Course Evaluations Ad Infinitum

Robert Talbert, a mathematics professor whose blog I read regularly, posted on course evaluations. I thought it was interesting enough to link to and suggest you think about his thoughts.

I’m giving not one but four course evaluations during the semester. I’ve given midterm evaluations on occasion in the past, but it seemed to me that even twice a semester isn’t really enough. So, I’m giving evaluations at the end of the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth weeks of the semester.

The first three of these are informal and very loosely structured. They each have three basic questions:

What do you LOVE about this course?
What do you HATE about this course?
If you could change ONE THING about this course, what would it be?
The 6- and 9-week evaluations have two additional questions: What’s changed for the BETTER since the last evaluation? and What’s changed for the WORSE since the last evaluation? In week 12, students will do the official college evaluation for my course which has all the usual questions on it that probably are found anywhere.

It goes on. It’s an interesting opportunity and a challenge. I feel like I don’t have time for multiple course evaluations, but perhaps, I don’t have time to not have them.

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