- I think that it helps students who are considering taking my course get a better understanding of what the course will be like. Students who might enroll in my course are students who have taken enough courses to know that some students will “grade high” and others will “grade low” for instructors, and will take both the most praising and most critical comments with a grain or two of salt.
- Second, I think that it helps keep me focused on the fact that my job is to bring excellence to the classroom and if I have not done so, making my evaluations public forces me to a deeper and more explicit self-evaluation process, than if I could just file the evaluations away without looking at them again.
- Third, by sharing with the world, there is more opportunity for feedback. I view the teaching process like every other process in business, one that demands continuous quality improvement and a continuous influx of new ideas and experimentation.
- Here are the quantitative survey results in .pdf format.
- Here are the student comments in .pdf format.
Here are some of the student comments that I found particularly useful:
- I think there should be more time for certain assignments.
- Having a final worth most of the class points is kind of unreasonable, especially since the test is written and not MS Project based for the most part.
- Project Beta too long.
- I think that note taking during class should have not have been done. instead post the slides the day off (the class).
- Many assignment were busy work. If you can print off a Gantt chart once there is no reason to do it again.
I try to make improvements each year in the course, and this year I did compress a lot of the material on “traditional” project management in order to add more material at the end of the course on Scrum and other Agile Project Management methods. I think that worked well, but I don’t think that I altered the timeline/assignments/grading probably as best as possible to accommodate this new schedule of materials (comment 1). I am thinking that next year I will make the traditional project management portion end at the 4 week mark and then have a mid-term of some sort that will put a cap on that material and be worth more points rather than waiting until the final at the end of the course (comment 2). This might be both a written exam as well as a longer exercise (like the Project Beta mentioned in comment 3–the student is correct, Project Beta was way too long for the 30 possible points.).
Comment 4 is about a something new that I tried to get students to activity take notes and not just rely on slides that have every point listed. I can understand both points of view, but last semester I just posted the slides and it seemed that there was very little note taking or absorption of the material. I think that by writing and reviewing notes right after the lecture, there is more opportunity to learn this material. I might look at having some type of wiki that could be used to distill the collective knowledge of the class or perhaps have a hybrid system of posting some of the slides or a lecture summary. This is one that I will have to work on over the summer.
Comment 5 is valid. I need to go through the current weekly assignments and make sure that there is not unnecessary repetition.