Academic activities> Degree studies

Rules for requesting and taking into account feedback on teaching and courses

Approved by Rector’s directive No 4 of 3 February 2020

In force from: 03.02.2020

1. General provisions

1.1 These Rules apply to conducting of feedback surveys and questionnaires concerning teaching and courses at Tallinn University of Technology (hereinafter referred to as “TalTech” or “the university”), disclosure and use of the survey results.

1.2 The university’s feedback surveys and questionnaires on teaching and courses conducted on regular basis include the following:
1.2.1 the student feedback survey on teaching, courses and the organisation of studies in the Study Information System ÕIS (hereinafter ÕIS);
1.2.2 the graduate satisfaction survey;
1.2.3 the alumni employment and satisfaction survey;

1.3 Feedback surveys and questionnaires may be organised also by other interest groups, including the education quality working groups in the TalTech Student Union, on their own initiative.

1.4 Anonymity of the respondents is ensured in feedback surveys and questionnaires and the results are presented in aggregate form only.

1.5 The results of the feedback surveys and questionnaires are taken into account:
1.5.1 by the management team of the university upon making management decisions;
1.5.2 by the deans, vice-deans, heads of departments and programme directors upon development of study programmes and services;
1.5.3 by the deans and heads of departments upon assessment of the performance of the academic staff conducting studies (hereinafter referred to as “lecturers”);
1.5.4 by the lecturers upon improvement of the quality of teaching;
1.5.5 by the Office of Academic Affairs upon carrying out various analysis and preparation of reports and planning and implementation of development activities;
1.5.6 by the students in their studies and upon making professional and career choices.

2. Student feedback survey on teaching, courses and organisation of studies in ÕIS

2.1 The goal of the feedback survey on teaching, courses and organisation of studies is to ensure and improve the quality of studies. The feedback allows students to provide input for the development of a course, to draw attention to various aspects of teaching and contribute to the development studies.

2.2 The feedback survey is conducted each semester in the Study Information System ÕIS. The survey is opened one week before the end of the period of classroom sessions of the semester and is closed on the final date of academic movements of the next semester laid down in the academic calendar.

2.3 A student shall provide feedback on all the courses for which he/she has registered (a PhD student shall provide feedback on one course) and on the organisation of studies.

2.4 If a student has not provided feedback in the amount specified in clause 2.3 by the beginning of the next semester, the student’s (excluding PhD students’ and  visiting students’) user rights in ÕIS1 will be restricted  from the first day for submitting  the individual study plan until the date of closing the survey.

2.5 The Office of Academic Affairs shall coordinate conduct of the feedback survey.

3. Graduate satisfaction survey

3.1 The goal of the graduate satisfaction survey is to receive feedback on the completed study programmes and to evaluate satisfaction with the quality of teaching, organisation of studies and supervision.

3.2 The Office of Academic Affairs shall conduct the graduate satisfaction survey every year. The survey targets graduates of the corresponding academic year.

4. Alumni employment and satisfaction survey

4.1 The goal of the alumni employment and satisfaction survey is to receive feedback on the after-graduation activities of the university’s alumni  who have graduated up to 3 years ago, their competitiveness and compliance of the knowledge and skills acquired at the university with the labour market requirements.

4.2 The Ministry of Education and Research shall conduct the alumni employment and satisfaction survey once every two years.

5. Disclosure and implementation of the results of feedback on teaching and courses

5.1  The results of the feedback specified in clause 2 (average rating and comments) of the Rules will be available for the users of the Study Information System ÕIS after closure of the feedback survey. The results of the open-ended question “Positive observations on the course and/or lecturer” are public and available to all users of ÕIS at the relevant course. A consolidated analysis of the results will be published on the intranet of the university one month after closure of the survey. The measures supporting the quality and development of a lecturer’s teaching activities are laid down in Annex “Good Lecturer Development Program” to the Rules.

5.2 The results of the feedback surveys and questionnaires listed in clauses 2 – 8 of the Rules are available on the intranet of the university. The Office of Academic Affairs shall submit to the vice-deans for academic affairs summary reports of the results and, in case of sufficient number of respondents, programme-based reports within three months after closure of the survey. The Office of Academic Affairs shall introduce the results at the Committee for Academic Affairs and information events of the university.

5.3 The Schools shall analyse the results of the feedback surveys and questionnaires and submit to the Office of Academic Affairs no later than by 15 November a feedback report of the academic year, which shall include an assessment of the results of feedback on the previous academic year, an overview of the corrective actions taken and an action plan for the elimination of the deficiencies pointed out in the feedback surveys and questionnaires by study programmes.

5.4 9.5 The feedback reports are available on the intranet of the university.

