The purpose of programme evaluations is to facilitate continuous improvement of NMBU programmes. The programme evaluation shall help ensure that the programme's learning outcomes are up-to-date and relevant, and that the courses included in the programme are designed with learning activities and forms of assessment that ensure that students achieve the learning outcomes for the programme. The evaluations shall also help ensure that the programmes have a place in NMBU's social mission and are relevant to the labour market and society in general.
NMBU has two types of programme evaluation:
- annual evaluation
- periodic evaluation
It is assumed that the continuous academic development work at the faculty drives programme developments. The annual evaluation thus represents the most important basis for assessments of measures/changes. The results of this evaluation also form the basis for the assessment of the need for a periodic evaluation. The periodic evaluation is a complement to the annual evaluation, and provides the opportunity for an external peer-evaluation of the programme.
Combined, the evaluations are to provide a sufficient academic, pedagogical and strategic basis for decisions about development measures and the creation/discontinuation of programmes.
Annual programme evaluation
About the evaluation
The annual programme evaluation is a self-evaluation that provides an opportunity for the persons in charge of the programme to review and evaluate the programme and make adjustments.
This work is organised by the persons closest to the implementation of the programme, and it is part of the ongoing process of developing the programme academically and pedagogically.
The evaluation shall be based on criteria; see the checklist of quality criteria for the approval of degree-granting programmes. The programme shall also be evaluated in light of NMBU's vision and strategy, the NMBU Key and NMBU's Learning Philosophy.
About the faculty reporting
The departments report annually about the evaluation work in the programme report, which aims to document and make visible the work on evaluations. This provides the basis for the department's quality reporting and is an input in the annual review of the University's programme portfolio. The report is thus part of the annual cycle of quality assurance at NMBU.
The ordering of the report is part of the annual orders of quality reporting (May) to the faculties . The reporting template anticipates a brief and standardised report. The deadline is given in the order (October/November).
It is assumed that it is the evaluations of the data/results that are highlighted in the report, not the actual data/results.
Along with the order, the Department of Student Affairs sends out figures based on numbers from FS/DBH, and these can be used by the faculties. The faculties decide which sources are to be used and what to emphasise, as this can vary from programme to programme and from year to year.
Responsibility for the evaluation and reporting
The responsibility for the annual evaluation lies with the faculty: this applies to both the implementation and the follow-up. The organisation of this work is based on the organisation of the programmes that the faculty has chosen.
The Programme Coordinator plays a key role in coordinating the development work around the programme. In collaboration with Programme Councils or other important contributors, they are responsible for evaluating the programme and proposing an action plan. These evaluations are incorporated in the programme report. The Programme Coordinator also coordinates the work on implementing the action plan.
The Education Committee discusses and approves the programme report and sends these to the facylty board for final approval.
The Faculty Board approves the programme reports for all programmes at the faculty.
The Head of Department is responsible for the programme evaluation taking place in the department in accordance with the procedures, and submits the quality report and programme reports to the Dean. The Head of Department also has the overarching responsibility for the implementation of the action plans.
The Dean and Faculty Board evaluate and discuss the programme reports. A decision is also made about which programmes shall conduct a periodic evaluation. The Dean and Faculty Board advise the Rector and Board about the programme portfolio.
Student participation: Student participation is generally ensured by the permanent student representatives on Programme Committees/Councils, Education Committees and Faculty Boards. In cases where there is no Programme Committee/Council, the Student Council shall ensure that students affiliated with the programme have considered the report. The faculties may also use other appropriate forms of student participation, in reference groups for instance. Faculties shall also consult sources involved in obtaining student views on the quality of programmes of study, including Studiebarometeret and their own/NMBU's/NIFU's graduate surveys, for example. Ongoing feedback to students about results and any changes made are an important part of the follow-up of the evaluation.
Periodic programme evaluation
About the evaluation
The periodic evaluation is a complement to the annual programme evaluation, and is to contribute to a comprehensive and external view of the form and content of the programme. Like the annual evaluation, it is to be a tool the academic communities can use in developing the programme.
