Planning and running courses: Course leader

Last changed: 05 December 2017

Here you will find checklists for course leaders.

If, in addition, you are an examiner, see also Examiner.

Summary checklist for course leaders

  • Bibliography for the course is available no later than 8 weeks before the start of the course.
  • General timetable for the course is available no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course.
  • The students are offered self-registration or are registered in Ladok by the course coordinating department no later than 3 working days after the start of the course.
  • The course objectives and grading criteria are outlined to the students at the beginning of the course.
  • The students are told about previous course evaluations (outcome and any action).
  • The students are told how the course will be evaluated. A student representative is appointed.
  • Examinations are marked and returned no later than 15 working days after the examination date.
  • The students are given a review of the element examined.
  • The students' results are reported in Ladok no later than 3 working days after all the elements of the course are considered to have been passed.
  • A summary of the course evaluation is discussed with the student representative and published on the course page.

 

Detailed checklist

Eight to six months before the course period

Four to two months before the course period

From two months before the course period

During and after the course period

Eight to six months before the course period

Time available in the course schedule

Check the start and end date, as well as days that cannot be timetabled and appropriate examination dates, etc. Information about semester dates, period restrictions, non-teaching days and communal activities that must be indicated in the course timetable can be found in the academic calendar. NB: Make sure you check for campus-specific information.

Course content, intended learning outcomes and grading criteria

Check the current course syllabus and interaction with other courses.

  • Experience from previous course? Review previous year's course evaluation. What worked well and what worked less well? What needs to change?
  • Review the intended learning outcomes and grading criteria of the course so you can consider possible changes to the course structure.
  • Compare the current course syllabus with other similar courses. How is the required progression made, how is overlapping avoided, etc.?
  • What general competencies are included in the course? Contact programme director(s) of studies and/or faculty programme director to discuss whether this needs to be clarified. 

Educational method

The educational method needs to be adapted to the course content and the background and maturity of the students. Is a variation in method required? Contact the faculty programme directors, Centre for Educational Development (UPC) within the Division of Educational Affairs and/or Learning Resource Centre (LRC) in the SLU library to discuss educational methods and which support resources are required during the course. NB: Changes to examination formats require a change to the course syllabus

General timetable, course budget and teachers involved

A general timetable is required for planning purposes and for the course budget. Specify the task and clearly indicate the financial and practical conditions for those involved in the course.

Room booking

Provide a provisional timetable to room booking with an estimate of the number of course participants. Course booking requests must be submitted to room booking in good time, i.e. no later than 15 May for the autumn semester and 15 November for the spring semester. Rooms in the central booking system can then be checked using a timetable search (see room booking website). In Alnarp you can submit your room requirements to the education administrators at the education centre, who organise bookings. The same applies at the VHC, where you can submit your room requirements to the education administrators in education service. At the NJ faculty, some special rooms (laboratory and art rooms) must be booked directly with the responsible unit.

Four to two months before the course period

Course pages on the web

Ask IT support about availability for the course in Slunik. Also ask IT support about a course room in Fronter if this is required to complement the course page. Add welcome text, course team, reading lists and timetable at the appropriate times (see below). You can generate links in Fronter to the course page in Slunik so that the information is available in both places. Organise the structure as required at both places, with a literature archive, etc.

Reading list

The selection of compulsory and supplementary literature for the course should be discussed primarily with the examiner, but also with lecturers, etc., who will be participating in the course. Check the availability of literature, web pages, etc. Upload the reading list to the course page in Slunik at least eight weeks before the start of the course. You can generate a link in Fronter to the course page containing the reading list. At the same time, you should send the reading list to the SLU library.

If you wish, you can add some of the literature to the course page in Slunik or in the Fronter room. Make it clear to the students where the information can be found (also applies during the course period). Remember that:

  • Slunik can be accessed by anyone
  • Fronter can only be accessed by participants in the Fronter room

Continue with timetable

Book lecturers, teachers for laboratory sessions, exercises, excursions, study visits, etc. Discuss thoroughly with booked lecturers/teachers both the course content in general (i.e. the element's role in the course) and also the course content in relation to other courses (i.e. progression and any parallel courses, etc.). Decide on and justify compulsory parts of the course – within the framework of the course syllabus.

From two months before the course period

Continue with course pages

Activate the course page in Slunik at least two months before the start of the course. You can activate any course rooms in Fronter later.

Continue with timetable

Continue booking lecturers, teachers for laboratory sessions, exercises, excursions, study visits, etc. Check room bookings. Add the timetable to the course page in Slunik at least four weeks before the start of the course. You can generate a link in Fronter to the course page containing the timetable. Send the timetable to participating teachers/lecturers for their information.

Contact with students

Depending on which students have applied for and been admitted on the course (degree programme students, single-subject course students, exchange students and scholarship students) the course leader may need to check that all course participants have received information about the course and if necessary send a separate email containing information.

