Re: Hot or not?

1

If only they knew the truth. You invented "arctan" just to torture them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:14 AM
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I thought they would find it funny.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:15 AM
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I may have linked to this before. The internet has tips for doing well on student evaluations.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:20 AM
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In short, women are graded based on their appearance, everyone is graded on their charisma, and students don't necessarily enjoy being made to think.

World's Greatest Teacher.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:20 AM
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women are graded based on their appearance,

I did this once. But, in fairness, she really was so captivating that I paid much more attention in class than I otherwise would have, so it was somewhat hard to disentangle the beauty from the effectiveness of the teaching.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:21 AM
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I just realized I've never looked up most of the college-level instructors I know online on ratemyprofessors. I'm going to go do that right now, and privately assess whether I agree with the judgment of the students!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:26 AM
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92+ with a 65+ dewpoint forecasted like, til October?

===

hot


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:26 AM
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Shouldn't be as bad as last year, Bob.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:28 AM
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With Obama in office, this summer, much like the previous, will be the worst that bob has ever had to endure.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:32 AM
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10

Here, it is 62 with a high of 77.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:40 AM
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11

I'm actually sitting indoors, at my computer. It's perfectly pleasant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:40 AM
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I'm actually sitting indoors, at my computer.

Me too, but I'd be freezing without a sweater. Our building maintenance is run by idiots. Some of my more thin blooded coworkers run space heaters all summer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:43 AM
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I'm at home. This building is run by idiots as well, but we've got the thermostat down pat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:44 AM
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14

Here it's 25 and I can't even remember what that is in Fahrenheit. Don't want it any hotter though.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:45 AM
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Actually, it's exactly 25 C/77 F here, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:49 AM
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The thermostat sensors in our suite are above the ceiling tiles and are thus useless. Apparently, it is cheaper to let the central air and space heaters fight it out than it is to move a thermometer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:49 AM
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But the projected high is 92 F today.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:49 AM
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18

I'm glad we're running with the post title, at least.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:50 AM
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But the projected high is 92 F today.

I would go and sit in the cellar. I could just about hack that sort of temperature when I was a kid, but now I just get headachy and nauseous, no matter how much water I drink.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:54 AM
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20

Well, sure, with that attitude.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:57 AM
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21

I can remember putting a metal roof on a pig barn in 100 degree weather.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 7:58 AM
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I'd drink water all day and not piss until the work day was over and I'd been in the air conditioner for a couple hours.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 8:01 AM
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re: 19

On holiday last year it was over 40c. It's like walking through treacle.

I had to do a 2 - 3 hour martial arts test last summer, on one of the hottest days of the year, and I thought I was going to die. Needless to say I failed, as by the end of the 2nd hour I was a dribble of weak string.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 8:03 AM
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24

The 100s really are unpleasant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 8:06 AM
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25

Now I'm pining for plains and my youth. I'm sick of not being able to see for more than a few hundred yards in any direction. I want drink beer while parked beside a gravel road and then shoot the cans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 8:06 AM
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I suppose I could do that last bit here, but the chances of getting arrested are way too high.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 8:09 AM
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26: Just drive out to Cresson or Emporium or Tionesta or somewhere.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 8:27 AM
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25: Oh man, not me. The whole 'terribly allergic to timothy grass' thing is pretty incompatible with my parents' house being surrounded on three sides by hay fields.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 8:28 AM
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28: I'm allergic to corn pollen. I'd forgotten. End of nostalgia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 8:30 AM
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30

I got "...plus he's cute." on an evaluation once.

The only really bad evaluations I got were from two guys in my Physics for Engineers class, and that was due to my completely fucking up the first day of class, after which they never returned. Since they were both frattybagger trustafarians I didn't really mind. The rest of the class showed up for the remaining sessions and were enlightened thanks to my hellishly detailed preparation for class - after the fiasco of the first one I felt I needed to put in substantially more effort.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 8:33 AM
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14
Here it's 25 and I can't even remember what that is in Fahrenheit. Don't want it any hotter though.

Conversion from Celsius (Centigrade? Is the different names for it regional or what?) to Fahrenheit is easy, at least if all you need is an approximation close enough to guide your plans for the day: double the Celsius temperature and add 32, and you have the Fahrenheit temperature or pretty close to it. (Technically, multiply the Celsius by 1.8, but I can't do that in my head so easily.) For the reverse, subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit temperature and halve that and you have Celsius. So your 25 degrees is my 80 degrees - hot, but comfortable if dressed casually and/or if the humidity is low.

