Feedback on education
Why is feedback collected?
One of the University’s duties is to constantly evaluate and develop degrees, degree studies, and teaching. Special attention must be paid to the quality of degrees, teaching and academic guidance and counselling, the educational needs of society, the national and international comparability of degrees and studies, and the efficiency of education.
To enable this, reliable and current information is needed on how the education mission is succeeding and what factors have contributed to its success. In addition to feedback data, there is a further need to understand how the data can be used in development and how the concrete actions based on the data can be verified. The collection and use of data are essential parts of the quality management of education, which the university undertakes to ensure and develop the quality of education.
The quality and development of the university operations is everyone’s responsibility according to their duties. Faculties are responsible for monitoring the productivity and efficiency of their programmes and for developing the quality and quality management of teaching, academic guidance and counselling, and studying.
- Deans are responsible for the results and quality management of the Faculty’s operations as well as the continuous development of operations.
- Heads of degree programmes are responsible for the development and quality management of their programmes.
- The students’ duty is to plan and complete their studies and to provide feedback as part of teaching.
The feedback processes and systems must promote an open, active, and reciprocal feedback culture, quality management, and the leadership of education. The feedback provided by students is processed and they are given reciprocal feedback. Feedback on education is also collected from teachers and stakeholders, such as employers and alumni.
The Education and Learning service unit coordinates and develops education feedback and monitoring data as a whole and undertakes regular collection and analysis of feedback. The Unit is also responsible for producing compilations and analyses of the feedback for the University’s various decision-making bodies. The appointed coordinator is responsible for developing the system, implementing the surveys, and reporting. The content of feedback surveys is designed in collaboration with various experts (Education and Learning, Faculties, Trey). Working groups are set up based on topics and interests. Each set of surveys (applicant feedback, student feedback, course feedback, graduate feedback, and doctors’ feedback) has its own responsible person who arranges the group meetings.
What feedback is collected and when?
Feedback from students and alumni is collected at different phases to develop degree education. University-level feedback is collected in four phases: before the studies, during the studies, at graduation, and after the studies, while the focus is on collecting feedback during the studies. In addition to feedback, systematic information for improving the quality of education is obtained from the study information system Sisu and the BI reporting portal. For more information on education statistics, visit the Statistics on Education page on the intranet and the TuniReports reporting portal www.tuni.fi/tunireports. Various register data are used to monitor the progress students are making in their studies and, for those who have given permission, the statistics can also be used as background variables for analysing feedback data. For further information on the schedule of feedback surveys, please visit the circular calendar of feedback.
Phase preceding the studies
- The applicant survey explores prospective students’ experiences of the application process and its efficiency and how to find information.
The study phase
- The survey for new degree students organised in the first autumn maps out access to information and assistance related to starting the studies, the efficiency of studies, the usefulness of the orientation week, and the significance of student tutoring. In the second phase in spring, the survey includes questions on the students’ commitment to studies, study planning, well-being, and themes related to student and teacher tutoring.
- The survey for second- and fourth-year degree students covers a wide range of study-related topics (efficiency of studies, the development of skills and expertise, study and learning environments, students’ services, inclusion, equality, and well-being).
- The International Student Barometer (ISB) survey is targeted at international degree students. The themes are almost the same as in the survey for new, second- and fourth-year students. The survey is mainly carried out by I-graduate which makes the results available to the University.
- The survey for doctoral students covers progress in studies, skills and career planning, dissertation-related issues, support services and students’ well-being. The survey is carried out every two years.
- Course feedback is collected in the OJP system. The joint OJP course feedback system was introduced in the autumn of 2020. Five common and jointly used questions were created in the system, which also includes an option for teachers to create their own course-specific questions. Common questions: What went well in the course from the perspective of your learning? How would you improve the course? How well do you think you reached the learning outcomes of the course? Assess the workload of the course in relation to the credits (approx. 27 h/credit) and give an overall score for the course. More information on the course feedback system and the questions is available on: Course feedback system.
