Quality of teaching

Quality Assurance is an indispensable process that involves all those who work in the University, in which each individual's progress benefits the entire University and stimulates the kind of fruitful debate the university must aspire to in order to ensure its social role is effective and tangible.

QUALITY ASSURANCE means:

  • defining quality policies that are aligned with the University's strategic directions, and reliable and robust procedures through which the governing bodies can implement them;
  • implementing activities to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in all the University's internal processes, first and foremost in the service of the quality of education and research;
  • creating awareness in all those who work in the University so that everyone's tasks are carried out competently and promptly, the services provided are effective, and a record is kept of what has been done to monitor and measure results.

For more information on Quality Assurance, please consult this page: https://www.unipr.it/AQ

Student Opinion Survey Questionnaire (OPIS)

The Student Opinion Survey Questionnaire (OPIS) is a tool designed to detect student opinion with a view to improving teaching, quality and the organisation of degree courses and is an integral part of the assessment system; for students it is an important opportunity to make their voices heard and actively participate in the life of their course, as a guarantee of better Quality Assurance: for this reason the University recommends that it is filled in punctually and accurately.

For more information on OPIS questionnaires, please visit the following page: https://www.unipr.it/didattica/i-corsi-di-studio/compilazione-del-questionario-di-valutazione-della-didattica-line

Organisation and responsibility for Course QA

The Quality Assurance of Study Courses (CdS) is a constituent element of the management, monitoring and measurement of the dynamics governing teaching, knowledge and know-how. Degree courses are at the heart of the educational mission of higher education institutions. They are designed through the identification of the ideal kind(s) of graduate profile in terms of scientific, cultural and/or professional characteristics and, consistently, of the training paths leading to the acquisition of the specific knowledge and skills associated with such profiles. Course design must involve students and external stakeholders most appropriate to the character and objectives of the course. The external stakeholders of the degree course include all the actors, organisations and institutions potentially interested in the cultural and professional profile of its graduates (organisations representing the production of goods and services, the professions and/or - if relevant - scientific societies, research centres, academic and cultural institutions of national or international relevance, etc.). Depending on the proposed project, stakeholders may be represented by a Steering Committee, comprising a representation of the Department's faculty and representatives from the world of work, culture and research representing the stakeholders of one or more degree course. Degree courses should be constantly updated, reflecting the most advanced knowledge in the disciplines, also with a view to the continuation of studies in subsequent cycles, ensuring interchange with the world of research and the world of work.

 Degree course- Review Group (RG)- Quality Assurance Manager  

For the purposes of Quality Assurance, each degree course is required to: 

  • apply, within its own remit, the policies and general guidelines for Quality established by the governing bodies;
  • carry out self-assessment and reviews of its course curriculum and management based on the analyses reported in the annual report of the Joint Commission of Teachers and Students (CPDS) and the data provided by ANVUR, the Evaluation Committee and the Management Control division, also comparing itself with similar degree courses with a view to benchmarking;
  • promote continuous improvement and assess its effectiveness;
  • implement the evaluation of teaching in accordance with the provisions of the University.  

The Course Council, through its President, is also responsible for the information reported in the ANVUR documents (SUA-CdS, Annual Monitoring Form, Cyclical Review Report). To this end, each degree course sets up a Review Group (RG) made up of figures from within the course itself, able to contribute to the evaluation of the course from different points of view (teaching staff, technical-administrative staff, students). The Review Group is normally composed of the Course President, the Quality Assurance Manager  (RAQ), a Student Representative and an Education Manager from the course department. The Review Group has the task of guiding the course towards the goals of continually improving its results. The RG manages the process of self-evaluation, i.e. the process by which the degree course monitors its own performance and assesses its own results, also in accordance with the guidelines established by ANVUR.

In the course of the self-assessment process, the RG examines everything that can contribute to the analysis of the results of the degree course and, in particular: 

  • the annual report provided by the Joint Committee of Teachers and Students of reference;
  • the Evaluation Committee's report;
  • the progress of students' careers;
  • the availability of contextual services (tutoring, internationalisation, guidance, internships, etc.);
  • consultation with the socio-economic system of reference (including the Steering Committee, sector studies, specific meetings with corporate partners);
  • the availability of resources (human and infrastructural);
  • the students' opinions on teaching, on the organisation of the degree course and on the training pathway;
  • any other indication provided by the RAQ, the Education Manager and the Coordinator/Quality Assurance Office Manager

The work of the Review Group takes the form of the compilation of an Annual Monitoring Form and the drafting of the Cyclical Review Report, which is discussed within the relevant Course Council and forwarded to the University Quality Assurance Body (PQA) and the University Evaluation Committee.

Finally, the Quality Assurance Manager (RAQ) has the function of monitoring and verifying the correct implementation of the improvement actions approved by the Course Council. The RAQ is selected from among the teaching staff of the degree course.  

Departmental Quality Assurance Body

In view of the above, the role of the departments is of paramount importance, as they are fundamental organisational structures for carrying out scientific research, teaching and training activities, as well as for the transfer of knowledge and innovation and for related or ancillary external activities. The Director and the Departmental Council represent the Departmental Governing Bodies responsible for defining the Quality Assurance Policies for Departmental Research and Teaching.  

A Departmental Quality Assurance Body (PQD) is established within each department as an operational and liaison body between the department and the University Quality Assurance Body. The PQD: 

  • spreads the culture of Quality;
  • applies, within its remit, the policies and general guidelines for Quality established by the Governing Bodies of the University;
  • assists the Course Presidents in the drafting of documents for the QA of the degree courses (SUA-CdS, Cyclic Review Report, Annual Monitoring Form);
  • assists the Director in the drafting of research QA documents (SUA-RD, any Department programme documents);
  • supports the Director and the Departmental Council in the definition of policies and objectives for Quality and QA of research and of the third stream;
  • promotes continuous improvement in Research and Teaching through self-evaluation activities and evaluates the effectiveness of the actions undertaken.  

