Hamburg launches feedback portal: Students should rate teachers
How was I? If Hamburg teachers want to know this after their lessons, they can get feedback in the future - on the computer, from their students.
May I make mistakes in class? Does my teacher help me if I do not immediately know the right answer? Do I feel comfortable in class? These are three out of a total of up to 56 questions that Hamburg students should answer in future - to give their teachers feedback.
On their mobile phones or on the laptop, they can choose from four answers via an Internet platform, from "completely true" to "not at all". The feedback is then analyzed by a computer program, then the teacher gets the results by pressing a button.
Ties Rabe (SPD), Hamburg's Senator for School and Vocational Training, speaks of a "lightning-fast and clear rating" at the presentation of the project. The goal: Teachers should use the hints to improve their teaching.
"Give courage and fear without feedback"
The senator wants to refute any concerns: The feedback is of course anonymous, said Rabe. "Students should give feedback with courage and fear." Once the assessment is unlocked by the teacher, the students can rate once - in hindsight change is not possible.
The platform, which has already been successfully tested in Berlin and Brandenburg, is scheduled to go online on 25th September. So far, 39 Hamburg schools have agreed to participate in the pilot project, including a special school and several elementary schools.
A minimum number of participating students and teachers do not agree that the project is "not a compulsory event," according to Rabe. On the contrary, the authority relies heavily on voluntariness - and wants to give all participants a lot of freedom.
Teachers can decide for themselves if they want to ask their classes about the proposed questions, choose only specific ones or add questions. Also, the period to be evaluated, can be adjusted individually. Teachers can also answer the questions for themselves - and then compare the self-assessment with that of their students.
"We do not want 'surveillance'
Nobody is supposed to make it. The feedback is for the teacher only, said Rabe. "We do not want surveillance." But there is the possibility to compare the results with those of colleagues. Participating teachers should be ready to face critical comments: "We want to provide a way for teachers and students to think about their roles and their own learning outcomes."
The teaching should also serve this purpose: According to the education senator, the questionnaire should give reason to discuss the evaluation of the pupils in the school. Before the questionnaires are released by the teachers, they should at best have already talked to their students - and do so afterwards, for reflection.
"If the teachers have a more watchful eye afterwards, the lessons are well spent," says Rabe. In principle, however, the same applies here: the schools themselves decide how much time they want to give to the project.
Teachers Association sees no sense in the project
The Hamburg Teachers Association is skeptical. "The question that remains is: how private can the authority design the project?", Said the chairman Helge Pepperling the SPIEGEL. "We have big concerns about the amount of data that is collected there, and even though the data should not be passed on at the beginning, it still exists and could be used for other purposes."
Pepperling sees no point in the project: "The criteria that the questions work with are very crude and superficial, and you can not grasp the human level of teaching with such generalized questions," says the teacher. Anyone who has a good rapport with his students is looking for a personal conversation anyway. "And those who are not interested in feedback will not catch up on such a platform."
Rabe, on the other hand, expects many people to join the project - at least many students: "This is an important signal of inclusion, so that students feel empowered in their role and they know best what good teaching should be like."