Ludwigsburg 2012

EVALUATION REPORT

BASED ON THE STUDENTS’ FEEDBACK ON

INTENSIVE ERASMUS-DAAD PROGRAM

CULTURE AS RESOURCE ON FUTURE EUROPE

Ludwigsburg, February 2012,

Blagoevgrad, May 2011,

Helsinki, February 2010

 

By Prof. Assoc. Svetlana Hristova

This evaluation report has been written based on two different kinds of questionnaires: one generated by the team for internal evaluation with the goal to receive regular feedback from the students after every week of the IP which has been used during the three consequential years 2010-2012; and the obligatory official questionnaire introduced by DAAD-Erasmus office in 2011, therefore covering only the last two years of the IP.

 

  1. Respondents’      details
  Gender Average Age Level of program
Bg f -5; m -4 22.8 6 – b, 3 – m
De f – 6; m – 3 24.4 9 – m
Fi f – 8; m – 1 24.6 9 – b
Pl f- 9 22.9 9 – b
Total f – 28

m – 8

23.7 b – 24

m – 12

 

In the third IP Culture as resource of future Europe (2012) for a first time there took part all the four initially planned partner universities from Germany, Finland, Bulgaria and Poland. However, the profile of all 37 students participating in the program was similar to the previous years: girls prevailed over the boys more than three times, the average age is at 22-24, twelve students attending master programs at their universities, and the other were in bachelor programs. However, during the three consequent IPs this mixing of bachelor and master students was appreciated less positively than the international grouping of students from the participating countries.

2. Do you think that it make sense to mix students (Rate from 5 – excellent to 1 – bad)

2010             2011           2012

From   exactly these countries?

4.10

4.03

4.39

From   master and bachelor courses?

3.29

2.83

3.96

 

3. Motivation and factors to participate

Considering the participants’ motivation, generally the students, participating in the IP in Ludwigsburg 2012, display the same structure of interests and motives as in the previous IP in Blagoevgrad 2011: they have been motivated mostly by factors, connected with gaining intercultural knowledge and development of intercultural communication skills. Nevertheless, the cultural factor (to get know different cultures and also to gain European experience), which was leading in 2011, gave way to the desire to practice and improve their English language. In 2012 also career plans get ahead in students’ motivation before the development further of their professional knowledge and expertise (the academic factor). For the three groups of visiting students (Fins, Bulgarians and Polish) least significant was the consideration about friends living abroad, while for the German students that was one of the strongest factors receiving third place in their motivation scale. (See Table 3, average scores from 1 to 5)

 

3. Motivation & factors to   participate

BG

DE

FI

PL

Total

Satisfaction with IP duration

4.22

3.00

4.11

4.75

4.02

IP dates meeting study plans

3.67

4.00

3.11

4.25

3.76

Academic factors

4.22

4.00

3.44

4.22

3.97

Cultural

4.67

4.89

4.78

4.33

4.67

Practice of foreign language

4.00

4.50

4.22

4.78

4.38

Friend living abroad

2.22

4.67

3.67

3.00

3.39

Career plans

4.22

3.79

3.78

4.33

4.03

European experience

3.33

4.79

4.22

4.22

4.14

Other: developing interpersonal (leader) skills, gaining new experience, Interest in Germany, Getting new friends, traveling

 

3. Information about the IP:

100% of the respondents heard about the IP from their home institutions. 30% of the German students and 45% of the Finnish and Bulgarian students received information also from other students; and 36% – from former participants of the IP. While in 2011 only one person (Fn) reported to have informed herself/himself from Internet, in 2012 around 24% (9 persons) reported they have received information from Internet, probably due to the developed new communication IP tools in the social media.

4. Institutional support

The institutional support students received from their home and host institutions was evaluated adequately high. Most appreciated was the support of German hosts by the group of Polish students, least evaluated was the support of the home institution of the Bulgarian students.

Institutional Support

Bg

De

Fi

Pl

Total

Support   of home institution before IP

2.89

4.22

3.38

3.11

3.40

Support   of host institution before IP 1

3.78

4.33

3.22

4.67

4.00

Support   of home institution during IP

3.11

4.63

3.13

3.00

3.47

Support   of host institution during IP

3.44

4.79

4.11

4.78

4.28

Comment: very well-done pre-preparation from the whole team

5. Accommodation & infrastructure

The incoming students have been accommodated in a hostel which provided considerably good conditions. The most common comments/complains of students were about the missing w-fi and the uniform breakfasts. In comparison, the average score which students gave to the accommodation in Blagoevgrad during the previous year, was 3.83.

