Further details on the project: “TU Darmstadt Student Survey”
The TU Darmstadt Student Survey is focussed on students’ assessments concerning the overall studyability of the degree programmes and general academic conditions. Key aspects such as one’s individual conduct in regard to the course of studies and academic success are further surveyed and questions related to the beginning of studies and particular motivation are posed. Furthermore, contextual conditions potentially affecting the course of study, such as part time employment, are examined.
Concept and goals of the survey
Using a compact survey instrument, the first comprehensive TU Darmstadt student survey aims to measure representative data on the composition of the student body and to evaluate the study situation and overarching structural frameworks. For this purpose, the Center for Educational Development and Technology (HDA) has developed a questionnaire specifically tailored to the TU Darmstadt, which also takes the special features of the respective degree programme into account.
The results, along with further data, will be used for the development of degree programmes within the institutional evaluation as well as strategical decisions at university level.
The TU Darmstadt student survey is methodically structured into three phases:
1. Conceptual Phase: Everyone involved takes part in preliminary talks with students and departments (June 2016 – February 2017)
2. Online survey: Every student of the TU Darmstadt is formally invited to participate in the student survey from late March to early June. The survey itself takes place between June 1st and 30th.
3. Evaluation phase: University-wide evaluation of survey data on university and department levels, as well as special evaluations take place. Where applicable, discussions with the departments on the interpretation of the results are being held.
The key actors and primary users of the TU Darmstadt student survey
The survey’s primary focus is the development of the degree programmes.
The TU Darmstadt student survey is to provide information on which degree programmes can be systematically enhanced.
The key actors and primary users are:
- Students – provide data and benefit from the results, which are utilized in the development of degree programmes, quality assurance and decisions on the university level.
- Departments (Academic deans, study coordinators and department management among others)
- Comittee members and faculty student bodies
- Dezernat I B – Qualitätsmanagement und Gremien, Dezernat II D – Studienprogramme und Qualitätssicherung
- Executive Board (Vice President, Academic Affairs, among others)
The Steering Committee
For the first phase of the TU Darmstadt Student Survey, a steering committee has been created with the purpose of making joint decisions for the project and fulfilling an advisory and recommendatory role.
The steering committee TU Darmstadt Student Survey acts and decides exclusively in regard to the project and is not designed as a permanent committee to coordinate surveys.
Members of the steering committee TU Darmstadt:
VP Prof Dr Heribert Warzecha (Executive Board, Iinitiator), Michelle Mallwitz (inQM, Dez I B), Sascha Strack (inQM, Dez I B), Gerhard Schmitt (Dez. II, data protection officer), Beate Kriegler (Dez. II D), Tobias Blank (HDA), Sofie Passmann (HDA)
In order to prevent multiple surveys and minimise the potential impact of survey fatigue on respondents, the Center for Educational Development and Technology (HDA) was also commissioned with the establishment of a Coordination Office.
The primary objective of this office is to coordinate further surveys at the TU Darmstadt with the TU Darmstadt Student Survey, in order to ensure the latter’s response rate. In the future, TU Darmstadt Student Surveys and the Coordination Office are to serve as medium-term instruments for quality assurance in academic affairs within system accreditation.
Aiming to systematically bundle the various activities and actors in the area of surveys, the office is also responsible to strategically relate them to the integrated quality assurance of the TU Darmstadt.
Schedule of the Student Survey
In March 2016 Vice President, Academic Affairs, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralph Bruder, commissioned the Center for Educational Development and Technology (HDA) to conceptualise a student survey encompassing the entire student body.
- July 2016
Requirement analysis through qualitative interviews with various university actors, as well as an online survey in order to determine desired main topics are conducted
- June-July 2016
Committee meetings (Circle of Vice Chairpersons, Academic Affairs, Student Representative Conference)
- October 2016
The catalogue of topics with notes on possible utilization of included queries is developed
- December 2016
Departments and fields of study as well as the Zentrum für Lehrerbildung are invited in order to cooperatively develop department-specific questions
- January-March 2017
Discussions with departments and fields of study about department-specific topics and finalisation of department-specific questions
- March 2017
Workshop of RMU (Rhein-Main-Universitäten) on the topic of student surveys – discussion of catalogue of topics
- March-April 2017
First concept of questionnaire and technical implementation
- April 2017
Pretest and revision of questionnaire
- May 2017
Finalisation of questionnaire
- June 2017
First TU Darmstadt Student survey
- From winter semester 2017/18
First results are published
The TU Darmstadt Student Survey sees itself as an instrument of dialogue. For this reason, various university actors (departments, fields of study, student representatives, executive board and directorates) were included or informed at every step of the process.