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:
Usage of the final evaluation
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.
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.
Purposes of the final evaluation
For more information on the purposes of course evaluations click here.
The final evaluation allows for a review of the current quality of teaching at the University of Bern as well as its development.
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.
Timing of the final evaluation
- Toward the end of the course
- Default: starting week 11 of the semester
Surveys are, by default, set up so that they are closed three days after 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: email@example.com.
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, scale, languages
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 / Outcome:
- Learning progress (increase in knowledge and skills)
- Target criteria of Good Teaching / Output:
As of spring semester 2023 a new questionnaire version is in use:
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.
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:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Rating criteria & consequences of rating
The results of the final evaluation are categorized into one of four performance levels:
- 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 - 1.3 (learning progress) and 2.1 - 2.5 (satisfaction).
In FS23, the following preliminary threshold values apply, which have been in use since FS20:
- <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 threshold values will be redefined in 2023 in cooperation with the faculties and an external expert.
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.
Procedure of the final evaluation
In a first step, lecturers plan 2-3 dates for the survey while preparing a course: a date for the survey to be conducted, possibly a back-up date, and a date for sharing and discussing the results with the students. We highly recommend online surveys to be conducted in the (potentially virtual) presence of the lecturer in order to increase response rates. This requires an internet connection on site as well as a tablet, notebook or smartphone (bring your own device). Ideally, students will be given about 15 minutes to complete the questionnaires at the beginning of a session.
The final evaluation should be conducted towards the end of the semester (from the 11th week of the semester).
Once planning is complete, the final evaluations can be registered in KSL. You can find more information here.
3. Preparing surveys
After the registration deadline, the Evaluation Office prepares the surveys for the final evaluations.
1-3 weeks before the survey is due to be carried out, the lecturer with primary responsibility will receive an automatic e-mail with the active link and the QR code for the survey. Unless otherwise agreed with the Evaluation Office, the lecturer is obliged to forward this link or the QR code to the students.
This automatic email also contains the planned closing date of the survey (regular courses: 3 days after the second-last course date, block courses: 4 days after the last course date, if not reported otherwise) as well as further information on the implementation.
5. Conducting the survey
In a first step lecturers should inform their students about the upcoming evaluation. Students should be made aware of the date of the evaluation and asked to have their tablet, notebook or smartphone ready.
As soon as the link or QR code is made available to the lecturer, the evaluation can be carried out. Ideally, students are given a few minutes at the beginning of a course to fill up the questionnaire.
The survey will be closed on the scheduled day.
Immediately after the survey has been closed, all lecturers of the evaluated course receive an automatic evaluation report. This will be sent as a PDF to the lecturers' e-mail addresses. If reports aren't sent out within a day, please get in touch with the Evaluation Office immediately (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If lecturers have any questions regarding the interpretation of the results, they are welcome to contact the Evaluation Office.
If lecturers have any questions about didactics in higher education, the Department of Higher Education Didactics and Teaching Development will be happy to advise them.
7. Sharing results
The conceptual framework requires that the lecturer discusses the results of the survey as well as the insights and potential consequences (e.g. improvement measures) with the students before the end of the semester. They may use the presentation slide on the last page of the PDF-report for this purpose.
The students' feedback may be an incentive to make certain adjustments to the course.
9. Follow up
The second control loop stipulates that courses classified as "insufficient" must be re-evaluated the next time they are held (interim and final evaluation). The faculty Quality Assurance and Development (QSE) is responsible for implementing these measures and informs the lecturers concerned about further steps.