Weather this year has been weird and annoying. There was a week in the 80s back in early or mid April, I think it was, and it's varied a lot but has rarely got so hot, and has been pretty rainy. It's also been pretty rainy. I think it's finally getting nice, though. Based on last summer, I expect the nice time to last for maybe two weeks before it routinely gets so hot and humid that I sweat so much in the time it takes me to walk home every day that I get a skin rash. On the other hand, no allergies, so it all evens out.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:17 AM
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I mostly stopped writing course evaluations in college once it dawned on me that they were probably 49% about my level of interest in the subject and 49% about whether I felt personal liking toward the prof and then 2% some sort of ostensibly objective evaluation of the skill in teaching.

There was only one time after that I can recall giving in and writing a horrible eval in grad school. That time it was 30% my disinterest in the subject, 30% my dislike for the prof, and a full 40% the fact that she was clearly a researcher who had been foisted on students because universities have to pretend these two abilities go together, clearly as much to her dismay as ours. I think I described the admosphere in the classroom as "adversarial."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:35 AM
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To the original post, the was a recent post at the female science professor blog recommended by LB. She came down in favor of making an effort to push students to complete evaluations, but doesn't mention the idea of using explicit coercion.

At some universities, websites such as [ratemyprofessors] may be the only way that students can get information (however flawed) about a particular professor. At other universities, the official teaching evaluations are available to students. I wonder if there is a difference in ratemyprofessors.com participation at different universities as a function of whether official teaching evaluations are available or not.

There are pros and cons of having official teaching evaluations made available to students, but at least these evaluations are a bit more comprehensive in terms of who participates. Or at least they used to be, back when evaluations were mostly done on paper in class, thereby capturing all those who weren't skipping class on the day of the evaluations. Now that many evaluations are done online, participation levels have dropped. Now that students can do evaluations anytime, anywhere, many don't.

The fear is that only those students who are unhappy -- perhaps the same ones who would be inspired to go to ratemyprofessors.com to share their complaints -- will now dominate the official (online) evaluations.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:47 AM
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32.2 I had the same experience. Brilliant scientist who couldn't teach a bear to shit in the woods. The heavy Chinese accent and poor command of English didn't help, either. It's unfortunate that she was put in that position, because her scientific work was absolutely first class.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:52 AM
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35

The only evaluation (of me) that I remember is from when I T.A.'d a summer course for a grad student when I was an undergrad. (This was a bad idea on the department's part, but hey, I got paid.) One student wrote, "The instructor is very good and helpful, but the T.A. intimidates the hell out of me."


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:58 AM
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When I was an undergrad, I always assumed that the benefits to me from filling out an evaluation were completely worthless (if I didn't like the prof, I wouldn't take a class with him/her again, and it's not like my complaints would matter much anyway) and that there was a non-zero possibility that a negative evaluation would be read by the prof before giving me my grade, or would otherwise impact me badly. So I gave blandly positive evaluations if I didn't like the prof, and enthusiastically positive evaluations if I did, but never a negative evaluation.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:13 AM
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36: Huh. I always figured that a negative evaluation would be used by the administration to screw over the professor, so I never gave any except once when I was really frustrated by the ideological conformity of the class (it was left, but stupid left--it made me angry to learn nothing). I even kind of regret that one, because the guy was just an adjunct. People have to do a really bad job before I believe in giving ammunition to management.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:16 AM
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38

||

Wow. Amazing story of the Internet in action.

|>


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:18 AM
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37 -- It sounds like you're basically a decent person, and I'm basically an asshole, but we got to the same point on this issue anyway. So that's good.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:18 AM
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37 gets it, as we used to say, exactly right. If you've got real concerns about somebody's competence there are more appropriate ways of raising them than student evaluation forms.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:19 AM
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38: Wow. Metafilter is teh heroes. Seriously. Wow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:27 AM
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42

38. How come S/E/K wasn't in the middle of that?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:28 AM
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43

I never get chili peppers on RMP. It's very frustrating. Even when I'm not teaching at Religious Women's College, it's all blah blah her class will really stretch your intellectual abilities blah blah she's helpful with revisions blah blah.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:28 AM
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44

42: He was busy being on fire at the time. If he hadn't been on fire, he woulda been there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:30 AM
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38: Yeah, wow. That's really something. That's how networks are supposed to work.

Did I ever mention how much I appreciated everyone who sent money to Coldsnap Legal Collective when everyone was arrested at the RNC in 2008? That too was pretty awesome. (The "Defend the RNC8" site is here, for anyone looking for an update.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:32 AM
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44. Right. It's a bitch when your calendar gets double booked like that.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:35 AM
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37: That was my basic philosophy toward evaluations also. Especially since only the weaker* teachers can be hurt by a bad evaluation.

