In addition to the qualitative and quantitative department measures, two years ago I added a pre-post assignment dealing with students’ expectations for the class. I got this from one of the student success articles I read. Students respond to three prompts that tell me about what they look for in a good class, a good teacher, and how they view their role in the whole learning process. The rankings of x/10 indicate how well the reality at the end of the semester matched the expectation they set in their first assignment. They also add additional comments.
I find these pre/post assignments to be especially helpful when students do not rate me as satisfactory or higher in the course evaluations. For example, in the Fall 2015 EDU220 course evaluations, five or six students responded with less than satisfactory in several areas. The student evaluations are typically done with three weeks left in the semester. When I drill down into students’ comments at the end of the course, I’m pleased that overall I met their expectations (see attached pre/post First Assignment). In talking with my EDU students in particular, many of them need the entire set of course experiences to feel confident about their ability to serve English Language Learners.
Because most of my courses deal with students’ confidence in their own abilities, I continually focus on ways to help them relax, have fun, and see their own personal growth. My daily challenge is to build relationships that are strong enough that they are willing to take risks and learn new things.