There are a number of different initiatives at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Technical Sciences that aim to develop the teaching based on evaluations carried out in all classes. At the Aarhus University School of Engineering, a systematic initiative has been launched in the Course Review and Development Meeting (CRDM) between the head of the study programme and the educators. Materials have been developed, and there have systematically been gathered experiences to will inspire other courses at Nat-Tech.
The conversations are carried out once per run of all the courses on the Bachelor of Engineering degree programmes in Information and Communication Technology, Electronics, Health Technology, and Electrical Energy Technology. The aim is to ensure quality and ongoing development through structured recurring dialogue.
Troels Fedder Jensen has been a major player in this development and has described the preliminary experiences in an article for the International CDIO Conference in 2019, Implementing an annual course review process.
There is a preliminary experience from a run-through of the process in 15 courses. The results are promising. There are several examples of specific changes that will be implemented before the next CRDM, and also a number of agreements on specific studies which the educators will carry out before the next CRDM. These studies are mainly concerned with supporting student learning within specific areas, for example, by changing exercises and scaffolding group processes.
The experiences from the Aarhus University School of Engineering are positive, but there are some points of attention. For example, a clear separation from the staff development dialogue (SDD) is crucial. The focus of the CRDM is on the development of the courses – not on the employees! For this reason, the CRDMs are deliberately held timewise as far as possible from the SDD process.
Through the CRDM, the degree programme director finds new insight into the specific teaching. It is emphasised that the structured CRDM framework makes the dialogue about teaching more natural, and it is not a question of the educators having "done something wrong". Employees emphasise that they feel compelled (in a positive way) to use course evaluation as the basis for development, that they work on the input from the students, and that they are inspired by the professional back-and-forth with the degree programme director.