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Explorance Partners with Mannheim Business School for End-of-Course Evaluation Surveys Collaboration

London, UK – November 22, 2022 – Mannheim Business School, which offers world-class management education for all career stages – both on an individual and organisational level – has appointed Explorance to enhance its approach to student course evaluation surveys.

The Business School is a non-profit organisation owned by the University of Mannheim (25.2%) and the Prechel Foundation (74.8%). With around 60 employees and 700 students, Mannheim Business School is responsible for the organisation and marketing of the school’s management education programs. Academic responsibility rests with the professors of the Business School of the University of Mannheim, and degrees are granted by the University.

Dr. Jens Naber, Chief Digital Officer at Mannheim Business School, oversees student evaluations within his department’s wider remit of IT and digital learning. “Pre-pandemic we used paper-based surveys, and whilst that worked well with lecturers allowing time for surveys in class, it led to a lot of manual work for us,” Dr. Naber said. “During the height of Covid paper-based was no longer possible so we made a fast switch to online for our fixed surveys. Without the right tools, we saw a decline in response rates. We knew we needed a longer-term solution and more flexibility in the future, which led to a decision not to go back to paper-based.”

Whilst seeking an alternative, Dr. Naber attended the AMBA & BGA Global Conference 2022, where he met Explorance. “We already knew about Explorance when searching for ways to improve our end-of-course evaluations and subsequently went on to look at three different solutions,” Dr. Naber explained. “Explorance had better integration with our existing systems. There was a clear pathway from our student information system into Blue, and also integration with our Canvas LMS. It will enable automation way more than before, bringing an immediate return on investment in terms of working power. It is the best solution for us, and additionally supports European data protection requirements as well.”

Following an initial meeting in May, Explorance has been working with Mannheim Business School since August. “It was a fairly quick procurement process and Explorance were very helpful throughout, providing demos and answering every question we had,” Dr. Naber said. “It was a good way of discovering what we were buying into. We are currently at the beginning to middle of implementation, and will run our first evaluations in the new calendar year across all programs. As we also have open certification courses and short programs we are expecting around 500 evaluations and 10,000 responses a year.”

Dr. Naber added that with Blue’s integration with Canvas strengthening communications with students, there is potential for the Business School to gather more insight in the future. “As part of our ongoing quality management, it is also very important to assess teaching,” he said. “It is the same with intelligence that informs decisions on program structure. Students can give valuable input on how to optimise the learning journey. Evaluations are ways to go out to them directly, and this is very important. Explorance enables us to think about new types of evaluation we have not done or to the same scale before.”

John Atherton, General Manager – Europe and Africa, at Explorance, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Mannheim Business School. It is a distinctive Business School which is considered to be one of the leading institutions of its kind in Germany and is continuously ranked as Germany’s number one. It is indisputably world-class, and we are looking forward to innovating their approach to student course evaluation surveys, in turn increasing the level of analysis and available insight.”

Earlier this year Explorance published Feedback Matters: Business and Management Education Focus Report, a report which examines how student feedback – including feedback derived through evaluation surveys – influences institutional enhancement and delivers transformational business and management education.

As well as Mannheim Business School, Explorance works with Aarhus University School of Business and Social Sciences, Copenhagen Business School, Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies, Emlyon Executive School, ESA Business School, ESSEC Business School, Grenoble IAE, HEC Paris, IE Business School, IESE Business School, INCAE Business School, McGill University (Desautels Faculty of Management), Montpellier Business School, Norwegian School of Economics, Presido Graduate School, Simon Business School, Stockholm School of Economics, and Villanova University School of Business.

Photo by Jörg Hempel


John Atherton

General Manager, Europe and Africa


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