Survey of the opinions of students
Introduced by Law No. 370/1999, the survey of the opinions of students has gained increasing importance with the implementation of the AVA system in 2013, becoming one of the key elements of the Quality Assurance System and one of the necessary requisites for accreditation.
The survey gives students the opportunity to contribute to the continuous improvement of the courses offered and of the degree programmes as a whole. The results of the surveys are sent to all teaching staff and academic bodies who might, for various reasons, have an interest in consuting the data collected in order to evaluate possible measures for improving the teaching provided.
The University has been gathering students’ opinions by means of a University questionnaire since the 2000/2001 academic year. Since the 2014/15 academic year, students have been able to complete the survey online through a web service specially developed for the University.
Responsibility for the planning, implementation and optimisation of the system for gathering the opinions of students falls to the University’s Quality Assurance Board.
For the purposes of the survey, the students are ranked in two categories:
- Attending students: those who declare that they have attended more than 50% of lessons in the current academic year
- Non-attending students: those who declare that they have attended less than 50% of lessons in the current academic year, or those who attended lessons in previous academic years or have never attended lessons.
The questionnaires in use since the 2014/15 academic year contain the questions specified in the ANVUR document “Operational proposals for the instigation of procedures for surveying the opinions of students for the 2013/14 academic year”, forms 1 and 3, and some additional questions specific to the University of Milan.
On 18 September 2018, the Academic Senate approved a University Policy, proposed by the Quality Assurance Board as part of the University’s quality policies, on gathering, processing, using and disseminating the opinions of students on teaching.
The document aims to identify the University’s shared codes of conduct on the use and discussion of the results of the survey, on the communication of the measures arising from the analysis of data and on access to the results by the different parties involved and by the public.
The document also helps to emphasize the fact that the key element in the process of gathering the students’ opinions is the active and informed participation of the students at all levels, starting with the careful completion of the questionnaire, to sharing the discussion of the results with the student representatives in the teaching bodies, at all the levels provided for in the document.
The measures taken by the Quality Assurance Board to improve the system of gathering the opinions of students include presentations for students that look at the key features of the survey, and encourage students to take part in an informed manner, highlighting the contribution that they make to the process of continuous improvement envisaged by the Accreditation, Self-Assessment and Evaluation system. These presentations have been made available to all members of the teaching staff.
The survey is aimed at all students enrolled on study programmes running in the academic year in which the survey is carried out. The questionnaires are available once the student has reached attendance at two-thirds of the lessons on their particular course. Roughly speaking, the survey is conducted:
- from mid-November to mid-October of the following year for lessons in the 1st semester;
- from the start of April to mid-October for lessons in the 2nd semester and for one-year courses.
Students who have not completed a questionnaire previously are required to do so when they enrol on the course exam for the first time.
In order for the survey to be as effective as possible and take place in the most appropriate way, it is advisable to set aside an appropriate time, towards the end of the lesson, when the lesson is still fresh in the students’ minds and they do not need to rush the questionnaire to be in time to enrol for the exam.
The questionnaire is anonymous. The login details that the students must enter to access and respond to the questionnaire are only there to limit the number of questionnaires that the students are presented with for their particular study programme. As soon as the completed questionnaire is sent, there is no trace of the person who filled it in. What is more, the teachers do not have access to individual questionnaires but receive an overall report on all the completed questionnaires relating to their particular lessons.
There is only one questionnaire per lesson. Where a lesson is taught by more than one teacher, the student is required to fill in the “teacher” section for each teacher.
The questionnaire must be filled in in one go. To guarantee anonymity, it is not possible to save and return to the questionnaire at a later date, or amend previously completed questionnaires.
It is not possible to fill in again a questionnaire for a particular course for which acknowledgement of the relative credits is still an ongoing process. However, it is possible, though not compulsory, to fill in again a course questionnaire that was filled in in a previous academic year if the student has not yet passed the relative exam.
All students can access the questionnaire from Unimia.
In the 1st semester of the 2018/19 academic year, the University conducted a trial to ascertain the feasibility of setting aside a specific time in the classroom for conducting a survey on the opinions of students. The survey is being conducted online, through the University’s web service. Every student can take part in the survey using their own personal devices (smartphone, tablet, PC).
The trial involves the study programmes run by the School of Exercise and Sport Sciences and the two degree programmes run by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences: the three-year degree programme in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies and the master’s degree programme in Nutritional Sciences.
The teacher will have the opportunity to tell the students where to find the questionnaires and help them identify which questionnaire to fill in by generating a survey code which they will advise the students of. The teacher can ascertain the number of questionnaires filled in by the students. Following the survey, the teacher will also be able to look at the open comments entered by the students in the questionnaires and will then be able to discuss them with the students in the classroom.
Il Nucleo di Valutazione redige annualmente una relazione sul sistema di rilevazione delle opinioni degli studenti in cui vengono analizzati i risultati a livello aggregato di Ateneo e Corso di Studio.
La relazione è da redigere tassativamente entro il 30 aprile di ogni anno con riferimento alla rilevazione svolta nell’a.a. precedente e a partire dall’a.a. 2011/12 è confluita nella Relazione Annuale richiesta al Nucleo di Valutazione ai sensi del D.Lgs. 19/2012, art. 12 e art. 14 (Relazione AVA).
Through the online student evaluation service, teachers can:
- Fill in the teacher’s questionnaire
- Access the statistical report (pdf format)
- Access the open responses report
- Conduct the survey in the classroom