*not weaker by teaching ability, but institutional status.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:08 AM
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One thing I do to ensure that the evaluations offer me actual feedback I can use, rather than just "I liked it" or whatever is I ask them to add a question to the form: What, if anything, will you take away from this class? Then I can get a sense of whether it was a methodologically useful semester.

Of course, I might get in trouble for doing this. As I walked out of the room, one of my students said "I'm just crossing out all the other questions because they're dumb."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:13 AM
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49

43: Have you tried teaching in a dirndl?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:13 AM
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50

(My heart flutters when they write "I learned how to scan poetry. Now I scan everything. It's an annoying habit.")


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:14 AM
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51

I really miss having paper forms for evaluations. The online ones are extra useless.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:14 AM
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38: Yeah, wow. That's really something. That's how networks are supposed to work.

I just read that. Emotionally wrenching in places, but I'm glad that I did. It's interesting to see the range of responses, and how much helpful information was provided.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:17 AM
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The classics folks used to get hosed by the evaluation forms we were supposed to use, which were particular to language instruction. There were several questions about "real world applicability" of the language instruction and whether and how much pop media was employed in the teaching and oral fluency. No matter how often the students were told not to answer those questions (and we were supposed to tell them not to answer those questions), many of them would and give out 1s, etc., which wound up in the average (but sometimes they'd hand out 5s for it, too -- ridiculous).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:18 AM
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54

I think I was sort of a jerk when filling out teaching evaluations. Sorry, former teachers who aren't reading this!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:23 AM
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55

Jeez. Couldn't the evaluation people catch a clue and just not record the answers on those questions for the classics people?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:23 AM
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56

I really hope my students all wrote that it was a bitching hard course, because I'm sort of in trouble with my department for giving too many A's. The main problem is that I have a reputation for being incredibly demanding, so most of my students are the masochistic type who want a serious thrashing. I'm getting work from them that is insanely ambitious, and if I made the course any more difficult, they'd fail all their other classes to work even harder. I can't go around handing out a bunch of C's just to get my percentages down. But I also can't tell them that, what can I say, my students are just the best ones.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:23 AM
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52 - Rfts pointed me to that last night while it was going on, and I was convinced that it was going to have a David Simon ending when I woke up.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:25 AM
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58

Do you get withdrawals you could cash in as an explanation? "I'm afraid the demands of the class frighten off the students who aren't able to do A work"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:25 AM
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Also, a full third of the students enrolled dropped in the first week when they realized what kind of course it was. Can't I count them in my percentages? No, I can't. There will be quite a few B's and C's, but I've been given a target percentage of A's that I know I can't meet.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:26 AM
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56: You would think that, if anybody actually confronted you about giving too many As, you could say something like, "here are papers from 10 A students last year. Pick one at random, read it, and tell me that isn't A work."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:27 AM
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59 posted before I saw 58. Apparently not.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:27 AM
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I always evaluated by Halford's method -- aimed for 75% of maximally positive if I disliked or was neutral toward the teacher, up to 100% if I thought well of them, except for one Humanities Core prof at the U of C who I thought was a pompous idiot who passed on a fair amount of flatly wrong information. Him, I wrote all sorts of colorfully hostile stuff about. In retrospect, I don't remember well enough to be sure that I was right; probably, I was being unfair.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:27 AM
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63

The whole existence of RMP makes me want to die. There is no way I could stand to look myself up on it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:28 AM
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60: That's what I'm going to do if it comes to that. I've talked to some other instructors who are having the same problem, and we're frustrated that, if a B student comes to us because she really, really wants to do better work, and we give her assistance, and she fights to do A work, we're secretly thinking "Damn, there goes one of my B's." I get so excited when I see students improve so dramatically through hard work, and I'm willing to put forth the effort to help them learn. I dislike feeling discouraged from doing this.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:29 AM
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In one evaluation, I pointed out that my discussion section TA looked like the guy from the Black Crows, except somehow thinner and could the Philosophy Department maybe buy some bagels for its graduate students. But, it was positive about the class and the TA.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:30 AM
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The only thing personally inappropriate I think I ever said about a prof was a guy in law school who kept on wearing a green shirt exactly the color of the blackboard, which made his head and hands look as if they were floating in space. Other than that, the class was great, but I did bring up the shirt and ask that it be discontinued for future classes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:31 AM
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66: Was it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:33 AM
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68

I wrote a very nasty evaluation about a prof who was serially sleeping with undergrads and turned our class into a flirt session. I'm really embarrassed that I did that now, but I got sick of hearing my friends ask, "Has Prof. X ever called you at 3am? Is that normal?"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:34 AM
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There is no way I could stand to look myself up on it.

