Tools and Work Aids For students

Feedback done right

In order for your feedback to contribute to the goals of the course evaluations, it needs to be as constructive as possible. This requires that you follow a few rules, which we have summarized for you here:

In order for all instructors to be able to benefit from your feedback and for us to get a comprehensive picture of the state of teaching at our university, it is important that you participate in the evaluations whenever you are given the opportunity to do so. Especially online surveys tend to have rather low response rates, which results in unreliable results for us and your instructors. Course evaluation only works if as many students as possible participate in the surveys.

In order for your instructors to be able to use your feedback in a goal-oriented and useful way, and for us to be able to accurately assess the quality of teaching, your feedback should be sincere and constructive. Try to not overthink the questions. Instead, use your initial reaction as your answer.

Ideally, you do not only participate in a survey if you want to express criticism. On the contrary: in order to get a representative and comprehensive picture of a course, praise and criticism are equally important. So please also tell your instructors what worked particularly well in the course.

Even if honesty and criticism are explicitly encouraged - your comments should never be mean. Always be constructive and respectful. Phrase your comments carefully and sensibly. This will increase the likelihood that your instructor will take your feedback seriously. Try to put yourself in your instructor's shoes and think about what kinds of information might lead them to be interested in optimizing their teaching in the future.

Especially if you rate a course rather negatively on one or more questions, it is helpful to your instructor if you elaborate on your opinion in the comments sections. Refer to your personal experience in the course and name specific events that exemplify your criticism. This will make your feedback more comprehensible and transparent. 

Ideally, limit your comments to aspects that can be directly influenced your instructor and make suggestions on how certain things could be handled better in the future.

If an evaluation is carried out by means of a paper questionnaire, please make sure that you check the boxes correctly, i.e. as centered as possible. Otherwise the scanner will not be able to recognize your responses and they will be lost.

It is best to use a ballpoint pen or fine felt-tip pen to check the boxes. Under no circumstances should you use a pencil.