Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mid-Term Evaluations

One of the tools that I use in my courses to help me get a better handle on how things are going (before students fire off a massive cannon salvo in the end-of-term course evaluations) is a loose mid-term evaluation. This year, I asked three questions in my mid-term evals:
1. What's working for you in this class?
2. What's not working for you, and how would you tweak it to make it work?
3. If you had "SuperEducator" powers, what one thing would you change?

Now, those sound all cool and stuff, but really, I had a more staid version ready to go -- only I forgot to bring the forms to class.

So this morning I sat down to read those evaluations and type up summaries for my students (I like to do this, so that they get a sense of the contradictions and why I can't change everything to work for them).

The good news:
  • The workshop format, which I instituted last fall for one day a week of my class on how to teach writing, is quite popular.
  • Most students think the atmosphere/community of the class is positive and helpful.
  • Most students think that they are learning teaching methods that will be applicable during their student teaching and beyond.

The bad news:

  • There are a lot of haters for the text in my senior-level class.
  • Even though I provide models for most of my assignments, have a calendar of assignment due dates in the syllabus, do regular reminders of due dates in class, and provide rubrics for most assignments, there are several who are still unclear as to what is wanted on assignments, when they are due.

The mixed news:

  • Powerpoints -- love 'em and hate 'em.
  • Reading response sheets -- love 'em and hate 'em.
  • Use of a wiki for feedback -- love it and hate it.

So what's a professor to do?

1 comment:

Belle said...

Survey monkey will do all the analysis for you, give you the stats so beloved of assessment types...