The Awards: 4 (part 2)

So many good comments, I had to split them into two posts. Last time, I covered my perception class. This time, let's hear from students in my 100-level course.

(Warning: As always, remember that snarkiness and sarcasm filters are now OFF.)

Intro psych:

"created a sort of a sexist environment that made a lot of people in class think it was ok to say things that were even more inappropriate. For example, _such_ gendered language e.g., always 'Mom, Dad, husband, wife instead of spouse, parent', encouraging ppl to shout out stereotypes like 'Women are always pmsing, crying, talking, getting what they want.' Saying that the fluffy light Psychology magazine was aimed at Women & that he would never read it."
(I'll go one better. How about I just say "persyn"? Sure, it'll lead to confusion, but it's better than me talking about my wife all the time. And I will ensure that everyone in class submits their responses in writing for my approval before they are allowed to speak in class. Oh, and Psychology Today is closer to Modern Bride than Car & Driver. I know, I measured it on the rack. But I still do actually read Psychology Today.)

"...made me not pay attention in class, he is not good with keeping my attention. I resorted to doing crossword puzzles and checking twitter."
(I'm so proud! The Behaviourist Approach crossword is a good place to start. Mind Hacks has a great list of psychology and neuroscience on Twitter. Glad I could stimulate your desire to learn more about psychology, using new media!)

"We always had interesting and interactive things to do in the classes. It was really helpful and made the classes enjoyable to attend."
(And if you get bored, you could always check Twitter.)

"I feel as though it would be very difficult to pass this course without reading the text"
(Your feelings serve you well, Padawan. Plus, I kept saying how the majority of the exam questions come from the textbook. But a Jedi has no use for such things.)

"I refuse, on principle, to read the entire textbook to do well in this class."
(What a coincidence: I refuse, on principle, to give a good mark to anyone who doesn't read the entire textbook in this class.)

"I didn't like the fact that every chapter was assigned for reading instead of assigning pages, which would have been more helpful."
(That's not helpful. I'm going to assign individual words. Now that's helpful.)

"Only include questions from notes because not everyone can afford to purchase textbook."
(Then why assign a textbook? I'm not going to teach a class that doesn't have any form of required reading. Hey, I know! To save you money, I could have put a copy of the textbook on reserve for you.)

"Also, the textbook that was on reserve in Cam library was very useful. I would have failed the course without it. It also helps students who are more 'economically conscious'"
(Oh right. I did put the textbook on reserve for you. Too bad I'm not currently allowed to do that. Don't be mad at me--it's not my fault. Direct your concerns to UofA administration. Thanks.)

"Don't make the infolit assignments due on a Friday or Saturday."
(You can do the assignments on a Thursday. Or Wednesday. Did you know that? You don't have to do them on the exact day that they are due.)

"The tutorial was out of date for Assign #3 and VERY difficult to follow. The instructor should have notified students that the tutorial did not match teh new library database & given written updated instructions."
(Unfortunately, I can't access the infolit assignments. I have nothing to do with them; I am required by the Department of Psychology to have them in my intro psych course. But good thing you waited until the end of term evaluations to bring this up, though. That way, there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.)

"Lecture moves way too fast for those of us who don't want to print off an entire novel of fill-in-the-blanks and are instead taking notes manually."
(So for the three of you, I should slow way down so you can copy the notes? OK, but only as long as it doesn't bother the other 261 students in the class. I don't want them tuning out and checking Twitter.)

"I would describe this course as a mile wide and an inch deep."
(That's a 100-level course for ya. Well, that's a "survey course" for ya. I have added material that goes into greater depth, but then I can't cover everything in the textbook, too.)

"not a big fan of the textbook/lecture content differences"
(Not a big fan of the vague, unhelpful comments. Do you mean the textbook contradicted the lectures? Or the fact that I don't just read out of the textbook to you, and instead include topics that many think are interesting, like the psychology of happiness?)

"Have a clicker for miniature in class assignments, not graded, and inexpensive, used as a learning tool"
(... That's actual, serious, pedagogical advice for me. I will strongly consider that. Thank you.)

"Stop with the lame jokes. Not everyone is 4 years old."
(OK, I'll try to aim higher: 6-year-olds. I've got one I can practice on. Fart sounds are popular.)

Why aren't you studying?


Anonymous said...

I enjoy these. Although you are kind of making me scared to ever write anything critical on an evaluation. However, you keep encouraging it...I am conflicted. Do you basically just not want "stupid" comments?

Karsten Loepelmann said...

@Anonymous: I'm glad you asked that question, because I was afraid that you might get the wrong impression from these comments. I select very few comments out of the many that I receive, and often juxtapose them in such a way as to show how difficult it is to please everyone.

The vast majority of comments that don't appear in WAYS are constructive, detailed, and helpful (like the 'clickers' comment, which was great). The small minority that are non-constructive, vague, and unhelpful get put on WAYS; these are the ones that really deserve a (snarky) reply.

So basically: not a representative sample. If you've got something to tell me, go ahead. I welcome helpful feedback, but if you just want to vent, go ahead. Then look on WAYS a few weeks later to see my response. And don't be scared--it's all anonymous!

Anonymous said...

While the stupid comments are funny and entertaining, I'd actually like to see some of the constructive ones.

Karsten Loepelmann said...

@Anonymous: Hmm, OK, but it'll have to wait until the next round of eval's--I've recycled/shredded the ones from last term already.

Anastasia said...

What?! You mean you don't put all the comments into a collage, frame it, and put it on your wall?

Tiffany said...

Oh geez. People never disappoint for a good laugh.
Its like they want you to pretend the course material is a choo choo train and feed it to them with a bib on. How cute!

Anonymous said...

If a comment about someone else other than the instructor, say like another instructor in the same department, will the message get passed on? And has an instructor ever got in trouble because of what students wrote in the evaluations before? Not that I'm trying to get you or anyone else in trouble, but just curious.

Karsten A. Loepelmann said...

@Anonymous: No, messages do not get forwarded. In fact, comments about the TA in the course rarely get passed along as well--my bad, I usually forget. (Why would someone give feedback about a different instructor?)

Hmm, I don't know about anyone getting in trouble. Before I see them, comments from my classes are read by the Associate Chair (Undergraduate Program). I think she'll look for patterns, like everyone in class complaining about the same thing. But if it's something like "prof is always late", I don't think much will happen. It would have to be an egregious violation of ethics or the law. Or maybe a major anomaly in the grading. And in cases like that, students will likely take their concerns to the Department Chair or Associate Chair before the course ends.

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