7. Jahrgang, 1/2008

Warum oft wirksam? Und warum manchmal wirkungslos? – Subjektive Erklärungen zur Wirkung von Lehrveranstaltungsevaluation aus Sicht von Nutzern und Anbietern

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Boris Schmidt


Students’ course evaluations, viewed as a systematic, questionnaire-based form of university teaching feedback, are increasingly being used as a concept for evaluation based teaching development. In spite of wide consensus on core features of the course evaluations instruments themselves, mechanisms of students’ evaluations’ impact and related specifications like the aim of usage, follow-up steps and the conceptional integration of course evaluations remain unclear and subject to vast discussion. Against the background of empirical findings, models and hypotheses regarding the effectiveness vs. ineffectiveness of students’ evaluations are specified and, subsequently, being tested on the basis of N=150 participants in an online survey. Especially users of course evaluations seem to prefer ‘naïve’ explanations for course evaluations’ effectiveness, whilst providers rather tend to rely on more complex and invasive models. Based on these findings, a need to integrate course evaluations into more comprehensive frameworks of academic staff development and a thoughtful consideration of the predominant subjective theories about course evaluations in the future are being considered.

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