Thursday, May 8, 2014

Student Opinions

I've been teaching at a local university for 2 years now.  Over that time I've received 3 student feedback surveys containing 92 responses.  These are some of my favorites.

All of these are 100% authentic.

What were the instructor's major strengths?

He was enthusiastic and really self-confident. Very used-car-salesman.
>>> I've actually never sold used cars, though at one point I sold sandwiches. 

Defense against the dark arts, potions, history of magic
>>> This is actually accurate, though we don't usually get to it by the end of the semester.

What were the instructor's major weaknesses?

At times, a little distracted.
>>> Probably true.  This is a common one.  Years of watching MTV as a kid has killed my ability to pay attention to any one thing for longer than 6.4 seconds.

Uses a Mac. Has extreme distaste of PHP, no PhD
>>> This one really isn't fair - everybody hates PHP.

was too good looking. it was distracting
>>> I'm about 99.99999% confident this was somebody being a smartass, especially since I'm no longer tied with James Franco in the hotness score on  Still funny though.

Transmogrification, charms, care of magical creatures
>>> I really need to invest some time working on this one.

He never took responsibility for having very unrealistic ideas of what the class should cover.
>>> True story.  Unrealistic Expectations is my middle name.  Side note: it's hard to have your initials put on something when you have 4 of them.

What aspects of this course were most beneficial to you?

I learned java? This question sucks.
>>> Probably my favorite answer ever.  I like that it's in the form of a question, like on Jeopardy.  Did you learn Java in my Java course?  I sure hope so.  If you learned PHP instead the class couldn't be in the CS department anymore.

I learned what not to do when teaching a course. As a PhD myself i found this very valuable.
>>> I'm actually teaching CS883: Things Not to Do When Teaching a Course in the fall.  Look for it coming to a university near you.

What suggestions do you have to improve the course?

Eh, I like that its easy even though its ridiculously easy
>>> I never claimed to be hard.  "Easy" and "learning" shouldn't be mutually exclusive.

use C++ instead
>>> I can't do that, I actually like my students.

More kittens
>>> Extremely accurate.  The class is lacking in both kittens and turtles.  Will work on this for next semester.

couldn't understand Mr James (no PhD) at all.
>>> I'm going to start putting no PhD at the end of my name on my business cards.

If you're interested in subjecting yourself to the horrors of my teaching and want to know what you're getting yourself into, you can see my full survey results here.

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