It's often suggested that the student satisfaction surveys are an unreliable indicator of course quality, as students are aware that they directly affect their university's position in most league tables. There have also allegedly been cases where universities have specifically asked their students to vote highly solely for this reason.
I've set up an anonymous poll to deem how widespread this problem is. Please do vote honestly, and feel free to discuss your opinions on these surveys and their reliability in this thread.
I can honestly say we've never been asked to inflate scores for the sake of a league table. The department are more interested in making sure they improve themselves in order to make the course the best it possibly can be, and they can only do that through constructive criticism (if there is any).
I always answered mine honestly.