Accommodation   & infrastructure

Bg

De

Fi

Pl

Total

Satisfaction   with accommodation

3.00

3.00

3.67

3.22

6. Costs

The IP covered most of the students’ costs including their accommodation, some of the meals and 90% of the plane tickets, as well as the tickets for their internal trips by buss and train. Most often, students reported that they have contributed from around 150-200 Euros for the IP, to cover 10% for their plane tickets, as well for food and social activities.

7. Workload

Workload

Bg

De

Fi

Pl

Total

Workload   for the IP preparation

3.56

4.89

3.50

3.56

3.87

Workload   during the IP

4.33

4.44

3.38

4.33

4.12

Workload   for wrap-up activities

4.22

4.63

3.11

3.38

3.84

Overall   workload

4.22

4.22

3.67

3.56

3.92

Comments:

* Well it’s INTENSIVE programme – if it lasts more than 2 week we will run out of batteries.

* It was really intensive. During the best days of the programme it was hard to concentrate on lectures.

The overall workload has been estimated differently by the national teams from 3.56 for the Polish group to 4.22 for the Germans and Bulgarians, the highest workload been reported by the German team for the IP preparation (4.89). The German students had an extra workload as host, responsible for the preparation and the whole organization of the event, additional 60 h. every week for the last three months before the start of the IP.

In comparison, the average score of the estimated overall workload in the previous year was lower – 3.52, i.e. near to the ‘just right’ level, but nevertheless the students always were expressing willingness to have more free time for social contacts and reported exhaustion (running out of the batteries) by the end of the IP. However, in spite of these complains, the final results give evidence, that the participants remained more satisfied with the outcomes from the more intensive Ludwigsburg program.

7. Academic Recognition

All students except one Bulgarian are aware of the possibility to receive from 5 to 10 credits for the participation in the IP, as well as Diploma Supplement – a Certificate. One of the German respondents suggested introducing a special Certificate not only for the participation in the IP, but also for the organization and logistics of the event.

 8. Expectations before IP

As in the previous year, the highest students’ expectations were connected directly with their motivation for intercultural experience and social contacts with students from other countries. However, this time there has been raised high expectations about the innovative aspects of the studies, as well as the improvement of their personal skills.

Expectations before IP

BG

DE

FI

PL

Total

a. Defined clear academic objectives

3.56

3.44

4.00

4.50

3.88

b. These objectives to be accomplished

3.89

3.78

3.67

4.50

3.96

c. Innovative aspects in the studies

4.11

4.13

4.50

4.67

4.35

d. Interdisciplinary elements in the IP

4.00

3.89

3.43

4.56

3.97

e. Sufficient knowledge about IP aims and work tasks

3.67

4.00

3.50

4.44

3.90

f. Influence on IP aims and work tasks

4.25

3.00

2.57

3.67

3.37

g. Supervision by home teachers

2.89

3.56

2.38

3.78

3.15

h. Supervision by teachers from partner institutions

3.67

3.22

2.13

3.11

3.03

i. Profit from an intercultural exchange of experiences concerning the   subject

4.33

3.33

4.13

4.67

4.12

j. Improvement of language skills

3.11

4.22

4.00

4.22

3.89

k. Improvement of personal skills

4.22

4.00

3.63

4.75

4.15

l. Social contacts with students from partner institutions outside   classroom

4.33

4.56

4.44

4.56

4.47

m. Social contacts with teachers from partner institutions outside   classroom

3.78

3.22

2.00

3.11

3.03

n) Other expectations, which students reported:

Learning about the host culture; having more discussions; new networks to cultural institutions; to have fun. 

9. Satisfaction with the program and expectations met

There is a relationship between motivation, expectations and evaluation of the final results and outcomes: students give higher scores to the realization of those expectations which they initially evaluated higher: the profit from the intercultural exchange (4.33), the social contacts with the other students (4.22), and also their own knowledge about project aims and work tasks (4.22).

