Evaluation Platform

These are the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Platform

EvaP is an evaluation platform for courses at universities.
It has been developed since 2011 at the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) at the University of Potsdam and is an open source project on GitHub.
The evaluation team of the Student Representative Group for Digital Engineering operates the platform on HPI servers. It is in charge of the evaluation process and coordinates it with the responsible persons of the faculty.
There are two ways to login:
  • Using the HPI login.
  • With a login key, which is sent to external users by email.
External lecturers and students do not have an HPI login. Nevertheless, it must be ensured that they can log on to the platform with the correct account.
In order to generate a login key, an email address must be provided. This should be the address used to register for the course, as only this address is stored on the platform. The users will then receive a key by email and can use it to login.
Accounts are automatically created for new students and lecturers. In addition, the evaluation team can create additional accounts if necessary.
It is not possible to register by yourself.

The Evaluation

Evaluation is the process of giving feedback for courses. The aim is to improve the quality of teaching by providing teachers, faculty leaders, and students with feedback on individual courses.
On this online platform, students can anonymously fill in questionnaires for their attended courses. The evaluation of the questionnaires is then published and can also be accessed online.
Every semester, the evaluation team receives enrollment data from the Student Office. This information includes all courses, the responsible lecturers, and the students' enrollments. This ensures that all courses are entered in EvaP and that students can only evaluate courses that they have actually attended. The evaluation team can make adjustments if data is incorrect.
The evaluation of a course consists of a questionnaire about the course which is divided into several sections, e.g., questions about teaching materials or the content of the course and questions about the contributors. There may also be further evaluations of projects or assessments for a course.
There are five question types:
  • Likert-Questions, where agreement or disagreement is expressed on a five-level scale.
  • Rating questions, where a grade between 1 (best) and 5 (worst) can be given.
  • Yes-no questions, which can be answered with either "Yes" or "No".
  • Bipolar questions, in which you can indicate in which direction the state deviates from the expectation, e.g., whether exercises were too easy, exactly right or too difficult.
  • Text questions that can be answered in a text field.
At the beginning, the evaluation team assigns suitable questionnaires. Lecturers can also have additional questionnaires added if they want to ask additional questions.

The Evaluation Results

The results of the evaluation will be published after the evaluation period has expired and all grades of the course have been announced.
The platform offers registered users the opportunity to view the results of previous semesters.
The results of individual questions are used to calculate a grade for each evaluation. If there were several evaluations in a course, the overall grade of a course is calculated by weighting the grades of the evaluations.
Contributors of a course can also see the text answers that have been made about themselves. Those responsible for a course can view all general text answers about the course. Who exactly can see the text answers is displayed next to the free text fields.
One third of an evaluation's grade is derived from the question on the overall rating of the course, one third from the other questions about the course, and one third from the questions about the contributors. The latter are weighted according to the number of votes they have received.
If a course has several evaluations, the overall grade is derived from a previously defined weighting of the evaluation grades.
In order to have at least basic meaningfulness, overall grades are only calculated when 20% of the participants of the course have completed the evaluation. At least two participants must have voted for results to be displayed at all.
Contributors of a course can also see the grades only if they have been published.

Details for Contributors

For the preparation of the evaluation, certain information is needed from the lecturers. In your profile, EvaP offers you the possibility to define delegates. They receive the same editing rights as you and can enter the required information on your behalf.
  • The evaluation period: This determines the period in which the questionnaire is available for evaluation by the students participating in the course. The evaluation team defines a standard period when the course is set up, which must be individually adapted for many courses.
    See also “How should the evaluation period be defined?”
  • The appropriate questionnaires: Again, the evaluation team selects default questionnaires depending on the type of the course (lecture, seminar, project, etc.). Please make sure that the selection applies to your course.
  • All contributors: The enrollment data, which the evaluation team uses to create the course, contains information about the persons responsible for the course, but not about any additional people involved. All other contributors should be added with appropriate questionnaires by the responsible persons.

All other data should already be entered correctly. If you find any mistakes, please contact the evaluation team.
The evaluation should not influence the course’s grading and vice versa. This should be ensured by completing the evaluation before the grades are published and publishing the results of the evaluation only after the grades have been announced.
Furthermore, the main evaluation should end before the final exam, so that the latter does not influence the evaluation.

The evaluation period should be at least one week and is set by default to the last weeks of the lecture period. A few examples are given below:
  • Lecture with or without intermediate exam: The evaluation should take place before the final exam, since at this point the students have a comprehensive overview of the course and the main part of the assessment has not yet been completed. In this case, the standard can be left if the exam is not scheduled before the end of the lecture period.
  • Block seminar with several dates: The evaluation can be completed directly before the last examination block. However, the evaluation period should only be take place at this time if there is little or no teaching content in the last block. Otherwise the evaluation can also take place after the examination.
  • Block seminar in the lecture-free period: The evaluation period should definitely be postponed here. If there is not enough time between the course content and the examination, the evaluation should be carried out after the examination.
  • Paper/project seminar: A suitable date would be after the last regular meeting or lecture. If the grades are not published before the regular evaluation period, it is advised to leave the default date so that students do not have too many different evaluation periods.
Evaluations run through several states. If they have been prepared by the evaluation team, the lecturers and their delegates can edit the questionnaires and participants and confirm the evaluation.
After further confirmation by the evaluation team, the evaluation will take place within the planned time frame. The results will be published as soon as the evaluation period has ended, all text answers have been reviewed, and, if applicable, grade documents have been published by the Student Office.
While the evaluation team is preparing the evaluation, you and your delegates will receive an email with a link to the evaluation platform. You will be asked to adapt and amend the above information for all your courses.
As soon as the evaluation results of your course are published, you, your delegates, and all participants of the course will receive an email notifying you.
For all Likert- and rating questions you can see the respective average grades, a percentage distribution, and the number of answers given. You can also see the answers to text questions if they were about you personally or general questions about the course you are responsible for.

Details for Participants

Yes, the platform ensures that the votes entered cannot be associated with any person. The system stores who evaluated a course, but not who answered how. If you are not the only person voting, it is no longer technically possible to trace which grades or text answers came from you.
For text answers, however, there is only technical anonymity. Due to your writing style and the content of the answer, the lecturers may be able to match the text answers to individual persons, especially for small courses. You should be aware of this when writing text answers.
As complete as possible. Please give a vote for each question you can. Only with a high participation rate the results are meaningful and give helpful feedback. Text answers may take more time to type, but they are particularly valuable feedback.
All text answers about contributors will be published for these persons only. Before the text answers are published, the evaluation team removes insults and offensive text answers, so please keep your criticism friendly and constructive – otherwise it won't help. Who can read your text answer will be shown at each free text field.
No. It is not possible to view complete questionnaires. The votes and text answers are aggregated for each question. If you write "as mentioned above" in a text answer, lecturers will not be able to find your answer.
Your answers are stored in the "Local Storage" of the browser. This keeps the form fields filled out when you close the EvaP website or browser and open it again later. The answers will not be linked to your account and will not be sent to the server. If you access the questionnaire from another device, you won't be able to see your previously entered data and if you delete all data from the local storage in your browser automatically or manually, the information will also be lost.