Feedback Pilot

The (currently un-named) Feedback pilot is an automated student course feedback system developed for The University of Portsmouth’s Business School.

This page is still under construction. In fact, right now it’s mostly a placeholder.



Obtaining student feedback about courses tends to be a manual, paper-heavy, and intensive process. And the University has something like 18,000 students. Feedback is a university-level system (piloted at Faculty level) to develop a computerised system, as the extant method of, as one staff put it, ‘photocopying a truck load of sheets and getting admin staff to tot the crosses up’ is obviusly increasingly impractical…

  • Automate tedious, error-prone tasks
    • automatic presentation of forms, capturing of data, including partial submission
    • automatic processing, analysis and summarisation of results
    • automatic pre-defined ‘windows of feedback opportunity’ by date, variable by year of study
    • automatic management of course-level ‘add-ons’ for customised assessment
  • Reduce paper usage& staff burden
  • Enable consistent management of feedback and evaluation processes
  • Measure completion rates; Feedback can discern if a student has used the system (but individual data is psuedonomyised)

At the time of writing, the system is to run as a pilot for 2000 students during May-July 2006.

  • Technical Info
    • Re-use of GoalPost codebase, including integrated Portal signon and abstracted access to corporate student records systems
    • Developed in object-oriented PHP 5, MySQL 4, accessing corporate Oracle Portal instances
    • Userbase of 2000 students, 200 staff
    • Role-based permissions system (e.g. only course leaders can see feedback for a given course; department heads can see cross-department summaries)
    • Fully W3C compliant, accessible, etc.


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    Home page for students; they can choose from one or more feedbacks to complete, including per-course additions

    The survey questions themselves reflect national approaches. Here are some typical Likert scale questions.

    Students can also complete free text questions, with a snazzy blue input focus for good measure

    Staff home page; analyses current feedback base once on log-in. Comparisons across course, time, or question are now a snap (they weren’t before!))

    Driling down by time, question group, and so on, one click away. Previously an administration request had to be made for even basic information


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