Publication Details

This conference paper was origianlly published as Corderoy, RM, Stace, R, Ip, R and Macleod, P, SOS: A Subject Online Survey Engine to Support Improvement in Teaching and Learning, in Cummings, R (ed), Evaluation: Challenging Boundaries, Australia: Australasian Evaluation Society, Perth, 149-155.


Traditionally, data relating to the conduct of subjects at the University of Wollongong has been collected for academics with one main purpose in mind: to provide the academic with supporting information as to their teaching ability for the purposes of promotion. Currently this data is collected using ‘prescribed Teaching Surveys’. The process is a formal, highly regulated mechanism and is administered by the Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources (CEDIR) on request. The promotion process requires that the academic provide of not less than 4 and no more than 6 such survey reports in their application for promotion. These surveys are seen as an imposition by many rather than a tool for improving the process of teaching and learning at the university. Two major difficulties have been identified. Firstly, the prescribed question set is not always appropriate and secondly the questions are too heavily weighted towards the academics performance as a teacher to provide useful information about the subject and its presentation which could be used to improve the quality of teaching and learning.