In addition, the PQD, through the Departmental Education Delegate (as provided for in the ‘Framework Regulation for the Functioning of Departments’), liaises with the Departmental Teaching Committee, a committee with the function of supporting the Director in carrying out his/her responsibilities in teaching matters (as provided for in the ‘Framework Regulation for the Functioning of Departments’), while, through the Departmental Delegate for Research Quality and Third Stream, it verifies the regular execution of the procedures for the drafting of the SUA-RD.

 Director of the Department

According to the Statute, the Director has the function of promoting, guiding and coordinating scientific activities. He/she supervises research and third stream activities and oversees their evaluation. The Director is assisted by the Departmental Delegate for Research Quality and Third Stream who is entrusted with the following tasks:

  • support in the definition of the department's research quality and third stream policies with the identification of indicators that not only consider teaching commitment but the quality of research and technology transfer activities as well;
  • definition of the department's research quality and third mission assurance procedures;
  • annual monitoring of research products (as defined by ANVUR in the VQR call and in the SUA-RD), both in quantitative and qualitative terms;
  • structured management of the department's public engagement activities. The Director is responsible for the information reported in the QA documents (SUA-RD and any other policy documents of the Department).

 Joint Committee of Teachers and Students

In accordance with the Statute and the University Regulations and the Framework Regulations for the functioning of the Departments, the Joint Committee of Teachers and Students (CPDS) of the departments have been set up, made up of one professor/instructor and one student for each degree course pertaining to the department. The CPDS, if deemed necessary, may be subdivided into subcommittees. It is chaired by one of the tenured professors. The CPDS is a permanent body that monitors teaching activities.

The CPDS:

  • monitors the course catalogue and the educational quality, as well as the service provided to students by professors and researchers within the Department;
  •  it expresses an opinion on the consistency between the ECTS credits assigned to educational activities and the specific educational objectives set;
  •  it identifies and monitors indicators for the evaluation of results;
  •  it formulates opinions on the activation and suppression of degree programmes;
  •  it analyses data and information relating to the course catalogue and educational quality;
  •  it submits proposals to the Evaluation Committee for the improvement of the quality and effectiveness of teaching structures;
  •  it monitors the indicators that measure the degree of achievement of learning objectives at the level of individual structures.  

By 31 December of each year, the CPDS draws up a report in accordance with the quality assurance regulations and forwards it to the Course Presidents attached to the Department, to the Director of the Department, to the Coordinator of the University Quality Assurance Body and to the Coordinator of the University Evaluation Committee.  

Departmental structures

 At the departmental structure level, coordination in all typical departmental administrative and management activities is carried out by the Administrative Manager (RAG). Among other functions, the RAG oversees and coordinates: 

  • activities concerning the administrative support to the institutional activities of teaching, including front-office work with students, within its remit, in relation to the department's courses, the course catalogue, the evaluation and self-evaluation of courses, overseeing the processes inherent to the accreditation and quality of degree courses; supports the Course President in functional coordination with the Teaching Area;
  • activities concerning administrative support for institutional research and third-stream activities, including technology transfer, research grants, research scholarships, overseeing the processes inherent to the quality of departmental research and third stream activities.  

In terms of teaching activities, according to the University's functional chart, the RAG can call upon the services of a Quality Assurance Office Coordinator (cat. EP) who coordinates, together with the RAG, the typical activities supporting teaching, the course catalogue, the front office with students (within its remit), and the quality of courses, including PhDs. He/she coordinates the department's teaching contact people; coordinates advising and guidance initiatives; coordinates the admission processes to degree courses and the management of activities relating to tutoring and to graduating students; supports the Course Presidents, the Joint Committee of Teachers and Students and the GAVs of the degree courses connected to the Department. He/she coordinates activities related to internships, traineeships and international mobility. He/she performs functional staff coordination. He/she operates in functional connection with the Teaching Area.

Alternatively, the RAG may employ a Quality Assurance Office Manager (cat. D), who ensures, under the coordination of the RAG, the supervision of the typical teaching support activities as outlined above. Every degree course is also allocated an Education Manager (MQD) (Cat. D, C, B), who ensures the organisation and functionality of teaching activities on the degree course. He/she provides, in functional coordination with the Quality Assurance Office Manager, administrative support for everything concerning the organisation and operation of study courses. He/she manages and updates the contents of the degree course website in cooperation with the relevant structures. He/she operates in functional connection with the Teaching Area. As a member of the Review Group, he/she is an essential point of reference for teaching organisation and is a particularly valuable figure for degree course quality assurance.

In terms of Research and Third Stream, according to the University's function chart, the RAG can employ a Research and Third Stream Service Coordinator (cat. EP) who coordinates, together with the RAG, the typical activities supporting research (national and international), the third stream, research quality, and the enhancement of departmental know-how, also performing interface and liaison functions with the department's technical staff. He/she coordinates and oversees the support processes related to the proper execution of the department's research-related activities, from participation in calls, to the management of research projects (including contract research), support in the preparation of research contracts, and the reporting of all national and international projects and contracts. He/she supports the drafting of the SUA-RD. He/she performs functional staff coordination. He/she operates in functional connection with the Research Area. Alternatively, the RAG may employ a Research and Third Stream Service Manager (Cat. D) who guarantees, under the coordination of the RAG, the supervision of the typical activities in support of research and the third mission as reported above.