 

 

Annex to the Rules for requesting and taking into account feedback on teaching and courses

Good Lecturer Development Program

1. General provisions

1.1 The goal of the Good Lecturer Development Program is to continuously improve the effectiveness of teaching and development of studies carried out by the academic staff of Tallinn University of Technology (hereinafter referred to as “TalTech” of “the university”) and to develop the competencies required for teaching. The measures supporting the development of teachers are listed in clause 4.

1.2 The competencies, main responsibilities, rights and obligations of TalTech academic staff are laid down in  TalTech Senate Regulation No 2 of 20 March 2018  “Academic Career Management” and in its Annex 3 “Academic Evaluation Matrix”. An academic staff member can assess his/her teacher competence by using the self-assessment questionnaire.

1.3 The activities related to the Good Lecturer Development Program shall be coordinated by the Office of Academic Affairs in collaboration with the Personnel Office and the Estonian Centre for Engineering Pedagogy.

2. Individual analysis of feedback on teaching and courses

2.1 Individual analysis of feedback on teaching and courses shall be carried out:

2.1.1 by the lecturer on an ongoing basis based on the information received from feedback;

2.1.2 by the programme director on an ongoing basis based on the information received from feedback, upon analysing and developing the study programme;

2.1.3 by the lecturer and the programme director based on the results of the feedback on the course if the results of the feedback reveal major shortcomings. The programme director shall inform the direct superior of the lecturer (hereinafter referred to as  “superior”) of the areas of concern and the initial agreements concluded between the lecturer and the programme director to address the shortcomings;

2.1.4 by the lecturer and the superior based on the results of the student feedback survey conducted in the Study Information System ÕIS (hereinafter referred to as   “ÕIS”) taking into account the proposals of the education quality working group  (if there is one), the feedback from programme directors and/or colleagues and the lecturer’s own assessment of the feedback. When analysing the student feedback survey conducted in ÕIS, the average rating, its dynamics as well as verbal feedback shall be taken into account.

3. The quality of lecturer’s teaching and the development activities

3.1 The quality of lecturer’s teaching shall be assessed and the development activities shall be planned based on the results of the student feedback survey conducted in ÕIS, including the average rating and comments, which shall be analysed taking into account the provisions in clause 2.1.4. The average rating is taken into account if at least 25% of the students who have registered for the course have responded to the feedback survey and feedback to a lecturer has been provided by at least five students in one course2.

3.2 If, based on the average rating of the student feedback survey conducted in ÕIS3, the lecturer:

3.2.1 is among the highest rated lecturers (group 1), the quality of the lecturer’s teaching activities sets an example for other lecturers. The superior shall:
3.2.1.1 in cooperation with the lecturer, analyse on a regular basis in the course of development and appraisal interviews, the results of feedback provided on teaching;
3.2.1.2 support the lecturer’s personal development efforts by providing the necessary resources and opportunities;
3.2.1.3 encourage the lecturer to share his or her experience and to instruct other lecturers;
3.2.1.4 make use of the possibilities to acknowledge the lecturer.

3.2.2  is among highly rated lecturers (group 2), the quality of the lecturer’s teaching activities meets the requirements. The superior shall:

in cooperation with the lecturer, analyse on a regular basis in the course of development and appraisal interviews, the results of feedback provided on teaching; support the lecturer’s personal development efforts by providing the necessary resources and opportunities.

3.2.3 is among the lowly rated lecturers (group 3), the quality of the lecturer’s teaching activities needs to be improved. The superior shall:
3.2.3.1 in cooperation with the lecturer, analyse on a regular basis in the course of development and appraisal interviews, the results of feedback provided on teaching;
3.2.3.2 agree with the lecturer on the competencies that need to be developed. The lecturer shall use at least one of the basic measures specified in clause 4.1 and take any further action, as appropriate, to promote his or her development;
3.2.3.3 support the lecturer’s personal development efforts by providing the necessary resources and opportunities. Improvement of the quality of teaching shall be assessed at the development and appraisal interview in the following year.

3.2.4 is among the lowest rated lecturers (group 4), there are shortcomings in the quality of the lecturer’s teaching. To address the shortcomings:
3.2.4.1 the Office of Academic Affairs shall collect the average ratings and comments provided by the students and submit the students’ recommendations for improving the quality of teaching to the lecturer’s superior;
3.2.4.2 the lecturer and his or her superior shall, at least once a year, analyse the shortcomings  in the lecturer’s teaching and agree on development activities based on the specific training needs. A fixed-term action plan shall be prepared, including corrective actions to remedy the shortcomings;
3.2.4.3 the lecturer shall use at least two of the basic measures specified in clause 4.1 and take any further action, as appropriate, to improve his or her teacher competences and to promote his or her development. Improvement of the quality of teaching shall be assessed at the development and appraisal interview in the following year. It is is regarded as a positive development if the average rating given in the student feedback in ÕIS is higher than that of 10% of the lowest rated lecturers;
3.2.4.4 the programme director has the right not to choose the lecturer for teaching the courses in the study programme.

