Mid-Semester Evaluation – Spring 2012

It’s tough to evaluate lots of subjective feedback.  Where do you start?  I like to create a word diagram using wordle.net, which takes a bunch of plain text, and creates a word diagram based on the most common words.  I then use this word diagram to determine what themes I will look for as I read the individual comments.

Here’s the word diagram I generated based on the responses for the first question (“2 things that Andy is doing well”).

Wordle: S12-Evaluation

After reading the individual comments, it seems that most students have appreciated how we have spent our time during class.  The opportunity to have a discussion and have interaction with other students has been positive.  The online quizzes have also been a positive.  While many students have indicated that they create work, the consensus seems to be that they help to focus attention on the course content that is pertinent.

Now, for the critique.

Wordle: S12-Evaluation-Improve

One of the major complaints was the lack of advance notice for taking a pre-quiz or a post-quiz.  I understand that this can be frustrating, especially when you have a busy schedule.  For the rest of the course, I do not believe that this will be an issue, as most of the quizzes are ready to employ (I have had to construct all of the quizzes up to this point, which takes a significant amount of time).  Another issue related to the online quizzes was that I have not spent enough time going over the quiz questions during class.  This was similar to a few comments about lack of preparation for exams.  This is something I will make an effort to do in the coming weeks.  Some students mentioned that having power points helped organization, especially if you felt that you are a visual learner.  I understand this dynamic and I will try to use a power point to organize future classes.

Feedback is helpful to me as an instructor, as I have my blind spots. You won’t always get what you want from giving feedback, but please understand that all feedback helps me to improve my practice of teaching, and hopefully makes your experience as a student a better one.

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