June 10, 2022

Be part of real change to UCalgary’s course feedback system

Academic staff sought for working group to help implement new system to replace USRI
University students in a classroom
The guidelines for how students rate instruction at UCalgary haven't been updated since the USRI launched in 1998. Colourbox

The University of Calgary’s method for recording feedback about its instructors and courses is due for an update — and people from the UCalgary community are invited to make that happen.

Campus-community feedback about the current system, the Universal Student Ratings of Instruction (USRI), indicated that an overhaul is needed.

Three years of extensive consultations across campus with academic staff, leaders, and undergraduate and graduate students culminated in a robust list of recommendations for change that was presented to the General Faculties Council in April. Now, the call is out to assemble a diverse working group of UCalgary academics, students and staff to lead the implementation for some of the proposed changes.

Four academic staff volunteers needed

The Teaching and Learning Committee (TLC) of the General Faculties Council is looking for continuing appointment academic staff interested in serving on this working group. TLC will select four academic staff from nominations received and are looking for people who can speak to a broad range of teaching and learning experiences and contexts, such as:

  • Multi-section and multi-instructor courses
  • Courses taught in clinical and/or lab or simulation settings
  • Immersive experiential learning courses such as capstones, field/study abroad, project-based and performance-based courses
  • Courses taught in online or offered in a hybrid way

TLC is seeking to create a working group membership that reflects our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and this will be considered in the appointment of group members. Additional appointments will be made by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Indigenous Engagement to provide expertise in these areas.

The four selected academic appointees will play a crucial role in the revamp of the university’s course feedback system, doing hands-on work to make it more effective at providing meaningful feedback that will help enhance and improve UCalgary academic courses. They will join a team of appointed academic staff and students, as outlined in the terms of reference for the working group.

Current UCalgary academics of any background are encouraged to apply by filling out this short questionnaire. Applicants will be selected by the TLC for a two-year term, with possibility for renewal. The working group will begin its work this September.

The USRI system was introduced to UCalgary in fall 1998 to provide students an opportunity to give feedback on their academic courses. The guidelines that govern its administration have not been modified since its launch. 

Further details about the USRI review process can be found on the website and in the official recommendation report.

Apply now to join the Course Feedback Implementation Working Group. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2022. 


Course Feedback Implementation Working Group structure

Administrative co-chair  
Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning (VPTL) (ex-officio)

Academic co-chair
One academic staff member appointed by the VPTL (from the working group)

Academic staff members

  • Four academic staff members appointed by the Teaching and Learning Committee (TLC) that can speak to course feedback needs, including:
    • Courses that are offered in online and hybrid modalities
    • Multi-section and multi-instructor courses
    • Courses that include teaching and learning in clinical and/or lab or simulation settings
    • Courses that are designed for immersive experiential learning such as capstone courses, field/study abroad courses, research project courses
  • One academic staff representative named by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning
  • One academic staff representative named by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • One academic staff representative named by the Office of Indigenous Engagement
  • One academic staff representative named by the Faculty Association
  • Up to two additional academic staff appointments by TLC can be made to help ensure the committee composition reflects the university’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

Student members

  • Two student representatives named by the Students’ Union
  • One student representative named by the Graduate Students’ Association to advise on feedback in graduate courses
  • One student representative named by the Graduate Students’ Association to advise on the development of a feedback tool for graduate teaching assistants
  • One representative named by the Office of Institutional Analysis