Today is the last lecture for this semester so, as tradition dictates, this is when I try to sum up the courses, ask for advice on what to change and try to motivate the students to fill in the course evals.
As part of this motivation I rely heavily on meme’s to get this message across. So these are the actual slides I use when discussing the course evaluation with my students. Beginning with the easily forgotten question:
Then its time to go through the material used in the courses. I have a tendency to include a LOT of material aside from the textbooks. I want to see this as providing a wide array of material but I am very wary to listen for the ways in which the amount may just be overwhelming.
Naturally the gradable parts of the course are of great interest to all involved. I am definitely getting rid of attendance since it really just serves no real purpose. Then I need to think of more interesting classroom exercises and alternative grading events. Interpretive dance anyone?
This is followed by a plea for the filling in of course evals. In Sweden course evals never were a big part of my life but here they are such a routinized and integrated part of the system that they need to get done. But they also need to be useful.
So this is where the students come in… We want them to give their opinions about the course. But do they know what a good course is? Do I? Does anyone? Why did the students take the course? Why did I give the course? Why did the university offer the course?
From my perspective its not really the numbers that are important. I want/need the free text opinions of my students as this may offer me insights into what I can do. But offering insights requires detail. Saying you loved it doesn’t really help.
Nor does saying you hated it…
Its all about perspective.
But this is also the last day of class and I am sorry to see them all go. I am looking forward to the upcoming break and to the reading and writing I want to get done.