From student feedback to institutional quality enhancement initiatives that focus on supporting staff and students

  • Elizabeth Santhanam Australian Catholic University
  • Kevin Ashford-Rowe Australian Catholic University
  • Pauline Murphy Australian Catholic University


The broader challenges posed for teaching quality enhancement through educational and academic development are many and include: information collection to identify possible reasons for a particular set of circumstances, planning and implementation of changes in a generally fluid situation, collection of evidence for outcomes, and provision of succinct reports to stakeholders. One common means for identifying both the needs and the outcomes is through surveys. In this respect, students views on the learning and teaching environment provided by an institution are typically collected through standardised questionnaires, though the use of such survey results has been frequently debated. This paper outlines the use of information collected through surveys of student views in order to better understand student learning experiences and to identify areas for further development. It also describes specific projects and programs that were aimed at caring for both staff and students in an institution with a strong commitment to the dignity of the human person and the common good. It is noted that in addition to policies and procedures that enshrine caring and ethical behaviour among staff and students, the institution actively promotes this culture through various practices.

Author Biographies

Elizabeth Santhanam, Australian Catholic University

Elizabeth Santhanam is an Associate Professor at the Australian Catholic University and is responsible for coordinating the evaluation services provided through the Learning and Teaching Centre. Elizabeth has worked in the area of academic development at four Australian universities. She has published journal articles and presented at conferences on topics related to quality assurance and enhancement.

Kevin Ashford-Rowe, Australian Catholic University

Kevin Ashford-Rowe is a Professor in Australian Catholic University (ACU). As the Director of the University’s Learning and Teaching Centre, he supports the academic teaching community in the continual improvement of their teaching and the student’s learning experience by means of enhanced curriculum design and improved assessment practice and increased use of information and communication technology. He currently leads multi-disciplinary educational development projects under the broad theme of ‘Learning for Life’ across seven campuses. These initiatives are aligned to the strategic directions of ACU. Prior to this he was the Director, Information Services (Learning and Teaching) at Griffith University where he led a team of 80 staff and was the business owner of the University's virtual and physical learning and teaching environments. Before joining the Higher Education Sector he spent ten years as an Officer in the Royal Australian Army Educational Corps and still serves as a Reservist. He has also worked as a high school teacher.

Pauline Murphy, Australian Catholic University

Pauline Murphy is the Director, Student Strategies at the Australian Catholic University. Pauline's focus is on strategies and projects to address student retention and achievement and provide support to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) in strategic and operational planning, budget and finance. Pauline has led the development and rollout of the Enhancing Student Communications Strategy. Previously she held executive positions with NSW government agencies.

How to Cite
SANTHANAM, Elizabeth; ASHFORD-ROWE, Kevin; MURPHY, Pauline. From student feedback to institutional quality enhancement initiatives that focus on supporting staff and students. Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL), [S.l.], v. 5, n. 1, p. 49-66, june 2017. ISSN 2310-7103. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 oct. 2018.


Quality Enhancement; Professional Development; Student Feedback; Student Success; Student Retention