In Fall 2016, Western's Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching (SQCT) moved from paper administration to online administration and, in Fall 2017, the SQCT questions and rating scale were revised. In understanding SQCT results, please consider the possibility that the move online and revision of the questionnaire may have impacted the SQCT results of individual courses.
In any year, it is important for academic leaders to consider the context in which a course is taught. For example, new instructors, instructors teaching a course for the first time, or instructors who wish to try new teaching techniques or innovations may experience a fluctuation in their SQCT results and types of comments they may receive. Also, whether a course is required or an elective, the size of the course, and the mode of delivery may impact the results. Such contexts are important to keep in mind when trying to understand SQCT feedback.
Section 3.2.1 of the Promotion, Tenure and Continuing Status section of the UWOFA Collective Agreement 2018-2022 indicates the following.
3.2.1 Performance in Teaching. For Members on the Tenure or Teaching Scholar Track, the evaluation of performance in Teaching shall be based on a teaching record which may include any material deemed by the candidate to be relevant to the work of Teaching. The Chair or Dean shall formally solicit the written opinions of current and former graduate and undergraduate students and members of faculty about the candidateâ€™s performance in Teaching. The teaching record shall also include any evidence of teaching effectiveness such as peer reviews of teaching, as well as information about student experience in the classroom as reflected by data from Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching for all courses taught by the Member, where available. For each course, such data shall consist of class size, response rates, and the distribution of ratings, as well as other factors on which the Member provides comment, for example course characteristics such as elective or required status and mode of delivery. Such data shall not contain arithmetic averages. Evaluations of a Memberâ€™s performance in Teaching shall take into account factors that may bias any measures submitted. Any consideration of data from Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching shall take into account the possibility that they may be biased. A decision to deny Promotion and/or Tenure or Continuing status shall not solely be based on data from Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching
Deans have access to Section 5 of the SQCT, which asks students to provide any supplementary comments about the course. These comments can provide useful feedback related to many aspects of course and degree programming, some of which instructors do not have control over, such as when courses are scheduled, class size and format, and repetition of content from other courses. This type of feedback is particularly helpful for Faculties completing self-studies for the IQAP process, but can also serve as a source for ongoing results related to course programing, curriculum mapping, and variety of teaching approaches. Keep the following in mind in understanding course comments: