My PhD is motivated by the question of educators – “How do I know if my teaching is effective?”. Whilst assessment results, peer feedback and teaching portfolio artefacts are useful indicators, student evaluations of teaching surveys are used in the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT). The QILT is an annually published survey comparing student experience across higher education institutions and study areas. Though QILT results influence perceptions of university experience, the methodology of this survey has not to date been systematically evaluated.
My PhD aims to evaluate the rigours of methodologies used in the QILT survey. This includes adequately addressing issues of bias identified in the body of learning analytics research, as well as utilising appropriate qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection, analysis and interpretation. It will draw on statistical methods employed in other domains such as astronomy, geosciences and epidemiology in addressing issues of observational selection bias in sampling of student populations as well as Bayesian approaches to Hierarchical Models. By providing an exemplar for the analysis and interpretation of student evaluation surveys, students, academics and universities will be better positioned to understand the teaching outcomes/learning experiences of higher education.