It is no surprise therefore, that the most satisfied were the students with the activities besides the general course (4.53) determined mostly by the so called ‘cultural factor’ of their initial motivation for gaining intercultural knowledge.

How far expectations were met?

BG

DE

FI

Pl

Total

a) How clearly the academic objectives were defined?

3.78

3.22

3.13

4.11

3.56

b) The extend the objectives were     accomplished

3.89

3.75

3.22

4.11

3.74

c) How innovative were the subjects?

4.11

3.68

3.33

4.44

3.89

d) The extend the interdisciplinary elements were covered

4.11

3.89

3.38

4.44

3.96

e) Evaluate your knowledge about project aims and work tasks

4.67

4.00

4.00

4.22

4.22

f) Did you influence the project aims and work tasks?

3.89

3.22

3.11

3.89

3.53

g) Evaluate the supervision of the home teachers

4.11

3.89

2.22

2.78

3.25

h) Evaluate the supervision of the teachers from partner institutions

4.22

3.78

2.67

3.78

3.61

i) Evaluate the profit from the intercultural exchange

4.33

4.11

4.22

4.67

4.33

j) Evaluate the improvement of the language skills

3.44

3.67

3.67

3.89

3.67

k) Evaluate the improvement of the personal skills

4.22

3.67

3.44

4.63

3.99

l) Evaluate the social contacts with students from partner   institutions outside classroom

3.78

4.44

4.22

4.44

4.22

m) Evaluate the social contacts with students from partner   institutions outside classroom

4.11

3.00

1.67

3.33

3.03

n.) Others: the English language of some teachers and their performance as a whole   

o) Satisfaction with IP activities and pedagogical   aspects

BG

DE

FI

PL

TOTAL

Pre-knowledge expected by     participants

3.22

3.78

3.67

3.67

3.59

Number of hours taught

4.00

3.11

3.67

4.22

3.75

Equipment used

4.22

3.89

4.33

4.78

4.31

Capabilities and expertise of professors

4.56

3.00

3.33

4.33

3.81

Contributions of external experts

4.33

4.00

4.00

4.67

4.25

Variety of teaching methods

4.00

3.22

3.44

4.44

3.78

The size of my working group(s)

3.89

4.22

3.89

4.22

4.06

The overall quality of teaching

4.33

3.00

3.00

4.44

3.69

The professional support for the students

4.00

4.11

3.67

4.63

4.10

The expected learning outcomes

4.33

3.44

4.00

4.44

4.05

The activities besides the general course

4.22

4.33

4.67

4.89

4.53

p) – Serious problems encountered:

No – 36

Yes – 2

Bulgarian student: Unexpectedly bad i-net connection in the hostel.

German student: IT infrastructure in university is old and slow.

German student: Language problems concerning some of the participating teachers from foreign countries; some lectures were really bad prepared.

10. PERSPECTIVES

The IP opened new perspectives for most of the students, ranging from 91% to 86% for the different items described below:

a) Did the IP open new perspectives concerning future areas of studies?

Yes – 33

No – 3

The new educational perspectives are connected mainly with Germany: May be master degree in Germany; Internship in Germany; Master degree in Germany, Robert Bosch foundation

Now I am much more interested in studying culture

For the German students the perspectives are connected with: how to use culture for future learning and understanding; hybridity; work more intercultural/international

b) Did the IP open new perspectives concerning future areas of work?

Yes – 31, No – 5

* Masterstudium in the field of intellectual property

* Like-minded people from abroad to work with

* Internships in big cultural organizations

* I hope it will help me because of the experience to work with people from different cultures

* Digital world e.g.

