Evaluation of Teaching at the Department of Mechanical Engineering

The evaluation of teaching classes has been an established quality assurance measure for many years at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Students are asked each semester to evaluate the classes they have attended. 

This helps us to achieve the following objectives:

  • Lecturers receive feedback about their teaching in their classes and suggestions for improvement.
  • A basis for a class discussion about its positive and negative aspects and suggestions for improvement is created.
  • Communication between students and lecturers is encouraged.
  • The Institutes and Department Administration receive information about which topics are in demand from students and which are not.

The survey is conducted in the middle of the lecture period in order to affect noticeable improvements during the current semester. This gives lecturing staff the opportunity to respond to evaluation results during the current study programme.

Latest Evaluation Results

A total of 361 teaching units were evaluated by the Central Services Student Services during the summer semester 2021 with some 2,798 questionnaires used in the evaluation.

Class evaluation - summer semester 2021

Number of evaluated classes in summer term 2021

361

   
Modules 162 surveys / 1,452 questionnaires
Exercise module 91 surveys / 916 questionnaires
Seminars 28 surveys / 83 questionnaires
Practical course 76 surveys / 316 questionnaires
Tutorial 4 surveys / 31 questionnaires
   
Number of completed questionnaires 316 surveys / 2,798 questionnaires

Unit-specific evaluation reports

You can find further reports on MyTUM-Portal.

Conducting the Student Survey

Surveying the students takes place anonymously using standardised paper questionnaires. Various questionnaire formats exist depending on the teaching unit in question (lecture, practice exercise, seminar, practical work, tutorials) and are written in German and occasionally English. Students indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with the statements using a 4 level answering scale. Comments and suggestions may be written in the designated boxes. 

The following areas are surveyed:

  • Design and structure of the unit
  • Teaching of its contents
  • Use of media
  • The lecturer and teaching atmosphere
  • General conditions
  • Scope and level of difficulty
  • Students' self directed activities and interest levels
  • Knowledge gained
  • Overall evaluation
  • General comments

The survey period usually lasts for around four weeks. Practical classes are the exception since they are sometimes offered in blocks during the summer holidays and must therefore be evaluated outside of the main period.

The evaluations are conducted as follows:

In the case of a paper-based evaluation, the lecturers hand out the questionnaires, collect them again after about 10 to 15 minutes of completion time and pass them on to the Student Office for evaluation. In an online evaluation, lecturers also provide 10 to 15 minutes of completion time during the course. Here, students access the survey via a QR code. They use a mobile device (e.g. smartphone, notebook) that they have brought with them. The QR code is made accessible by the lecturer.

To ensure that the evaluation is effective, please bear in mind the following points:

  • Members of the teaching staff should emphasise the importance of taking part in the evaluation. It gives students an opportunity to give anonymous feedback. It also provides department management with information to assist in recognising the strengths and weaknesses of teaching units, and to develop the degree course further.
  • Teaching staff should hand out the questionnaire to the students during the teaching session. We recommend that 10-15 minutes should be allowed for this at the end of the session. Please choose one of the students, at random, to collect up the questionnaires.
  • The student should then put all questionnaires, together with the cover sheet, into an envelope addressed to Julia Liebl / Student Office, seal it and hand it in to the Internal Post Room in the Department of Mechanical Engineering building (Section 0, ground floor) or put it in the Post Roomʼs letterbox. The questionnaires may not be left elsewhere to be collected at a later date.

Please note:

In the past, completed questionnaires have been returned time and again to the Student Office without a cover sheet or any indication of the teaching unit concerned. The office administers almost 400 teaching units per semester and, in such cases, it is impossible to assign the questionnaires to a specific unit and therefore the unit cannot be evaluated. Please ensure that the cover sheet or a note with the name of the teaching unit is always sent together with the questionnaires! Thank you!

Evaluation

The questionnaires are then evaluated and statistically processed using the EvaSys program. For each question, the relative frequencies of each

  • the relative frequencies of each answer category,
  • the mean value,
  • the standard deviation and
  • the median are calculated.

A pdf report with the survey results is generated for each lecture. As soon as the evaluation is available, it will be sent to the respective lecturers by e-mail including the comments.

We ask the lecturers to use the opportunity to discuss the result of the evaluation with the students in the courses. If this is not done then the evaluation remains inconsequential and meaningless in the minds of the students and makes them unwilling to participate in future evaluations

According to Article 10 of the Bavarian Tertiary Education Act, Evaluation results must be made accessible to students. If students are interested in looking at the evaluation results they should arrange a prior appointment with Ms. Julia Liebl in order to do this. The Departmental Student Council has access to all evaluation results.

If the evaluation turns out to be negative the appropriate superiors and the Dean of Studies will be notified. Meetings are then arranged with the lecturer in question to ensure that the teaching quality is improved.

Instructional Aids for Getting the Most out of the Evaluation Results (ProLehre)

The evaluation questionnaires at the Department of Mechanical Engineering are divided into six dimensions: design and structure of the unit, teaching of its contents, use of media, the lecturer and teaching atmosphere, scope and level of difficulty as well as knowledge gained and the students' attitude towards work. These dimensions rest upon scientific work (e.g. Rindermann 2004) and were specially optimised in order to make the multitude of questions manageable.


An aid for each dimension explaining its content and relevance has been developed by ProLehre. These aids also highlight concrete options for improvement and further development. They will help you to understand the individual dimensions better and recognise any potential for improvement:

 

Who is evaluated?

Every semester all teaching units are evaluated at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. If you have any questions regarding teaching evaluation please get in touch with Julia Liebl or Dr. phil. Ingrid Mayershofer (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department Administration, Student Office) .

Timetable for summer semester 2021

  • 16.06. – 14.07.2021:
    Survey conducted
  • July/August 2021:
    Results sent out, discussing the results with students