Reference groups - quality assurance of education

The course coordinator should create a reference group for the course. The reference group should be made up of a subset of the course's students whose job is to evaluate the course and write a report. This page describes the reference group's duties as well as those of the course coordinator.

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På Norsk: Referansegruppe - kvalitetssikring av utdanning

The reference group's tasks #

The reference group should have an ongoing dialogue with other students throughout the semester.

  • The reference group may also choose to take other measures such as hold student meetings or conduct surveys before reference group meetings.

The reference group should represent all students enrolled in the course at the reference group meetings.

Writing reference group reports #

The reference group report should be sent to the course coordinator after the last reference group meeting.

  • The reference group report should focus on constructive feedback based on the consistency between the learning outcomes, learning activties and the assessment. It should include suggestions for changes that might help students achieve the learning outcomes for the course.
  • The reference group report should be attached to the course report and distributed to both the head of department and the head of programme(s) of study for the programme(s) the course is included in. This will ensure that the student's feedback will reach the appropriate individuals.

The Student Parliament has created its own brochure (in Norwegian) for students who participate in reference groups.

Template for reference group reports #

The report should be sent to the course coordinator.

Guide to writing a reference group report #

The reference group report is the students' independent feedback on the quality of the course, with suggestions for appropriate measures to be taken. This report should be included in the course report that the course coordinator writes and sends to the head of department, head of programme(s) of study for all programmes that include the course and the course's students. The course report is also made available to future students.

"The reference group's report on the quality of the course:" In this field, the reference group should give their feedback on what has worked well and should be continued, and what didn't work well and should be improved. The focus should be on whether facilitation and resources should be delegated and how the learning activities and assessment help students achieve the learning outcomes for the course.

Measures proposed by the reference group: If the students have suggestions for constructive measures that can help the individual responsible for course improve the course's quality, those suggestions should be presented here.

Course coordinator's tasks #

Inform the students how the reference group works in the first lecture.

Delegate a reference group at the beginning of the semester and make the contact information for the reference group available on the course's home page.

  • At least three students should participate in the reference group.
  • If the course is included in several programmes of study, the group should represent all of these programmes. If this makes the group too large, you can consider eliminating student representatives from programmes of study that have only a few students enrolled in the course.
  • In courses with few students (such as PhD courses), it might be natural to include all the students in the reference group.
  • A single reference group can be created for several small courses in the same programme of study, subject area and level of study.

Call reference group meetings and publish the dates of the meetings on the course's homepage.

  • The reference group should have at least three meetings: one at the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the course's end.

Gather relevant information for the reference group meetings, such at previous reference group reports and statistics on failure rate and grades.

Write a course report with a proposed plan of action.

  • The reference group's report should be attached.

Send the report to current students enrolled in the course, the head of department and the head of programme(s) of study. The report should be made available to the reference group and student representatives at the faculty, department and programme of study for the next three times the course is held.

Offer the students a written verification that they have participated in a reference group. Your department will give you printed verifications in Norwegian or English. 

Also see #

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