PROCEDURE AND PROCES FOR EVALUATION

General process for course evaluation:


Procedurer for the evaluation of teaching

 

The purpose of the course evaluation procedure at Aarhus BSS is partly to create a tool for the quality assurance of the teaching, and partly to create a development tool for lecturers that will increase the shared knowledge and awareness of what best consolidates the students’ learning.

The joint procedure are supplemented by local procedures decided in the local course study boards.


Principles for processing evaluation data

In January 2021, the faculty management at Aarhus BSS approved the following principles for processing evaluation data. The document has been updated with a section on how to apply for access to evaluation data for researchers as well as a section on the processing of personal data.

Principles for processing evaluation data

Principles for processing evaluation data    

In 2014, the faculty management team decided to establish a joint evaluation system for the degree programmes at Aarhus BSS. The purpose of this memo is to describe the circumstances under which access may be granted to data and/or special data analyses. 

 

The primary purpose

Aarhus BSS wishes to have an evaluation system that:

  • is an efficient pedagogical development tool for teaching staff and teaching teams
  • makes results from evaluations available to students, teaching staff, directors of studies and the board of studies for purposes such as continuous quality assurance of teaching and study programmes, and does this in a cost-efficient manner, and
  • provides an opportunity for carrying out further analyses and providing information for the management.

The above-mentioned purposes are considered to be relevant criteria when ordering special reports or in other ways requesting access to analyses. 

 

Data ownership

  • The faculty management team is the formal owner of the data that is collected through the use of the evaluation system for courses and teaching at Aarhus BSS.

  • The evaluation team at Aarhus BSS collects, administers and analyses raw data. Raw data is stored on designated servers and raw data remains on these servers.
  • The evaluation team at Aarhus BSS uses raw data for:
    • The operation and development of course evaluation at Aarhus BSS
    • The reporting and analysis of evaluation results
    • The development of courses and teaching at Aarhus BSS
  • The faculty management team, board of studies, directors of studies, department heads and course coordinators have access to carry out special reports from the raw data (see more under Special analyses).     

 

Types of analyses, including standard analyses

Three types of analyses can be carried out on the basis of evaluation data.

  • Standard analyses are the analyses that are carried out automatically. For instance:
    • Course reports for each course evaluation (lectures, seminars, classroom instruction, supervision)
    • Aggregated reports with key figures for the director of studies and board of studies
  • Special reports are analyses carried out by the evaluation team at Aarhus BSS based on demand and go beyond the scope of the standard analyses. An example could be an aggregated report on evaluations over time or a breakdown of data based on a background variable or similar accessible information. (see Special analyses)
  • Analyses for research purposes (see Access for researchers).

Finally, please note the following: A report is generated automatically following each course evaluation (i.e. a standard analysis). The automatic recipient of the report can be seen in the procedure for course evaluation. The principles are found at the website: www.bss.au.dk/digitalcourseevaluation

Special analyses (special reports)

Special reports are analyses that go beyond the standard analyses (as described above). These analyses are carried out by the evaluation team at Aarhus BSS and can be ordered by creating a ticket here. The evaluation team only shares the requested analyses with the requisitioner.

As a rule, the faculty management team, board of studies, department heads and course coordinators etc. have unlimited access to order relevant special reports. Analyses are carried out in so far as they are relevant to the area of responsibility in question. Table 1 contains an overview of the people who can request special reports and the respective levels. For example, a member of teaching staff will have access to order special analyses for the evaluation data concerning their course, but not a colleague's course. This does not preclude teaching staff from exchanging course evaluations and experiences. This section only concerns the question of who has access to order special reports. Another example is a director of studies who has access to special reports for all courses within their area of responsibility, but who does not have access to order special reports outside of their own area of responsibility. Again, this does not preclude the person in question from receiving access to special reports for other areas; it only precludes the person in question from ordering such special reports.     

