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This survey was done on Bachelor of Int'l Business students at the HTW-Berlin (College of Applied Sciences, Berlin) about their satisfaction with the programme and possible areas of difficult / improvement. Alina Sachapow, Vanessa Günther, Kasey Navita Phifer.

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Student Satisfaction with theInternational Business B.A. Programme

Vanessa Günther - K. NaviPhifer - AlinaSachapow


3 February 2011

Applied Statistics & Research Methods – Mr. HolgerLütters – HTW Berlin

  • Press Release
  • Management Summary

2.1 Preparation/Hypothesis

2.2 Objectives

2.3 Research Design

2.4 Methodology

2.5 Workpackages

3. Topic Relevance

  • Findings

4.1 StudentsExpectations

4.2 Best SubjectsandWhy

4.3 WorstSubjectsandWhy

4.4 Satisfactionand Education

4.5 Satisfactionand Age

4.6 Satisfactionand Job Experience

4.7 Teachers´ Abilities

4.8 Programme Criticism

4.9 Programme Improvements

4.10 Positive Remarks

  • Conclusion
  • Challenges

7. CriticismandPossibleImprovement

7.1 Survey Design

7.2 QuestionFormulation

7.3 Process

1 press release
1.Press Release

Teachers Held Largely Responsible for Student Satisfaction,

concludes an independent study of Berlin’s College of Applied Science (HTW) students.

The push for international competitiveness is becoming stronger and more intense in Germany, forcing universities to rise up to the challenge in order to stay on top. The implementation of completely internationally oriented study programmes are met with a chorus of praise from both political and academic circles.

But just how effective are these programmes? By measuring student satisfaction, a study completed by HTW students explores the practical application of international courses at the HTW both in the classroom and in real life – and the results were quite unexpected: regardless of age or prior life experience, TEACHERS were mainly responsible for student satisfaction and the necessary skills they gained (or did not learn) for their future careers.

2 management summary
2. ManagementSummary

Overall, HTW Studentswerepleasantlysatisfiedwiththeir BIB programme; muchcriticismforimprovement was given, alongwithfeedbackthatsatisfactionwithteachersplayedthelargestrole in satisfactionwiththeprogramme (theteachers‘ abilitytoteach, varietyof material andmethodsoftesting, practicalapplicationofsubject, etc.)

Factors such asageandpreviouslycompleteddegreesofhighereducation, surprisinglyplayednoconclusiverole in determiningstudentsatisfactionwiththeHTW‘s BIB programme.

2 1 preparation hypotheses
2.1 Preparation/Hypotheses
  • Research Question: Are the students of the BIB programme satisfied?
  • Hypotheses:
    • Students with job experience might have higher expectations for the programme
    • Students who have studied at other universities may have more specific (and possibly more demanding) expectations
    • Age and therefore different life experiences could influence how satisfied people are with the programme
2 2 objectives
2.2 Objectives

Find out about:

