RWTH Aachen Concept for Course of Study Evaluations

  Three moderation cards lie on a table. Copyright: RWTH Aachen  

1. Forming an Evaluation Project Group

The faculties are responsible for carrying out their own course of study evaluations. They arrange an evaluation project group (EPG) for the respective course of study, which is formed of students and academic staff. The Dean of Academic Affairs or a corresponding delegate heads the EPG. The group compare the objectives of the course of study as specified in self-selected quality objective areas and compare them with the current state of the course.

2. Establishing Objectives and Compulsory Parameters

The course of study evaluations are based on specific requirements specified by the faculty or department. They initially select certain quality objectives at the University and objectives for the specific specializations where they would like to see improvements made. Once these areas have been determined, the faculty or department establishes objectives that are either specific to the course of study or can be applied to many different courses of study. The faculty or department will compare the ideal situation to the current state in the course of study.

The adherence to the requirements and guidelines from external organizations such as the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and German Accreditation Council will also be reviewed as part of the process.

Finally, the evaluation group will devise and develop suitable measures to combat identified weaknesses in order to achieve their objectives.

3. Discussions in the Faculties

The discussions in the project group will be presented in an evaluation report. This states the selected objectives, the critical reflection of the compulsory key figures, and identified weaknesses of the course of study. As a result of the evaluation, specific measures will be established and implemented in order to improve the course of study. The measures catalogue only outlines the objectives that have not been fulfilled, for which corresponding solutions have been elaborated.

4. Reviewer Group for Audit

An audit will then take place, where the internal evaluation report and the measures catalogue will be discussed. The audit is formed of both internal and external reviewers. The latter are from the respective subject area, are not associated with the University, and includes a professor, a student or research associate, and an employee from the relevant industry. The group of internal reviewers on the other hand is formed of RWTH staff who are not related to the respective subject area – a professor, a student, and a research associate should be represented here.

In the audit, the reviewers discuss their comments and questions in individual talks with the evaluation project group (EPG), as well as students and teaching staff of the course of study who are not part of the EPG. This guarantees that the information acquired is independent.

The aim of the audit is to finalize the measures catalogue – agreeing on suitable measures for reducing or eliminating the identified weaknesses in order to reach the established quality objectives.

5. Decision in the Committees

Finally, different committees at RWTH (sub-committee of the rector's office, the rector's office and the senate) will look into whether the course of study can be accredited – the rector's office takes the final decision on this.

In the appropriate timeframe, the success of the measures will be reviewed in the form of annual talks between the vice-rector for teaching, the faculty management and student representatives. The course of study evaluation process is stipulated in the Evaluation Regulations for Teaching and Learning at RWTH Aachen.