The semester steering process consists of three elements as described below: Semester planning, semester implementation and evaluation of study activities. At the Department of Computer Science the roles and tasks of this work is described in our Semester Steering Handbook along with templates that can be used in the different phases (box to the righ.
The semester steering cycle starts in April and October for fall and spring semesters, respectively, and is initiated by the issuing of teaching requisitions. The department then appoints semester coordinators and later course lecturers, project supervisors etc. The semester coordinator’s first task is to prepare the semester description, following the study board’s conclusions on the evaluation of last year’s iteration of the semester, and in agreement with the other teachers of the semester.
The study board ensures that the semester descriptions are available 14 days before semesterstart (August/January). Other tasks involved in the semester planning includes preparation of information and teaching material to be published on Moodle, scheduling of teaching and meeting activities, making appointments with external guest lecturers, ensuring the availability of equipment, etc.
The semester starts by the semester coordinator and the teachers of the semester presenting the prepared semester description, introducing the courses, presenting project proposals, etc. for the students, and by the students forming project groups.
The semester coordinator asks the students to appoint a representative from each project group to enter into the steering group, which will meet 2-3 times during the semester to make a status on the course teaching, the project work, etc. Minutes from these meetings are published at the semester’s room in Moodle and will also be used by the semester coordinator as input to the semester evaluation report.
EVALUATION OF STUDY ACTIVITIES
The evaluation of study activities consists of the following steps:
PREPARATION OF THE EVALUATION REPORT / EVALUATION MEETINGS
The department sends out an individual (quantitative) and group-based (qualitative) questionnaire to each student in the middle of April for the spring semester, and in the middle of November for the fall semester.
After the students have performed individual and group-based evaluations, the semester coordinator conducts an evaluation meeting, where a representative from each project group participates and presents the main points of the group's evaluation. The semester coordinator and a student representative chosen among the project group representatives prepare a summary as input to the evaluation report.
Based on the answers to the individual and group-based questionnaires, input from the evaluation meeting, minutes of steering group meetings etc., the semester coordinator prepares a draft evaluation report. The semester coordinator sends the draft report to the members of the steering group and the study secretary for comments. The final evaluation report is sent to the study board no later than end of June for the spring semester and early February for the fall semester. For more info about the process go to the semester steering handbook.
2) EVALUATION OF THE SEMESTER
The study board evaluates the past semester at a study board meeting in March for the fall semester and in September for the spring semester. This is done based on the semester coordinator’s evaluation report, answers from students to an extra (qualitative) questionnaire about exams, and grade statistics. Finally, the study board prepares conclusions that form the basis of possible adjustments of the planning, implementation and/or evaluation of the next iteration of that semester.
3) INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONCLUSIONS
The study board’s conclusions are published no later than October for the spring semester and April for the fall semester at the department’s quality assurance webpage. Information about the conclusions is sent to students via Moodle and to staff via email, and subsequently to the coming semester coordinator. The conclusions are available here.
4) FOLLOW-UP ON THE EVALUATIONS
The study management group follows up on the conclusions each semester on its meetings in May and October. Depending on the nature of the conclusions, the study board contacts relevant parties (department heads, semester coordinators, course teachers, project supervisors, study programme coordinators) and initiates the required adjustments in due time before the next semester’s iteration.