Guidelines for interpreting course guide information


The aim of a course guide is to provide students with detailed information about their courses.. A course guide includes a range of information about the course, including:

  • its academic content (i.e. what it is about);
  • how it is taught and assessed;
  • some key facts (e.g. total number of students and average class size from previous year)
  • in some cases, limited survey results about the course; and
  • in some cases, information about how previous students have performed.

The guidance below explains how to interpret some of this information.

Course content:

Provides an overall summary of the academic content of the course.

Personal development skills:

Sets out the skills students will acquire if they engage with the course and its assessments.

Current undergraduate students can access their Personal Development Aide Memoire via LSEforYou.

Course survey results:

Show the results from the 'course' section of the internal class/seminar survey, averaged across three years. The 'teaching' results of the internal survey remain confidential between the teacher and the School, and are used to put in place teaching support arrangements where necessary.

Not all course guides will include survey information, e.g. where the course is new and there are not yet three years' worth of survey results (it is open to the teacher responsible to include less than three years' worth of survey results, but he/she is not required to); or where a new teacher has taken over delivery of an existing course.

Also, under the Data Protection Act, it is open to teachers who deliver a course entirely on their own (e.g. where one member of staff delivers all lectures and classes/seminars for a course) to with-hold course survey results.

Student performance results:

Show student performance on the course by class distribution, averaged across three years. Not all course guides will include course results - this is optional by department.

Course and Survey Results commentary field:

Shows comments from the teacher responsible. These can be contextual comments about the survey and course results. The comments might include excerpts from external examiner reports, or explain recent changes that have been made to the course in response to student and other feedback. They might also explain the position and role of the course within the wider programme.

For the avoidance of doubt, teachers responsible are not required to provide comments. This field might therefore not be included for some courses.

'Course' survey questions

Reading list (Q2.1) - "How do you rate the reading list(s) provided for this course?"

Independent study (Q2.2) - "How many hours of independent study do you put into this course each week?" [The results for this question are not included in the online course guide. It is listed here only to complete the question set.]

Materials (Q2.3) - "How useful have you found the Moodle and/or any other course material?"

Course satisfied (Q2.4) - "How satisfied have you been with this course content as a whole to date?"

Lectures (Q2.5) - "How satisfied have you been with the lectures as a whole to date?"

Integration (Q2.6) - "How satisfied have you been with the integration of classes with lectures?"

Contact (Q2.7) - "How satisfied have you been with the amount of contact time with teachers for this course?"

Feedback (Q2.8) - "How satisfied are you that the feedback received on this course will be helpful in preparing you for the final course assessment?"

Recommend (Q2.9) - "Would you recommend this course to other students?"

'Course' survey scale

The results to each question are measured on a 1-5 scale.

Questions 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7 and 2.8 - 1 being 'very satisfied' and 5 being 'not at all satisfied'.

Questions 2.1 and 2.3 - 1 being 'very good' and 5 being 'very poor'.

The results to question 2.9 are presented as three possible answers: Yes/Maybe/No.