Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Musty Marty from Madison Offers Some Eval Tricks.

Chart-Making Charles is right on the money. But so much more can be said. Here's a short tutorial in improving your (numerical) course evals:

  1. Give high grades in general, like some of Charles' TAs.

  2. Teach directly to your tests. Give many examples, especially in physics, math, etc. Always pass out a practice test 3 days before the "real" test that is nearly identical to it. Then go over said practice test in great detail during class the day before the test.

  3. Give generous partial credit for anything and everything. After all, we all know the students "tried real hard'.

  4. Give extra credit opportunities that have nothing to do with the substance of the course. Anything that is turned in gets full credit.

  5. One week before you give course evals, adjust the grading scale in the students' favor. Tell them you are going to "curve" the grades. They have no idea what this means, but they believe that it is a very good thing for them.

  6. Above all, never really challenge them. "Cover" a lot of "ground" in class so they think they are learning a lot, but only stretch them slightly past what was expected in high school. Never require creative thinking or originality; encourage them to mimic your many examples.