Student evaluations

The student evaluations are in for spring 2013. The evaluations consist of 15 questions and the responses are on a Likert scale. The 15 question that are asked of the students are:

1 Keeps regular schedule every class day
2 Shows interest in the subject
3 Gives individual help as needed
4 Available for student conference
5 Welcomes questions, suggestions, and discussions from students
6 Shows interest and respect for students
7 Helps the students in meeting individual learning needs
8 Uses classroom/lab time fully
9 Provides clear directions for assignment and instruction
10 Grades fairly and frequently
11 Makes the purpose of the course clear
12 Talks clearly and at an easy to follow pace
13 Lessons are well paced with activity as well as lecture
14 Makes the course interesting
15 Textbook was appropriate and helpful

The Likert scale options are:

5 Always
4 Usually
3 Sometimes
2 Rarely
1 Never

At first glance the evaluations do not appear to provide a lot of information, there appears to be a sea of fours and fives. Which suggests that I usually or always exhibit the behavior and provides little in the way of advice for what I should be working on during the next term. With a some statistical exploration, however, there are real differences in the sea of fives and fours.

113 students responded. Some questions were left blank, there were 1690 marked responses. Of the 1690, 1526 were fives (90.3%) with 120 fours (7.1%). The use of averages, z-scores, and the distribution for each question can tease information out of the remaining 2.6% of the data. Z-scores effectively adjust for the small standard deviation and thus exaggerate small differences. The z-scores reported are calculated using the sample mean and sample standard deviation for that particular class only.

MS 150 Raw MS 150 z SC/SS 115 Raw SC/SS 115 z SC 130 Raw SC 130 z All: 5 All: 4 All: 3 All:2 All:1 Description
4.97 1.79 4.90 -0.43 5.00 1.33 109 4 0 0 0 Keeps regular schedule every class day
4.89 0.79 4.90 -0.43 5.00 1.33 107 3 3 0 0 Shows interest in the subject
4.85 0.16 5.00 1.00 4.96 0.64 100 9 1 0 0 Gives individual help as needed
4.88 0.59 4.95 0.28 4.85 -1.32 103 7 3 0 0 Available for student conference
4.92 1.17 4.95 0.28 4.88 -0.66 103 9 0 0 0 Welcomes questions, suggestions, and discussions from students
4.82 -0.21 4.86 -1.14 4.88 -0.66 99 10 4 0 0 Shows interest and respect for students
4.77 -0.80 4.90 -0.43 4.85 -1.32 97 12 3 1 0 Helps the students in meeting individual learning needs
4.86 0.39 4.90 -0.43 4.88 -0.66 101 10 2 0 0 Uses classroom/lab time fully
4.76 -1.00 4.95 0.28 4.88 -0.66 99 8 6 0 0 Provides clear directions for assignment and instruction
4.86 0.39 5.00 1.00 4.96 0.66 105 6 2 0 0 Grades fairly and frequently
4.83 -0.01 5.00 1.00 5.00 1.33 104 7 2 0 0 Makes the purpose of the course clear
4.74 -1.25 4.90 -0.43 4.85 -1.32 94 14 3 1 0 Talks clearly and at an easy to follow pace
4.83 -0.01 5.00 1.00 4.96 0.66 103 8 2 0 0 Lessons are well paced with activity as well as lecture
4.85 0.19 5.00 1.00 4.92 0.00 104 6 3 0 0 Makes the course interesting
4.67 -2.20 4.76 -2.56 4.96 0.66 98 7 4 3 1 Textbook was appropriate and helpful






1526 120 38 5 1






90.3% 7.1% 2.2% 0.3% 0.1%

Z-scores below -2 or above 2 are unusual and can be considered statistically significant. Thus the text book in MS 150 Statistics and SC/SS 115 rate lower than the other questions asked. Their average is still high, 4.67 and 4.75 respectively, but this is still unusually low compared to the other ratings in those two courses. This suggests that targeting the text for improvement would be beneficial for MS 150 and SC/SS 115.

The distribution of the responses to the fifteen questions are all dominated by fives, but there are indications of room for improvement in term of availability for student conferences, assisting students on an individual basis, and in providing clear directions.

Not all student chose to comment, but the comments provide further insight into the data. 

MS 150 Statistics comments:
Great teacher! | Good teacher. | God Bless Dana! | Awesome! | Best instructor there I had. | He is by far the best teacher I've had during my term this year.  He keeps topic straight and explains clearly. | Outstanding!  Very good instructor I've known. | Dana should die working at the college because he's the best. | It's all good. | Needs to slow down so students could fully understand what the lesson is about and how to do stuff in that particular lesson. | Fair and helpful instructor. | Best teacher ever. | This instructor is the best of the best of this course.  No substitute because he is the best. | He is a very good teacher and his teaching is excellent but one thing he needs to improve is to talk slow so students can understand what he's saying. | I just find out that my instructor, Mr. Lee Ling sometimes fail to show respect for some students.  For example, one of my classmates is having a problem in class during the first 2 weeks and Mr. Lee Ling just told him in front of everybody that he must change his major if he don't understand what to do.  However, I consider him as no respect teacher.  | Everything is going on so well. | Needs to direct examples which help produce good great. | He's a good teacher.  He help student a lot and it easy to talk to him. | Keep it up | He is a very good teacher but I think he is so good in his course that he explains so fast and speed. | The best. | Mr. lee Ling is a good instructor. | Big thanks to Mr. Dana | Very well, good teacher great attitude and teaching. | Keep up the good work. | Keep up the good work.

The reference to the change of major is a good reminder to me. My students can take a suggestion that they should change majors as disrespecting the student. I recall the cited instance which involved a Computer Information Systems major who was having difficulties turning on the computer and seemed rather helpless at troubleshooting the issue - which was simply a loose power cord. I know that troubleshooting computer problems gets far more complex than a loose power cord, and that a good IT tech is self-reliant in finding problems. That said, I must be more careful, more helpful, and a little less demanding.

I also tend to talk too fast for an ESL environment, that is something I also can work on.

SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany comments:
Bona fide. | I learn a lot in this class and hopefully I will pass this class. | He is a very good instructor. | I got tired of walking.  I think he should reduce the walking part.  But this class is truly fun and experiencing. He should continue to teach this class. | He is kind and patient. | He was the best teacher I ever had. | You rock. | He the best here in COM | Excellent | So far so good, no comments. | This man is a great guy.  He is really a helpful guy.  He really helps us learn many thing. | Very perfect teacher.

SC 130 Physical Science comments
It's okay. | If there was a number after 5, I'd give this teacher.  He is an amazing and fun teacher. | Thanks teacher for your helping us to understand everything thank you very much. | Dana is the greatest teacher I've ever met. | Great instructor and interesting class. | Physical Science!! | Very good teacher who keeps his schedule organized. | This course is perfect.  I just wish we talked more about dark matter and dark energy. | Amazing class.



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