As regular readers know, I regularly have students anonymously evaluate our classes and me and report the results on this blog. Students knowing that I’ll be making the results public, I think, helps them take it a little more seriously. You can see previous reports at My Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers). You can find a copy of the evaluation form I use here.
Katie Hull, my colleague with whom I’m co-authoring a book on teaching English Language Learners (it’ll be out in July, 2012), and I co-teach the class. I teach the first hour, and then she teaches the second.
There are quite a few questions on the form — in fact, I’m going to revise it later this semester to make it more simple. Because of its length, and because it’s late and I’m tired, I’m just going to highlight what I consider to be the most important and useful results.
Students are generally quite happy with the class and with Katie and me as teachers. When asked if the pace was the class was “too slow,” “just right” or “too fast,” all but three said it was just right (one said too fast and two said two slow). Students generally grade me between and A minus and an A as a teacher, and graded Katie between an A and an A+. That’s not surprising, because she’s the best teacher I’ve ever seen.
When students ranked their favorite learning activities, working on the computer and playing learning games were the top two. The most interesting result in this section, though, was that just behind them was the on-going project of students creating their own dictionaries (using images, definitions, and student-created sentences) of new words they learn and the partner process we use of sharing them with classmates. We obviously do other vocabulary-building exercises, but it’s just a reinforcement of how important these kind of self-directed dictionaries can be.
The other message we heard loud and clear was that the class wants to put a much heavier emphasis on speaking. We’ve been putting a lot of effort into academic writing and it’s been easy to making speaking a low-priority. However, it wouldn’t take a whole lot of work to integrate more speaking activities with the writing. We just have to make the time to do it.
As always, these evaluations are helpful…