  • Expectations of the students
  • Satisfaction with:
    • Fellow students
    • Course material
    • Subjects
    • Teachers
    • Administration
2 3 research design
2.3 Research Design
  • Conclusive Research Design:
    • Objective: Test Hypotheses
    • Characteristics:
      • Information necessary: Are BIB students satisfied? Why and why not?
      • Interviewees: BIB students of all semesters currently studying at HTW
      • Sample is representative -> about 20 students of every semester covered
2 3 research design10
2.3 Research Design
  • Research Process:
    • Develop a survey with all the important criteria to be able to judge satisfaction
    • Make a Paper & Pencil and a online version to collect primary data
    • Ask students in person with the Paper & Pencil version to fill out the surveys
    • Forward the online version to the 7th semester students
    • Evaluation and reporting of data
2 3 research design11
2.3 Research Design
  • Findings:
    • Should be helpful to draw conclusions about the programme and possible improvements of it
    • Reveal possible areas of improvement or clarification of the research process itself (i.e. Does the survey accurately represent students’ opinions? Does the data clearly outline which areas of the program are working well or poorly?)
  • Outcome:
    • Findings can hopefully be used to improve the programme
2 4 methodology
2.4 Methodology
  • Data Collection:
      • Quantitative survey
  • 18 questions
      • Questions about satisfaction or dissatisfaction
      • General information (age, gender etc)
      • All questions were not obligatory (some left blank)
      • 10 scale questions (poorly to well and sometimes vice versa)
      • 8 open end questions
  • 2 versions:
      • Paper & Pencil (handed out in person )
      • Online via Questfox (sent through email & Facebook links → impersonal)
2 5 division of workpackages
2.5 Division of Workpackages
  • Division of labour:
3 topic relevance
3. Topic Relevance
  • Beingstudentsofthisprogramme, we find thissurveytobehighly relevant!
  • The idea of a satisfaction survey came to us because there was so much trouble last semester with an unqualified teacher (XXXX, in XXX Dept.). The thirdsemesterstudentsandtheirforeignexchangeclassmatesralliedtogethertopetitionthe unfair resultsoftheexam.
3 topic relevance16
3. Topic Relevance
  • Nowthissemester, weare still hearingsomecomplaintsaboutteachersorsubjectsand so wethought, „Are studentstrulyunhappy? Orarethey just readytocomplainaboutanysubjecttheydon‘tlikeoranyclasswhichisdifficult?“
  • Doesstudentsatisfactionevenhaveanymerit? Do studentsknowwhatthey‘llneedfortheirfuturecareers, or do theyonlyknowhowtowriteexamsandmemorizeformulas? Thissurveystrivestoremovethesubjective „I hatemath“ andputforth an objectivereasoningforstudents‘ expectationsandsatisfactionwiththeprogramme.
4 findings
4. Findings
  • Over 25 countries were represented
  • Twelve people chose to withhold their nationality
  • Roughly 63% of the BIB students (58 of 92 responses given) are of German nationality
  • Approximately one-fifth of BIB students are from developing countries
4 findings18
4. Findings

Gender of HTW StudentsSurveyed

  • NumberofRespondants:
  • Female – 64
  • Male – 29
  • „Uncertain“ – 3
  • NoAnswer – 8
4 findings19
4. Findings

StudentsSurveyedandTheirRespective Semester

No. of Student Responses

4 1 student expectations
4.1 Student Expectations

Top 5 Expectationsoftheprogramme:

  • English Language (44 votes)
  • Internationality & Business topics (27 voteseach)
  • Goodcareeropportunities (16 votes)
  • Location Berlin (12 votes)
  • Experience abroad (11 votes)
4 1 student expectations21
4.1 Student Expectations

Our hypotheses: After thinking more thoroughly about their expectations and satisfaction, students would change their opinion (namely, that they would be less satisfied).


4 1 student expectations22
4.1 Student Expectations

Question #2: Overall, how well have your expectations for this programme been met?

Questions #11: Generally speaking, what is your level of satisfaction with your study programme?

4 1 student expectations23
4.1 Student Expectations

Student Satisfaction with the HTW BIB Programme

4 2 best subjects and why
4.2 Best SubjectsandWhy

Best subjects:

  • Macroeconomics with Professor XXX (26 votes)
  • Microeconomics with Professor XXX (23 votes)
  • Business Law 1 with Professor XXX (18 votes)
  • Introduction to Business with XXX (12 votes)
  • Financial Accounting with Professor XXX (8 votes)
4 2 best subjects and why25
4.2 Best SubjectsandWhy
  • Reason for best subjects
4 3 worst subjects and why
4.3 WorstSubjectsandWhy
  • Worst subjects:
    • Research Methods with Professor XXX (12 votes)
    • Marketing with XXX (11 votes)
    • Mathematics with XXX (9 votes)
    • Mathematics with Professor XXX and Corporate Finance with XXX (each 7 votes)
    • Communication Skills with Professor XXX (6 votes)
4 3 worst subjects and why27
4.3 WorstSubjectsandWhy
  • Reasons for worst subjects
4 4 satisfaction and education
4.4 Satisfactionand Education

Our hypothesis: Students who have completed study programmes (either Bachelor‘s or Master‘s degrees) are less satisfied with the programme than students with no prior university experiences (since they with no experience have nothing to compare with).