* EU, international cultural companies; international work, international projects

c) …Participating in the IP will help you in your further studies

Yes – 33, No – 3

* I am going to do master in management

* A lot of useful information

* It contributes to my knowledge of different cultures

* Synthesized useful info on actual topics

* Intercultural management skills approved;

* language skills, connections, experiences;

* got practical knowledge about organizing events like that;

* intercultural communication;

* open mind, Europe orientation;

* good reputation

d) …Participating in the IP will help you in your further career

Yes – 32, No – 2, May be – 2

* Yes, by networking knowledge, inspiration;

* The IP was a good start, it’s + in my CV

* Good informal network (friends)

e) …Participating in the IP will help you to find a job

Yes – 32, No – 3, May be – 1

*Yes, because now I know how to work in team and that will be useful when a job start

* I don’t want to find a job, I want to be self-employed

* Cultural management is not popular in Bulgaria and now I am one step further

To sum up: the overall evaluation of the IP is highly positive, with an average score of 4.09, what marks an increase of the level of satisfaction and overall evaluation of 3.7 in comparison to the previous year. Interestingly, the highest scores have been given by the Polish (4.67) and Bulgarian (4.38) groups[1]; most critical remained the hosts of the event, who gave the lowest score of 3.44.

OVERALL EVALUATION OF THE IP

BG

DE

FI

PL

TOTAL

 

4.38

3.44

3.88

4.67

4.09

 

This conclusion is strengthened by the results of the questionnaire, prepared by the team for internal evaluation. First, the internal evaluation revealed that in a similar way as in the previous two years, the first week of the IP generated higher scores than the second week. This reveals probably the side-by effect of the length of the IP, due to which the students are accumulating fatigue during the second week. Nevertheless, in Ludwigsburg due to the precisely elaborated work program, based on the generated intercultural and pedagogical experience from the previous two years, the two weeks of education have been estimated almost equally.

2012                                                                                      I week       II week        Total

                                No of respondents:    36                36              72

The   organization

4.55

4.41

4.48

The IP   content

4.21

3.75

3.98

The   cultural events

4.71

4.00

4.35

The whole   atmosphere

4.53

4.39

4.46

Second, the comparison between the three years of the IP Culture as Resource of Future Europe reveals the successful development and overall progress of the program which in Ludwigsburg reached the highest possible marks. This is also an evidence of the accumulated potential of the team for exploring of new thematic areas and development in future of new proposals for analogical educational forms.

ANNEX

STUDENTS’ COMMENTS

 

GERMAN STUDENTS:

* Corporate design for all participants (especially for the professors!) – to build up a unit. And to be good representatives for the universities and institutes. 14 days are too much, 10 would be intensive enough; some days just for the students (no classes) to learn languages and traditions better

# respectful working atmosphere J Great!

# some lectures weren’t too good! (even bad)

# DONE!

* teachers would increase quality!!

* more free time to recover and reflect or shorter program; more professional lectures.

* Some lectures could have been better; the professors should have good language skills!

# For the master students some subjects have been only repetition

* Make it a little shorter, 10 days, instead of 14. We had no energy, motivation and concentration in the end anymore.

# Learning methods were great – international group work, discussing, etc.

# It was great that we visited cultural institutions to have interviews there and presented the insight to the others => we could learn a lot.

# It was great that we had bus tickets and lunch vouchers for everyone. But it was too much work of the organizing team… Should receive more ECTS!

* organizers shouldn’t be involved too much…; the idea of the IP is very innovative and good; important for future Europe

* thank you …. For respecting us as colleagues and for the nice working atmosphere!

FINNISH STUDENTS:

* We got some false instructions from home institution but also a lot of good information,

host institution supported very well,

* some arrangements (for example the buss tickets) could have been better

* the support from German students was good

* some of the pre-tasks were given inaccurately, so they were made very differently

* wrong-made tasks were corrected and the schedule were flexible

* lunch, bus tickets & timetables

* pre-info was good. Nothing to complain about

* Host institution has done amazing work with the preparations, questions answered during the course + hostin 

* some info came quite late

* no Finnish person checks the e-mails on Christmas eve (24 h)

* Bus tickets, lunch, trips very good

* Some wrong instruction from home institution

* ORGA-students were perfect!!!

BULGARIAN STUDENTS

* No inet in the hostel would be better – it gets weird when people stay in one room in front of their laptops and don’t interact with each other… Anyway, it was very useful on the whole… I am really happy I had the chance to participate! Good luck and thanks!

* Probably not so much time in the university and more tie to know each other. The internet in the hotel was really bad but everything was really good!!

* May be shorter presentations, because when they are too long they are losing students’ attention. It was great, hope to participate again!

 

[1] One of the Bulgarian students was giving even scores of 6 and 7 beyond the determined scale, which have been equalized to ‘5’ in the final calculations.

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