Evaluations are back from spring semester. A mixed bag. Written responses can be found here.
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I was a bit surprised at some of the comments. One
student complained that getting an A was impossible and many complained about the workload but I don’t know what they are complaining about. What do they expect of a 300 level class? I thought it was great to see there are still professors that want to make us think and not just regurgitate what we are told. I wish we had more time to work on the two big assignments but I still managed an A- and I know a few people who earned As so it was certainly not impossible (or perhaps I just associate with intellectuals).
Wow, thanks for the encouragement. It really helps to know that there are those out there that get something out of my classes.
In some ways, I know that it will be impossible to please everyone in the class. On the other hand, I am a far less experienced university instructor than any of the other regular faculty, and I know I want to become a better teacher. Often those who are unhappy with a class find these evaluations to be the only way to (safely?) express their concerns. And I’ve certainly learned something here: I know I’ll use a text book the next time around, and I’ll distribute more detailed versions of the major assignments on the first day. I am also likely to make group work optional rather than mandatory.
On the other hand, I have to strike a balance between what students want, and what I want to do as a teacher. I would rather push students to do really good work then have them like me as a person–popularity is not something that drives me. So I expect I’ll always get complaints about my classes being to demanding. If I don’t I may start to worry! :)
Thanks again for your input!
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