At least half of CBS’ students should evaluate their courses

Skrevet af Anders Meldgård KjemtrupKristoffer Nyegaard, translation - Foto: Anders Meldgård Kjemtrup - 7. november 2013 - 12:290 kommentarer
Jakob Ravn, Head of CBS' evaluation unit, wants more students to evaluate their subjects, and visible evidence that their evaluations matter.

Jakob Ravn, head of evaluation at CBS, wants to increase the share of CBS students that can pull themselves together to evaluate their courses from 1/3 to at least 1/2, already by the end of this semester.


 Jakob Ravn has lofty ambitions. As the head of evaluations at CBS, he wants the amount of students who contribute to the development of CBS’ education to increase significantly. He plans on doing this by getting more students to use the evaluation system that’s an integral part of all courses at CBS.

Currently, only 1/3 of all students fill out the online evaluation-surveys at the end of their courses, and response rates vary drastically amongst the various study-programs. Jakob Ravn, amongst others, has decided to change the evaluation procedures.

Evaluations will be moved back to the auditoriums
In May this year, the new guidelines for evaluations were implemented. It isn’t the overall objective of the new initiative to fundamentally change the evaluation-system, but to bring the evaluation closer to the courses, which the evaluations are supposed to improve.

It is now a requirement, that a 20-minute oral evaluation takes places the last lecture of all courses, where students can debate the course’s structure and content. During the oral evaluation, the students can fill out the online survey.

Jakob Ravn expects that the increased visibility and articulation of the evaluation will make the response rates, on the online surveys, increase to about 50%.

Furthermore, all study programs at CBS will be encouraged to implement interim evaluations, so the students can contribute to improving their courses to their own benefit. and not only to the benefit of the next group of students who take the course.

The importance of evaluations needs to be communicated
With the implementation of the new initiatives, the study boards will also be obliged to report the outcome of the evaluations back to the students, in the form of a written summary. The written summary will briefly give an account of the outcome of the evaluations, and will also list the measures that will be taken to improve the courses.

Jakob Ravn hopes that this initiative will make the impact of the student’s evaluations more visible… and make the students aware of the fact that their evaluations actually make a difference. Hopefully, the increased visibility of the impact will get more than 1/2 the students to evaluate their courses.

Jakob Ravn neither hopes nor aims to get a 100% response-rate. It’s important that the evaluations are based on an active participation in the courses, and he’s perfectly aware that there is a share of students who’ll have a hard time contributing with qualified input to the evaluations, since their level of participation is very low.

The students want even more initiatives
Vice president of CBS Students, Charlotte Gjedde, participated in the think tank, which was intended to contribute to the development of CBS’ evaluation system. She looks well upon CBS’ increased focus on evaluation, but she finds that the bar can be raised even higher.

To really make changes that raise the quality of our educations, we should strive for a 100% response rate, because the evaluations should reflect the opinions of as many students as possible, says Charlotte Gjedde.

Charlotte recognises that obtaining a higher response rate is a big challenge, but she doesn’t buy the argument that a 100% response rate would decrease the quality of the evaluations. She finds, on the contrary, that an increased response rate could shed light on some student’s disengagement, and also change that to the better.

Charlotte Gjedde also points out, that there should be more oral evaluation mechanisms between the lecturers and the students.

The evaluations are also evaluated
The plan is to involve the think thank again next spring, so as to evaluate the new approach to course evaluations and to discuss the obtained response rates, as soon as the new numbers are ready.

The think tank will also launch new initiatives. Jakob Ravn hopes that the communication between the study boards and the students will be improved even more, so the evaluation effort will be even more visible.

CBS OBSERVER will be keeping up with the evaluation initiatives, and will reveal, in the beginning of 2014, whether or not the response rates have gone significantly up.