Unit evaluation

Purpose

Unit evaluation is part of the University's continuous process of evaluating and enhancing the quality of its units and programmes.  Research has also shown that feedback, both to and from students, is “the single most influential factor in student learning” (Hattie 2009). Feedback from students helps teachers reflect on practice, consider unit design and adapt their teaching. Additionally, the reflection that students undertake during and at the end of each unit is a powerful tool in developing their own learning strategies. Bristol’s unit evaluation policy is particularly geared to this goal.

Students who've already experienced this approach say -

"It was excellent how every member of staff cared about improving the service and teaching that was given and took student feedback seriously and acted on them wherever possible."

"Great sense of community and staff really take on board student feedback."

"Staff are good at the asking us for feedback and actually doing something about it instead of just carrying on without taking action."

"Staff really care about our thoughts on the course, are diligent in asking for feedback and prompt to act on it."

Two evaluation points: mid-unit & end of unit

Mid unit evaluation should enable those staff delivering the unit to gather informal feedback from students to ensure any issues are raised early and acted on promptly. For students, the gain is in reflecting on their own approach to learning within the unit. Schools are strongly encouraged to use this process, further guidance is available in annex A to the Unit Evaluation Policy.  

End of unit evaluation outcomes should be used by the Unit Director to monitor and enhance the learning experience, and by the Programme Director, School Education Director and Head of School or their nominee/s to monitor and enhance provision across the school. Students also gain by reflecting on their development through the programme. The resulting dialogue contributes to a sense of academic community for students and staff jointly. Further guidance is available in annex B to the Unit Evaluation Policy

Implementation in 2019/20

In recognition that some schools have existing processes and that the University does not yet have an electronic tool specially designed for unit evaluation, this policy may have a more limited take-up in 2019/20 depending on the school’s current processes. However there is an expectation that it will be implemented in at least some units at UG & PGT level in every school, more information in the Unit Evaluation Policy