London, UK – 17 December, 2021 – Professionshøjskolen Absalon, a higher education institution with seven professional centres across seven campuses in the region of Zealand in Denmark, has awarded Explorance a contract to supply a new teaching evaluation system. With approximately 9,500 students on 13 professional bachelor degrees, 3,500 students on 15 postgraduate programmes and 750 employees, Professionshøjskolen Absalon – or University College Absalon – is the central driver for education and growth in the region.
Explorance’s appointment follows a competitive tender which saw Professionshøjskolen Absalon seek a software solution for a new evaluation system to replace its existing set-up, which uses results from around 1,300 teaching evaluations as part of its quality assurance processes. “We wanted a system that could create evaluations automatically, offer more flexibility in terms of our ability to ask different questions, and be more user-friendly,” said Catherine Lind Larsen, Project Manager in the institution’s Quality and Analytics department. “The current system was implemented in 2017 and replaced a decentralised evaluation practice, but with our teaching provision as it is we needed to accommodate more diversity going forward. Because I previously used Explorance Blue in my role at Copenhagen Business School I knew they could fulfil our requirements.”
Professionshøjskolen Absalon is the first University College in Denmark to achieve an institutional accreditation, a much-coveted distinction and the highest official recognition for quality assurance of higher education institutions there. However, this process also identified a need to improve its approach to evaluation. “We are currently testing the survey questions for evaluation of teaching courses (modules, courses and semesters) with our students and are aiming to have the system implemented by February,” Catherine revealed. “There will be a combination of fixed central questions and questions provided by departments. We want to drill down on specific elements, narrow course-related issues and trigger questions which prompt timely feedback in areas such as the first semester, bachelor thesis and internships. Additionally, a new strategy is being formalised by our Board of Directors, and we would like to ask students about that strategy through Blue.”
Catherine explained that the institution had also purchased Explorance Data Integrity Gateway (DIG). “This will be helpful in scheduling evaluations, integrating these with our wider student information and potentially employee information systems, to ensure the right evaluations are being sent out at the right time,” she said. “Currently local administrators do all this themselves, but because DIG is automated they can spend less time figuring out the system and more time looking at the local reports when these are done. I also know there is a bigger community through Explorance that we can benefit from being part of. The seminars around what other institutions are doing are extremely valuable.”
Magdalena Barbara Persson, a Senior Consultant in the Quality and Analytics department, added: “Students are tired of the present evaluation system, and the amount of questions being asked, so we need to clean up the system and the variety and quality of questions. Individual lecturers see the data from these evaluations, as well as grades and drop-out rates, and can assess whether there are any course development possibilities. The reports also go to our Deans and Board of Directors – looping from students to different levels in the institution and back again – this will help to close the feedback loop, which in turn will help to have a further effect on response rates if followed up. The new approach is being welcomed, staff are very supportive, and we want the system to be seen by teachers as a valuable decision-making tool.”
John Atherton, General Manager – Europe and Africa, at Explorance, said: “Professionshøjskolen Absalon is a highly distinctive institution in Denmark, not least because of its close collaboration with the professions, and we are delighted to be working with them as they put in place a more effective approach to teaching evaluations. Through our support they will be able to automate the evaluation process, extract master data from existing systems, and importantly provide greater flexibility.”
About Professionshøjskolen Absalon
As the first University College in Denmark to achieve an institutional accreditation, Professionshøjskolen Absalon – or University College Absalon is the cornerstone for education in Zealand, Denmark. Established in 2007, the University College Absalon offers 12 different professional bachelor degree programs that work closely in collaboration with the professions its students are training to become part of. For more information, visit Professionshøjskolen Absalon’s official website.
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