About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2981-2985
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE INVOLVEMENT OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN EVALUATION PROCESSES

D. Aquario

University of Padova (ITALY)
The importance of students participation in quality assurance processes within higher education institutions is recognised since the Praga Ministerial Summit (2001) in which it was underlined that “students are full members of the higher education community” and so that “should participate in and influence the organisation and contest of education at universities”.
The involvement of students in the Bologna Process has been a need and a necessity from the beginning and put into practice through the direct and active participation of National Unions of Students in Europe (Esib, now called Esu) to the Bologna Follow-Up Group and to numerous working groups in which Esib has represented the voice of undergraduates students and an active partner within the Process. Nevertheless their involvement varies between countries, but often also between universities within the same country: in most cases students are asked about their opinions but there is a great variety in the use of students evaluations, whether the results are taken into consideration for improvement or if they “just end up in a forgotten desk drawer” (Esib, 2005). Also the European University Association (EUA) Report “Quality culture in European Universities: A bottom-up approach” underlines the importance of teaching evaluations by students as an important tool to ensure the feedback of students about the teaching process, and at the same time the importance that the questionnaires will result in a concrete improvement (EUA, 2006).
Concerning internal evaluation (institution, faculty, course evaluation) students are asked for their opinions in all Nordic countries, in United Kingdom, Belgium, Hungary and Bulgaria. In Italy students are involved only in course evaluations through a questionnaire containing 15 questions, acquired periodically by the National Committee for the evaluation of the university system and by the Evaluation Unit instituted within each university.
In scientific literature, a participatory model (Cousins, 2003; Scriven, 2003) implies that the involvement of all the stakeholders brings to the spread of an evaluation culture that is fundamental to start an improvement process. In many studies students and teachers are involved in the evaluation processes (Ballantyne at al, 2000; Giles et al., 2004; Tigelaar et al, 2004) in order to elicit their opinions and perceptions about the teaching process and the teacher identity.
Evaluation as a process of reflection that helps to change and improve the teaching process through sharing and discussing the opinions: in this way it could be a useful tool within the quality assurance process.
According to this meaning assigned to the term, it was carried out a research in which students are asked to participate to the definition of the “good teacher” and the “good teaching”. First, 40 students from different faculties are asked to reflect about their university experience in order to collect ideas, information, histories and opinions about teaching in higher education; then, it was developed a questionnaire derived from all information collected in the first phase and it was administered to 450 students.
The research is still in progress with the further objective of “coming back” to the students and discussing with them the results. It will constitute the basis for the creation of an instrument to evaluate the teacher and the course, to be used for internal evaluation, according to a bottom-up approach.
@InProceedings{AQUARIO2009THE,
author = {Aquario, D.},
title = {THE INVOLVEMENT OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN EVALUATION PROCESSES },
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2981-2985}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Aquario
TI - THE INVOLVEMENT OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN EVALUATION PROCESSES
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 2981
EP - 2985
ER -
D. Aquario (2009) THE INVOLVEMENT OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN EVALUATION PROCESSES , INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 2981-2985.
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