4 4 satisfaction and education30
4.4 Satisfactionand Education

The relative frequencyis not large enoughtoprovide an accurate, unbiasedanswertoourhypothesis.

*Weusedthe total numberofstudentsratherthanthosewhomarked „BA, MA, school,“ becauselogically ALL students must haveattendedschoolandreceivedtheir A-levelsbeforebeingadmittedtothe HTW – despitethefactthatonly 63 studentsmarked „school“.

4 5 satisfaction and age
4.5 Satisfactionand Age

Our hypothesis: Age and therefore different life experiences could influence how satisfied people are with the programme.

Conclusion: too difficult to measure

  • Students ages 20 – 26 nicely dispersed / represented
  • Only one student age 30
  • No students older than 30
4 6 satisfaction and job experience
4.6 Satisfactionand Job Experience

Our hypothesis: Students with job experience might have higher expectations for the programme and thus a resulting lower level of satisfaction.

(slightly) TRUE

  • 32 Students had part-time work experience
  • 34 Students had full-time work experience
  • Some marked both full and part-time
  • Some marked multiple options other than work
4 7 teachers abilities
4.7 Teachers´Abilities

Are students whose mother tongue is English more or less satisfied with their teachers‘ language abilities?

Surprisingly, German students held a more negative opinion of their teachers‘ English abilities. This could be due to the fact that most English-speaking students come from African countries, or that most of the native English speakers are in the first and second semester. Or perhaps English-speaking students are just nicer. 

4 8 programme criticism
4.8 Programme Criticism

Quality ofteachers

  • There should be a better quality of teachers and
  • Higher entrancereuqirementsforteachers
  • More professors would be nice, not only teachers
  • Betterevaluationofteachers
  • Teachers should be obliged to make TOEFL too
  • Some teachers as in Introduction to Business are too unorganized
4 8 programme criticism39
4.8 Programme Criticism


  • Some topics feel like a waste of time
  • Too much learning by heart for exams
  • There should be a broader variety of languages
  • Although 2/3 of the course selected HR, Mr Frank failed to manage that everyone who wanted gets a HR topic. There were too many Marketing topics and too few HR topics
  • Learning target is often not transparent, seems like only filling out the time
  • Some subjects as research Methods 1 are useless, one doesn’t learn anything
4 8 programme criticism40
4.8 Programme Criticism


  • There was never the chance to complain anywhere, because nobody wanted to help students, „they“ always just tell us how great they are
  • Students should be better informed about AWE, everyone has different information on that
  • Unorganized, uncoordinated, nobody takes responsibility, people in charge are not approachable
  • In the administration nobody has really a clue of how the system is working and if one needs certain information, one has to talk to many people and does not know more in the end.
4 8 programme criticism41
4.8 Programme Criticism


  • Mrs. XXX is rude
  • XXX is not able to argue on a high level with good arguments, he cannot communicate

General Criticism

  • Some students hate the comparison of their semesterto other semesters
  • Student was not able to get credits from his previous study program for this course because of the language, but they think that those classes were useless here and they did not learn anything
4 9 programme improvements
4.9 Programme Improvements

