Survey Said! Selections from my Fall, 2013 Course Evaluations

The following are quotations from the “Free Response Questions” from my students’ evaluations of my undergraduate International Human Rights Course from Fall, 2013 (for which you can find a dated, but representative, syllabus here).

What did you like about the course and/or instructor?

I liked that we were able to openly discuss our perspectives with each other

I really liked the chips even though they caused anxiety

I loved the chips and speaking class.  very helpful.

It has definitely helped me open up more with public speaking.  Even though the chips used are nerve wracking, it helps me stay focus and on top of the class. 

Will was highly knowledgeable and his teaching refreshing.  It was good to hear what the students think and him to add.

The class was engaging and he made the class based on our needs.  Didn’t feel like stock lectures.

Loved Dr. Moore’s approach to the material.  Liked the discussion based method.

Extreme mastery of the subject matter.  Enthusiastic & personable.

The topic was very interesting and the readings were challenging and encouraged critical thinking.

Very enjoyable class and instructor.

Honestly, all I did like was the tone of conversation / discussion.  This was not just another boring lecture.

He really loves and enjoys the subject.  He seemed very enthusiastic and dedicated.

I liked the content and I though that Will Moore was a very stimulating & knowledgeable professor.

Instructor is very personable and engaging, shows respect for students, and clearly knows a lot about the coursework.

His firsthand experience was very educational.

Instructor is master of subject without a doubt.

I like the fact that his exams are fairly straightforward as along as you do the readings.

What aspects of the course and/or the instructor’s instructional methods should be improved?

The class would be better if the chips weren’t used.

The poker chip method gives me anxiety.  I feel like the entire class was more about “playing the game” than actually learning.  This is one of the most unpleasant courses I have taken during my college career.

His method of calling on people is stressful.

The instructors approach is intimidating and attempts to be inclusive but usually is not.

The “chips” do not encourage people to do the reading.  It is NOT fair for there are students that read every night spend SO much time & never get rewarded.

Sometimes we get way off topic in class and we don’t focus on the readings.

I do not appreciate the lack of professionalism.  I realise that as adults we can choose to use what ever language we want but there are better ways to get a point across than by using vulgar language.

Professor cusses a lot which can make some people feel uncomfortable.

What I did not like was the class structure.  We were instructed to read 30+ PDF pages per class, with no hint / clues as to what to pay attention to.  With an additional 4 classes, the last thing I wanted was to be overly anxious / nervous about what I needed to know.

The midterm was fair but the final will NOT be.  He cannot expect students to know all the main points unless he helps.  These are scholarly high level articles.

For me personally the assigned readings were too academic.  I felt very far removed from the topics.  I would prefer to be led by an expert rather than my peers.  Not great for shy, bookish people either.

Add more writing on exams!  Helps students effectively express what they learned not always trying to figure out damn multiple choice questions.

Need to put in more effort – make outlines for notes, make a helpful study guide for the test cut down readings because they’re too long  Tests are too difficult

There should be more forms of evaluation  At least one more test!

Will could be more more detailed in helping students be prepared for how they will be tested.

More case studies would have been benefitial to me and could make for great paper topics.

I would have like to see a midterm paper

The lack of direction sometimes bothered me, however it gave me room to grow.  I went into this class expecting to learn more about case studies: specific examples how they were handled + the repercussions of the ruling.  Maybe, if possible, that could be added into the course instead of so much theoretical discussion.

Instructor should use teaching tools such as powerpoint / outline / tables to help communicate material.

To my benefit, the three students who offered the comments below used pen (rather than getting a pencil from the box provided) to complete their scantron forms, and thus their scores were not calculated, thus raising my quantitative scores.  Ooops.

the chips caused anxiety (2 students made this verbatim point)

The use of the chips seemed to be more of an anxiety factor because even if you have read and were called upon, you may not answer the question as expected.  I do not like the use of the poker chip because it caused many of us to scramble for an answer or overanalyze.

tests were worded badly

I think the exams should be easier to understand or at least receive some sort of study guide

long readings that don’t add to the discussion

notes, powerpoint or some other teaching aid is needed

we never learned anything except for the reading

maybe being more clear with expectations

Please list additional comments and/or suggestions.

The music is very distracting and makes it hard to follow the lecture.

Worst of all my INR classes.  I love this topic but this class was just a library card with footnotes.

@WilHMoo

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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