June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
New Engineering Educators
14.825.1 - 14.825.14
Keeping in Touch with Your Class: Short Class Evaluations
Especially for a beginning or fairly new professor, a primary concern of teaching is the preparation of proper material for each class session. This paper discusses a way to determine how well the students are learning the material, especially in quite large classes, as well as their opinions on the course. A search of the literature shows that the “Minute Manager” stands out as an easy and effective way to receive continuous feedback on the delivery of a course. This paper describes how the author has adapted the Minute Manager for use in her courses and program seminars.
The questions asked on the Minute Manager evaluation are: 1) What was the most important thing that you learned today? 2) What did you like most about the class today? 3) Do you have any questions about the class today? Are there topics that are muddy? 4) Do you have any questions about the course? and 5) Comments. At the bottom of the brightly colored half page, the student is asked to circle the overall rating of the class from 1 = Excellent to 5 = Very Poor.
The paper will discuss uses of the Minute Manager, the types of answers that can be expected, and the student impressions of their use in a junior-level statistics problem-solving class for engineers.
I. Introduction Do you remember what it was like as you walked to your first class as a professor at a college or university? With a newly minted Ph.D., the professor walks to her first assigned class and is conscious that no one is watching and no one is checking to see what will be delivered in the lecture, let alone if the material delivered is correct. The professor is a bit aghast at the whole scenario, but then remembers that she has earned a Ph.D. degree. Because of this degree, the newly acquired faculty colleagues trust that a new professor is responsible, knows the material, and knows how to teach. Of course the new professor soon learns that no one has to be in the classroom to check on the teaching. If a professor, especially a new one, is not doing well in a course, the students immediately report problems to the department chair. However, the new professor feels OK about the class because she taught a few courses as a graduate teaching assistant. In those circumstances, the course syllabus was set and a graduate student was not individually responsible for preparing the tests, but the new professor did teach. So the new professor is prepared to teach. Or is she? Whether a professor is new or seasoned, a primary concern is the effectiveness of her teaching. Are the students learning what they need to learn? The general class learning can be measured by quizzes and exams. Professors receive feedback from the students through the teaching evaluation at the end of the semester. It would be nice, however, for the professor to know how well she and the students are working together long before a final teaching evaluation. Even though the lectures may have been academically correct, it is possible that the professor may be
Anderson-Rowland, M. (2009, June), Keeping In Touch With Your Class: Short Class Evaluations Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5782
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