Student Feedback

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a bit of “graffiti” left by one of my summer APEX classes.

Student feedback is an important part of any teaching practice, whether formal or informal. When students have an opportunity to participate in formal evaluations, it is an opportunity for them to reflect on their experience in the class and “grade” the teacher and the curriculum they have experienced. This “grade” is passed on to the instructor in two ways: 1) SET (student evaluation of teaching) scores, a quantitative measure that can be compared to department averages, and 2) Students’ written comments, a qualitative measure that allows students to flesh out their scores and communicate more nuanced and personal feedback. Informal feedback often comes to teachers in the form of end-of-semester conversations, or even via emails.

Below are some selected examples of informal feedback I have received from students.

Selected Student Comments

“Varty is very enthusiastic about the subject. She covered a wide variety of topics effectively, and was fair in grading. The workload was a bit heavy, however it was not unmanageable. Nicole is a very pleasant person and teacher. She does a great job explaining work and promotes student interaction.” (Winter 2016)

“Nicole is always organized and available. She uses class time for students and she is mega-enthusiastic and kind.” (Winter 2016)

“I was a student in your ENG 1020 course during the winter semester. I did not realize how helpful your course was until I started writing papers for ENG 3010. The first paper I submitted in your class was a C and the first one I submitted this semester for ENG 3010 was a 97%. Thanks so much for being an awesome and helpful instructor! I understand the concepts and assignments very well because of my experience in your class and one-on-one conferences.” (Fall 2016)

“I am emailing you to simply say thank you for today. Today was hard for me; I woke up at 5 and haven’t stopped crying since. You might not know it but your words helped me a lot today. I am thankful that I met you, not only have you helped me improve my writing but you helped me feel like I could overcome this. It is good to know that we have somebody fighting for us, with us. I literally didn’t want to come to class today but I’m glad I did. In addition to your comforting words, you also commented on the hard work I’ve been doing in your class. I doubt myself all the time but you gave me hope that I can actually do this. Thank you so so much for the words and letting us know that you care about our well-being.” (Fall 2016)

“I enjoyed this class a lot! Nicole was always happy and excited to teach. After this course, I think my writing has gotten a lot better.” (Winter 2017)

“Teacher was reachable and treated all students with respect. Overall a great caring teacher who values education.” (Winter 2017)

“One of my favorite classes! Pushed me to try new things and think of writing differently.” (Fall 2017)

“Wonderful teacher that cares for her students. Always a joy to come to her class and learn.” (Fall 2017)

“Gives a lot of work, but it can be fun. Always a group effort in here” (Winter 2018)

“Dr. Varty is passionate about her topic and this energizes her teaching and class time.” (Fall 2018)

“Dr. Varty supported the development of my teaching goals, curriculum and other pedagogical concerns.” (Fall 2018)

“Dr. Varty’s teaching is amazing. She inspires” (Fall 2018)

“Varty is an awesome teacher who loves English and cares about her students and their success.” (Fall 2019)

“Loved this instructor because she takes a subject that can be seen as boring and makes it fun and entertaining. Loved her enthusiasm for writing.” (Fall 2019)

“You were an awesome teacher. Your door was always open and all your lessons had a purpose.” (Fall 2019)

Save“This was probably the hardest semester for me & undoubtably the worst year of my life lol. Every message you’ve sent had such positive energy and nice motivational statements that encouraged me to keep pushing through the semester. I know that this semester was not only a hard adjustment for students, but also a hard adjustment for professors. It’s hard to teach a class, assign projects, and check in on your students and their progress without face to face learning. You did a wonderful job, checking in on our class and making videos to make sure we understand our assignments. It really helped me with focusing and also kept our class from being tedious like others lol. Even though I’m extremely shy, I enjoyed the volunteer opportunity. I learned a lot this semester and hopefully I’ve become a better writer LOL! Thank you and I really appreciate you!!! :)” (Fall 2020)

“I just want to start out by saying I have thoroughly enjoyed your class this semester! The readings you chose were interesting and not what I expected from this class (in a good way). I also appreciate the chat check-ins we have. It’s a good opportunity to share with the whole class and hear from them too. All of this is why I am so excited to be registered for your Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing class next semester.” (Fall 2020)

“Thank you for teaching this class, I was so hesitant when I started but now I am very happy I took your class. I have learned so much. You are an awesome professor, I hope my future has more professors like you.” (Fall 2020)

“I just wanted to thank you so much for your weekly videos that you post for us online in English 1020. During this really difficult semester, you have been such an uplifting person and I appreciate it more than you know. It is super hard for me to stay motivated and focused in my house but your encouragement and positive outlook has helped me re-motivate myself and continue with my work. None of my other professors have been emphatic towards how hard this transition was and to just hear you say that you are proud of us for what we are doing is so reassuring. You make a difference in the lives of your students and I am so thankful that I had you as my professor this semester.” (Winter 2021)

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