The Handbook for Economics Lecturers

2.4 So what? Using the results of questionnaires to improve teaching and learning

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It is primarily the responsibility of the lecturer to review the responses and results of the questionnaires and these should be summarised in a summary report, which is presented to the department and to a representative student body. The key feature of the report is an ‘action plan’ indicating how the lecturer intends to act upon the findings of the questionnaire to improve the learning experience in future courses. Where no changes are envisaged, the reasons for these must be clearly stated. It is important that teachers receive some form of training in how to go about interpreting and using questionnaire results – as stated earlier, reading questionnaire responses can be a difficult process for inexperienced teachers and support should be available.

It is good practice to ensure that lecturers and tutors do not see questionnaires relating to themselves and to the modules for which they have responsibility until assessment of the module is completed. Analysis and report writing should then be done as soon as possible.

Mechanical data processing

It is possible that your questionnaire, if formatted appropriately, may be read and scored by machine, or that you can use a machine-scorable answer sheet. This can significantly reduce time involved in analysing questionnaires.