Satisfaction of KIT students with their studies courses is increasing. This is confirmed by the teaching quality index. The empirical method developed by KIT does not only determine the present situation, but the results are used directly to improve education. The concept is not only successful in Germany. The Universidade de Pernambuco will introduce this concept as the first university in Brazil, other universities will follow. Furthermore, KIT’s teaching quality index concept won an invitation to tender by the World Bank for the evaluation of education provided by the Vietnamese-German University at Ho-Chi-Minh City.
“Normally, an evaluation concept remains with the own university,” says Dr. Michael Craanen, Head of the Quality Management Division of KIT, who developed the concept. “Our model is the first acknowledged worldwide, this is a real success.” Craanen points out that the willingness of Brazil to invest in its education system increased parallel to the enormous growth rates. “Quality management is a central issue. Consequently, interest in the teaching quality index is very high,’” emphasizes Craanen. The University of Pernambuco (UPE) will introduce the concept gradually to evaluate teaching activities at all departments. The memorandum of understanding signed by KIT and UPE also covers scientific exchange. Among others, an employee of UPE will work in Craanen’s team before the system will be installed at the university in Brazil.
From Pernambuco, the teaching quality index concept shall spread over the whole country. “Brazil traditionally has a high affinity to the German education system,” explains Michael Craanen. Under a new government program, 10,000 Brazilians are planned to be granted a scholarship for studies in Germany until 2014. In one year from now, Craanen will visit the university again to examine the status of introduction of the concept at the UPE. Then, discussion with two Brazilian ministries will focus on whether an adapted system can be integrated in the quality management scheme of the administration. To measure the satisfaction of their students, the State University of Paraíba will also apply the teaching quality index concept.
Moreover, Craanen’s concept was successful in Vietnam. It won an invitation to tender issued by the World Bank for the evaluation of studies and teaching at the Vietnamese-German University in Ho-Chi-Minh City. If the concept will be successful here, it will be transferred to all other universities in Vietnam. The corresponding agreement is presently being negotiated.
About the Teaching Quality Index
Since the 2008 summer semester, the teaching quality index method has been used to measure the satisfaction of KIT students with studies courses. Every semester, Dr. Michael Craanen and his staff evaluate 1500 lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical exercises, and excursions. For this, they evaluate 50,000 questionnaires and determine the teaching quality index for every course. Via a traffic light system, courses are determined to be uncritical, slightly critical, or critical. The evaluation and, if necessary, improvement measures are then discussed with the department heads. Since the introduction of the teaching quality index concept, results have improved continuously. Presently, the proportion of critical studies courses amounts to 1% only.
As a central quality management system for studies and teaching, the teaching quality index concept also is the central basis of system accreditation at KIT. In the future, studies courses will no longer be evaluated by an external accreditation agency, but evaluation will cover the quality assurance scheme of KIT as a complete system. This will significantly reduce the administration expenditure of the KIT departments.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.