SES: How Was It For You?

30 June 2013

The University of Melbourne will begin releasing the results of the Subject Experience Surveys (SES) to students this semester. While the survey questions have not changed, this decision demonstrates a step by the university towards more interactive student feedback on the standard of education they are receiving.

The SES results are to be released via the LMS each semester. Subject coordinators have been given a template for formatting these results, to ensure consistent feedback. The template includes specific sections for “Positive feedback about this subject”, “Suggestions for improvements,” and “Response and Actions”. In the final section staff are expected to explain what changes they may make to their subject in response to the SES results.

UMSU Education Academic Officer Declan McGonigle says the changes are being made to “encourage more students to complete the surveys,” and “to ensure that students receive much more feedback as to the results of the surveys.” The University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Pip Pattison says the university is aware that “feedback is most effective when it reflects the views of all students.” She also understands that “students like to see the impact of their feedback,” so this change will hopefully lead to greater participation in the SES and “to an ongoing cycle of improvement in students’ learning experiences.”

According to McGonigle, the changes are about “finding new ways to make students feel like their feedback is valued, that the university is actually listening to them.” In future, he will “be looking towards taking it further,” in particular to see the quantitative results of the surveys published to students. Nonetheless, the Education Academic office believes this change is definitely “a step in the right direction.”

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