Below is data from my teaching evaluations last semester, presented in terms of the 7 factors that the University derives out of student responses to this form.
Obviously, I faired better with respect to evaluations in my algebra-based physics course than my inquiry-based physical science course. This is not a huge surprise. Over the semester, I talked about student discontent in my inquiry course here, here, and here. I also talked about the need in the future to better frame this course in terms of their careers as future teachers, as I recognized that I was doing a poor job. Based on those discussion with students, it is also not that surprising that students in my inquiry course evaluated me fairly strong in terms of interactions and motivation with students, but poorly on both grading and value/effectiveness of course. This breakdown is also consistent with my previous self-assessments that I need to improve in areas of both organization and course architecture. In my physics course, I have to do little course design. In my inquiry course, I am completely over-hauling course design. This semester in inquiry, there are a lot of changes, including a changes to grading policies and course organization. This semester in physics, there are a lot of changes, mostly pertaining to how quizzes are administered and graded.
Anyway, here’s the breakdown, with +/- given with respect to department averages.
Physics: 4.9 (+0.9)
Inquiry: 4.4 (+0.4)
Physics: 4.8 (+0.9)
Inquiry: 3.9 (0.0)
Assignments / Grading:
Physics: 4.8 (+0.5)
Inquiry: 3.9 (-0.4)
Physics: 4.7 (+0.7)
Inquiry: 4.0 (+0.0)
Physics: 4.9 (+1.1)
Inquiry: 4.5 (+0.7)
Physics: 4.7 (+1.1)
Inquiry: 4.2 (+0.4)
Effectiveness / Worth
Physics: 4.5 (+0.8)
Inquiry: 3.0 (-0.7) ouch!
I also thought it was interesting to just look at the highs and low for each course.
5.0 Encourages Class Discussion
4.8 Is enthusiastic about his/her subject.
4.6 Gives examinations requiring creative, original thinking
3.6 Assigns grades fairly
3.5 Presents the origins of ideas and concepts
3.2 Explains the grading system fairly
5.0 Seems to Enjoy Teaching
5.0 Enthusiastic about his/her subject
5.0 Relates to student as individuals (this one I’m particularly happy about, every student rated this as a high as possible)
4.5 Presents origins of ideas and concepts.
4.5 Gives assignments and exams that are reasonable in length and difficulty. (I don’t assign anything or write exams; all done by a third party)
4.4 Discusses recent developments in the field.
Great info, Brian. Where did you get your department info? (Or how did you start up a discussion about getting access to it, if applicable?)
I didn’t have to do a thing. With our report, we get our individual data with averages shown for department, college, and university—not for each individual item, but for the 7 factors. We get this aggregated data, but we don’t get individual data at all, like I don’t know if all the negative evaluations are coming from the same students, or different negative evaluations spread across different students.
What do you do for the Inquiry course? I really like Physics By Inquiry. It doesn’t hit a lot content very hard, but it really gets at process, documentation, and justification of analysis.
Have a good one.
The class is run in many ways similar to the efforts described here. It is actually the second physical science course students take: the first one being a 100-level general education course, and this one being a 400-leve, course for future elementary education majors specifically. I think if I were to go a commercial product, I would go to physical science and everyday thinking.