What to do about bad reviews

Academics are not all always happy at being reviewed by students. A couple of months back union members at the University of South Australia kicked up at the MyCourseExperience questionnaire, which they say can include abusive remarks from students and includes an “arbitrary” weighting that management uses to score teaching performance.

Now the National Tertiary Education Union is surveying academics around the country to ascertain their experience of being assessed by students. The survey is calmly comprehensive, asking about methodology, student comments and how management uses the results. But perhaps the union knows what it wants to hear; on the list of 11 physical or psychological problems caused by inappropriate student comments staff are asked to complete, “none” is not an option. Respondents are also asked if they can opt out of student assessment.  This could be a major campaign, one which would be popular with members, once enterprise bargaining is done.


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