Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Geography TQA
Originator Dick Middleton
Department Department of Geography, The University of Hull, UK
Tel. +44(0)1482 465578
Fax. +44 (0)1482 466340

Teaching Quality Assessment (TQA) feedback and its quick analysis has many logistical problems for staff. Geography have continually sought ways of improving the TQA process in order to obtain as much useful feedback from students as possible. Over the last several years therefore, Geography staff have worked with Graeme Murphy from Academic Services Computing to develop a computer-based system for collecting and processing student TQA data.

The questionnaire has previously been delivered over the campus network using a Visual Basic program written by Graeme Murphy. Using Visual Basic, Graeme Murphy produced a PC-based tool which students could access on the campus network. Students were able to select the modules they were enrolled on and complete the TQA forms electronically. This data could then be fed into a spreadsheet for quick and easy processing.

Unfortunately, the change to Windows NT during the summer of 1999 meant that the software would need to be rewritten or an alternative method of delivery developed. It was decided that it would be a good opportunity to pilot a scheme whereby the Internet was used for delivery. The main advantage of delivery via the Internet is that students would be able to complete forms in their own time from any networked PC. We should also be able to use the same technology for many years, regardless of changes to the University Network.

Geography are now collaborating with Academic Services Learning Development to continue to provide an electronic TQA questionnaire, but delivered via the web. This has been made possible by using a survey feature of a system called CourseInfo, a commercial package from Blackboard Inc., Washington. CourseInfo is an example of a virtual learning environment and can be used to offer a wide range of learning and teaching resources, including online quizzes and surveys. Once students have completed the online TQA questionnaire, CourseInfo automatically processes the data for you and presents you with the results.

The questionnaire itself can be created in about an hour or less and questions can be fed into a question bank, which can be accessed for future surveys. This enables you to alter your surveys quickly by selecting questions from the question bank to suit your needs. Geography successfully delivered their TQA questionnaires for the first time last semester to all levels of Geography students and will continue to utilise such technology in the future. Apart from the inevitable minor problems which were encountered, the system was shown to be secure and easy to use.


Internet delivery
Student feedback
Teaching Quality Assessment (TQA)

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Page created 16 October 2000
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