The Code of Conduct for Teaching and Learning

12/06/2013

On June 12, 2013, the School's revised Code of Conduct document was signed by representatives of the student body, professorial staff, academic staff, and non-academic staff. The School's first Code of Conduct was created in 2009. The revision is in direct alignment with the School's recently revised Mission Statement. The principal amendment to both of these documents is that of a stronger focus on ethical and moral standards in teaching and research in the School of Business and Economics. The School Council approved the revised Mission Statement on December 19, 2012, and the revised Code of Conduct on April 17, 2013.    

  Code of Conduct Marcus Gerards The Dean of Studies, Prof. Dr. Thomes, Signing the Code of Conduct on June 12, 2013

The School of Business and Economics at RWTH Aachen University is committed to the provision of an excellent standard of teaching and to ensuring that all of its students reach the best possible level of intellectual attainment. It considers this commitment to its students to be of paramount importance. To meet this commitment, students' own personal engagement is called for, as is the compliance with quality standards in teaching and learning. All teaching staff in the School of Business and Economics are dedicted to the standards that are defined in the Code of Conduct for Teaching and Learning. These standards are intended to ensure that all teaching staff members demonstrate high levels of morally responsible conduct. In alignment with RWTH Aachen University's strategy for the future ("Excellent Teaching"), the Code of Conduct consists of four core areas: Professors and Other Teaching Staff, Students, Teaching and Learning Concepts, and Structure and Organization.

Professors and Other Teaching Staff

All teaching staff in the School of Business and Economics strive to maintain a high level of quality in their teaching. This involves their designing and delivering challenging course material, ensuring their own professional development, encouraging communication between students and teaching staff, and critically reviewing their own teaching strategies and those of their peers. All persons involved in teaching in the School regard it as their responsibility to encourage and help their students to develop critical thinking skills, to adopt an inquisitive and explorative approach to their studies as well as to develop into socially and morally responsible decision makers.

In order to achieve these goals, all professors of the School of Business and Economics pledge

  • to be accessible to students for consultation. During the lecture period of the semester, they and their teaching staff will offer weekly consultation hours (usually by prior appointment). In cases where study schedules or appointments collide, students can apply for another appointment that will be given to them within one week. During the lecture-free period of the semester, teaching staff will be available for consultation if necessary.
  • to respond to course-related emails in an expeditious and qualified manner. A reply will be sent out within 2 working days during the lecture period of the semester. Also during the lecture-free period of the semester, teaching staff undertake to respond to emails on course-related issues as quickly as possible.
  • to ensure that they themselves and their teaching staff participate in a continuous quality enhancement process by engaging in human resource development. Newly apointed teaching staff attend seminars offered by the University to develop their teaching competencies and the more experienced staff members are on hand to provide support to new teaching staff during their initial teaching activities.
  • to take seriously all student feedback on the quality of teaching and, where necessary, to incorporate this input when designing new courses and classes.

Students

Students are the pivot of all teaching activities in the School of Business and Economics. However, teachers of the School do not regard their students as passive receptors into which information and knowledge are to be placed, but rather as joint partners in the process of further developing the School. The School strives to provide the best possible framework conditions to enable its students to move successfully through their study programs at a brisk pace.

To meet these goals, the School of Business and Economics

  • provides online self-assessment tests for prospective students. In addition, academic advisors are available to prospective students for personal consultations.
  • provides assistance to students through the Service Center or mentoring program with regard to planning and managing their studies. Students have access to detailed information on studying abroad, examination management or internships, either via one-to-one consultations or regular group sessions.
  • encourages students to discuss any unresolved problems directly with a member of the teaching staff or by contacting the Dean of Studies via the student representative body ("Fachschaft"), so that an effective solution may be jointly elaborated.

The School of Business and Economics expects its students to learn and study in an explorative and inquisitive manner. Students should also demonstrate a high degree of initiative and responsible behavior. For instance, they are expected to procure by themselves information and details on procedures for lectures, seminars and examinations, and on the consultation hours of teaching staff. They should also actively particiate in the learning process and contribute through appropriate behavior to creating a focussed learning environment. Self-directed, meticulous preparatory and follow-up classwork is also called for, as is the upholding of and adherence to academic standards in their written work throughout the semester as well as in examinations, and the rejection of plagiarism and any cheating behavior in examinations.

Teaching and Learning Concepts

Commited to achieving the goal it has set iself of maintaining the highest standards of teaching and learning, the School of Business and Economics focusses in particular on a methodologically challenging blend of theory and empirical findings.The School supports the application and dissemination of innovative teaching methods.

In order to achieve this goal, the School of Business and Economics ensures

  • that the teaching and learning process is stimulating and diversified, and that appropriate supporting material is available to students.
  • that where there is deemed to be a need, or where it is deemed to be didactically appropriate, e-learning activities, such as moderated forums, online lectures, and e-tests, are implemented.
  • that classes are multimedia-enhanced, and that particularly tutorials and seminars have an interactive approach.
  • that seminars, case studies, project work, and business simulation games contribute in an application-oriented but also academically rigorous way to guiding students towards their study goals.
  • that all the School's teaching and learning concepts reflect interdisciplinarity, which is fundamental to RWTH Aachen University.

Structure and Organization

In order to assure and to continuously enhance its quality standards, the School of Business and Economics is committed to the consistent implementation of quality assurance. Students are actively engaged in this process through an ongoing dialog between teaching staff and student representatives. Teaching staff undertake to perceive quality assurance findings as an incentive for a continuous enhancement process.

In order to achieve these goals, the School of Business and Economics

  • subjects its programs of study to regular external assessments and (re-)accreditation processes.
  • ensures that all of its classes are regularly assessed according to the guidleines on quality assurance issued by RWTH Aachen University and that the resulting findings are discussed with the students.
  • empowers its students to have a decisive influence on the allocation of quality improvement funds provided by the University.
  • ensures that regular discussions are conducted between the Dean's Office and the students on the current study situation.