

3.5 A summary of the feedback, by Faculty, shall be provided to the Deans and the heads of each of the academic units, and to the Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning. The aggregate data for online and paper forms shall be posted separately on the Lakehead University Senate website. 

3.6 The Student Feedback on Teaching questionnaire must be available in a format which meets the needs of students with disabilities.

4.0 Responsibilities of the Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning

4.1 The procedures to collect, administer and analyze the data will be reviewed at least every five years by the Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning and brought to Senate for approval. The Office of Institutional Analysis and Government Relations will collect the data and compile the results.

4.2 The Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning will review the questionnaire at least every five years. This committee will also solicit feedback from students, faculty and administrative units concerning the questionnaire.

4.3 The Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning will be responsible for reviewing, and updating as necessary, this policy at least every five years.