4. Measures supporting the development of teaching staff and learning outcomes

4.1 The basic measures supporting the development of teaching staff include:

4.1.1 the continuing education course Didactics of Higher Education in the amount of 3–6 ECTS credits depending on the lecturer’s level of existing knowledge. The lecturer:
4.1.1.1 designs the process of effective teaching in line with the general principles of didactics;
4.1.1.2 integrates pedagogical innovations in the teaching process;
4.1.1.3 uses suitable innovative teaching and learning methods;
4.1.1.4 uses constructive feedback methods, gives and asks for feedback;
4.1.1.5 selects an appropriate assessment method;
4.1.1.6 analyses teaching and learning with an aim to support students in their learning process.

4.1.2 social and communicative skills training (incl. language training). The lecturer:
4.1.2.1 gives effective presentations, uses modern ICT possibilities and tools;
4.1.2.2 takes into account the individual, cultural and other particularities of students;
4.1.2.3 has command of the language of instruction at the level of B2–C1.

4.1.3 a continuing education course for applying active learning methods, including individual consultations. The lecturer:
4.1.3.1 designs interdisciplinary integrated assignments;
4.1.3.2 is able to prepare and conduct team work and group work, taking into account the specifics of the field;
4.1.3.3 selects appropriate active learning methods.

4.1.4 training for updating teaching materials and tools and creating e-support for a course. The lecturer:
4.1.4.1 designs didactically effective teaching and illustrative material by using e-support.

4.1.5 observations of the courses taught by the programme director and the sectoral consultant4 and analysis of the results of the observations in cooperation with the lecturer. The lecturer:
4.1.5.1 analyses the process of teaching and learning taking account of contemporary learning theories and didactical models, makes the necessary corrections.

4.1.6 completion of any other continuing education course approved by the dean.

4.2 Additional measures supporting the development of teaching staff include:

4.2.1 involving a mentor or supervisor in the process of preparation of the methodology of teaching and/or development of the lecturer’s teacher and supervisor competencies. The lecturer:
4.2.1.1 is able to apply the principles of mentoring;
4.2.1.2 involves colleagues in cooperation for the purposes of improving teaching and learning.

4.2.2 visiting the lectures of recognised lecturers or lectures who have received very good feedback5. The lecturer:
4.2.2.1 is able to analyse and apply the best practices in his or her teaching.

4.2.3 mobility – participation in specialty didactics conferences/seminars, in the work of various (specialty) networks. The lecturer:
4.2.3.1 applies the experience acquired and the best practices in his or her teaching and shares the experience with his or her colleagues.

4.2.4 Completion of the continuing education programmes for teachers provided by Tallinn University or the University of Tartu.

5. Acknowledgement of lecturers

5.1 The goals of acknowledgement and the methods for recognition of services at the university are laid down in TalTech Senate Regulation No 11 of 20 June 2017 “Regulations on Acknowledgement and Insignia” (hereinafter referred to as “Regulations”).

5.2 The methods to acknowledge a lecturer include:

5.2.1 awarding of the title the Lecturer of the Year in compliance with § 10 of the Regulations;

5.2.2 acknowledgement by the head of the structural unit in compliance with § 8 of the Regulations;
5.2.2.1 nomination/election as a top lecturer of the study programme;
5.2.2.2 awarding a grant to the best lecturers for improving the studies and their teacher competencies;
5.2.2.3 awarding of a financial bonus;
5.2.2.4 pointing out and recognition in the media;
5.2.2.5 other form of acknowledgement.

Footnotes

1. A student cannot submit an individual study plan for the next semester until he/she has completed the feedback survey.
2. The average rating is calculated as a weighted average of the respondents of the feedback survey on the courses taught.
3. The average ratings of lecturers at the School in the semester of teaching are taken into account. Based on the average rating given in the feedback, the quality and development of a lecturer's teaching activities can be assessed and planned in up to four categories depending, as a rule, on the lecturer's position in the ranking. Based on the average rating of lecturers at a School, the lecturers are divided into the following groups: group 1 average rating in the 80th percentile or above, group 2 average rating between 25th and 80th percentiles, group 3 average rating between 10th and 25th percentiles and group 4 average rating in the 10th percentile.
4. Persons who have completed the Vocational Teacher/Technical Teacher Master's Programme, an IGIP accredited continuing education programme or a continuing education course on (specialty-related) didactics.
5. A lecturer who has been awarded the title of Lecturer of the Year, a lecturer who is among the highest rated lecturers according to student feedback in ÕIS /group 1) or a lecturer who has gained any other recognition.