Thank you to all the students who provided their ratings and comments on all my courses last year (and always). I always take care to analyze the data and consider written comments (see this page for mutli-year graphs and averages), and I often write a reflection on my blog while I prepare for the next set of students. Today is that day!
As you can tell from this graph, numerical ratings last year were consistent with those I have received in recent years, and indicate a generally high level of satisfaction with the course. Notably, students in Section 1 (at 9am) rated the fairness of evaluations as higher than typical–which must be a fluke because I changed them very little from the previous year, and not at all from Section 2.
Reading through the comments was interesting because it also showed a difference between Section 1 and Section 2. For the most part, students in Section 1 wrote about how engaging the classes were and how I showed concern for student well-being throughout the course. A couple of people noted that tests were challenging in both content and timing–but that’s not out of the ordinary. When I moved on to read Section 2, similar positive feedback appeared too, but a much greater proportion of students reported frustrations with the assessments on various dimensions (frequency, wording, difficulty, timing, length, two-stages). The assessments were the same for both Sections. I don’t recall seeing such discrepancy before. A part of me is inclined to chalk this up to randomness, but I also have a nagging sense that it’s time for a thorough review of my exam questions. Although I review the data each year and make small tweaks, I haven’t done a close examination and renovation in this course for a while. I’ve slotted that in my calendar for this fall term!