Student Evaluation of Course and Teacher (SECaT)

SECaT evaluations provide students with the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience of courses 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. 

SECaT results for Semester 2, 2019 were released according to data reporting guidelines on 27 November 2019.

Key dates: Summer Semester 2019/20

Action Due date
Evaluation Unit imports data from SI-net and ECPs to the evaluation system, and schedules SECaT evaluations Thursday 19 December 2019
Students receive the initial email invitation for SECaT evaluations Monday 13 January 2020
SECaT evaluations close Friday 31 January 2020 (11.59pm )

What is 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, the ‘Have Your Say’ module on the Blackboard welcome page (PDF, 204KB) or via the Evaluations Portal.

All SECaTs remain open for at least two full weeks. Students are sent up to three reminders, usually five days apart.

What questions are asked in a SECaT?

The SECaT evaluation consists of eight quantitative and two 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 8 quantitative and 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

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 prior to scheduled survey periods 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.

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.

For detailed instructions, visit this page (section 1.3 Course Staff - Technical Help).

If your course has fewer than six students

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.

Inclusion of staff photos

SECaT surveys may include photos of staff used as part of the survey instruments. A sample of the survey and photo can be viewed at example online SECaT (log in to the portal and enter SAMPLE into the password bar).

Staff may opt out of including a photo or may substitute their photo with another photo. Staff with surveys scheduled will have active accounts at (UQ login required) so that photos can be removed or changed. 

The photo system will be enabled when SECaT surveys have been created. 

To remove photo

  1. Log in using your UQ login at:
  2. Click Manage Photos which appears in the left-hand navigation menu.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Clear Active. All photos in your list will have "No" listed under Active. No photo of you will be included in your surveys. 

To change photo

  1. Log in using your UQ login at:
  2. Click Manage Photos which appears in the left-hand navigation menu.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Upload. A pop-up window appears.
  4. Drag a photo file from your computer into the "Drop files here to upload" area then click Upload. Photos files should be less than 100KB in size. Large photos will take longer to upload and may appear like they have not uploaded when they are processing.

We recommend you use a desktop or laptop to action any photo removals or changes as mobile devices can display the interface incorrectly. The photo system is dynamically linked to your surveys and will be included as soon as edits are made and photos are processed within the systems.

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 (PDF, 47KB) and the SECaT teaching report (PDF, 48KB). 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).

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.

Links to different SECaT reports that are available to download from UQ Reportal are provided under SECaT course and teaching reports.

How to access and print your reports
Sample reports

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 terms specified within PPL 3.60.01 Student Charter.

Students also agree to comply with the policy PPL 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.

Response comment removal process

When a response has been identified by UQ staff to have potentially breached the University's policy PPL 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 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 unpublished 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 PPL 3.30.02 Course and Teacher Survey procedures, last updated May 2016).


To enquire about the results of your SECaT surveys, please contact the UQ Evaluation Unit:
+61 7 334 60735