1.3 The evaluation and enhancement of education

Assessment of the audit team

Feedback collection occurs systematically and regularly

As mentioned in the audit material, the HEI systematically collects data regularly along the student life cycle, primarily on a quantitative basis. These collections include, for instance, course feedback, graduates’ feedback, the HowULearn questionnaire, and a career monitoring survey. Within these surveys, Metropolia addresses learning experiences from classes, experiences concerning the degree programme and satisfaction post-graduation. Metropolia considers response rates a significant challenge, which, unfortunately, has become a common phenomenon in other countries. As already mentioned, survey participation of international students could be enhanced through questionnaires in English.

According to the self-evaluation report, the development and enhancement of the feedback system has been identified as an important assignment for the quality group, which was installed in the autumn of 2022. The audit team acknowledges these efforts but would like to point out that the portfolio for possible feedback methods goes well beyond surveys. As a large institution, Metropolia might consider surveys an obvious first choice. However, it might be more effective to collect feedback on a qualitative basis as well, e.g. through reflexive tasks in class or focused on a certain amount of classes every year only. The audit team would like to encourage Metropolia to experiment with different methods of data collection, which might also make both processing data and applying data-based measures easier.

Students should be provided with feedback on their feedback more systematically

Students are represented in various committees and working groups, where any feedback collected is handled. In addition, METKA representatives regularly meet with the president and the director for lifelong learning. The audit team highlights the open dialogue between university leaders and students, which cannot be taken for granted in such a large and diverse organisation. However, direct feedback through the student representatives works as well. Student interviewees from METKA gave concrete examples of issues that could be solved and where the measures taken were communicated to the students concerned. However, the university acknowledges that there is still a need to improve the visibility of changes based on feedback. Better visibility of concrete measures would strongly incentivise student participation in feedback. It would also include the teacher’s feedback on class-level student feedback. The quality group has identified this issue, and the audit team wants to assure Metropolia to continue this discussion.

Metropolia monitors educational degree programmes in a systematic way

Data, which the HEI collects on various occasions, is discussed intensively on the degree programme and school level, as was mentioned during the interviews. There is also a close connection to the job market, represented in the various advisory boards. The School of ICT currently experiments with a document analysis of job offers by applying artificial intelligence methods to match the job market’s needs with degree programmes. The audit team would like to highlight this innovative approach and encourages the school to communicate this good practice more thoroughly within the institution. As a result, the approach could be extended to other fields of study. As already mentioned, due to an extensive revision process of almost all specifications and guidelines and a readjustment of processes, many procedures are still considered new or have not yet been firmly established. The discussion of collected data with adjoining advisory boards would be an advantageous development of the monitoring process and enhance the advisory board’s function.

The self-evaluation report and discussions during the audit visit underline the incorporation of feedback and the achievement of learning outcomes. Advisory boards, innovation hubs, other RDI activities and collaboration platforms provide first-hand information on how graduates perform in working life. This strong association provides Metropolia with all the information needed for school and degree programme levels. In addition, alumni keep in touch with the HEI and thus serve as role models for a successful transition to the job market as competent representatives of Metropolia’s educational provision.

Degree programmes and other educational provisions offer endless possibilities for continuous learning, considering the various target groups and their unique needs at different stages during their studies. Students are provided with various subjects and teaching as well as assessment in compliance with the stage of their studies. Learning opportunities arise in the classrooms, within the innovation projects, abroad and during the thesis. Different learning methods and environments encourage the continuous acquisition of new competences.

Metropolia uses feedback and data for systematic education enhancement

Feedback and evaluation results are discussed on various levels within the institution: degree programmes, schools, units etc. The results are systematically used to improve and evolve educational provision. For instance, data from the recently installed HowULearn survey is handled in a joint workshop for students and staff, which is an important step to close the loop. The need for systematically establishing new procedures after revisions within the system and for visibility of improvements within Metropolia were already mentioned. 

The university uses information from various surveys, e. g. the national graduate survey, but also direct feedback on performance to improve support services. The various units discuss these results on a team level, as was mentioned in the interviews during the visit. The audit team acknowledges these efforts and would simultaneously encourage discussion and the implementation of measures across service units to gain a more common understanding of the different units’ tasks and obtain a common idea of service quality within the institution. The quality group could be a starting point for such an initiative.