I have a complicated relationship with teaching evaluations.
Effective teachers often receive poor evaluations, and teaching evaluations are biased against women and professors of color. I know that when I do receive high ratings it is likely because I’m a white guy, and my students think I’m funny.
And yet…I put a lot of work into teaching evaluations. I write extra questions that are specifically tailored to my class. I ask students to evaluate specific aspects of the class, like the readings, the short assignments, and the major projects. I ask for midterm evaluations. I tell the students my own early evaluation for the course, and preview the changes I’m going to make for the next time I teach the class.
I do all of this because I’m always looking for ways to improve my teaching, and while student evaluations are far from perfect, I still believe there is some value in listening to my students’ views on the class.
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“The best quality that Mr. Liddle has is his energy and passion he displays for each class. He should continue his style of teaching because he never made class feel boring or unimportant.”
“I like how relatable Mr. Liddle can be. He seems like the kind of professor that lies between fun and strict, and it makes a 400 level english class more enjoyable as time goes on.”
“Mr. Liddle has a distinct, charismatic attitude in class and it allows the students to be more comfortable and express their thoughts. The professor is very friendly and is well prepared for class each day. He makes sure the whole class is engaged and gets everyone participating. He comes to class each day excited which helps makes the class more interesting.”
“I enjoyed the fact that this class has a dual objective. It is not just a writing class and not just a multimedia class, but it combines both together. This class is also one where to do well, you really have to think. The blog posts do get pretty repetitive and annoying throughout the semester, but by the end I could really tell that they had improved my writing skills.”
“The rhetorical analysis presentation really helped me understand what makes a good or bad technical document. I had never really critically thought about the effectiveness of technical documents I had read before, and I think that having to do the presentation enabled me to learn a lot about how to make my technical writing more effective.”
“Writing two sets of technical instruction was very tedious but very useful. The assignment really helped me keep in mind the audience I wanted to write to and helped me design and write the document smoothly. When I had a question as to whether I though a certain image should go on the document or if a certain phrase may not have been understandable, I thought about my audience and what they would think if they were reading this document.”
“I liked how he had a way of calling students out WITHOUT humiliating them. It made the class respect and like him.”
“He did a great job moderating conversations and always made each student feel important and heard when they had a comment. He made the classroom atmosphere very friendly and open to learning. He made sure to provide individual assistance during work days and always had a plan to make the best use of class time.”
“Coming into the class, I found myself as a medical student in a room full of engineers, and I was concerned that the class would not be beneficial for me. However, Mr. Liddle made accommodations for me and brought health sciences examples and applications into the class. I was very impressed with his flexibility in this way.”
“The respect in the classroom is reciprocated between teacher and student at all times. He is very conscientious of students’ questions, concerns, views, and opinions. While he definitely made this course more intensive than other 106 teachers by my understanding, I greatly appreciate the time and effort that he put into this course to make it an experience I could take away many things from.”
“I really liked the memos that you had us write. I’ve never really had anything like that in a class before. The memos helped create a one-on-one portion of the course and helped me feel comfortable that if I had any issues with a project I could explain them to you.”
“Also, I liked how he sets up pretty clear and concise communication rules at the beginning of the semester (ie 24 hours for him to respond to any email). This makes both him and the student more accountable in the field of online communications.”
“The memos were a good idea. It was a great way to begin the projects. I would spend some time brainstorming the direction i wanted to go and then upon deciding I wrote the memo and laid out my plan a little more clearly. It helped me personally organize my thinking and set goals/milestones for the project as I worked.
“I really liked that there was detailed instructor feedback on assignments (this tends to be absent from the large STEM courses I am used to).”