Overhaul of course evaluation system (video)

The system that lets students at Wageningen University & Research evaluate the courses they have taken has been revamped. There is a new computer system and the questionnaire has changed too.
Rob Ramaker

Photo: Guy Ackermans

Students got their first chance to use it in the last few weeks when giving feedback on the first courses of the academic year. One reason for the new setup is to increase the response.

PaCE, as the new system is called, incorporates a few technical improvements, says Coco van der Wolk, policy officer at Corporate Education, Research & Innovation. For example, questions about specific lecturers are accompanied by photos and the system is linked to the lecture schedule, which means emails are automatically sent at the right time.

It also gives subject coordinators more control and a better overview. They can see when questionnaires are sent, add an extra reminder and check how many students have already completed the survey. Afterwards, subject coordinators can easily communicate the results and tell students what is being done with their comments.

The idea is that the new system will enhance students’ sense of involvement because they can see clearly what is being done with their input, explains Henk Vegter, head of Quality and Strategic Information. The questionnaire is also shorter.

An average of 43 percent of students filled in the course evaluation questionnaires in 2007-2008. That response rate had fallen to 25 percent last year.


Resource asked students how they feel about using forms to evaluate courses

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