Course evaluations at WU are intended to help include students in the quality assurance and quality enhancing processes for all teaching activities at WU.
Courses are evaluated on a regularly scheduled basis, but teachers can request a voluntary evaluation for their courses at any time.
The administration of course evaluations (including requests, editing evaluation forms, and viewing results) takes place on the evaluation web portal on Learn@WU (in German only). A guide for teachers decribing the course evaluation process is available in German: Learn@WU-Guide
Master- and PhD-level courses are being evaluated in the 2017/18 winter semester and the 2018 summer semester.
Courses which are not subject to routine course evaluations can still be evaluated on a voluntary basis. Please contact Petra Haas by phone (ext. 5504) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information on course evaluations
Goals and role of course evaluations
Course evaluations at WU fulfill the objective of including students in quality assurance and quality enhancing processes regarding all teaching activities at WU. Course evaluations provide the students with the possibility to give feedback, which can lead to discussions reading teaching quality.
Evaluation results provide useful insights on positive and negative aspects of the course design. This way the evaluation results enable a redesign of future courses and the further development of teaching at WU.
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.
For each course a suggestion on the most appropriate evaluation form is given. Nine different evaluation forms were developed to fit the differing aspects of courses. Teachers can modify and adapted evaluation questions by themselves in the webportal on Learn@WU.
Each evaluation can be conducted as a online course evaluation, although online evaluations tend have only a very low response rate. Additionally an adverse selection of replying students is possible, meaning that either very satisfied or very dissatisfied students will fill out the evaluation form more frequently. This can lead to biased evaluation results.
To enable a discussion process with all stakeholders, the evaluations should be performed at a time, were all students are able to participate equally.
The evaluation cycle
The evaluation cycle was modified in winter term 2013/14 to suit the Bachelor and Master program structure. According to the cycle, all bachelor program courses and master program courses are obliged to be evaluate to semester in a row, but in alternating academic years. This procedure ensures that all courses are evaluated, even those only held in either winter or summer term.
Academic year 2015/16: Master program courses
Academic year 2016/17: Bachelor program courses
Academic year 2017/18: Master program courses
Academic year 2018/19: Bachelor program courses
The evaluation process
The course evaluations administration process is outlined in the Learn@WU Guide (only in German).
Evaluations perform with paper forms will be scanned and analyzed using the Eyes&Hands software by the Evaluation and Quality Enhancement unit. Evaluation results - also those of online evaluations - will be provided to the teachers within a few working days and can be viewed via the webportal on Learn@WU.
The fast provision of the evaluation results enables a discussion process with the students. Teachers can choose between different internal publication modes. Additional informations regarding publication can be found in the Learn@WU Guide (only in German).
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 pillars of WUs quality management framework are three dimensions: quality analysis, quality enhancement and quality dialog. All dimensions play a part in the course evaluations. Performing the evaluation is part of the quality analysis and the results are the basis of a quality dialog with the student and the starting point for the further enhancement of teaching at WU.
Additional feedback options
Complementary to the course evaluation, additional feedback instruments may be used in courses. These instruments focus on gathering more individual and open feedback by students and fellow teachers. An overview on these feedback instruments can be found in the "Teaching und Learning Academy":