Each year, a decision is made about which programmes are to be evaluationed, largely based on findings described in the annual programme reports. Periodic evaluations are conducted in a 7-10 year cycle.
The format of the evaluation
The periodic evaluation has three steps: the preparatory work in the faculty, the committee's evaluation and the faculty's follow up.
The purpose of the department's preparatory work is to find issues about the programme that require a more detailed evaluation. The programme reports for the past five years and other knowledge the department has about challenges in the programme form the starting point.
The preparatory work results in a proposal for a basis for the committee's evaluation and contains objectives, relevant issues/topics that need a more detailed evaluation, the composition of the committee, the plan and budget for the implementation of the evaluation and the desired deliverables.
After the proposed basis for the evaluation has been approved, the committee's evaluation can commence. The committee's evaluation shall be criteria-based: see the checklist of quality criteria for the approval of degree-granting programmes. The programme shall also be evaluated in light of NMBU's vision and strategy, the NMBU Key and NMBU's Learning Philosophy.
Responsibility and implementation
The Dean/Faculty Board are responsible for periodic evaluations being conducted at least every 7-10 years, and for there being an overview/schedule for the evaluations. Each year, they decide which programmes are to be evaluationed and approve the disciplines' proposal for a basis for the committee's evaluation. The Dean/Faculty Board approve the follow-up plan after the evaluation and ensure that the Rector/University Council receive the required reports.
A project group must be appointed in the faculty in question. The project group should be soundly anchored in the academic community and organisation around the programme and can match the Programme Council/Committee for the programme. The group must include at least one student representative. The project group prepares a draft of the basis for the evaluation.
The disciplinary community conducts the evaluation.
The evaluation committee shall have a composition that ensures a high-quality evaluation, both for the discipline in question and for pedagogy/didactics. At minimum, one professor, one assistant professor and one student shall participate, all of whom shall be external to NMBU. Representatives from work or community life shall contribute to the evaluation.Collegial issues that can affect the objective role of the committee must be avoided, both in selecting committee members and during the visit. All or parts of the committee can visit NMBU, so that the collection of information can also include interviews and meetings.
In addition to the basis for the evaluation prepared by the disciplinary community, the committee shall have been given course and programme descriptions for the programme ahead of time, as well as descriptions of the academic and pedagogical competencies of those who participate in the programme, NMBU's vision and strategy, the NMBU Key and NMBU's Learning Philosophy. The committee shall also receive NMBU's checklist of quality criteria for the approval of degree-granting programmes. Other relevant information about NMBU, the faculty and programme can be enclosed as necessary.
The evaluation committee conducts the evaluation and submits a report with concrete proposals for actions by a specific deadline. The report must use the framework found in the basis for the evaluation as a point of departure for the end product. The strong and weak sides of the programme shall be described, and concrete measures shall be proposed.
The faculty/accademic community assess the report and the measures to be followed up on, and create a schedule for the follow-up. A plan shall be prepared by a specific deadline after the report has been submitted and approved by the Dean/Faculty Board. The faculty/accademic community is also responsible for implementing measures in the aftermath of the evaluation. The implementation of the plan will be reported on in the annual programme report.
About student participation: Student representation is required in the project group and evaluation committee. Formal student participation is also ensured through the permanent presence of student representatives on Faculty Boards and Education Committees.
The Faculty Board determines which programmes are to be evaluationed. This decision is made in the last meeting of the year (in connection with the assessment of the programme reports). The disciplinary communities submit the basis for the evaluations to the Faculty Board in one of the meetings during the spring of the subsequent year. The evaluation starts in spring/autumn.
On the periodic evaluation of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing programmes in particular
The veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing programmes follow the procedures for periodic evaluation/accreditation organised by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) and the Accreditation Committee for Veterinary Nurse Education (ACOVENE), respectively.