|As of August 28th, 2012|
- RateMyProfessor - This website has become pretty famous among students as a way to suss out the quality of higher-ed professors. I imagine only students who feel strongly one way or the other will post comments here, so the data might be a bit biased. That said I'm doing ok on their 5 point scale. Most students like it that I tell stories, so I'll keep that up. I have the creepiest picture imaginable on the website which I think is responsible for my lack of hot peppers.
- Unsolicited Student Messages - I'm referring mainly to social media messages. Since many students are my friends on Facebook and twitter I see when they write about me. During these first few weeks of the semester there seems to be a lot of positive feedback, which is great in that it makes me excited to be here too. My goal is for students to find each other on twitter so that they can commiserate about class and support themselves through the more difficult chapters.
Solicited Student Survey Free Responses
- Solicited Student Surveys - At the end of each section of my class (there are five sections) I ask my students to complete an online survey to give me some feedback on how they feel about their learning in my class. I really want all my students to have a good learning experience and since I am regularly trying new and different activities, assessments and assignments I want to make sure that these changes are having the effect I intend. It might be a bit of a hassle for students to do this again and again but it really is the most valuable to me, since it is direct and immediate feedback about specific things we have just done in class.
- IDEA Survey - This is the colleges official student feedback form. All students receive this for all classes via email toward the end of the semester. We started using this last year and student response rates were too low for meaningful statistics to be done. Hopefully this year we (faculty) can all encourage our students to complete these surveys so we can do some useful analysis. I really want this to be valuable because it can compare how students rate me against other psychology professors or against the college as a whole. I mean it is great that my students seem to like me, but what I want to see is if they feel they are learning in my class and learning at least as much as students in other classes.
- Direct Feedback From a Boss - This last one only happens on rare occasions. Sometimes a student is so upset that they will go to a program coordinator, department chair, or division dean to complain. Whenever this has happened with me I have been impressed with how sensible my dean, chair or coordinator has handled the situation. But should I change my style because of a vocal student complaint? Even if I'm still getting good reviews from so many others? I weigh this carefully. I don't want any student to get this upset in my class. I'm ok if students get uncomfortable (that's part of learning), but I don't want it to be more than they can bare. So I always try to weigh the pedagogical advantage that I give to the majority of my students against the displeasure of the few... Is there another way I can achieve this that will be less objectionable? Is there a way I can soften this information in consideration of student sensitivities? Could I tell this story with less profanity? The answer is sometimes yes.
|An example of a positive tweet|