I looked you up. Only one review, but it says you are easily the best teacher the student had while at your institution.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:34 AM
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68: That sounds like a nasty evaluation is an under-reaction and not something to be embarrassed about.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:35 AM
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59: This is held against you at my school. I was phoned once for an explanation because my enrollment went from 20 to 14 after the first class. I had to tell them only 14 had ever shown up (we have very low caps on enrollment and students register for classes they hope never to take biding their time to switch).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:38 AM
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72

Well, yay! Now I really won't ever look, so that lovely impression can be preserved for all time.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:39 AM
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71: I hate it when students drop. It makes me sad. But if they're pressuring me to make my courses, which are already the most demanding in the department, even more difficult, it's going to happen. I once lost 20/30 and it broke my heart.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:41 AM
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68: There was a professor like that at my graduate school. He would teach the intro physics without calculus class (composed mostly of kinesiology and nursing students, so ~80% female), flirt with the students until one of them decided to go for the easy A, and dump her next semester for the next one. Eventually the head of the department had a frank discussion with him and he stopped. Of course he stopped by simply marrying the woman he was currently with, a 20 year old former student (he was in his early forties). I think the fact that he was restricted to teaching only graduate courses after that had something to do with it. The whole sleazy mess never made it to any formal administrative level, and female graduate students made a point of avoiding his classes altogether.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:42 AM
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73: Oh, I take it very personally! But in that particular case even I could not, because the students who dropped never ever once came to class.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:43 AM
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74: If you don't add that he got hit by a car or his penis turned into a chicken, that's more of a "how to" than a "how could you" kind of story.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:50 AM
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77

Counterintuitively, I think the answer is to make my courses easier, but grade everyone harder. I just think that's so passive-aggressive.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:54 AM
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78

||
On May 20, Duke will shut down its Usenet server, which provides access to a worldwide electronic discussion network of newsgroups started in 1979 by two Duke graduate students, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis.

BIFF wept.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:00 PM
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I like it when students drop. Inevitably they're failing miserably, so lost during class that they can't participate, and now I don't have to grade their awful rest of semester.

Plus often I have them in a later semester and they do just fine, so it seems like everything worked out for the best.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:21 PM
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Having online class evaluations sounds horrible. And I bet teachers really like the shift from "Graded by the students who choose to show up toward the end of the semester" to "Graded by the students who feel a strong and passionate grievance of some sort, just like internet reviews of real estate companies".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:26 PM
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80: rfts is getting a new evaluation right now . . .


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:27 PM
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80: If such a system had been available during my undergrad years it would have been "graded by someone baked out of his skull who tries to turn all the open ended questions into jokes about badgers."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:30 PM
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77: That reminds me of a professor I had that I think must have just been a sadist that wanted to fail as many students as he could His lectures were super-boring, and the mid-term was very easy and all stuff from the textbook. So, naturally lots of us started missing the lectures, and then the final had lots of stuff I had not a clue about -- that apparently he discussed in the lectures that I skipped


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:36 PM
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78: Wow, after all these years the death of Usenet is actually at hand.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:43 PM
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84: I won't believe until I see it on alt.folklore.urban.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:44 PM
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I won't believe until I see it on alt.folklore.urban the film at 11.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:58 PM
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re: 83

I had one that spent roughly 4 lectures of a 10 lecture series on one particular problem from Hume. And then the entire set of Hume questions in the exam consisted of topics he hadn't really discussed at all,* and the topic he'd devoted 4 lectures to was absent. I'm pretty sure that was entirely intentional.

* but which had been covered briefly in a handout that was only given out at one lecture.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 12:59 PM
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alt.folklore.urban.com


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:04 PM
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89

I'm pretty sure that was entirely intentional.

I'm sure you'd have trouble proving it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:04 PM
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90

Gonerill U has a formal evaluation system but the stupid thing is set up (by demand from the spineless cowards faculty) so that you must opt-in to making the results visible to future students. The upshot is that the evaluation system is only useful to administrators, and students have in rebellion instituted their own quasi-RMP system with the inevitable selection problems and accompanied by a lot of pearl-clutching about validity from the faculty, who mostly brought this situation upon themselves.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:05 PM
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re: 89

Yes, although he did supervise my MA thesis and I came to know his methods, so I'm fairly sure I'm right. That said, he was always a decent supervisor to me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:11 PM
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Wasn't 89 a joke about Humean ideas of necessity, of proof?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:19 PM
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93

alt.folklore.urban.com.wisconsin.state.gov


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:19 PM
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90: Gonerill U

Is that a threat?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:23 PM
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92: Yes, it was.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:28 PM
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94: Promise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:29 PM
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Is that a threat?

