On this page:

What is a SECaT? 
How do I get a SECaT?
Important dates for Summer Semester, 2016
SECaT release schedule for Summer Semester, 2016
When and how do I get my SECaT results?
How can I increase my response rate?
Student confidentiality
SECaT response comment removal
Examples and resources

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 three (3) reminders, usually five (5) days 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?

How do I get a SECaT?

The ITaLI Evaluation Unit relies on information from SI-net and the Electronic Course Profile System (ECPS) to automatically generate and send out online SECaT evaluations.

Check and update SI-net and the ECP prior to scheduled survey periods

At the beginning of each evaluation period SECaT evaluations are automatically generated and scheduled according to the information in SI-net and the ECP. It is therefore important that Course Coordinators, Lecturers, and Associate Lecturers check this information to avoid missing out on a SECaT evaluation.

In order for a SECaT Course evaluation to be generated, there must be a Course Coordinator listed in SI-net. For a Teaching evaluation to be generated, there must be one or more staff correctly listed as a ‘Lecturer’ or 'Associate Lecturer' on the ECP. Course Coordinators must also list themselves as ‘Lecturer’ in order to receive a Teaching evaluation.

Guest lecturers (no UQ Aurion ID) and staff who are incorrectly added to ECP will not be evaluated. Guest Lecturers may be evaluated using the SETutor process.

The correct way to add a 'Lecturer' or 'Associate Lecturer' to the ECP is as follows:

  1. Open the ECP for the course that you wish to add a Lecturer/Associate Lecturer to.
  2. Click the ‘Add’ button next to the ‘1.3 Course Staff’ heading.
  3. Enter one or more search terms (e.g., family name, given name, and/or preferred name) and click ‘Search’.
  4. Select the staff member from the search results and click ‘Next’, then ‘Save’.
  5. If you cannot find the staff member in the search results please expand your search. Do not click ‘Add New’ and manually enter the Lecturer’s information as this method does not link with the UQ Aurion ID and therefore a Teaching evaluation will not be generated.

If you require more detailed instructions please click here.

If your course has fewer than 6 students enrolled

If your course has fewer than six (6) students enrolled a SECaT evaluation will not be generated. Please consider using the paper-based Open Response Questionnaire

Important dates for Semester 1, 2017

  • 3 April, 2017: ITaLI Evaluation Unit imports data from SI-net and ECPS to the evaluation system, and schedules SECaT evaluations.
  • 22 May, 2017: Students receive the initial email invitation for SECaT evaluations.
  • 27 May, 2017: Students receive the first email reminder for SECaT evaluations that they have not yet completed.
  • 1 June, 2017: Students receive the second email reminder for SECaT evaluations that they have not yet completed.
  • 6 June, 2017: Students receive the final email reminder for SECaT evaluations that they have not yet completed.
  • 9 June, 2017: All SECaT evaluations will close at 11:59pm. 

SECaT release schedule for Semester 1, 2017

SECaT evaluations will be released throughout the day on Monday 22 May between the hours of 8:00 am and 6pm. 

When and how do I get my SECaT results?

SECaT results are released every Semester after the finalisation of students’ results.

Course Coordinators are emailed two reports: the SECaT course report and the SECaT teaching report. Both of these reports contain a summary of the quantitative results as well as all qualitative feedback (comments). The Course Coordinator can choose to email a copy of the SECaT course report to all Lecturers of the course if they wish to.

Lecturers are emailed their individual SECaT teaching report. This report contains a summary of the quantitative results as well as all qualitative feedback (comments).

Click on the following links to access example reports:

Example SECaT course report 
Example SECaT teaching report 

SECaT results are also made available via the UQ Reportal. If you do not have access you will need to submit a request for access using the online form. For instructions on how to access and print SECaT course reports click here. For instructions on how to access and print SECaT teaching reports click here

How can I increase my response rate?

Academics are best placed to encourage students to participate in evaluations. It is good practice to undertake the following prior to the evaluation period:

  • Provide students with notice that an online SECaT evaluation will be made available to students, giving any detail as necessary (e.g., tell students to check their student email account and the ‘Have Your Say’ module on the welcome page of Blackboard).
  • Tell your students why SECaT evaluations are conducted and what they are used for.
  • Set aside class time for students to use their own device (e.g., smart phone, tablet, laptop) to complete their SECaT evaluation. Academics that use this approach have been found to achieve higher response rates than those who do not set aside class time.
  • Communicate the following message to your students:

“You will be asked to complete an online survey about your teaching and learning experiences in this course. This survey is voluntary and your responses are confidential.  If you choose to provide comments in response to the open ended questions, please ensure your comments contain constructive feedback that is free of personal views which are racist, sexist, or likely to cause offense. Results from this survey will help make improvements to the course and teaching. You will be able to view the final SECaT course report via the UQ Reportal guest account, and changes to the course as a result of student feedback will be published on the ECP.” 

Student confidentiality

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 the 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 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 student information from SECaTs for any other purpose to either UQ staff or students. For more information please refer to PPL 3.30.02 Course and Teacher Surveys.

SECaT response comment removal

When a response has been identified by UQ staff to have breached the University's policy 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct or Duty of Care responsibilities to students and staff as part of the Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011, as previously outlined under the heading Student confidentiality, staff may request the removal of comments from publication (accessible format within SECaT survey reports or Reportal).

To request a comment removal, please follow the process below:

  1. Request approval from the Chair of the School's Teaching and Learning Committee (or equivalent) to remove a comment from the published dataset. Send this request to the Chair via email with the following information:
    • Details for the course, semester or teaching delivery period, and staff name (for Teaching responses).
    • Include an exact copy of the entire comment to be removed. We can only remove the entire comment and not parts of a comment.
    • List your reasoning for the removal request. For example, "The comment provided includes profanities and has no constructive intent to improve the quality of teaching and learning at UQ."
  2. Once the request is approved by the Chair (or equivalent) in written form, please email it to evaluations@uq.edu.au and we will action the request promptly. 
  3. If a new report is required, we will re-issue a new SECaT report which excludes the un-published comment.

Please note that the comment is not deleted. It will be archived for legal purposes. Approvals for comment removal may also be provided by the Head of School or Faculty Executives as the delegated authority for a School's or Faculty's data (see PPL3.30.02 Course and Teacher Survey procedures, last updated May 2016). 

Examples and resources

Example online SECaT 
Example email to students
Example email to students - pilot courses only
Example email to students viewed on an iPhone 
‘Have Your Say’ module in Blackboard 
Example SECaT course report 
Example SECaT teaching report 
SECaT information slide for use in lectures
'Student Evaluations at UQ' YouTube videos