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Why Universities need to Close the Student Feedback Loop

Learn how to use "Closing-the-Loop" to increase the motivation and engagement of your students and lecturers to actively contribute to important feedback and quality processes.

“As universities look to better utilise the rich data captured from course and module evaluation, the exigency of closing the student feedback loop cannot be emphasised enough.”
– Bruce Johnson, Managing Director, evasys UK

It has become common practice to seek students’ views to inform improvement in universities. Student feedback can inform reflective practice and what might be done differently to make the teaching and the academic subject more relevant to students’ experiences and aspirations. With evasys+, academic staff can let students know that their voice has been heard.

Build On Feedback Data

Institutions of higher education are no longer just about ‘collecting’ student evaluations for accountability purposes. Evaluation processes and data play a far greater role than meeting legal requirements:

  • Results from course evaluation are important to multiple stakeholders, with the ultimate aim of optimising the learning impact and outcomes of the course offerings from the institution.
  • Results captured from the survey process are only meaningful if they are representative and statistically valid, and response rates are a key contributing factor here.
  • Results from the feedback process are most relevant and useful if they are turned around quickly to the various stakeholders including the student.
  • The evaluation process can be seen as the beginning of a dialogue to improve collaboration in terms of a partnership between students and lecturers.

A report commissioned by evasys in 2013 “Closing the loop: Are universities doing enough to act on student feedback from course evaluation surveys?” found that 90% of UK Pro Vice-Chancellors believed full results should be fed back to students alongside details of how the institution was going to respond. At the time of publication, only one in ten universities did so.

Also here in Germany, it is no longer up for discussion that institutional quality management processes and the systematic collection of student feedback make a central contribution to teaching and study quality. However, the quality cycle is only closed when findings from student feedback are incorporated into the change process.

Effectively Closing the Loop

If the primary objectives for gathering course evaluation data are to improve teaching quality and/or the student experience and at the institutional level, for broader quality assurance and enhancement, then timely reporting to staff is an equally important student feedback loop to close. Relevant data should be provided as quickly as possible to different staff groupings (e.g. module, course, department, school and institutional level) who can the act on the feedback. Only in this way feedback can be implemented promptly and in the right place as a suitable measure

At evasys, we understand that survey processes and the processing of results must be secure, professional and efficient. And we understood that proven as well as new evaluation methods should be easy to implement with a software tool in a timely manner. What we are now getting back from customers is that certain aspects that were identified with the evaluation procedures thanks to the good process mapping in evasys should also be fed back to the stakeholders.

Evasys+ Can Help You Close the Feedback Loop

With evasys+ you manage to report back actions that have been implemented based on student feedback or other evaluation processes. Be transparent about which areas have been identified for improvement and where further optimization will be made in the future.

At evasys, we listen to the needs and priorities of our customers and focus on product innovation based on a close partnership with our costumers.

The evasys+ online survey automation system provides:

  • Instant feedback reporting,
  • A suite of reports for different stakeholders,
  • Dialog functions for feedback to students and teachers in evasys+.

At the close of a survey, teaching staff receive an instant feedback report with a notification to enter reflections on quantitative and qualitative data submitted, usually against an institution’s pre-defined template defining, for example, areas of good practice; areas for development; actions to be taken. When this is completed, an automated report is sent to students and/or delivered via LTI into the institutional VLE, providing them with the opportunity to access an aggregated summary of the chosen quantitative data submitted. Students have the option to rate these reflections (one to five stars).

In this way, students feel a part of an effective, value-added process and this, in turn, will drive higher response rates for future evaluations.

To understand more about how evasys+ can help your institution to close the student feedback loop, contact us with your questions.

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