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Students’ evaluations improve degree programme quality

What is the best way for us to use teaching evaluations when working to ensure a high level of degree programme quality? A joint AU system will help us get more out of the evaluations.

2016.03.01 | Signe Opstrup

Student feedback helps to improve degree programme quality, because it shows the students’ perspective and creates an ongoing debate about teaching methods and course content. Follow-up in the boards of studies and dialogues between teaching staff and students are crucial in order to ensure that we get as much as possible out of these important evaluations. In order to support this, a joint, digital system for teaching evaluations at AU has been developed. The system, which is integrated with Blackboard, supports an ongoing and systematic handling of the students’ teaching evaluations. The requirement for ongoing and systematic quality assurance activities is also of immediate importance in connection with institutional accreditation.

“At the overall AU level, we have established an evaluation framework which includes minimum standards defining how often a course should be evaluated. This also relates to institutional accreditation, as we must be able to explain how we use the evaluations to develop teaching across the organisation on an ongoing basis. It is, therefore, important that we have a system which meets local and general requirements and resources,” says Pro-rector Berit Eika about the system which is being implemented at AU.

The boards of studies are the foundation

The ongoing work to ensure the development of the teaching and the exams for the individual courses as well as ensuring follow-up on teaching evaluations are important key tasks for the boards of studies - and this will not change. What is new, is that the boards of studies now have a joint, digital system which can support the teaching evaluation process. A system which ensures uniform data which can form the basis for dialogue and follow-up.

“The evaluations are an important resource for the boards of studies, the local academic environments and for the university as a whole when working with quality. Therefore, I look forward to gaining experience from the joint evaluation system on an ongoing basis,” says Pro-rector Berit Eika.

The new digital evaluation system ensures that the external requirements for documentation of AU’s evaluation efforts are met and at the same time, it relates to the academic needs and wishes. In specific, the system is based on three common elements: system support, three AU questions and evaluation procedures and local questions at the faculties. The three AU questions, which have just been approved by The Education Committee, focus on the topics ‘outcome’, ‘feedback’ and ‘academic support from fellow students’.



  • The digital teaching evaluation system will be implemented on an ongoing basis when the individual faculties and courses are ready, and begin in February at Health. For the time being, Aarhus BSS will continue to use another system.
  • The system supporting the teaching evaluation process is integrated with Blackboard. This means that the evaluation form can be sent by email to the students who are part of a course and thereby part of a learning space in Blackboard.
  • The evaluation consists of three AU questions and several faculty-specific and course-specific questions.


Education, All groups, Degree programmes, Degree programmes