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Evaluate courses & study programmes

Contribute feedback on your courses and your study programme

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Your input can relate to anything that affects your learning, both in individual courses and in the study programme as a whole. Relevant topics may include plans, syllabuses, learning activities and practical training, organization of teaching, forms of assessment, digital learning tools and physical or social aspects.

Evaluate courses

Evaluate courses

All courses at NTNU are evaluated each time they are completed. As a student, you can take part in the evaluation of your courses in several ways. Your input helps us to improve the education we offer even more year by year. 

Video - Take part in a reference group (in Norwegian):

  • The course coordinator has a duty to collect and document feedback from the students in the evaluation. It is the course coordinator who chooses the method for collecting this feedback.
  • Reference groups are by far the most frequently used method for student evaluation at NTNU, either alone or in combination with other methods. In the menus below, you will find everything you need to know about reference groups.
  • To find out more about other ways to give feedback, see the page Methods for evaluating courses.
  • Every third year, the course coordinator must ensure that feedback is collected from all the students who took the course.
  • If the course includes a placement for professional training, you follow the system for giving feedback about the placement. You will get information about this from contact persons in your study programme. 

Video: Take part in a reference group (in Norwegian)   

The course coordinator chooses the method for collecting viewpoints from the students. Reference groups are by far the most frequently used method for student evaluation at NTNU, either alone or in combination with other methods.

The course coordinator establishes a reference group for the course at the start of the semester, after finding volunteers to participate. The group must include at least three of the students taking the course, and all study programmes must be represented.

Please contact the course coordinator if you have not been informed that there is a reference group for a course you are taking. 

The course coordinator uses KASPER as a workspace for the quality processes, and the reference group members can create a team in Microsoft Teams to support the evaluation activities.

More about reference groups:

The reference group represents the entire student group and is responsible for discussing the implementation of the course with the rest of the class.

Contact information for the reference group should be published in Blackboard or similar, with a request to get in touch if anyone has suggestions for improvements in the course. You are welcome to contact your course coordinator if you do not know who belongs to the reference group for your course.

There are several ways for the reference group to get input from the rest of the students. For example, they can ask the course lecturer to give you 10-15 minutes alone during a lecture for open discussion. If you collect written feedback from your fellow students, remember to consider demands on data management and publication. 

Dialogue with the course coordinator

The course coordinator and the reference group should have an ongoing dialogue throughout the semester. They must have at least three meetings: one at the start, one midway and one after classes have ended.

Topics to discuss

As a student, you are free to comment on all factors related to the quality of your studies. You yourself know best what is most important to you in your courses.

For NTNU, it is the students’ learning outcome that is at the centre. The course coordinator will be particularly interested in feedback on how students experience the learning objectives, and on how learning activities, the syllabus, forms of assessment and the learning environment contribute to the learning outcomes achieved. A list of recommended questions is available at Completing student evaluations of courses.

The course coordinator can also choose to address particular topics or pose specific questions to the students and the reference group, for example as a follow-up to previous evaluations.

The course coordinator can make some improvements during the semester, if the feedback is available early enough. Other feedback and suggestions for improvement require changes to the structure or the programme description. These must be included in the report that the reference group submits to the course coordinator and used as a basis for later semesters.

The template for reports from the reference group to the course coordinator is available in the workspace that the course coordinator has created in Teams. This Word document has guidelines to help you formulate the text. 

Templates for reports are available on this page

When the report is finished, preferably after the exam has been completed, it must be submitted to the course coordinator. This is also done in the workspace in Teams, using the tab called “Process support” (“Prosesstøtte”). 

The final deadline for submitting the reference group report is:

  • 1 September for the spring semester
  • 15 February for the autumn semester

Please note that your faculty may have its own deadlines that are earlier than this final deadline.