The email addresses of the students can be found in Slunik, Fronter or Ladok. The education administrators at the education centre in Alnarp and the education service at the VHC can provide the email addresses of the students admitted to the relevant course leader.

Examinations, assignments, exercises and make-up assignments

Decide on the examination assignments – within the framework of the course syllabus. Write/update instructions for examinations, exercises, written assignments, etc. Create submission folders for assignments that are to be submitted in Fronter (with deadlines and possible link to Urkund). Where applicable, formulate make-up assignments for compulsory parts and prepare instructions for these.

Course participants

Students wishing to apply for a course after the normal application period must do so via  www.universityadmissions.se. The Division of Educational Affairs will provide students with more information about application and admission.

  • Students are only entitled to participate in teaching and/or supervision for the course on which the student has been admitted and registered.
  • In exceptional circumstances, a student may be entitled to attend elements requiring compulsory attendance on a later course. More information can be found in the regulations for education, section 6. Assessment and grades.

During and after the course period

Start of course

The start of the course can be organised in a number of ways: usually it takes the form of a roll-call at which the students also register on the course – see Administrator. Clear course information is important in creating good study conditions for all students:

  • Present the intended course learning outcomes, content and structure, including compulsory parts.
  • The final timetable and reading list are distributed no later than the start of the course.
  • Provide information about the opportunities to use the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), such as group rooms, LRC technology, Wordfinder, etc.
  • The previous year's course evaluation must be reviewed and any changes based on it.
  • Distribute and talk through the grading criteria for the course – you must be very clear about what the criteria mean. It is important that all the requirements for passing the course are made very clear to the students.
  • Go through the schedule (dates and times) for elements that will be examined and graded, for example the times of ordinary examinations and retakes, submission of reports, exercises, laboratory sessions, etc.
  • Remind the students of SLU's policy and action plan on cheating and plagiarism and about any special conditions applicable to the course.
  • Health and safety issues. Talk about any elements, such as field work or laboratory sessions, that involve risk of personal injury. Provide rules and measures to avoid injury.
  • Clearly indicate any costs that the students must cover themselves. Section 5. Fees and costs of the regulations for education delineates responsibility between the department (faculty) and the student.
  • Tell the students that electronic course evaluation is compulsory for all courses at SLU (see below).
  • Electronic course evaluation in Evald requires a student representative to comment on the course evaluation in conjunction with the course management. The student representative is elected by the course participants at the start of the course and receives payment (see below).
  • Tell the students about the course page in Slunik and about any room in Fronter as well as how you want to communicate with the students. Stress that the students' SLU email addresses are the only acceptable addresses for email communication (no Gmail, etc.).

Students who are absent from roll-call may lose their place on the course, unless they have notified the course coordinating department in advance of special grounds for missing roll-call. The course leader will make the decision on the loss of place on the course. The start of the course for distance-learning courses and courses with flexible course starts may take a different form. Special grounds in this context are defined the regulations for education, section 6. Assessment and grades.

Student materials

You can provide the students with files via the course page. However, there are various kinds of document and programme that should not, or in some cases must not, be made available on a public course page on the web, where anyone can download material. This could be scholarly articles or purchased software, while exercises and presentations you have produced should also not be made publicly available. Fronter is a system that can only be accessed by the participants in the specific Fronter room.

Draw up and carry out examinations – see Examiner.

Course evaluation

Course evaluation must always be carried out by the course coordinating department. Course evaluation must take place digitally via Evald. As course evaluations are voluntary for the students it is important to inform them and to organise the course evaluation so that a high response rate is achieved. It is appropriate for the student representative to be involved in this work and in the timetabling of the course evaluation.

Results and conclusions from course evaluations must be reported digitally (in Evald) and made available to the students via the student web. The results reported are numerical results for the questions that are common to all courses, as well as a summary of the opinions of the students and teachers. The privacy of both the teachers and the students must be preserved.

Course evaluations must be followed up and used as a tool for developing the quality of courses and programmes. The course coordinating department is responsible for summarising and following up on each course evaluation, unless the responsible faculty has decided that this is to be done in a different way. A student is entitled to participate in the summarising of the course evaluation (in Evald) and will be paid a fee for each course, currently SEK 400. The course coordinating department is responsible for the payment of this fee.

The course leader and the student representative are each responsible for summarising the course evaluation no later than four weeks after the evaluation has closed. The summary should include:

  1. comments on the results,
  2. reasoned proposals for changes/not making changes within the context of the course syllabus,
  3. reasoned proposals for changes to the course syllabus.

Result reporting

Record attendance of compulsory parts. Inform the students of examination results no later than 15 working days after each examination. Report results to the education administrator at the same time. The students' final results for the whole course are reported in Ladok no later than three working days after all the elements of the course are considered to have been passed. See also Administrator.

Other follow up

Approve invoices and carry out financial follow up on the course. Present and discuss experiences from the course with the relevant teachers and your department’s director of studies.

Page editor: johan.toren@slu.se