Startpage for Swedish National Agency for Higher Education

Please note! The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education was closed down on 31 December 2012. Instead two new agencies have been established: the Swedish Council for Higher Education and the Swedish Higher Education Authority. This website will continue to operate as the new agencies will have links to information it contains.  

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Course assessment of student influence and quality development. An anthology containing examples taken from eleven institutes of higher education

This anthology is the result of a project carried out by the Swedish National Institute for Higher Education, the purpose of which was to highlight and disseminate good examples of course assessments. Course assessment is an important tool in quality work at university colleges and universities as well as being a significant instrument for students in influencing their education. Student influence is a matter of the highest priority at the Swedish National Institute for Higher Education.

Documentation providing the basis for the anthology consists of 14 submissions from 11 institutes of higher education, that describe course assessment from different perspectives. The institutes that collaborated in the project were the universities of Gothenburg, Linköping, Lund (Lund Institute of Technology), Umeå, Uppsala and Växjö as well the university colleges in Borås, Halmstad, Kalmar, Kristianstad and Malmö.

As the contributions to this anthology show, there is a difference in what a good course assessment looks like and what it should include. Presented and discussed were several different methods, angles of approach and attitudes. Apparently there is no given modus agendi how a good course assessment can be formulated that could apply to all study programmes at every level.

Contributions are presented in three parts. Part One of the anthology touches on questions concerning overall quality work and policies covering course assessments at both institutional and university level. Although their approach is from different angles, these contributions unanimously conclude that the course assessments must first start of with an overall pedagogic perspective and then proceed to the fundamental questions why, how and when these assessments should be carried out.

Part Two deals with contributions that underline the importance the roles the various actors have with regard to the planning and implementation of course assessments. Particular focus is placed on how much the students are involved in the course-assessment process. Part Three, finally, of the anthology, presents several contributions that describe methods and techniques on how course assessment should be drawn up and implemented.