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On this page:

What is a SECaT?
Do I have to complete SECaT evaluations?
Can I see the SECaT reports?
How will I know if there is a SECaT evaluation that I can complete?
How do I access my SECaT evaluations?
When are the SECaT evaluations open?
How long will it take to complete a SECaT evaluation?
What type of feedback can I leave?
Constructive feedback or grievance?
Are my responses confidential?


What is a SECaT?

SECaT evaluations provide students with the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience of course and teaching at UQ. Each time a course is offered, students enrolled in that course will be invited to evaluate their course and teacher(s) via an online SECaT evaluation.

For the majority of courses at UQ, the first email invitation will be sent to students at the beginning of Week 12 each Semester. Students can access the SECaT via the link contained in the email invitation. Alternatively, students can access their SECaTs via the ‘Have Your Say’ module on the Blackboard welcome page. All SECaTs remain open for at least two (2) full weeks. Students are sent up to two (2) reminders, usually one (1) week apart.

The SECaT evaluation consists of eight (8) quantitative and two (2) qualitative items regarding the course experience, as follows:

  1. I had a clear understanding of the aims and goals of the course.
  2. The course was intellectually stimulating.
  3. The course was well structured.
  4. The learning materials assisted me in this course.
  5. Assessment requirements were made clear to me.
  6. I received helpful feedback on how I was going in the course.
  7. I learned a lot in this course.
  8. Overall, how would you rate this course?
  9. What were the best aspects of this course?
  10. What improvements would you suggest?

The SECaT evaluation also contains eight (8) quantitative and two (2) qualitative items regarding the quality of teaching, as follows:

  1. …was well organised.
  2. …was good at explaining things.
  3. …was approachable.
  4. …stimulated my interest in the field of study.
  5. …inspired me to learn.
  6. …encouraged student input.
  7. …treated students with respect.
  8. Overall, how would you rate this teacher?
  9. What aspects of this teacher’s approach best helped your learning?
  10. What would you have liked this teacher to have done differently?

Do I have to complete SECaT evaluations?

Completing SECaT evaluations is voluntary, however it is strongly encouraged as it is an opportunity for you to provide valuable feedback on your experience of courses and teaching at UQ. Student feedback informs the understanding of teaching strengths and weaknesses and provides ideas about how courses and teaching can be improved. SECaT results are also used for decisions regarding recruitment, continuing employment and promotion, and for decisions about courses, programs, and many aspects of curriculum and the student experience.

Can I see the SECaT reports?

Yes. In accordance with UQ’s student engagement strategy, students may view the results via the publicly available SECaT Course Results Dashboard.

How will I know if there is a SECaT evaluation that I can complete?

There are a number of different ways that you will be notified regarding SECaT evaluations, including:

  • Email invitation sent to your student email account;
  • Blackboard via the ‘Have Your Say’ module on the welcome page;
  • During class. 

How do I access my SECaT evaluations?

To access your SECaT evaluations, either:

  • Log on to Blackboard and look for the ‘Have Your Say’ module. Click on the link(s) to complete the SECaT evaluation(s); or
  • Click on the link in the email invitation. 

When are the SECaT evaluations open?

In Semester 2, 2016 all SECaT evaluations will open on Monday 17/10/2016. Reminder emails will be sent on Saturday 22/10/2016, Thursday 27/10/2016, and Tuesday 01/11/2016. All SECaT evaluations will close on Friday 04/11/2016. This means you will have almost 3 weeks to complete your SECaT evaluations. 

How long will it take to complete a SECaT evaluation?

SECaT evaluations take approximately 3-5 minutes to complete, depending on how much open-ended feedback you choose to provide.

What type of feedback can I leave?

Feedback provided through SECaT evaluations should be constructive. Your feedback should explain your perceptions of course and teaching strengths and weaknesses with suggestions for improvements. We suggest you comment on aspects of course and teaching quality, such as content, resources, assessments, teaching and learning strategies, or organisational aspects of the course and teaching. Remember that comments should be professionally communicated, that is, avoid using expletives or urban slang. You should also avoid comments of a personal nature which are of no relevance to course and teaching quality.

Constructive feedback or grievance?

SECaT evaluations have been designed to allow students to provide constructive feedback about their experience of course and teaching quality so courses can undergo a process of continuous improvement. While UQ also accepts that there may be instances when students may feel dissatisfied with course and teaching quality, SECaT evaluations are not the mechanism for lodging grievances. If you have a grievance about academic or teaching standards, you may choose to lodge a grievance in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution policy (PPL 3.60.02). For further information about Student Grievance Resolution processes, please visit: http://www.asd.uq.edu.au/student-grievance-students

Are my responses confidential?

From Semester 1, 2015 all SECaTs are designed to be confidential in order for the University to comply with its legal obligations in regard to Privacy (Queensland Information Privacy Act 2009) and Duty of Care (Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011).

Upon enrolment, students accept the following privacy statement:

The University of Queensland (we) complies with Australian and Queensland privacy laws and guidelines. We treat personal information we collect as confidential. We will only use personal information you give us for our administrative or educational purposes, to assist you to improve your success and experience as a student, and keep in touch with you after you graduate. To comply with legal and administrative obligations, we routinely supply personal information to government agencies. We will not give anyone else your personal information unless you agree or the law says we must. We may use personal information to prepare statistical information which we may then distribute but only in a form that does not identify any one.

Students also agree to comply with the policy 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct which outlines acceptable and inappropriate student behaviours. This is relevant in that it aims to encourage students to provide constructive feedback through SECaT open comments. When providing feedback through the SECaT open comments, students should provide comments intended to help staff to improve teaching and learning quality at UQ.

SECaTs assure student confidentiality in relation to the general reporting of SECaT outcomes to University staff (Academics, Professional staff within Faculties and Schools or other units and divisions outside of the ITaLI Evaluation Unit, and University Executives). Student confidentiality is further increased for these reporting processes through the reporting rules:

  • No SECaT will be generated if a course has fewer than six (6) students enrolled;
  • No quantitative data will be released if a course has fewer than six (6) responses.

However, the University keeps a record of student information related to the completion of SECaTs. This information includes a record of student identification numbers against survey responses. The collection of student identification numbers allows the University to comply with its legal obligations. Apart from when the law says we must do so, the University will also access student information related to student responses when a response has been identified by UQ staff to have breached the University’s Student Integrity and Misconduct policy or Duty of Care responsibilities to students and staff. This includes responses which:

  • Threaten students or staff in any way by: harassing, vilifying, bullying, abusing, threatening, assaulting or endangering staff, students or other members of the University's community directly or by other means of communication (3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct, subsection 6.2.2 [h]), or
  • Are deemed by relevant University staff to be inappropriate because they contain profanities or other statements not provided with constructive intent for improvements to teaching and learning provisions at the University.

Student identification information in these instances will only be accessed in order to un-publish comments and archive them for legal purposes. Academic staff will not receive individually identifiable student information unless the University is required to provide this information for legal compliance.

Beyond the reasons listed above and to assure student confidentiality, the ITaLI Evaluation Unit will not release individually identifiable student information from SECaTs for any other purpose either to UQ staff or students. For more information please refer to PPL 3.30.02 Course and Teacher Surveys.