As laid down in the University’s Quality Assurance Policy, at Trento a university education is conceived as developing a scientific/methodological approach, comprising knowledge, skills and competences, which students can apply and adapt to suit each new context, whether academic or professional.
The University’s Quality Assurance Policy is available in the specific section:
The University is sensitive to changes in the kinds of skills and competences expected of our graduates. To this end the University places great importance on engaging external stakeholders in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of programmes.
The University also has an active outreach programme with local high schools to help them develop the kinds of skills needed to study effectively at university, and provide prospective students with a greater awareness of the choice of programmes offered.
The University of Trento places the student at the centre of the teaching and learning process, promoting approaches and methods which actively engage students by:
- placing emphasis on achieving the intended learning outcomes
- using transparent admission procedures which evaluate the competences needed to embark on the chosen degree programme
- evaluating and adjusting teaching and learning methods and activities with respect to the intended learning outcomes
- giving students clear feedback on their progress and how they have been assessed
- providing students with a variety of learning opportunities, in particular study periods abroad and contact with the world of work
- putting in place accessible and transparent complaints and appeals procedures
- ensuring accessibility, inclusivity and flexibility, so that all students, in particular disabled and special needs students, can participate fully in university life
The University of Trento as a teaching and learning and research community places great value on mutual respect and constructive dialogue between all its members and encourages direct participation in decision-making and evaluation procedures as provided for in the University Statute.
The University warmly invites all its members – students, teachers and researchers, technical and administrative staff - to be active citizens in this continuously evolving community.
Teaching and Learning QA Calendar
The Teaching and Learning QA Calendar has two separate levels.
The Level One solar calendar (January-December) shows the dates and final deadlines of the main QA processes regarding teaching and learning.
The Level Two calendar indicates more detailed dates and deadlines for each single process from Level One. These sub-calendars are accessed by clicking on the link in the Level One Calendar.
The sub-calendars detail the various stages and relative deadlines of each process from the start to completion.
The Guidelines and other useful documents relative to each process can be accessed via the links in the Calendars available in the specific section:
Annual Programme Report (SUA-CdS)
The Annual Programme Report (SUA-CdS) is the main QA tool for course Accreditation, Internal and Periodic Evaluation. It is used in all stages of QA processes from planning and activation through internal-evaluation and monitoring to modifying and redesigning the study programme.
It comprises the following sections: Quality and Administration.
The “Quality” section details how the Programme meets market demands; outlines the programmes learning objectives and outcomes; establishes the roles and responsibilities in ensuring the smooth-functioning of the QA system.
The “Administration” section contains all the data regarding the institution and activation of the study programme and provides a detailed overview of what the programme offers.
Annual and periodic programme reviews (SMA and Periodic programme review)
The annual and periodic reviews are part of the overall internal quality assurance process intended to ensure:
- the effective management of programmes;
- that the programme learning objectives are pertinent and relevant and that they correspond to the learning outcomes.
It investigates the reasons behind unsatisfactory outcomes with an and to introducing actions to correct and enhance performance.
One of the key moments in the whole internal QA process is the periodic review. This takes into consideration the whole cycle of the programme, when those responsible for managing the programme critically examine the its aims and objectives in the light of the outcomes obtained.
The two annual internal QA tools are the Annual Programme Report (SUA-CdS) and the Annual Programme Review (SMA). Together with the Periodic Programme Review, SMA and SUA-CdS provide external reviewers to verify the efficacy of the Programme’s QA process and the effectiveness of any actions undertaken to guarantee the same.
The programme review is carried out under the supervision of the Programme Coordinator who drafts the SMA and the Periodic Programme Review, which are then approved by the Programme Study Board (Consiglio del CdS). Student representatives participate in this review process.
Annual Report of the Joint Student-Teacher Committee CPDS
The Annual Report of the CPDS comprises a programme by programme evaluation based on several independent sources of data and feedback, and not merely on the information in the annual and periodic programme reviews. In writing the report the committee evaluates the Department’s/Centre’s programmes as a whole, taking into particular consideration feedback from the student satisfaction questionnaires, identifying any specific issues which need addressing. The national QA Agency (ANVUR) recommends the involvement of students from each programme in the analysis of the student feedback.
The CPDS annual report is submitted to the University Independent Evaluation Board (NdV), the Quality Assurance Board (PQA), and to the Programme Study Board, who subsequently make proposals for the enhancement of the programme.
Student Feedback on Teaching Quality
Collecting feedback from students, is an integral part of the internal QA and as such is a prerequisite for institutional accreditation.
Student satisfaction questionnaires are submitted to students, graduands and graduates and include the questions set by the ANVUR (National Quality Assurance Agency of Higher Education Institutes and Research) along with an open text box for comments and/or suggestions on how to enhance the learning experience.
The questionnaires for graduands and graduates are collected through the national AlmaLaurea Interuniversity Consortium.
Further data and information can be found in Statistics.
Planning and reviewing study programmes
The University of Trento has adopted a procedure for the proposal and approval of new study programmes and of substantial modification of existing programmes (for example changing the Programme name, language of delivery, modifying learning objectives and outcomes, teaching and learning activities, prospective employment profiles).
This procedure has two stages:
- in the first a general outline is submitted to the Academic Senate which illustrates the coherence between the Programme’s specific characteristics and the educational and research objectives of the Department(s) and/or Centre(s) proposing the programme and with the University’s objectives as laid down in the Strategic Plan
- if approved, in the second stage a more detailed proposal is submitted to the Academic Senate, which, in addition to the Programme Specifications, outlines the Teaching Activities and illustrates its compatibility with the resources available (teaching hours, support services, infrastructure).
Guidelines in Italian to assist the Department(s) and Centre(s) in proposing new courses are available in the specific section:
(Miglioramento Risultati di Apprendimento - Improving Learning Outcomes): from the drafting of learning objectives and outcomes to choosing appropriate teaching methods and forms of assessment.
At all levels, be they international, European or national, educational organisations and initiatives, not least the Bologna Process, have increasingly promoted Student-Centred Learning, which involves students also being actively involved in the teaching and learning experience, not least to develop professional, cultural and social competences relevant for the society of today.
This entails planning the degree programme, individual courses, teaching and learning activities and assessment methods and criteria which focus on what the student has to learn and the competences the student has to acquire. This knowledge and these competences are clearly expressed in both the Programme and individual teaching module Learning Outcomes. The former are found in the programme specification document (ordinamento didattico) and the latter in the course syllabus.
In 2016 the University of Trento’s QA ran a pilot project to improve the drafting of Course Syllabi, focusing in particular on the Learning Objectives and Outcomes. This pilot project involved one Programme from each of the University’s Departments and Centres. In 2017 the project was rolled out to include every Degree Programme of our institution.