- Students respond to the national Bachelor’s Graduate Survey when they are about to complete their Bachelor’s degree in the third year of studies. Students studying for the Licentiate of Medicine degree respond to the survey in the autumn of their fourth year (a license is required from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health to practice medicine after earning the Bachelor of Medicine degree). The national Bachelor’s Graduate Survey is hosted by the CSC’s Arvo system (Arvo - Education Management Information Services). The Bachelor’s Graduate Survey is open all year round. It covers topics related to studying and learning, the development of teaching, skills needed in working life, employment during the studies, and digital learning environments. The national Bachelor’s Graduate Survey is linked to the universities’ funding model set by the Ministry of Education and Culture (13 questions).
- The Students respond to the national TEK Graduate Survey when they are about to complete their Master's degree. The National TEK Graduate Survey is available in Surveypal feedback system and it is open all year round. The Survey is coordinated by TEK.
- The doctoral degree survey explores students’ experiences of the knowledge gained during the doctoral studies, its usefulness and potential drawbacks in job search, the success of different study-related services, the funding of studies, and the time taken to complete the degree. The survey is open all year round.
The post-study phase
- A placement survey for Master’s level graduates (Master’s degree holders and Licentiates of Medicine) is carried out in the autumn for the graduates from the previous academic year. The survey is not carried out every year. The survey includes questions on current employment, various issues related to employment and the knowledge and skills needed in the current job. More quickly than career monitoring, the survey provides information on the employment-related issues that concern our students.
- The national career survey is carried out annually in the autumn 5 years after the graduation of Masters and 3 years after the graduation of PhDs. The surveys are carried out in the Arvo - Education Management Information Service system hosted by CSC. The career surveys examine satisfaction with the degree and the career path, current work situation, the quality of employment, and skills and know-how. The career survey for Master’s degree holders is also linked to the universities’ funding model set by the Ministry of Education and Culture (5 questions).
How is feedback gathered and reported?
Office365 is jointly used at the University, and most of the feedback is collected via the O365Forms programme (Forms). Some of the feedback is collected with the LimeSurvey tool (LimeSurvey), which enables designing slightly more complicated questionnaires. The national Bachelor’s Graduate Survey and career follow-up (Masters and PhDs) is collected in the Arvo system managed by CSC. The The National TEK Graduate Survey feedback is gathered by Surveypal system.
The surveys are reported in the PowerBI reporting platform, which is part of Office 365. In 2021, the University will also introduce an interface to the Arvo system, which will allow the national Bachelor’s Graduate Survey data to be produced directly in the data warehouse, and through it, in the BI reporting portal.
Course feedback is collected and reported in the OJP course feedback system. Further down the road, there are plans to integrate OJP feedback into the data warehouse and thus into the BI reporting portal.
How is the feedback used and the measures communicated?
Feedback is discussed and used as part of teaching, in various working, planning and steering groups, faculty meetings, Faculty Councils, academic guidance discussions (PSP), teachers’ performance reviews, joint discussion forums (Faculties, degree programmes), and career planning.
Feedback is used, for example, to review the efficiency of learning processes, to assess students’ well-being, to develop teaching, guidance, and curriculum design, and to evaluate the implementation of student admissions.
Feedback is used in guidance discussions and career planning, for example, when talking about the accumulation of know-how, the efficiency of studies, inclusion and well-being, and career orientation.
The changes made based on the feedback are translated into teaching, curriculum development and teaching provision. This is preceded by development and decision-making documents. The measures are communicated via the Intranet, discussion forums, meetings, and newsletters.
Archiving of feedback and data protection
In every phase (feedback collection, reporting, analysis, use and archiving), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is respected. The results are reported in such a way that individual respondents cannot be directly identified from the responses. Register data will only be linked to the responses of those students who have given permission to do so. The privacy statements of the surveys are available on the Intranet’s Privacy statements page. Privacy statements must always be linked to a survey. For more information on data protection and security, visit the Data protection and information security page.
For more information on feedback surveys
Hanna-Leena Hietaranta-Luoma (hanna-leena.hietaranta-luoma [at] tuni.fi)
Surveys and reports available in English