Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Teaching And Learning
Authoring Organisational Unit
Date Approved
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Students' Unit Reflective Feedback (SURF) Survey Data and its Dissemination

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy outlines the Students' Unit Reflective Feedback (SURF) on-line survey tool and clarifies the principles that guide the dissemination of SURF evaluation data at the University of Western Australia.


the University means The University of Western Australia

Policy statement:

1. SURF Survey Tool

1.1 Students evaluate their units via the on-line SURF survey towards the end of every semester or teaching period.

1.2 The six-item questionnaire asks students to express disagreement/agreement on a four point scale with the following statements:

1.2.1 It was clear what I was expected to learn in this unit

1.2.2 The assessment requirements were clearly stated

1.2.3 The assessment tasks were closely linked to the unit objectives

1.2.4 The unit was well organised

1.2.5 The learning resources (handouts, text, web resources, etc) were adequate for my study in the unit

1.2.6 Overall this unit was a good educational experience

1.3 SURF results are stored on a secure database at

1.4 SURF is administered by the Institutional Research Unit.

2. General Principles for the Dissemination of SURF Data

2.1 The University relies heavily on SURF surveys as a reliable source of information on the quality of the learning experiences within units.

2.2 Given that students are asked to provide evaluative survey feedback via SURF in respect of every unit in which they enrol, it is reasonable and respectful for the University to report back to students on the results of those surveys, and any consequential actions taken.

2.3 The University views students as responsible co-developers of their educational experiences.

2.4 The reliability of SURF survey data is crucially dependent on a good response rate. Providing students with the results of unit evaluation surveys will encourage them to participate more actively and responsibly in the evaluation of units.

2.5 Information on unit quality is widely shared between students on social media, in alternative handbooks and by word-of-mouth and often used in making unit selections. Making SURF survey results broadly available to students will increase the likelihood that their unit selection decisions are based on reliable sources of data.

2.6 Any unit evaluation information that is provided to students must also be made available to all academic staff.

2.7 SURF results at the individual unit level are reported only to University students and staff.


To be formulated by the Institutional Research Unit in consultation with the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Faculty Deans.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Director, Institutional Research Unit

Related Policies or legislation: