Miri – 3 August 2011 – Tertiary institutions place high value on the quality of their academic programmes, their teaching and learning facilities, their academicians, and the learning experiences they offer their students.
Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) is no exception, and as a means of gauging its quality in these areas, conducts Curtin’s eVALUate survey amongst its students to garner feedback on their learning experiences as well as effectiveness of teaching at the university throughout the semester.
According to Haslina Abdul Malek, manager of Curtin Sarawak’s University Life Department, which conducts the annual survey, continuous performance improvement and the monitoring of teaching and learning are based not only on students’ passing and retention rates, but are also determined through focus group discussions and external benchmarking surveys.
“eVALUate aims to assist our academic staff in reviewing their unit designs, delivery methods, student engagement, and assessment exercises, as well as provide data to benchmark teaching and learning quality within the university and against other public and private universities nationwide,” said Haslina.
She added that eVALUate also directly provides evidence for academic staff promotion, performance management and teaching portfolios. In addition, the survey gives indications of students’ achievement and motivation, as well as their overall satisfaction with the teaching unit and lecturers.
eVALUate consists of two elements – the eVALUate Unit Survey, which is used to evaluate all coursework units, and the eVALUate Teaching Survey, which is initiated on the request of lecturers and is used to gauge their teaching effectiveness. It is available to all foundation and undergraduate students on the Curtin Sarawak website and is carried out at the end of each semester.
On completing the survey, students are eligible to win in a lucky draw in which winners are randomly selected by the eVALUate team at Curtin’s main campus in Perth.
Four students from Curtin Sarawak were recently selected for prizes. Chemical Engineering student Chai Nyuk Fah won the first prize and walked away with an iPad 2. Second and third prize winners, Mechanical Engineering student Angelina Tan Wen Ching and Media and PR student Xiang Gu Ye, won an iPod Touch and iPod Nano respectively. Fourth prize winner Yong Foh Ruey meanwhile won a Sony camera. The prizes, sponsored by the University Life Department, were presented to the students by Professor Ian Kerr, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Curtin Sarawak.
Shamsul Kamariah Abdullah, Dean and Senior Lecturer of Marketing of the School of Business opined that eVALUate serves as an effective platform for students to provide constructive feedback for further improvement on unit designs.
“We value the students’ feedback as it helps our unit coordinators improve on or prepare course materials that take into consideration the learners’ expectations,” said Shamsul.
She added that improvements in unit design will directly affect the quality of graduates produced by the university.