Aggregerede tal på uddannelsesniveau 

Aggregerede tal for kurser 

Enkeltkursus  

Faculty Management Team    

Data at degree programme level concerning the faculty management team’s area of responsibility. Analyses are ordered via the vice-dean for education. 

Aarhus BSS Forum for Education 

Data at degree programme level concerning the forum for education’s area of responsibility. Analyses are ordered via the vice-dean for education or chair of Aarhus BSS forum for education. 

Vice-Dean for Education 

Data relating to the vice-dean for education’s area of responsibility. 

Department Head    

Data concerning courses held at the department in question.  

Director of Studies 

Data concerning courses under the director of studies' area of responsibility.  

Board of Studies 

Data relating to the board of studies' area of responsibility. Analyses are ordered via the chair of the board of studies.  

Course Coordinator    

Data relating to courses under their area of responsibility. 

Teaching Staff    

Data relating to their own course evaluations.  

Xa 

Students with a seat on the programme board of studies    

As a general rule, these students only have access to figures discussed in the programme board of studies. 

(X) 

Students  

As a general rule, students only have access to the figures that a member of teaching staff and/or board of studies choose to publish. 

(X) 

People not listed above 

As a general rule, students only have access to the figures that a member of teaching staff and/or board of studies choose to publish.    

a) The member of teaching staff automatically receives a standard report generated by the system.

 

Access for researchers

Researchers can request access to evaluation data in connection with relevant research. Guidelines for access to data from course evaluation at Aarhus BSS describe how access to course evaluation data can be granted to research-based studies that are deemed to contribute significantly to the faculty’s quality assurance work and which are in keeping with the faculty’s strategic priorities in relation to education.

As a general rule, this means that requests from the faculty’s teaching staff/researchers and the university's teaching development centre are taken into consideration in so far as they contribute to and meet the criteria above, whereas student assignments are precluded, irrespective of their merits.

You will find Guidelines for access to data from course evaluation at Aarhus BSS on the course evaluation website under principles and process: http://www.bss.au.dk/digitalcourseevaluation.

You can request access to anonymous, pseudonymous and non-anonymous data, depending on the relevance for your individual research project. Requests for access to data must comply with the principle of data minimisation: to only request data necessary to the research project.

Requests must be sent to the evaluation team at Aarhus BSS by creating a ticket here who will conduct a preliminary assessment. The Access to course evaluation data request committee will then make a decision regarding your request for access to course evaluation data for research purposes. The committee consists of the following members: the vice-dean for education and the chair of Aarhus BSS forum for education. Data may only be used for the approved project and purposes. The researcher will be subject to a duty of confidentiality.

The evaluation team at Aarhus BSS acts as administrative support to the Access to course evaluation data request committee.    

 

Process for requests for research-based access to evaluation data

To request access to evaluation data for research purposes, you need to send the information below to the evaluation team by creating a ticket here.

The request must account for:

  • Who is the applicant?
  • What is the purpose of using evaluation data? The research must be able to contribute significantly to the faculty’s quality assurance work as described in the Guidelines for access to course evaluation data at Aarhus BSS.
  • When do you want access to evaluation data?
  • Which data do you want access to? Including a description of the following parameters:
    • Year
    • Population
    • Variables, including degree of anonymisation
  • Which research questions do you have planned?
  • Which analyses do you have planned?
  • An indication of when/how you plan to publish your research.

The request containing this information must be send by creating a ticket here.

The evaluation team will conduct a preliminary assessment of your request based on:

  • Applicant: Is the applicant a part of the group of people who can be considered for access as described in the Guidelines for access to course evaluation data at Aarhus BSS?
  • Data: Is the desired data available?
  • Resources: Which demands does the request place on the evaluation team’s resources?
  • Method: Can the planned research questions be answered by accessing evaluation data?

If relevant, any other points of attention.    

