Course Evaluation 

Course evaluation of Innsbruck University, summer semester 2018
Statement of the Department of American Studies

In summer semester 2018, the University of Innsbruck asked their students to complete questionnaires in order to evaluate the quality of the courses that were offered. For the Department of American Studies, this meant that students answered 28 questions about 21 of our courses in total, focusing on course design, the level of difficulty, and frame conditions.

Since we continually work on achieving and maintaining a high quality of teaching, we are thrilled to report that the students rated our department very highly. In most areas, our department managed to exceed the university average, especially exceeding in knowledge transfer and presentation. Furthermore, the majority of students would recommend the courses that we offer. These positive results honor and also motivate us to continually work on further improving the quality of our teaching.

 

Course evaluation of Innsbruck University, summer semester 2011
Statement of the Department of American Studies

The Department of American Studies places a high value on teaching. A fortiori, we are highly pleased with the excellent evaluation results from the students, the majority of which were far above the average for the faculty as well as for the entire university. The positive feedback strengthens the staff members at the Department for American Studies in their work and motivates them to reach beyond the high level in teaching they have already set, to ensure that in the future they continue to be regarded as one of the departments with the highest level of student satisfaction within the entire university.

The high participation in the teaching evaluations throughout the department shows that student feedback is very important to us and is taken seriously.

A total of 340 questionnaires from 15 courses in SS 2011 were evaluated. This corresponds to 100% participation.

In comparison with the overall results of the entire university, the faculty had very good results in the evaluation. Furthermore, the Department of American Studies consistently had even higher percentage ratings. In order to demonstrate the magnitude of difference between the department, the faculty and the university, the following is a list of the points with the highest difference in the answer categories of “wholly agree”:

  • Complex questions were answered understandably: Department 68 %, Faculty 60 % and University 55 %
  • The central themes were apparent: Department 73 %, Faculty 61 % and University 57 %
  • The students would recommend the course to others: Department 68 %, Faculty 50 % and University 49 %
  • Interest in the subject area/field of studies was sparked: Department 53 %, Faculty 40 % and University 38 %

Notably, 76% of the students considered the difficulty level of the course to be “just right”:

  • The level of difficulty in the course is “just right”: Department 76 %, Faculty 61 % and University 63 %

Many of the points in the questionnaire with which the students were not satisfied, involved conditions not directly under the influence of the teachers. For example, the room situation and the available technical equipment are not direct responsibilities of the department. However, since the teachers are highly interested in improving the situation, we are making every effort and remain in contact with those responsible for improving the conditions.

Since even an outstanding level of teaching can always be improved, the goal of our department is to further improve our performance in this area, taking into account the possibilities and available resources. We consider the positive feedback from the students to be a signal as well as a request to contribute more in the area of teaching within English and American Studies as well as courses offered by the faculty. We eagerly shoulder the responsibility the students have charged us with. The positive evaluations reflect the endeavors to ensure quality and expand the number of courses offered. To this effect, we have applied for a permanent lecturer position, which so far has not been granted but which will hopefully be realized in the future.

Such a lecturer position would involve the Department of American Studies, as was the case in previous years, in language skills education in English and American Studies. An expansion of the courses offered in this direction by the Department of American Studies could improve the overall evaluation of English and American Studies.

At the Department of American Studies, we consider the quality assurance of teaching as a shared process in collaboration with the students. This is based on the mutual understanding that the evaluations are not just a requirement but also a shared concern. The feedback from the students confirms this point of view and motivates all staff members of the department to maintain high standards, now and in the future, and to work together towards the goal of quality assurance in teaching.

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