Your New Learner Experience of Teaching (LET) Survey

As part of the review of the Teaching Evaluation for Development Service (TEDS) surveys and reporting, last December we (the LIH Quality Assurance portfolio) brought people together to “hack” the Learner Experience of Teaching (LET) survey questionnaire.

We’re pleased to report that after further consultation, we have now sewn the LET back up again with revisions that reflect staff and student input and Macquarie’s strategic directions in L&T.

The LET remains as a primarily formative feedback tool, aimed at informing reflection on, and enhancement of, your teaching practice. It also provides you with evidence to support applications for career progression, awards and professional recognition.

We’ve retained the survey name “Learner Experience of Teaching” to emphasise that it provides just one perspective on your teaching. Students can only assess what they experience, so it’s important to remember that survey evidence is just one source of information about your teaching. It’s most useful when combined with other sources. Peer observation and review, analytics, student learning outcomes and scholarly reflection are also key components of evaluating, assuring and enhancing teaching quality.

What are the key changes to the LET?

1.       Revised items.

  • A revised “core” set (Likert and open-ended response items), covering four key areas of teaching practice: communication; consideration and contact; feedback and learning support; motivation and engagement.
  • Many staff have expressed concern about the current core LET item that specifically refers to feedback on students’ work. Such an item will only be included in the new LET when the teacher who ordered the survey is responsible for assessment marking.
  • A streamlined LET Item Bank, focusing primarily on teaching practice. Optional items are grouped into twelve themes.
  • Revised and new preselected options. These are groups of items drawn from the LET Item Bank. There are 12 sets of themed items plus three sets of mixed “popular items” based on staff selections over the past 6 years.

2.       Revised Likert response scale

  • Instead of the “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” scale, the LET will now use a frequency-based scale (Always / Usually / About half the time / Sometimes / Rarely or never).
  • A frequency-based scaled encourages students to reflect on the whole of their experience with their teacher, not just how they feel at that point in time when they happen to be completing the survey.

3.       Revised reporting format

  • Reporting of survey results will now be more aligned with the reporting of the national QILT student and graduate surveys:
    • In individual reports, TEDS will provide a bar chart showing the proportion of responses in each category and the percentage of students who responded “Always” and “Usually” combined, for each item.
    • In summary reports for Departments and Faculties, TEDS will provide the percentage of students who responded “Always” and “Usually” combined, for each of the four areas of teaching practice covered by the LET core Likert scale items. All data will be aggregated and individual teachers will not be identified in these reports.
  • We will be updating the LET Summary Tables (aggregated result summaries) to reflect the new reporting format, once we have accumulated sufficient data to establish reliable and stable norms.

4.       Survey scheduling

From 2018, LET surveys in standard semesters will be restricted to delivery in Weeks 8-10, with LEU surveys to be delivered in Weeks 11-13. This has several advantages:

  • spreading out the TEDS workload;
  • spreading out the survey load on students and preventing over-surveying in the last two weeks of the teaching session;
  • delivery of the numerical summaries of LET results to teachers while they are still teaching the students who provided the feedback, enabling them to respond directly to those students;
  • making it feasible to do both an LET and LEU in the same unit if deemed necessary, without concentrating the survey burden for students into a short period of time.

Note that TEDS continues to encourage early ordering of both types of survey, and will be maintaining the requirement for at least 21 days notice (i.e. order your surveys at least 21 days prior to required delivery date). We’ll be sending out info and reminders from Week 2 of the teaching session. Note too that exceptions to the timetable for delivery can also be varied where necessary, for example, to cater to team teaching arrangements or for block delivery mode.

For more information on the new LET core and optional items, please watch this space for further posts, or contact:

Cathy Rytmeister
QA and PD Lead
Learning Innovation Hub
cathy.rytmeister@mq.edu.au
Ext. 9719

For general TEDS inquiries (surveys, ordering, delivery, reporting) please contact teds@mq.edu.au

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