The following process is:

  • The evaluation team submits the request along with the team’s notes from the preliminary assessment to the Access to course evaluation data request committee.
  • The committee decides whether to approve or reject the request and outlines the reason for the decision.
  • The evaluation team provides the applicant with the committee’s decision and feedback.Såfremt ansøgningen godkendes:

If the request is approved:

  • The evaluation team informs the applicant that data will be made accessible in accordance with Aarhus BSS’ principles for processing evaluation data and that Aarhus University’s data protection rules and rules for the processing of personal data must be respected.
  • The applicant completes a form which the evaluation team will post on the website for information about which research projects are using course evaluation data in order to comply with the duty of disclosure. The form is sent to the applicant. The information is posted on this website.
  • The evaluation team ensures that data is made available to the researcher in a responsible manner and in accordance with current rules and guidelines for processing data and personal data.
  • If in need of a different time frame than the standard five years after results were last published, the researcher and evaluation team agrees on when data for the research project should be deleted.

 

Regarding access to qualitative evaluation data:

Comments/qualitative responses can contain personal data of a special nature that requires a screening of the qualitative material before it is passed on to the researcher. When requesting access to qualitative data, the process must contain an agreement on correct screening and anonymisation of the qualitative material. A solution could be student workers paid by the research project.    

 

Processing of personal data

When sending out evaluation forms, students are informed that Aarhus BSS will process ordinary personal data on them as well as any sensitive personal data that the students enter on their own initiative when completing the evaluation form. This processing is supported by article 6.1.c) of the General Data Protection Regulation and section 10(1) of the Danish Data Protection Act.  The students are also informed that data can be disclosed to relevant research projects at Aarhus University (AU). This disclosure is supported by article 6.1.e) of the General Data Protection Regulation and section 10(1) of the Danish Data Protection Act. For more information about research projects at AU that use course evaluation data, please visit this website.

References:

For researchers at AU

AU’s privacy policy

Website listing research projects at Aarhus BSS that use evaluation data

AU’s current rules for data protection and processing of personal data

Guidelines for access to data from course evaluation at Aarhus BSS

Memo from the committee, which makes a decision on access to data from evaluation of teaching

Aarhus BSS receives an increasing number of enquiries from groups and individuals who wish to use the course evaluation data obtained by the faculty for several years as a research or study object.

In the autumn of 2020, the Committee, which makes a decision on such access, has made a decision in principle that such enquiries will only be granted in exceptional cases, cf. the elaboration below. In this way, the Committees decision is aligned with Aarhus University's general line in relation to the distribution of study-related data.

The reason for this restrictive attitude is that evaluation of teaching are primarily carried out with the aim to support the development of the teaching in the individual courses, and the evaluation is therefore a tool for the individual lecturer or the individual teacher-team who is responsible for the teaching. This aim and attention to this is, in the Committee's assessment, decisive for the support of teaching evaluations as a credible and useful tool in educational development. The Committee wishes to support this, so that the data collected is first and foremost used for the purpose for which it was collected.

In addition, the data collected is also used as a basis for the faculty's and the individual study programmes' ongoing work on quality assurance and development of teaching. Therefore, the data will also be included in the figures for Director of Studies and analyses that support this work. These are analyses that are typically requested or initiated by Vice-Deans, directors of Studies, board of studies or the course responsible. This is considered to be a normal part of the purpose of the collection of course evaluation data, even if it requires particular attention to the GDPR rules for the transfer of personal data (which is, of course, handled thereafter).

The Committee may exceptionally decide to accommodate the use of the course evaluation data collected for research-based studies, which are deemed to be able to make a significant contribution to the faculty's quality assurance work and which are in accordance with the Faculty's strategic priorities in the field of education.

This means, as a general rule, that applications from teaching staff/researchers at the faculty and the university's educational centre may be considered in such a way that they are assessed to contribute to and fulfil the above, while student assignments do not belong, irrespective of the quality of such projects.  

Members of the Committee:

  • Vice-Dean for education at Aarhus BSS
  • Chairperson of the Forum for Education Aarhus BSS