Things thatshouldbeimproved

  • It is not helpful to be forced to do presentations in EVERY class, sometimes it is better to get something explained by the teacher; in the end one has to double and triple check because the presentations are not sufficient, sometimes those presentations take too much time of the class, which could have been used better. If presentations still necessary, then it should rather be done like in economics where professor XXX has his actual lectures and lets students present on related topics so that everybody can understand what is done.
4 9 programme improvements43
4.9 Programme Improvements
  • In the 4th semester there should be more options, not only marketing and HR
  • There are very good and very bad teachers, that is why it is very difficult to assess the program
  • Adding and elective C „finance“ in the 5th and 7th semester would be really interesting
  • Having some more online classes would be nice
  • Some more events to encourage the interaction between Germans and international students would be nice
  • There is someone needed in mathematics who pushes the students practically
4 9 programme improvements44
4.9 Programme Improvements
  • Would be nice to learn more about ethics and about criticism of capitalism
  • More scholarships should be available for good students to be able to concentrate more on their studies
  • More co-work of students from the first and higher semesters appreciated
  • Would be nice to be able to select some courses which are relevant for specialization and skip some irrelevant courses as regional studies
  • Selection of courses should be a little more flexible (although hard because of the English language)-> would like to take some more courses from other disciplines as law
4 10 positive remarks
4.10 Positive Remarks
  • It is getting better each year
  • Ms. XXX is a real enrichment for the programme, she does her job really well, although there are many incompetent people around and above her
  • The staff in the international office is very competent and friendly
  • Great program, much practice, not too theoretical
  • It is a nice study program due to its internationality
  • It is nice that the university tries to make everything online
  • Some teachers are very good
5 conclusion
5. Conclusion
  • Overall satisfaction was good
  • Studentsmostlycomplainedaboutpoorteachingquality (inabilitytoexplain, movingtooquickly) andsubjectswhichwere „pointless“ and „useless“ → graphs still lookquite positive becausepeoplehadnochoice but tochoosetheaveragequality
  • [Whattochange, ifwecouldgo back in time] Weshouldhavehadonehypothesisandbasedthesurveyaroundit (more in-depth)
  • [Whattochange, ifdoinganothersurvey in thefuture ] Studentsfeltmuchmorecomfortablegivingfeedbackandcriticismtous in person (perhapseasiertosaythantowrite, oritfeltmore „off therecord“)... Maybeitisbetterto do personal interviews (qualitative insteadof quantitative surveys), especiallywhenstudentscareabouttheirprogrammeandtheresponse rate wouldbehigh
5 conclusion47
5. Conclusion
  • Evaluation ofbestandworstsubjectsisdifficult

→ subjectsfrom 5th and 7th semestershavelesschancestobechosen due tothefactthatlesspeopleattendedtheseclasses so far

(e.g. Business Ethics)

→ sometimes we just didn't know which teacher taught when...(e.g. if a seventh semester student says that they liked marketing most, that is hard to find out which teacher they had AND it is also not really comparable to later marketing classes because of the different teacher)

  • Hardtojudgequalityofthewholeprogramme

→ toofewstudentswhowentthrough all ofit (7th semesteroralumnis)

→ resultsconcerningthelevelofsatisfactionwouldbecompletely different if


answering (theprogrammeisverynewandfaced a lotofproblems in the

earlystages; manypeopleworkedhard on theimprovementofitalready)

  • Cannot form directlinkagebetweenworkexperienceandsatisfactionwithourdata (needstobemorepreciseanddetailed in certainareas)
6 challenges
6. Challenges
  • Finding time foreveryone in thegrouptomeet (different schedules, living in different locations)
  • Limited number of questions
    • Wanted to keep survey as short as possible (should fit on one piece of paper front and back)
  • Accurate representation
    • Limited quantity of data because there is no 4th and 6th semester at the moment and the alumnis are not represented
    • 7th semester students had a different version of the survey (online); the different environment could have impacted their answers
6 challenges49
6. Challenges
  • Timing of survey
    • Survey done before exam time (students are stressed or scared to criticize teachers or won’t criticize teachers until their marks are received)
  • Topic too broad
    • Satisfaction is hard to judge because there are many different factors influencing it
    • More detail is required to be precise about satisfaction and possible bias of the students… but number of questions and time were limited
  • Learning PSPP & Questfox
  • Naviandthe American wayofthinking
7 criticism
7. Criticism
  • Survey design (Screenshots of the online

survey on the next couple of slides)

  • Question formulation
  • Process
7 1 survey layout discussion
7.1 Survey Layout discussion

In casewewouldhavedonethecomparison:

  • Puttingthe logo ofthe HTW on the front pagewouldmakethesurveylookmore professional

→ but whenweoriginallywantetdtodistributethe same surveysto HWR students, theycouldhavefeltthatthissurveyhas a competitivecharacterandstudentscouldbeafraidofansweringhonestly ( nobodywouldwanttodowngradehisprogramme)

  • Wethenthoughtaboutincludingbothlogos on the front page

→ but thatwould still causecompetitionbetweenthetwo.

