The objective of the quality assurance at the Applied Physics department is to constantly maintain and improve education. The method that frames the mechanism to assure the quality of education is the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. The PDCA method aims at applying an iterative procedure that allows for continuous identification of actions for improvement, at course level and at study program level.
One of the most important sources of information to improve education is the course evaluations. The course evaluations are filled in by the students at the end of each quarter regarding items such as teaching, assessment, lecturers, study material, etc. The results of the course evaluations are discussed with the lecturers and action plans are formulated. The results and actions plans are presented to the AP Program and Examination Committees.
The information gathered from teachers’ and students’ councils (i.e., 1st, 2nd and 3rd year, respectively the p- and pp-council) are also sources of information used to get an insight of the quality of courses as well. This information is also discussed during the meetings with the faculty staff to formulate improvement plans. In some cases, a follow-up students’ group (college volggroep) provides also feedback to the lecturers.
Curriculum evaluations at program level
Curriculum evaluations on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year bachelor, the transfer from VWO to the bachelor, and also the transfer to the master are annually conducted in order to appraise students’ experience with the study program. Questions are related to coaching, study approach, professional skills, among others.
The AP educational management department makes use of different information sources to monitor, evaluate and improve education at all levels. The indicators given in the Keuzegids and Elsevier, in which all Dutch universities are compared in a ranking, are used as a benchmark to evaluate the Physics study programs at national level. Furthermore, the scores of the National Student Survey (NSE), serve as a ‘thermometer’ to measure the level of students’ satisfaction with the quality of education and study program.
The Applied Physics study program is visited every 6 years by an accreditation panel and assessed based on a framework. Formal accreditation of a program means that a study program complies with the NVAO quality requirements.