Creating and Using Questionnaires

The questionnaires for the evaluation of courses contain two sections:

  • university-wide section: This is drawn up in coordination between the Unit for Quality Assurance and the Rectorate and currently contains 5 questions (information, interests, learning outcome, motivation and overall assessment).
  • section specific to the degree programme: The directorates of studies are responsible for the sections specific to the degree programme. The Unit for Quality Assurance advises the directorates of studies in terms of content with regard to the design of questions and in terms of methodology with regard to the generation of questions. This approach is based on the idea that the directorates of studies – who are responsible for the quality assurance of the degree programmes according to the Organisation Plan – can thus make a decisive contribution towards the design of quality assurance tools.

The Unit for Quality Assurance uses the programme EvaSys from the company Electric Paper for the administration and analysis of the course evaluation. For technical and administrative reasons, the following restrictions are made during the course evaluation:

  • number of questionnaire types: In order to be able to deal with the specifics of individual types of courses, up to 5 questionnaire types are available for each directorate of studies. In exceptional cases (e.g. wide range of degree programmes), this number can be slightly increased.
  • number of questions: The number of questions on a questionnaire depends on the space available, which is limited to two pages per type of questionnaire. The following types of questions are available: scale questions, single choice, multiple choice, numerical input data and text comments.
  • surveying method: Due to very positive experiences with various degree programmes, the surveying method is to be gradually changed over to “online in the lecture hall”. More details on this will follow. The evaluation can, however, still also be carried out with paper and pencil. In the case of the obligatory evaluation, the surveying method is stipulated by the directorates of studies. In the voluntary evaluations, the course lecturer decides on the surveying method. The advantage of the paper and pencil method is the opportunity of carrying out a full survey among all the students present at a course. This is the most suitable form of surveying for smaller courses (less than around 20 students). The online version offers the opportunity of also covering those persons who are not present at the courses. As students voluntarily take part in the course evaluation, online evaluations have a response rate of around 40%, which can particularly lead to problems with smaller courses, because an insufficient number of students have filled in the questionnaire. The option of using several languages is an advantage of online surveying. In this way, students whose knowledge of German is not sufficient to fill in the questionnaire can also be reached.
  • multilingual/English-language questionnaires: Online questionnaires offer the possibility to change between languages by clicking on a button. The Unit for Quality Assurance is endeavouring to make an English version of the online questionnaires available. The questionnaires for the paper and pencil survey can only be provided in one language for system-related reasons and can therefore currently not be offered in multilingual versions. Here, we only have the option of developing a separate questionnaire for every language, which, however, would lead to an unmanageable workload and excessive costs if this was generally implemented. Multilingual questionnaires are thus only set up where it seems appropriate to offer English-language questionnaires for curricular reasons. Currently, this only applies to English-language master’s programmes. It should be ensured here that the number of questionnaire types does not become too high. The directorates of studies decide on whether multilingual questionnaires are used, while the Unit for Quality Assurance determines the number of questionnaire types.


HR Mag. Dr. Lukas Mitterauer

T: +43-1-4277-18002