Are student evaluations a good idea?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by orangetea, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Apr 2, 2012

    I was thinking about giving my students a questionnaire about my class and what they enjoyed/didn't enjoy at the end of the year. I'm a new teacher, so I am looking for all the feedback I can get.

    Does anyone else do this? None of my colleagues seem to ask for student feedback, so I'm a little apprehensive about the idea.
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 2, 2012

    I do something like this. I ask my students to write me a letter. It's very basic. I ask students to write to my future students. They write down things they enjoyed, things that they wish were different, and advice that they have for next year's students.
     
  4. gemgirlxoxo

    gemgirlxoxo Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2012

    I'm not an experienced teacher, but I think it's a good idea. I would just suggest giving it to students during class (probably at the beggining) because if it's for homework they may not want to be bothered with it or put much thought into it.
     
  5. Gareth

    Gareth Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2012

    I think this is a good idea, you might be surprised about what they remember. This might give you a bit of insight into what the students responded to the best. Chances are that what they remember the most is what they would have learnt a lot from.
     
  6. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I think it's a great idea as long as you have a thick skin. Students tend to be really harsh when giving feedback. It might provide you with some valuable information for next year though.
     
  7. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Yeah, this is what I'm worried about. I'm pretty sensitive and tend to take a lot of things to heart, so I'm worried if some comments might be very harsh or rude.
    But I think I'll risk it if there's a chance that it'll help for next year.
     
  8. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Hm well, maybe instead of asking for any feedback they want to give, you could have certain questions that have answers for them to rate on a scale of 1 to 5? Or ask specific things like their favorite and least favorite activity. Basically keep it from being too open ended to leave less room for harsh words. If you've ever read a peer review written by students, you'll know that they are really tough critics and most of what they say probably shouldn't be taken personally.
     
  9. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I gave one at the end of my student teaching using Survey Monkey. I found the students were not harsh at all, and they were actually very perceptive. These were 9th graders btw. Out of 60 kids, I only had 2 negative comments. One was that the class was too easy (funny how this kid probably never took advantage of my challenge problems) and one was that I wasn't available after school enough (I was available 3 days a week--the other 2 I had classes).
     
  10. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Apr 3, 2012

    We are required by the "Council" at our school (our legislative body, mostly students but with faculty and community members as well) to give student evaluations twice per course. Most of us then discuss the results with our students. For me, with my semester-long courses, that means four times per school year.

    It's not a big deal to me: I'm used to it. They're pretty fair and pretty accurate in what they say. I know my virtues, and I know my flaws, in large measure, I think, because of this process. Some of my flaws I work at, others I embrace as charming idiosyncrasies. We're all sinners, ain't we?
     
  11. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Apr 3, 2012

    I give my kids a 5 question warm-up/quiz every morning. On the last day of school I make questions 4 and 5:

    4. Write one thing you liked about science class.
    5. Write one thing you didn't like about science class.

    I tell them their responses CANNOT be "nothing" or "everything". I usually get back pretty good stuff. Most of the time their least favorite thing is the 5 question warm-up/quiz :)
     
  12. appleaday180

    appleaday180 Rookie

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    Apr 3, 2012

    "I think this is a good idea, you might be surprised about what they remember. This might give you a bit of insight into what the students responded to the best. Chances are that what they remember the most is what they would have learnt a lot from."
     

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