Student feedback

Student feedback throughout the semester is invaluable to me as a teacher.  Here are some anonymous excerpts from written, end-of-semester reviews from some of my students over the past few years:

Lectures

“I absolutely loved this class, and think Amanda did an amazing job designing and teaching the course.  I think the class structure is perfect and fills the time very well (lecture, small group activities, and student presentations).  I really appreciate when videos are used to supplement material in your lectures and the student presentations.  I also think the flow of topics and growth through the quarter was logical and chosen very well.”

Amanda’s power point was really informative and shed light on a lot of murky politics (of organic agriculture).  I also really appreciate her use of graphics, whether they were timelines or graphs within her presentation.  The visual additions really help me internalize the points being made.”

“For the amount of material this class threw at us, Amanda was very helpful in defining new terms & clarifying concepts. Writing key quotes & terms on the board was an excellent idea, especially since there was quote identification on the exams.”

In-class discussion and activities

“I really appreciated having the opportunity to have a solution-oriented brainstorm and discussion – I think it’s super rare that we can be creative like that, and so many people had interesting, novel, thought-provoking ideas.”

“Amanda was always well prepared and it was obvious that she put in a lot of effort and took her job very seriously. She was an excellent facilitator and did a great job encouraging class participation.”

“I liked the policy activity because it was challenging and eye-opening to see the realities and constraints of policy work”

“She led this section extremely well, letting dialog flow, but halting tangents. She recognized that some students aren’t as good at verbalizing thoughts & led the weekly papers & muddles to evaluate performance as well as discussions. For being her first time TA-ing this course, she did an amazing job at helping a non-sociology major understand the material in depth.”

Course design

“I was really excited about the shift in focus to activism/participation (towards the end of the course).  I don’t think I would’could be as active in this discussion without our previous work, readings, and studies leading up to this point.  But I felt ready to tackle big questions about change and personal participation.”

“I like the way Amanda chose readings for each week.  Transitions between weeks or even classes within a week feel very natural and logical.  It’s awesome when I or other students are curious about something and she mentions that it will be touched on in the readings or discussion for next week.”

“Amanda was a good TA. She was knowledgeable about the subject matter, and did a good job coordinating with the lecturing professor so that both discussions and lectures covered the material in an organized fashion. Grading policies seem fair, she was responsive to questions, and never displayed anything less than professionalism.”

Class ambiance

“She is so upbeat, enthusiastic about the material and fun. I had an early discussion with her and she made it a really good start to the morning. She’s open minded, really knowledgeable, and really accepting of others’ ideas. She was also always positive and happy.”

“I liked Amanda’s emphasis on having many voices in our discussion.  It really made the discussion feel more productive and interesting”

“Amanda is very knowledgeable. She is available for help and takes learning seriously. I would take a class with her any time.”

“Great discussions. This is the most thought provoking class I’ve ever had. THANKS!”