Absolutely.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:30 PM
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92: And thanks for noticing. Lately, I've been wondering if I'd become subtle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:33 PM
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I am just sad that since RMP realized my partner had left her previous university, there's no longer a public evaluation that says she looks like Grace Jones, though I'm also pretty sure that was not a chili pepper one. On the other hand, I'm happy my dad has no peppers.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:36 PM
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100

If that's an issue, my children will also be spared having an attractive father.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:45 PM
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101

I'd just be surprised if college kids were into rabidly Catholic tall bearded men. I was inspired to go look at his listings to make sure I wasn't lying to you and one says merely "WTF?" His ratings bear out heebie's mathy theory. (mathie theorie? I need to stop.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 1:50 PM
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102

CA had peppers, last I looked. This makes me giggle.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 2:01 PM
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103

101 - If Heebie were communicating to us from beyond the grave, it could be the Heebie Oujia mathy theory.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 2:16 PM
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104

I probably was lookist in my teacher evaluations, but I was also pretty generous to everyone. I never really thought anyone deserved a bad score who wasn't malevolent or grossly incompetent, and I don't think I encountered anyone who fell in those categories. Here were these helpful people trying to make me learn - they weren't the ones causing me to miss class, that was Goldeneye's fault.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 3:44 PM
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105

God, I hate evaluations with a passion. I always fill them out very positively, but when it comes to the written answers I never have anything to say beyond vague generalities. I'm just not at all accustomed to thinking in those terms, and coming up with actual meaningful feedback about the class, what I liked most/least, what I would do differently, etc. would take an enormous amount of time and thought that I'm not willing to expend in the short period of time available to fill out the forms. (This is the sort of situation where the whole non-judgmental thing starts to be a real problem in my life.) I like online evaluations more than paper ones, because they're easier and don't waste a bunch of class time, but I can see why instructors wouldn't like them.

My school recently (as in either this year or last) switched to having all evaluations online. One of my professors this past semester, who has been there for decades, told us when evaluation time came that when they were talking about making the switch he had pointed out that online evaluations might be systematically detrimental to junior faculty, for the reasons everyone has stated upthread, and he insisted they first do an experiment where they had a few classes do both paper and online evaluations to compare the results. I forget the details, but the upshot was that the online ratings were indeed systematically lower, but the difference wasn't huge, and the school went ahead and made the switch anyway. It was good that they had done the study, though, because it meant that if evaluations suddenly went down across the board the affected instructors could point to the study results to show that this was just a systematic difference between paper and online evaluations that shouldn't be attributed to them personally. I don't know if that actually happened, but the experiment was a good idea and it made me pretty impressed with my professor, who had the clout to make something like this happen and actually did it on behalf of the people who were most vulnerable to the problem and lacked that clout.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 4:03 PM
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106

OT: Instead of just pitching it in the regular trash (which costs the same), I saved and properly bagged about 50 pounds of yard waste. Then, I remembered to put them out tonight, one of the two nights a year that my half-assed city will collect stuff for composting. Now I can sell loose cigarettes with a clean conscience for the next week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 5:05 PM
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107

Can someone please help us! It's dark in here and we're scared! There are children.


Posted by: Assorted Microfauna from Mr. Hick's Yard | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 5:52 PM
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108

What 80 said
83 -- I believe the joke about that goes "The professor was very thorough. Anything that wasn't covered in class was covered on the exam."

I actually get very good evaluations (won both the undergrad and grad teacher of the year award at my school a few years ago). My favorite part is the comments section. Students don't seem to realize that Prof MAM is the only one who reads them.


Posted by: Middle Aged Man | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:32 PM
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109

I had the same experience. Brilliant scientist who couldn't teach a bear to shit in the woods. The heavy Chinese accent and poor command of English didn't help, either.

You just weren't trying hard enough.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:07 PM
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110

I don't like RMP, but I think it's great that a friend of mine from grad school, who was probably the most dedicated to teaching than anyone I knew, has a very high overall rating and a low easiness rating. They'd better give him tenure.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:14 PM
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Re 80:

A colleague once taught me the gamesmanship of when to hand out evals to maximize your score. Wait til near the end of the term to collect only those who are interested in showing up for lecture. Don't do it near an exam, or they'll be pissed about their grades. Also, never do it the last day of class, when all those who had been skipping class show up and realize how screwed they are and take it out on the eval.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 2:50 PM
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