1.3 The evaluation and enhancement of education

Auditointiryhmän arvio

Hanken monitors and evaluates degree programmes in a systematic way

Hanken has implemented an Assurance of Learning policy and the Assurance of Learning (AoL) process. The latter is implemented as a tool to ensure that students at all levels are aware of and acquire the knowledge and competences expected by the programme at graduation and business communities after graduation. The AoL is implemented through the development of assessment rubrics at the programme level, by operationalising learning outcomes and competencies. These are presented to students at the beginning of the courses. The Teaching Lab assists with the development of assessment rubrics and data collection of students’ evaluation of courses is used to improve in subsequent iterations. The AoL is an important instrument for assuring the alignment of planning, learning and assessment in the programmes, and involves significant efforts by various actors at Hanken to develop a functional system.

The AoL targets especially outcomes at the programme level and is applied to theses and according to the self-assessment report, is also part of some courses. The audit visit confirmed that the AoL is indeed a useful instrument for institutional purposes, but still not implemented for learning purposes. As students reported a lack of feedback on learning and lacking understanding of their own performance and grounds for their grades, there is a concern that the AoL instrument is not fully effective in the ways it was envisioned.

In addition to the AoL, Hanken employs follow-ups and reviews as a tool in the quality management of degree programmes that are connected to university and department-level planning. This system, based on the sample of reports reviewed and audit discussions, seems to work well and is a good practice for systematically integrating the analysis into the annual operations management process.

The institution collects student feedback data to enhance the quality of education – feedback-on-feedback is to be given systematically

The strategy and implementation of the collection of data for the purpose of evaluation of education has been developed and implemented diligently at Hanken in the past years. The usefulness and importance of the different systems for collecting feedback is acknowledged by staff and contributes to a quality culture built on evidence based on data. A particularly noteworthy development is the current revision of the instruments for collecting student feedback on courses, which constitutes a major improvement regarding the evaluation and enhancement of the education provision. Digital systems are available for monitoring students’ progress and evaluating education at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. The data are analysed by the support services (the Teaching Lab) and cover the demographics of the students, their progress, and their evaluation of education.

Students can have their voices heard directly via their representation in management bodies and programme committees. As regards degree programmes and courses, the perspective of students is considered via course evaluations and their involvement in the curriculum development process. Although several channels for student feedback are used and have an established role in the quality management of teaching and learning, some aspects can still be improved. The student feedback systems create valuable data on student learning and the quality of courses, but as mentioned by some students they also want to give feedback concerning their programmes and structures. As described in the self-assessment, feedback results are presented in management and programme-specific meetings, where feedback and measures are discussed. The audit team recommends a continuous dialogue with students regarding their possibilities to influence their degree programme.

Whereas the feedback collection processes are well established and used, scope for improvement remains regarding the ways in which the feedback received is handled. Hanken’s education provision could therefore be improved by ascertaining that there is an actual follow-up on the feedback provided in all cases. Enhancing students’ competences as feedback givers and feedback-on-feedback can add to the establishment of a broader feedback culture within the university. This is one of the clear development issues identified during the audit visit. Learning to provide feedback, receiving feedback and tailored guidance based on the expressed needs, and being informed about how the uptake of their evaluations in the process of curriculum revisions and renewal is expected to make a difference when data is collected. This feedback on feedback can support student wellbeing and progress at different stages of the study trajectory.

Yet, several students, including international students and doctoral researchers, were uncertain whether their feedback had an impact, and if their views were considered in the revision, improvement, or renewal of the education provision. If and when improvements and developments are made, students should see that their feedback matters. Although student feedback may have a big impact, that information is not necessarily reaching students. As mentioned, students are well represented in the Hanken bodies at the university and department level as well as involved in feedback discussions at the subject level. Still, students could be further involved in the analysis of the feedback and in discussions about what could be improved and how. There are also some good practices related to mid-course evaluations, a practice that the audit team recommends could be employed on a wider range of courses.

Developments of support services are well tuned to the needs of students and staff

With regard to quality management of study progress, Hanken has established an orderly system of procedures and instruments, with clearly assigned responsibilities among the administrative support structures. The support services are part of the annual operations planning process with linked assessments. In addition, the support services have their own surveys and there is evidence of data use for the improvement of support services for both staff and students. The responsibilities of the support services are to contribute to a systematic approach to the development of teaching and learning throughout the university (see also Section 3.1).

The support services are in charge of ensuring that the needs of staff and students are identified and instrument and measures to address these exist. Examples are: asking students what they need and want; attending to students’ needs for follow-up with regard to their study choice and progress; identifying the reasons for drop-out from the process; creating and tailoring employability measures and comparisons with other institutions and sectors; cooperation with the corporate world; exchanging experiences and knowledge with other institutions on offered services (e.g., spaces for group work); identifying the effectiveness of support and trainings; identifying networking opportunities and creating conditions for collaboration with other institutions. The audit confirmed that the support services are prompt in addressing the various needs of students and staff for learning and development. The individualised arrangements for students and the follow-up of teachers’ pedagogical competences, as well as digital support, are concrete examples of the systematic development and activities of support services based on needs of students and staff.