Tools and Work Aids For lecturers

Final evaluations

The final evaluation is a student feedback which is obtained with a standardized questionnaire. It is organized by the Evaluation Office, conducted in the central evaluation system EvaSys, and statistically evaluated for quality management purposes.
The most important information about the final evaluation is summarized here:

REGULAR

The conceptual framework requires that each course or each lecturer are evaluated at least once every three years. The faculties plan the evaluations accordingly, i.e. they select the courses to be evaluated on a compulsory basis, taking into account their specific regulations.

VOLUNTARY

Lecturers can of course have their courses evaluated on a voluntary basis, for example if they would like to use evaluations in their personal portfolios.

AS A FOLLOW-UP

For courses which ranked as «insufficient» in a final evaluation, a follow-up final evaluation is mandatory the next time they are taught.

For more information on the purposes of course evaluations click here.

ACCOUNTABILITY

The final evaluation allows for a review of the current quality of teaching at the University of Bern as well as its development.

IMPROVEMENT-FOCUSED

In addition, the final evaluation contains improvement-oriented elements. It provides instructors with data-based insights into the areas in which a course needs to be improved (see impact model). If the final evaluation follows an interim evaluation, it also shows the extent to which measures that were taken after the interim evaluation were successfully.

  • Toward the end of the course
  • Default: starting week 11 of the semester

Surveys are, by default, set up so that they are closed the night before the penultimate session of the course (according to KSL, excluding performance assessment). The link to the survey is sent to the main lecturer as standard 1-3 weeks before the scheduled closing date of the survey. The closing date can also be customized using this form or by sending an email to the Evaluation Office: lehrevaluation@unibe.ch.

See also default evaluation and special cases

Final evaluations are conducted online with general links. The link and the QR code are sent to the main lecturer. On request, the link can be sent to an administrative office in the faculty. From there, the link is either forwarded to the students or made available on ILIAS. An alternative to sending the link is to display the QR code in the course. Students scan the QR code and will be directed to the survey.

CONTENT

The questionnaire for final evaluations is based on the impact model for Good Teaching and focuses on the following criteria:

  • Target criteria of Good Teaching / Output:
    • Satisfaction
  • Target criteria of Good Teaching / Outcome
    • Learning progress

 

RESPONSE SCALE

For the evaluation we use a Likert scale. The scale contains 6 symmetrical and balanced response options with 3 options each on the positive spectrum (strongly agree - agree - slightly agree) and 3 on the negative spectrum (slightly disagree - disagree - strongly disagree):

Compared to other scales, a 6-point scale has the following advantages:

  • Forced choice: Scales with an even number of response options do not have a neutral middle, so students are forced to submit a positive or negative rating. Especially in cases where participants are very familiar with the object of evaluation, in this case the course, this type of data collection leads to more reliable results.
  • Differentiation: Scales with a higher number of response options tend to lead to more reliable results, since they allow for greater differentiation both when answering the questions and when analyzing the results. This differentiation is particularly useful for criteria that often exhibit a ceiling effect, such as for example the satisfaction criterion.
  • Response time: Despite greater differentiation, a 6-point scale is still narrow enough to allow for relatively quick responses and does not overly stretch the attention span of the participants. 
  • Validity: 6-point scales usually lead to highly valid results.

With the help of the Likert scale used for course evaluations, students can indicate the extent to which they (dis)agree with the individual statements. Thus, in the course evaluations, students provide their opinions - not a grade.

 

LANGUAGES

The questionnaire is available in German, English and French.

In order to cover additional, course-specific aspects in the surveys, it is possible to add one or more supplementary module(s) to the core questionnaire for final evaluations. The results for supplementary modules are intended solely for informational purposes for the instructors and do not count towards the overall result (success level rating) of the final evaluation. 

The following supplementary modules are available:

  • e-learning

The supplementary module «e-learning» is designed for courses that use digital formats (e.g. Zoom, Teams, Livestream, Podcast) for at least half of the sessions. It contains 6 questions that are answered using a 6-point scale. Additional feedback can be provided in the form of open comments.

Sample: e-learning

  • Student contributions 

The supplementary module «Student contributions» is designed for courses in which students contribute their own content, e.g. in the form of presentations. It contains 9 questions that are answered using a 6-point scale. Additional feedback can be provided in the form of open comments. 

Sample: Student contributions

  • Team teaching 

The supplementary module «Team teaching» is designed for courses that are taught by several instructors simultaneously or in rotation. It contains 7 questions that are answered using a 6-point scale.

Sample: Team teaching

  • Application orientation 

The supplementary module «Application orientation» is designed for courses that focus on the practical application of theory. It contains 6 questions that are answered using a 6-point scale. Additional feedback can be provided in the form of open comments. 

Sample: Application orientation

  • Interdisciplinarity

The supplementary module «Interdisciplinarity» is designed for courses that cover contents from several (sub-)disciplines. It contains 6 questions that are answered using a 6-point scale. Additional feedback can be provided in the form of open comments. 

Sample: Interdisciplinarity

The results from the final evaluation are categorized into one of 4 performance levels:

  • excellent,
  • good,
  • sufficient and
  • insufficient teaching.

The categorization is based on the overall score of a final evaluation, which results from the average scores of the individual questions. Included in this calculation are questions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6 und 2.7. Question items 2.8, 2.9 and 2.10 are not considered in this calculation, as they relate to the active participation of the students and general conditions, which are therefore not within the direct sphere of influence of the instructors.

Owing to the Corona situation and because of the need to introduce the thresholds in a constructive manner, the following preliminary thresholds have been defined for the spring and fall semester 2020:

  • <4.0 = «insufficient» (Red level)
  • ≥4.0 <4.5 = «sufficient» (Yellow level)
  • ≥4.5 <5.7 = «good» (Light green level)
  • ≥5.7 = «excellent» (Dark green level)

The highest rating, «excellent teaching», is linked to the ALL project (Recognition of excellent teaching performance).

«Insufficient» results lead to the initiation of a quality development process. Faculties define their own measures for this purpose in accordance with their respective QM regulations.

Interim evaluations are not assessed a priori, as they are designed to provide formative and improvement-oriented feedback only.

Due to the different internal structures of the individual faculties, the procedure of the final evaluation differs slightly from faculty to faculty.

Procedure of the final evaluation at the:

Information on how to register final evaluations