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Based on the low response rate and many negative reactions from students, teachers and study associations Soline, Tjerna and Robin decided to work on the course evaluations as an Student Council initiative. The Student Council believes that it is important that students have a say in the quality of the education in which they participate – therefore we urged the Executive Board to work on an improved evaluation system on the short term.

The course evaluations don’t meet the demand of students, teachers and study associations

The last half year the we had conversations with a lot of students, teachers and study associations about this topic. Our findings:

Students are not stimulated enough to fill in the survey: surveys have too much inadequate questions, are not personal, the design isn’t attractive and students need more and other stimuli then an old-fashioned e-mail reminding them to fill in the Evasys (system for course evaluations). Students also might have the feeling that it don’t make sense to fill in the survey, when the rest of the students don’t fill it in.

Teachers don’t have the idea that the course evaluation is a tool which helps them: Inadequate questions are asked to students and they have the feeling that adding own, more specific, questions to the survey is difficult. Also there are still some teachers who have the (wrong) idea that a bad course evaluation-outcome has a direct effect on their Tenure track review.

Study associations are in between students, teachers and study-advisors and often have taken own initiatives to evaluate courses themselves. Some study associations have very advanced systems and committees executing these evaluations – resulting in very high response rates and teachers which are very satisfied with the feedback. Unfortunately this information don’t find it’s way to the Education Institute, who decides upon courses in the end.

The procedure so far..

Soline, Tjerna and Robin had several meetings with the students, teachers and other staff and created an action plan with suggestions to increase the low response rate. After a couple of meetings it became clear that the current system does not live up to the demands of the 21st century students and that changes are not possible on a short term.

Our proposals:

How to continue?

The university agrees on the problems which we sketched, likes our proposals and is willing to give this project priority. A working group including students from the Student Council and the Education Institute is set up, which will take a look at a short term and a long term solution for the Evasys problems. Also our proposals will be taken in account in the working group. We will keep you updated about the developments

Towards a better Course Evaluation system Did you like your course?