  • So ourconclusion was, thattheonlywayofreceiving honest answerswouldbetohavetwo different layouts: a HTW-surveywith HTW logo andanotheroneforthe HWR withtheir logo on it.
7 1 evaluation of survey design
7.1 Evaluation of Survey Design
  • Paper & Pencil + Must not be filled out sequentially + Possibly higher response rate + Verbal feedback

- Illegible handwriting - Not all questions answered

      • It is necessary to type up all of the questions
      • Some students did not attend the classes when we distributed the survey
7 1 evaluation of survey design58
7.1 Evaluation of Survey Design
  • Online + Link forwarded to 7th semester students

→ (otherwise they could not have been reached) + Easier data compilation (Questfox)

+ 0-drop-out rate from online survey

- Not in school environment

- Easier to just “click away” - Possible fraud

- Time consuming to create an online survey additionally

7 1 evaluation of survey design59
7.1 Evaluation of Survey Design

Of both forms, overall...

  • High flexibility of data collection because two different versions
  • Stimuli used (only personal): Distribution of sweets, opportunity to improve the programme (chance that results will be published)
  • Little control over the environment (only possible in choosing different courses where to ask the students)
7 1 evaluation of survey design summarized
7.1 Evaluation of Survey DesignSummarized
  • Response rate (personal)
    • High(because they could not run away!)
    • High completion rate (100% except a few answers left blank)
  • Response rate (online):
    • Higher than expected, 100% completion (no drop-outs)
  • Anonymity:
    • No student ID or name
  • Speed:
    • It took about 15 minutes to distribute, let it be filled out and collecting it in every class
  • Bias towards interviewers:
    • Little because we are also BIB students
  • Costs:
    • Only printing costs
7 2 question formulation
7.2 QuestionFormulation
  • Teacher evaluation questions were too general because there are very good and very bad teachers, so the average will always be chosen
  • Onesuggestion was thatweshouldmakethequestions a bitlongerandmorecomplex: e.g.:„whatpercentageofyourteacherswouldyou rate asbeing: (1) highlycompetent (2) competent (3) average (4) difficultto understand (5) not helpfulat all
7 2 question formulation62
7.2 QuestionFormulation
  • The mothertonguecouldplay an importantrole in students‘ understandingofthelectures, but somefeltthatitsingledthem out andinvalidatedtheiranonymity
  • Weshouldhavehadlistedthemothertongueoptionsas „German, English, orother“ - tomakesurethatanonymityisgiven
  • Whenweaskedabouttheage, people also wereconcernedabouttheiranonymity


thisfromhappening (age 20 andunder, ages 21 –

24, ages 25 – 28, etc.)

7 2 question formulation63
7.2 QuestionFormulation
  • Whenweaskedabouttheage, people also wereconcernedabouttheiranonymity

→Weshouldhaveusedagebracketsinsteadtoavoidthisfromhappening (age 20 andunder, ages 21 – 24, ages 25 – 28, etc.)

  • In somequestionsourdatamight not beaccuratebecausesoftwarelikequestfoxandpsppcannotdetectspellingmistakes → (e.g. nationality,…) wecouldhaveofferedagainoptionsto tick the box instead
    • We should have been more precise e.g. when choosing best or worst subject we should have asked the students to include the name of the teachers of the class because it is hard to find out which teacher had which class
7 2 question formulation64
7.2 QuestionFormulation
  • Whenpeoplehadto tick whattheydidbefore

studyingat HTW in order to find out, ifthatmighthaveinfluencedtheirexpectationsandthereforetheirlevelofsatisfactionwiththeprogramme

→ wedid not offerenoughchoiceslikeDiplomaorstudies

thatwere not finished

→ peoplehadtocrossother, eventhoughthey

mightbehighlyqualified in someotherfieldsofstudy

  • Weshouldhaveoffered a box likesomecollegesto also beabletorecognizethesekindsofqualifications
7 3 process
7.3 Process
  • We did not get any answer from the HWR

→ we should have contacted them much earlier

(as soon as we decided on the topic)

  • Dependent on other lecturers in terms of reaching them and to get permission to run surveys during their classes → we should have started to prepare this earlier
  • Better organisation/structure (complete Questfox before starting to type information into it)
thank you


College of Applied Sciences, Berlin

Kasey Navita Phifer