Student Course Evaluations

  Someone fills out a questionnaire Copyright: © RWTH Aachen

Student course evaluations have been helping to consistently review the quality of teaching at RWTH since 2004.



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A Tool to Improve Teaching

The target agreement to reform academic studies obliged the University to conduct systematic student course evaluations in all subjects.

These evaluations can contribute to a short-term improvement in teaching and provide an important database for quality management in teaching and learning. The student survey on the quality of their classes has become a fundamental component of teaching and learning.

Quality Development and Assurance in Teaching and Learning

The Vice-Rector for Teaching invites everyone involved in teaching to assist in the student course evaluations and thus actively contribute to quality development and assurance in teaching and learning at RWTH. This also brings teaching to the forefront – a step that is in line with the Students in Focus future strategy.


Common Questions About Student Course Evaluations

What is the legal foundation of the Student Course Evaluations?

The Higher Education Act establishes for the federal states in Section seven , that the work of universities in teaching should regularly be evaluated. Additionally, the evaluation results should be published.

Members of RWTH Aachen put forth effort to fufill their responsibilities at the highest level of quality and are required, in their services, to participate in the implementation of the quality evaluation process.

The student course evaluations are regulated in the Ordinance on the Implementation of Quality Evaluation Processes in Teaching and Learning at RWTH Aachen (de).

What are the student course evaluations?

  • Comprehensive, student survey in courses with at least five participatnts in the form of either paper questionnaires or an online survey
  • Evaluation of the quality of classes from the students' perspective
  • Implementation of the survey within an evaluation period of two weeks in the middle of the lecture period. Block classes and classes in the lecture-free period or simply varying from the regular lecture-period are not affected by this regulation.

What is the purpose of the student course evaluations?

  • Quality development and assurance in teaching and learning
  • Constant evaluation of teaching and learning methods, so that teachers get constructive feedback about praise, points of criticism, wishes, and frustrations from students about the classes
  • Confirmation of strengths and the detection of weaknesses in teaching
  • Promotion of dialogue between teachers and students
  • Increasing student satisfaction through optimizing teaching and learning
  • Important data base for quality management in academics and teaching, as well as the implementation of the strategy Students in Focus

What aspects are evaluated through the questionnaire?

  • Class structure
  • Use of media
  • Grading the class
  • Instructor's communication and behavior
  • Didactic components
  • Grading the instructor
  • General set-up
  • Open field for comments
  • Statistical data
  • Model questionnaire

How have the student course evaluations at RWTH Aachen developed?

  • Commitment to systematize the student course evaluations in all subjects through the academic reofrm target agreement (2001)
  • Rectorate exam meeting decision for comprehensive student course evaluations  (2001)
  • Founding of the university comprehensive work group "Course Evaluation" (LVB) to create the questionnaires (2002)
  • Pilot project (2003) Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Natural Sciences
  • Introductory phase for classes in foundational studies
  • Continued expansion to comprehensive survey in foundational and core academic classes by expanding the group of participants (since 2005)
  • Changeover of the survey platform (2006)
  • Commitment to discussing and publicizing results (2007)
  • Target Agreement III complete reworking of all questionnaires with work groups from the Rectorate Committee for Quality Management in Teaching (2008)
  • Core component of quality management in teaching and learning, within the Students in Focus strategy (2009)

Whom can I contact if I have questions about the student course evaluations?

You can contact the if you have questions about the student course evaluations.