Programme Evaluation Regulations by fuf15836

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									Faculty of Social Sciences




Programme Evaluation Regulations
Evaluation of teaching is an important aspect of quality control in an educational
context. The purpose of evaluation is to safeguard the quality of teaching. If necessary,
evaluation results can serve as a basis for action to ensure that the quality of the
teaching remains at the level required to meet the general and programme-specific final
attainment levels.

I   How programme evaluation is organized

A. By means of the forms developed by the Centre for Educational Training,
   Assessment and Research (CETAR)
1. Following a series of lectures, students complete the evaluation forms at the end of
   the first interim examination (or in the case of a working group or a practical, at the
   end of the final session).
2. The evaluation forms are tailored to suit the teaching method used. There are
   forms for classical lectures, seminars and practicals. English-language evaluation
   forms are also available for classes taught in English. The Education Office will
   ensure that the lecturer receives the correct form on time.
3. These evaluation forms address such aspects as:
   - the didactic skills of the lecturers;
   - the quality of the teaching material;
   - the content of the subject;
   - the quality of the test or final assessment;
   - the study load;
   - the teaching method.
   Depending on the type of form, there is also space for the lecturer to add a number
   of his or her own questions.
4. If desirable and feasible, two or more members of the teaching staff can be
   evaluated separately.
5. The completed evaluation forms are processed by CETAR for each subject and
   summarized in an evaluation report.
6. In principle, every subject is evaluated on an annual basis.
7. The teaching manager will inform new members of the teaching staff in plenty of
   time about the procedures relating to the evaluation of subject components.
8. When a student applies to sit his or her final examination, he or she will receive an
   evaluation form about the thesis, with the request to fill it in and return it. The form
   contains questions about:
   - the process of thesis supervision;
   - the duration of the thesis;
   - problems encountered.




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B.      By means of discussion with students
Each academic year the teaching managers and student representatives meet in the
Programme and Evaluation Committees to discuss programme components and subject
clusters. The aim of this consultation is:
- to gain further insight into the evaluation results reported, in addition to the written
     subject evaluations;
- to obtain information on issues which go beyond subject level.

C. By means of discussion with teaching staff
The departments regularly evaluate certain subject components or clusters of
components of the programme in discussions between the teaching manager and the
relevant teaching staff. The aim of this consultation is to improve coordination between
subjects, both in terms of content and methods of working and teaching. The results of
student evaluations in written form (A) and in spoken form (B) and, if applicable, the
evaluation report of the teacher himself or herself are often used as input for the above-
mentioned methods of consultation.

D. By analysing written interim examination results
On an annual basis the teaching managers monitor the pass and fail percentages for the
subjects taught within their area of responsibility. If the percentage of students who
passed a component is clearly above 70% or below 65%, then an open discussion
between the lecturer and the teaching manager will take place to discover the possible
reasons or causes. If necessary, the quality of the written interim examination (validity,
clarity and reliability of the questions, assessment criteria, pass mark etc.) will be
subject to further detailed consideration. If it is felt to be necessary, recourse can be
made to peer review, advice by the teaching policy officer or the expertise at CETAR.

E. By analysing student progress and pass rates
Each year the teaching policy officer carries out statistical analyses to determine
student progress: the pass rate in the first year, the doctoraal phase and the Bachelor’s
and Master’s phases. These analyses help to highlight bottlenecks in the teaching
programme.

F. Curriculum evaluation
At the end of each academic year, a programme evaluation is carried out for the various
years of the programme. The questionnaires used for this purpose are drawn up in
cooperation with CETAR. For curriculum evaluations, the target is a minimum of 3.5
per question. The scores are compared to the average at VU University Amsterdam, the
average at the Faculty of Social Sciences and, if available, the results of the previous
year’s curriculum evaluation.

G. Research among former students
Once every five years a study is carried out among recent graduates, in cooperation
with the alumni office. In addition to supplying information about the careers of these
graduates and their position on the job market, research of this kind also provides
information on the extent to which their studies prepared them for their future (in terms
of subject content and skills).



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II The follow-up to the programme evaluations

The information obtained by means of the evaluation activities is used to ensure that
the quality of the teaching remains at a high level or is improved if necessary.

The follow-up to the subject evaluations is organized as follows:
1. The Education Office makes the evaluation results available to the teaching staff in
    question and to the relevant teaching manager and in addition to the study advisors
    and the teaching policy officers. All evaluation reports are filed in a central
    archive, which is kept up to date by the Education Office.
2. An evaluation is regarded as unsatisfactory if the average score of the overall
   appraisal for the lecturer, subject or written interim examination/assessment is
   below the threshold of the 67 percent interval that applies within the VU and if the
   average evaluation is below 3.5.
3. The teaching manager discusses the evaluation reports with the relevant teaching
    staff with a view to remedying any problems. If required, the teaching staff can
    write a commentary on the results of the evaluation report.
4. The teaching manager also discusses the evaluation reports in the standard
    consultation with the Evaluation Committee in question, with a view to obtaining
    an insight into the background to the evaluation. The Evaluation Committee is
    given access to all the evaluation reports and deals with them in the strictest
    confidence.
5. At the very minimum, the Evaluation Committee consists of the teaching manager
    and two students from the programme or programme variant in question. The
    Evaluation Committee meets four times per academic year on average. The
    teaching manager reports to the committee on the evaluation of the programme
    components taught during the preceding (part of the) semester. If a particular
    evaluation gives cause for concern, the Evaluation Committee can hear students
    who have taken the component in question. In the event of a negative evaluation,
    the teaching manager will report on the measures taken. The following year’s
    evaluation will consider whether the measures taken have been sufficient.
6. In the department’s annual teaching document, the teaching manager reports on the
    evaluations and any action taken in order to bring about improvements.
7. The results of the programme evaluations form part of the job appraisal interviews
    with teaching staff.

III Annual evaluation report

After the academic year has come to a close, an evaluation report will be issued,
summarizing the results for all the components evaluated for each programme. The data
for this report will be supplied by the Centre for Educational Training, Assessment and
Research (CETAR). The data supplied by CETAR are discussed in the evaluation
committees and supplemented by comments, conclusions and (if necessary)
recommendations for the teaching document (see Section II, paragraph 6).

The annual evaluation report forms an aid in:
a. obtaining an overview of all the evaluation results;
b. ensuring that the evaluation results of previous academic years are readily
   available;

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c. promoting a more targeted and efficient method of evaluation (for example using
   short questionnaires for unchanged components which recently received positive
   evaluations).

The evaluation report is made available to the Management Teams, the Faculty Board,
the members of the Evaluation and Programme Committees and the Joint Assembly.


Established by the Faculty Board on 27 June 2003, having consulted the Programme
Committees and with the approval of the Joint Assembly.




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