Feedback on teaching and courses

At the end of each semester the students (incl. external students, exchange and visiting students, etc.) are given the possibility to give feedback on the courses they have registered for.

The objectives of the feedback questionnaire on teaching and courses are

  1. to develop students’ ability of self-analysis;
  2. to provide feedback for the teacher based on which he/she can improve the course;
  3. to identify problem areas and make the planning of curriculum and study-related development activities more expedient;
  4. to develop the students’ and teachers’ idea of good teaching;
  5.  to obtain information for teaching and personnel work-related decisions.

When is the feedback given?

Students are notified of the possibility to give feedback on courses by the following link on the front page of the Study Information System (OIS): Teaching and Course Feedback.

In general, feedback can be given on a course:

  1. two weeks prior to the class in which the exam or the pass-fail test is taken;
  2. two weeks prior to the last class of that course, if exam date has not been entered in the OIS;
  • In case there are less than two weeks between the registration for the course and the last class, feedback opens to the students at once after registration.
  • Beginning of the feedback date may differ between the different groups taking the same subject because the evaluation time depends on the date of the examination or class.
  • In case only weeks are mentioned in the curriculum (e.g.  e-learning), the evaluation period starts on the Monday of the last study week.
  • In case the last lecture /class or examination takes place later than two weeks before the beginning of the following term, feedback can be given during the following term and giving feedback to such subjects is not compulsory during the following term as well. Such subjects will disappear from the list at the end of the following semester, e.g. classes taken by distance learning students, which exam is held in the following semester (or which lectures last through several semesters.

Filling in the questionnaire
Every degree student must give feedback to teaching and the courses taken. External students, exchange, and visiting students, etc. are given the possibility to give feedback on the courses they have registered for, but it is not obligatory. Each student must evaluate at least four courses (in case of a PhD student, at least one course) on the list received. If the student has been registered for fewer than four courses in the semester in question, he/she will have to choose all the courses from the given list for evaluation.

What happens if courses are left un-evaluated?

For the students, who have not given feedback for the courses taken in the previous semester, the feedback form is open till the student has evaluated the courses in the prescribed amount. 

If the courses of the previous semester have not been evaluated in the amount prescribed by the beginning of the new semester, the user rights of the student in the OIS will be restricted (except for external students, exchange and visiting students). It means that the student is only allowed to give feedback on teaching and courses in the OIS and all other activities are suspended until the required number of courses has been evaluated. When logging in, the delinquent students get a notice, which tells them to evaluate the courses of the previous term. In the third week of the following semester the OIS is locked for such students. (The students can only see the link ‘feedback on teaching and courses’, ‘English’ and ‘Log out’.) The rights of the student are restored as soon as the student has evaluated the required number of courses.

It is not possible to evaluate:

  • courses, where no lectures, exams or pass/ fail examinations have been entered on the OIS;
  • courses without any lecturers/teachers being attached to it (e.g. only the responsible person, who does not teach, has been entered  on the OIS);
  • complex subjects;
  • practical training, graduation theses and final exam subjects.

Reminders and pop-ups

  • The student will get a reminder and the pop-up will open only when the student has given feedback to fewer courses than required or has not given feedback at all;
  •  The students for whom the evaluation of the courses in not obligatory (external students, exchange and visiting students) do not see the pop-up, but only the link ‘feedback on teaching and courses’;
  • The ‘pop-up’ will open during the first two weeks of the following semester every time the student opens the OIS system until he/she has evaluated the required number of courses;
  • Reminders (in Estonian with a translation into English) are sent to all students and to the announcements in OIS.

Who can see the results of the feedback?

The questionnaire is anonymous. All answers are recorded anonymously and hence the teachers/heads of structural units have no possibility to link an answer to its author.
All the users of OIS can see the summary of the feedback (there is a link ‘Summary of Feedback’ under the Curricula). In addition to the summary only the answers to the question ‘What would you like to tell the students taking the course next year?’ can be seen.

Please be aware that:

  • If the student wishes to evaluate several teachers under one subject syllabus, it must be done before clicking the button “Confirm” at the end of the questionnaire. Clicking this button means that the student has finished filling in the respective questionnaire and does not wish to change it.
  • It is not possible to discontinue filling in the questionnaire and carry on filling it later.
  • If you choose ‘English’ when entering the OIS, you can fill in the feedback form in English.

Good practices of giving feedback

Try to be guided by the following good practices when giving feedback:

  1. Do not be carried away by emotions and try to give an objective evaluation. If possible, do not give feedback until some time has passed from the time of the final evaluation in the course.
  2. Justify your evaluations in the text fields. Longer answers are of great use to the teacher, especially if they draw attention to specific aspects that need changing and give recommendations as to what could be done differently.
  3. Feedback does not only mean being critical. Feedback is also a possibility to acknowledge and praise the teacher!
  4. Feedback does not only involve the evaluation of the teacher and the course, but the evaluation of the student’s contribution as well. Be as honest as possible and draw your own conclusions.
  5. Thank you for being polite in giving the feedback!