About reference groups for students - KASPER 

Specific tips for writing reports 

  • The report may well express disagreement if opinions on the course differ. You are welcome to write “some think ...”, “the majority thinks...” 
  • Remember to write about the form of assessment. For this reason, complete the report when the exam is over.
    • Write complete sentences that everyone can understand. 
    • Write full evaluations: “It didn’t work so well because...”
  • Keep the learning outcome in focus. It is helpful to provide reasons and explanations: “the learning outcome would have been greater if...”
  • Feel free to use sub-headings such as: Lecturer, Learning Environment, Exercises and Assignments, Form of Assessment, etc.
  • Don’t sugar-coat the truth or minimize aspects that have reduced the quality of the course. It will not be improved if it does not come to light. 
    • You are also welcome to highlight the aspects that worked well, and why.
  • We encourage you to make specific suggestions, such as “to make the material more accessible and easier to follow, it could have been helpful to provide a general overview of the literary periods right at the start of the semester.”
  • More exercises, more use of PowerPoint, use a different form of assessment, more group teaching, etc., are examples of concrete feedback. You are welcome to explain why the measures would improve the quality of the course. 
  • Remember that the reference group’s report will normally be made public as part of the course report from the course coordinator. Use appropriate language and avoid information that might identify individuals. 

You can find examples of completed reports in the portal for education quality.


If you participate in a reference group, you are doing an important job, and you are entitled to receive written confirmation of the work you have done. Notify the course coordinator or contact the department office.

Each time a course is completed, the course coordinator writes a course report. Feedback from students must be part of the basis for the course report, and the report from the reference group must be attached where this is used.

Every third year, the course coordinator must obtain feedback from all the students, and this must be documented with results of a survey, minutes from a meeting for everyone involved, or similar.

Examples of other relevant sources for the course report include learning assistants and other teaching staff, examiners, heads of programmes and practical training supervisors, together with figures on grade distribution and non-completion.

On the basis of this feedback, the course coordinator must present concrete proposals for changes.

The course report must be submitted to the head of department, who is responsible for coordinating with relevant study programme coordinators and for approving an action plan for the course. You can also request the course coordinator to share the final report with the students, for example in Blackboard. 

All course reports must be publicly available. You can find previous course reports in the portal for education quality.

Evaluating study programmes

Evaluating study programmes

Most courses are included in one or more study programmes, which normally lead to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Study programmes must be evaluated annually, in addition to an evaluation on a larger scale at least every five years. 

The academic programme director has a study programme council to assist them in this work. 

The programme council is an advisory body that contributes to the coherence and consistency as well as the relevance and quality of the study programme. The programme council consists of students as well as academic and administrative staff. The programme council must also have external members or ensure that input from external parties is obtained in other ways. 

The study programmes at NTNU are organized in different ways, and this is reflected in the study programme councils. The students on the study programme councils are some places referred to as programme representatives (programtillitsvalgt, PTV) or class representatives (klassetillitsvalgt, KTV), and there may also be some variation in how they are elected and what functions they have in the local student democracy. Contact the student council at your faculty for more information about the arrangements at your study programme.

Here, you can read more about the mandate, tasks and composition of the study programme council.

More information about how we work with quality assurance of our study programmes is also available on NTNU’s main page about evaluation and development of study programmes

In the annual evaluation, it is the internal quality of the programme that is most important, and the course reports from all the courses in the programme make up a large part of the input. Here, feedback from students is also clearly presented through reference group reports or other data collected.

The annual review has a specific focus on coherence and diversity in the study programme. The aim is to ensure that learning objectives, learning activities and forms of assessment in the individual courses support each other, and that they contribute to the overall learning outcome for the programme. The learning environment as well as any placements and practical training are also aspects that are particularly relevant to consider at programme level.

By learning environment, we mean the sum of factors that influence your learning, such as:

  • the physical learning environment (buildings, surroundings)
  • the psychosocial learning environment (interpersonal relationships, well-being and interaction) 
  • the organizational learning environment (system for feedback and participation) 
  • the digital learning environment (learning processes, methods and practice of teaching, and technology)
  • the pedagogical learning environment (form, content and framework for learning and teaching)

Guidelines describing the responsibility, process and topics for programme evaluation are available at Guidelines in the quality assurance system.

