Feedback is important for both students and teachers. At WU, a distinct feedback culture is an essential part of university teaching. We would like to support this in the best possible way with our course evaluation service. In addition, WU is required to evaluate its teaching regularly. Lecturers have the option of having their courses evaluated voluntarily at any time.
In the academic year 2021/22, master courses and PhD programs are mandatory for evaluation. Since summer semester 2021, all evaluations take place on the new evaluation platform as standard. If you would like to evaluate voluntarily please contact email@example.com.
The administration of course evaluations (including requests, editing evaluation forms, and viewing results) takes place on the evaluation web portal on LEARN (in German only). A guide for teachers decribing the course evaluation process is available here.
Additional information on course evaluations
Course evaluation upgrade at WU
The requirements for evaluations and feedback in teaching have changed significantly in recent years. Both the way in which feedback is given and how it is handled is different from when the evaluation system was introduced at the WU 15 years ago. For example, students are used to giving quick feedback via social media with high frequency. Teachers use good evaluation results much more often for applications in the education sector than before. Feedback and reports should therefore now be processed and made available more quickly at the WU in line with the changed feedback culture. In addition, technological requirements have also changed. The upcoming technological upgrade was primarily used to better adapt the platform to the needs of the various stakeholders.
The most important innovations at a glance:
The course evaluation at the WU should focus even more on feedback. This should not only be achieved through the redesign of the questionnaire (better positioning of the open questions), but also through a large offer of feedback methods implemented online (fast feedback). More information about the supported feedback methods can be found at the WU Teaching and Learning Academy.
The technological update combines the strengths of paper-based and online-based course evaluation through the optimal support of mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.). You will be provided with a QR code or a short URL that leads the students directly to the questionnaire. This means that the course evaluation can be carried out online directly in the course using mobile devices. Thus, both the user guidance and the evaluation instrument have been optimized and will improve the use of evaluation on mobile devices for students.
The evaluation tool (the questionnaire) can be more easily adapted to teaching designs. Teachers can more easily change questions or entire modules in order to obtain individual feedback. A default questionnaire is automatically created on the basis of syllabus information.
Lecturers can download their collected course evaluation results on the new platform in order to be able to use them for application situations.
The new course evaluation
In the summer semester 2021, the new platform will be used for all course evaluations at the WU. From the winter semester 21/22 onwards, the reporting component is to be implemented on the basis of the guideline agreed with the academic works council.
In order to ensure broad coordination as to the upgrade of the course evaluation, the instrument of course evaluation was discussed together with teachers, students and decision-makers in several feedback rounds, taking into account the feedback received from the ongoing course evaluation. The topics raised were then condensed with the “New content development evaluation” working group. This working group consisted of representatives from the ÖH, professors, university lecturers, the works council for university teachers and the vice rectorate for teaching and students. During the entire development and conception phase, the Senate's study commission acted as a sounding board.
The evaluation process
The evaluation cycle
To ensure that every course at WU can be evaluated, the cycle is divided into Bachelor and Master programs. Some courses are only offered annually. To ensure that these are also taken into account, an evaluation cycle lasts two semesters. Of course, evaluations can be carried out optionally at any time.
Academic year 2021/22: Master program courses
Academic year 2022/23: Bachelor program courses
Academic year 2023/24: Master program courses
Academic year 2024/25: Bachelor program courses
The results will be available after completing the online evaluation. For paper&pencil evaluations, the questionnaires are scanned and digitalized in the Evaluation and Quality Enhancement department. Due to this, the results will be available a few working days after the evaluation has been completed. Course instructors can choose from various publication options. Lecturers can find the results online and share them with WU students.
We recommend discussing the results with students during the course to create a feedback culture. The results should also be used to further develop and improve the quality of the courses. Further information on how to use the results can be found here (Only in German).
Additional feedback options
In addition to course evaluation, feedback culture is an important topic for teaching and learning at WU. For quick, anonymous and direct feedback in your course, you can use several online question types. For more information and tips on how feedback can be used in teaching, please visit WU's Teaching & Learning Academy (Only in German). Information on the technical use of Fast Feedback is described in the MyLEARN Guide.
Legal framework of course evaluations
Course evaluations are obligatory according to paragraph 14 of the Austrian Universities Law 2002 ("Universitätsgesetz 2002" - UG 2002) and the "Evaluation Guidelines" outlined in Annex 3 of the statutes of WU.
The courses which are required to perform a course evaluation are determind by the evaluation cycle. Teachers of these courses will be notified by email or mail. A voluntary course evaluation is always possible, even when the course is not required to perform a course evaluation.
Course evaluation as part of quality management
Course evaluations are an essential part of quality analysis on the course level at WU. Thus they are a valued part of WU's quality culture framework.
The students assessment of teaching quality in courses provides useful insights who students perceive teachers and their teaching efforts. This feedback enables teachers to further develop their courses and didactic skills. To foster more positive effects through course evaluations WU orientates itself on the quality management cycle - a fundamental idea of quality management.
The course evaluation would also like to involve other institutional levels in the feedback culture. In order to support this, aggregated results will be made available within the framework of a reporting system for persons in charge for courses starting in the winter semester 2021/22. The reporting is intended to be the starting point for a dialogue on the further development of teaching and can help to make potential for improvement visible.