Effectiveness of the use of open-ended questions in student evaluation of teaching in an engineering degree

Lourdes E. Aznar-Mas, Lorena Atarés Huerta, Juan Antonio Marin-Garcia


Purpose: The purpose of our research is to show the point of view of the members of the Board concerning advantages, disadvantages and effectiveness of open ended questions used as a complement to closed response questionnaires.

Design/methodology/approach: In this paper, we will describe a pilot experience carried out at a Spanish public university where a short questionnaire with open ended questions was launched, and students were invited to comment on their perception of the teaching received.

Findings: The response return rate (about 35%) was relatively high compared to other online closed response questionnaires delivered. Moreover, the students’ comments provided valuable information which made the members of the Board of the Engineering Degree chosen reflect. Their reflection was evidence based and led to initiatives and actions to improve the quality of teaching, as well as to get an extensive view of the Degree.

Practical implications: Findings reveal that the information retrieved can also be used in multiple ways such as formative feedback or even for improvement of courses and instruction. 

Originality/value: Student evaluation of teaching is a powerful tool for continuous teaching improvement but the information provided by conventional closed response questionnaires may not be sufficient.


Teaching evaluation, higher education, student satisfaction, teaching improvement, open-ended questions

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3926/jiem.5620

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience