If you’ve been at UTS for a little while, you’ve probably filled out your fair share of surveys. Whether you’re struggling to sort out the GOS from the SSS, or the EFS from the SFS, it might feel like you’re becoming a pro at ticking boxes.
But there’s a reason for that! In fact, there are 5 good reasons why you should take the time to fill out the university surveys that come your way.
1. Your feedback changes things. No, really.
Whether that’s through supporting first year students who come from low socio-economic backgrounds, or making sure assessments relate to what happens in industry, your thoughts really do have an impact.
2. Your lecturers and tutors are counting on your comments…even if they’re more ‘constructive criticism’ than praise.
Instead of your issues with a subject ending up on UTS Confessions (let’s be real), they could make a real difference to a subject—or even a whole faculty. Academics really do value your feedback on their classes, your comments in the SFS (that’s the bi-sessional Student Feedback Survey) inform how they design and deliver your classes. It’s also a chance for those introverts among us to let our academics know how we’re finding the subject.
Tim Laurie, subject co-ordinator for Communicating Difference, says that his SFS results often show him that his students experience frustrations with group work. Unfortunately we can’t simply scrap group work—it's an essential skill for the future workplace. But Tim explains that “As a result of this feedback we introduced a pre-submission deadline for the allocation of group tasks. This helps to identify any groups where divisions of labour had not been properly articulated.”
Take that, group work slackers.
3. You could win big!
Many of the surveys that will hit your inbox have some sort of incentive. From prepaid Visa cards to charitable donations, it’s just an extra motivation to provide your feedback.
4. You can leave behind a legacy…anonymously.
Sure, nobody else will know that it was your influence that changed a subject for the better.
But you’ll know.
5. They’ll (probably) take less time to fill out than walking through Central tunnel.
And you won’t feel like death afterwards, unless you’re doing surveys really wrong.
So next time the survey avalanche hits, give us your two cents!
PS those surveys we mentioned before? Here’s a bit about each of them so you know what you’re signing up to!
First impressions survey (FIS): conducted every second year, this survey invites commencing students to share their first impressions (!) of UTS.
Early feedback survey (EFS): this one gives students an opportunity early in the semester to share their thoughts on their subjects so far, so staff can address issues of concern.
Student feedback survey (SFS): whether you have suggestions for change or praise regarding your learning experience at UTS, the SFS is the way to voice your thoughts.
Student experience survey (SES): this one’s conducted by the Australia Government to help improve the student experience (ah, like the title!). It compares universities and focuses on 5 key areas: learner engagement, teaching quality, student support, learning resources and skills development.
Graduate outcomes survey (GOS): this one’s for graduates. It’s also conducted by the Australian Government and seeks to gain feedback on how prepared graduates are for the workforce and their employment status upon graduating.
Student satisfaction survey (SSS): its acronym might sound like Parseltongue, but the SSS is administered annually to determine all students' level of satisfaction with various student support areas and services at UTS.