See also:

At least every five years, each programme must be assessed from a broader perspective, focusing on how the students’ learning outcomes meet current and future needs for skills in civic and working life.

To carry out such periodic evaluation of study programmes, the Dean sets up an evaluation panel with both students and external representatives.

Annual and periodic programme evaluations will normally lead to proposals for changes in individual courses or the creation of new courses. In some cases, there will also be such major changes that they will have consequences for the entire portfolio of programmes at NTNU - for example through the closure of a programme and/or the creation of a new one.

Guidelines describing the responsibility, process and topics for programme evaluation are available at Guidelines in the quality assurance system. 

Annual and periodic programme evaluations will normally lead to changes in the descriptions of programme content and learning outcomes, in addition to changes in individual courses or the creation of new courses.

In some cases, there will also be such major changes that they will have consequences for the entire portfolio of programmes at NTNU - for example through the closure of a programme and/or the creation of a new one. All programme evaluations must be publicly available. 

You can find previous evaluation reports in the portal for education quality.

Developing the study programme portfolio

Developing the study programme portfolio

Evaluation and development of courses affects the development of the study programmes, and changes and development of study programmes are made by making changes in the individual courses. Similarly, the development and improvement of courses and programmes lead to changes in the overall study portfolio at NTNU, but a portfolio of high international quality also concerns NTNU’s strategy and how we solve our social mission.

Taking part in quality assurance at portfolio level therefore addresses issues at a higher level:

  • What profile should NTNU have as an educational institution? 
  • What framework should we have for teaching and learning activities?
  • How do we pave the way for the best possible learning environment?

NTNU’s students also have a clear and distinct voice at this level of the quality assurance processes. As well as being represented in the highest governing bodies, such as the Board and the Rector’s management meeting (the Council of Deans), students are active participants in the Education Committee, the Learning Environment Committee, and the central executive committees.  

For some of these bodies and committees, direct elections are organized, while for others, NTNU’s Student Parliament designates members. For more information on how to participate, see the Student Parliament’s pages on students in councils and committees.

See also: Summary page on councils and committees (in Norwegian)

Through student government, students are involved in developing NTNU as an educational institution.

The participants in student government work to ensure that students’ voices are heard in all matters that concern them. Education and the learning environment are key issues, but student government also works with other issues of interest to students.

For more information, see the topic page about student government.

You can also find useful information and an overview on the website of the NTNU Student Parliament.


Video Utdanninskvalitet

Video: Education Quality – in short!

This is the quality assurance system

This is the quality assurance system

The quality assurance system is intended as a guarantee that the education offered by NTNU is attractive to students, and that our graduates are attractive in the job market and in society.

NTNU’s system for quality of education describes the goals of the quality processes and defines roles, responsibilities, tasks and follow-up processes.
The quality assurance system also includes principles and guidance for evaluation and development of education quality at all levels, with an overview of tools and resources for use in the work.

You can find more about this at NTNU’s web page on Education Quality



Students’ learning outcomes are at the heart of quality in education.  This is why we must place the student in the centre when we work with quality.

A prerequisite for us to continue developing in the right direction is active student participation at all levels, both in the quality assurance system and in the management of NTNU.

The same applies to you as a student – you must also focus on your learning outcomes. The more engaged you are in your own learning situation and the more you reflect on what helps to improve your own learning, the better the result will be. Your participation in the evaluation and development of courses and study programmes is thus valuable both for yourself and for NTNU.

Find previous reports

Find previous reports

You can find previous evaluation reports in the portal for education quality (Studiekvalitetsportalen).

Learning environment

Learning environment

By «learning environment», we mean factors that influence the students’ possibility to acquire knowledge. Typical examples are buildings, surroundings and HSE, general health and well-being, opportunity to voice opinions and concerns, use of technology, how the learning activities are set up etc.

Speak up!

Speak up!

If you want to report inadequate quality in your study programme, the reference group or course coordinator is usually the right contact point. 

If there is no reference group, or if the feedback comments are not followed up, this is regarded as a non-conformance in terms of the quality system. We would like you to report such non-conformances via the Speak Up! portal.