One important part of our continuous quality work related to courses are the course evaluations. These evaluations are done during each course.
The teacher responsible for the course conducts course evaluations through the Student Portal (Studentportalen). Normally, there should be scheduled time for completion of the evaluation of the course. The teacher responsible for the course can freely formulate questions to get suggestions of improvement for the course, but overall there should be (1) a question regarding the students' overall assessment of the course, (2) an opportunity for the students to describe what was especially good with the course, and (3) one or more points where students can suggest improvements.
The program coordinator compile all course evaluations for each course period in a brief report to present in the programme advisory board. The faculty has several such boards, for example one for bachelor and master programmes in chemistry, biology and earth science. The report provides the overall assessment (point 1 above), and involves a brief comment from the teacher responsible for the course or program coordinator (focusing on what worked well and what could be improved). The program advisory board provides feedback to the program coordinator which will be informed to the teachers involved on the course and the directors of studies.
The program advisory boards reports upwards to the educational board who in turn reports to the faculty board.
First class education
At the Biology Education Centre we strive to provide education of the highest possible quality. We want to present best possible mix of courses in our students' interests and also considering the labour market the students will face after finishing their education. To fulfil the goals of the educations we continuously work on improvements and there are several ongoing developmental projects.
Our quality work consists of different components presented more in detail below. Among other things, we are actively working with a systematic communication training programme, which is much appreciated among our already graduated students. We also have course evaluations and course representative meetings to improve our courses continuously.
Since we are a part of Uppsala university, we also adhere to the central programmes and plans.
- Pedagogic policy at the Department of Biology Education
- Uppsala university programme for quality work
DiaNa - communication training
In all our programmes we conduct systematic communication training integrated in the courses. We provide the students with a good environment in order for them to develop their communication skills through out the entire education.
The purpose of the training is to gradually improve the students communication skills, and thus prepare them for future employment. Through several surveys the communication training have received positive feedback from the students throughout the years.
The communication training is conducted within DiaNa, which started in 2001. Exercises within DiaNa are today given in oral and written communication, as well as group interaction. All exercises contain recurrent feedback and self-evaluation. The exercises are supervised by the teachers responsible for each course. The teachers attend preparative courses in order to supervise as good as possible in each category. Besides the courses for supervisors, also networking events are organised for the teachers and each year a science conference is arranged where the students get the opportunity to do presentations in front of a large audience.
Course representative meetings
As a complement to the course evaluations, we have course representative meetings four times each semester (twice per course period). This is to get instant feedback, find out about possible problems and get information from IBG out to the students.
Meetings concerning our biology programmes are usually led by the director of studies, the study counsellor and/or the Information officer at IBG. Meetings concerning the engineering program and the master programmes in bioinformatics and molecular biotechnology are usually led by the program coordinator and the degree project coordinators from IBG. For our biology programmes, two students from each course are selected as course representatives when the course starts. These students get opinions regarding the course from their fellow students and and report these on our course information meetings. The meetings take place during lunch (we invite representatives of a light lunch) at the beginning and end of each course period, so that everyone can participate. The meetings are given in both Swedish and English as we have many exchange and Masters students from other countries. Students studying the engineering programme choose course representatives for the entire semester.
During the meetings we inform students about what is going on at IBG (e.g., new courses, etc.) and then get each course representative to say something about how things are working on their course. If it turns out that there are problems (eg difficulties to get hold of textbooks, schedule problems, etc.), we try to fix them as soon as possible to improve the course. We also have representatives from the local student organization at each meeting.
Opinions from former students
We regularly perform student surveys to find out what happens to students after they graduated, and how pleased they are with different parts of their education. These surveys are then compiled in to reports.
Student organisations at Biology education centre
There are several unions for Uppsala University students collaborating with each other. The union for students at the faculty of science and technology in Uppsala is UTN, Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science Students. UTN takes care of educational issues, student welfare, international and labour market issues. UTN also organises social activities. For more information see www.utn.se/en. Membership in UTN is free of charge.
The Uppsala Student Union is an organisation for student groups without an own specific union. The activities of the Student Union can be divided into two types: the day-to-day services and the long-term political matters concerning students. The day-to-day services include access to computers, telephones, second-hand book sale, counselling for international students, housing information and much more. For more information see www.uppsalastudentkar.se/international-students.
The biology student association BÄR (Biologiska ÄmnesRådet) arranges parties, monitor the courses given in biology programmes at both bachelor and master level, and more. If you want to get in touch with BÄR, if you have questions or want to get more involved in your studies, you can email email@example.com. To receive information from BÄR, please join the facebook group. BÄR is located at EBC, ground floor Norbyvägen 18B, near the lunchroom.
All students in the Molecular biotechnology engineering programme are welcome to X-sektionen, your student association. X-sektionen can help you with everything related to your studies, be it problems in the lecture halls, party activity, or gender issues. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The International Buddy Programme is a cooperative programme from Uppsala Student Union, ELSA (The European Law Students’ Association), UTN (Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science Students) and Uppsala University. The main intention with this programme is to make sure that all new international students receive help and feedback by students at Uppsala University, both before, during and after they have settled in Uppsala. www.uppsalastudentkar.se/buddy-program.