The survey questions

The Student Course Perceptions survey was designed as a "cascaded" model, with one set of core questions aligned with institutional priorities and an opportunity for individual faculties and departments to add more focused questions as needed.

Core (institutional) questions

The core questions were developed after extensive background research, consultation, and discussion, and have been reviewed by a number of campus stakeholders and stakeholder groups. They map to the University of Waterloo's strategic priorities and also align with focus group input from students in all six faculties. 

  1. The intended learning outcomes for this course were identified.
  2. The course activities prepared me for the graded work.
  3. The intended learning outcomes were assessed through my graded work.
  4. The instructor helped me to understand the course concepts.
  5. The instructor created a supportive environment that helped me learn.
  6. The instructor stimulated my interest in this course.
  7. The workload demands for this course were ...
  8. The most important thing I learned in this course was …
  9. What helped me to learn in this course was …
  10. What changes, if any, would I suggest for this course?

Questions1-6 are measured on a five-point Likert scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree). Question 7 measured on a five-point Likert scale (very low to very high). Items 8 to 10 are open-ended.

How were these questions designed?

The core survey questions were developed with input from the following sources:

  • a comprehensive literature review
  • evidence-based principles of effective teaching
  • consultations with administrators of teaching assessment processes at other Canadian universities
  • focus groups with students from all six faculties
  • the largest pilot test of its kind, to date, including 41,737 SCP survey responses from 2,196 courses across all six faculties and two affiliated institutions.

Will these questions change?

They might, depending on input that the TAP team receives as well as data trends as the university starts using the surveys. Administering the same survey across the entire campus will allow the university to track trends centrally, which should bring gaps and flaws to the surface so that they can be addressed. If the data highlight problems with any of the questions, the TAP team will review it thoroughly and make changes as needed.

Faculty and department questions

The Teaching Assessment Processes team is working with each faculty to determine whether whether additional questions would be helpful. The development process includes a series of consultations during which time participants work together to develop questions with support and guidance from the TAP team.