Monday, November 13, 2006

Student Feedback Exercise

It's the time of the semester when the students are given the chance to grade their teachers. wahahaha~ I like doing this Student Feedback Exercise because I've nothing better to do.

Before you start to think this is the most fun thing, please remember that this is not anonymous at all. I don't know how NUS goes about doing this, but I strongly believe that in NUS, nothing that a student does can be anonymous because BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING. yea... It's that scary, but what to do, as one of my profs once said, "NUS is a microcosm of Singapore". I like his analogy, and I always quote him when talking about NUS. It's a pity that he has left NUS already, but well, of course he'd leave what, but it's also a pity that sometimes because of some stuff going on, some good people have no choice but to want to search for a better working environment. Money can only bring us this far, it cannot bring us all the way. For NUS to become a top global school, it needs to do more than to attract good teachers over with cash incentives, but need to provide them with an enjoyable working condition.

I just did mine. One reason that I did it was for the stupid CORS points.

Show you guys some stuff I did for my feedback exercise.

This is the first time I've graded a teacher that badly, but yes, I do not enjoy his lessons at all. Oops... Now, I've narrowed down the gender of the teacher, we all know that he can only be three of my other modules. lol~

Really, nothing much will come out of this exercise, no teacher will be sacked because of incompetency, or any other reason, so it's just for the statistics. Or maybe sometimes, when there's really a whole lot of complaints then maybe some action will be done. I think some other profs once told be that if the feedback is good, there might be bonuses for them. erm... Okay, I sure don't wish that that guy above should get any bonus. In fact, I think if he could do that module then every single student can also do that module too, do as in teach. bahaha~

Of course, I'm not that all a mean person and goes to condemn every single teacher. The other teachers all got very glowing feedbacks from me. And very constructive comments too.

Like this one.

A very constructive comment, right?

Even if I don't put this up on my blog I think the person would know who gave this comment even without the feedback not being anonymous. erm... I just realised that the above sentence doesn't make sense. Okay, Even if this is an anonymous feedback, even if I didn't put this up in my blog, the prof who received this feedback can guess that it was me who gave this comment. Does this sound more coherent? hahaha... And it's also very obvious who this comment was directed to, right? wahaha~

Some more constructive comments~

I can be nice too, you know~

Yea, it's also very obvious who these comments were directed to. There's only once prof in the entire school that "cute" can be used to describe her. Sometimes I think that the way she looks, the way she carries herself, the way she dresses, she can pass off for a student lor. I'm so damn jealous. wahaha~

Then as again, with the past semesters (except the last when I was on exchange), I nominated that that that guy for the outstanding educator award thingie. I've been nominating him for like five semesters already and he like never win like that leh... wah kau... Actually there are a lot of people I want to nominate every semester but can only nominate one person. hai... If can nominate more people, I'd really want to nominate Dr Edna Lim and Frau Niemann too. I think they were damn good this semester.

Anyway, I've already submitted the feedback so I can't make changes now. Good luck to all my profs, except for that one I do not like, okay, it's not him personally, but more of the module and the setting of the module and the background of everything that I really hate.

One totally irrelevant thing.
I realised that there's this guy in one of my project group this semester has been in one of my classes for every semester (except when I was pn exchange). From my sem I to this sem, every semester, in my class, and the classes ranged from PS to SE to HY classes. Okay, since it's only four classes, so that makes it one PS (1101E)in my first semester, one SE (1101E) in my second semester, he was in my tutorials somemore lor. Then there's Total War in my sem III, there's no tutorials for that class, but this sem, he's in my War and Society, tutorial group again. wahaha...

Okay, my main point is that, after him being in like all my classes and tuts every semester, I"VE NEVER NOTICED HIM BEFORE. This is damn sad sia. You'd think that I'd notice some familiar faces about, but no lor, I don't know why I've never noticed him before lor. At first when he said he was in my class before I thought it was only in Total War, then he went on saying that he was in my tutorial for SE1101E. Okay, that wasn't that bad if I try to think hard and recall, then he said he was in my PS1101E tutorial. wah lau... No matter how much I try and think and recall, I cannot remember him in there at all lor.

I am so damn paiseh.


chillycraps said...

wah, actually I wrote an entry on the student feedback, but dare not post it cos I got show all the photos...

hmm, should I publish it?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if the feedback exercise is entirely anonymous but I'm sure that there will still be clues as to who wrote what...

If you check out the prof who has been winning the Best Educator award and how he conducts his classes, I think that you will understand why he has won the award...

The prof who won the Best Educator award was teaching his students meta-learning skills, i.e. learning how to learn and the things he taught are very useful even outside of class. How many profs u know actually teach you how to learn? In addition to lecturing on the material they were supposed to deliver, how many of them actually teach students how to use mind maps/other memory techniques/exam skills? Personally, I've never had the privilege of being taught by the Best Educator, but I'm sure that there are things that educators working in different places can learn from him. :)

There is some debate as to whether a university prof should be teaching his students such basic things like techniques on how to learn, improve their memory and so on... but I personally feel that if it helps to improve the students' results and further interest them in their subject of study, there is no harm in sharing memory techniques or research mistakes/skills has picked up in one's career. But the main thing will still be having passion for what one teaches cos that enthusiasm would infect one's students and make lessons more interesting for all. And of course, there's the bonus incentive (I assume) to consider...

No offense meant to "that that that guy" you nominated. Who knows? Maybe the person you nominated might just win it this year... Good luck. :)

xxoos said...

crap: post it la. it's not anonymous anyway.

anonymous: the feedback exercise is entirely NOT anoymous. confirm, plus chop stamp.

i've had a couple of teachers who won the best educator award before, actually quite a few, and yes, they are good, i think they are good too. think the last winners, prof ian gordon, herr chan, i had them. previous winners like frau niemann, yea, she's good too.

but i don't think that things such as mind maps and memory techniques should be taught during lectures. i believe that all students should already know this before coming to NUS. also, i don't think those skills are important for history exams. that guy nominate is good, and i know the dept knows it. i think he might have won the award before, before i started voting. hehehe~

good luck to him, and good luck to every prof anyway~

Anonymous said...

anonymous is obviously from the "best educator award" winner's camp.

"How many profs u know actually teach you how to learn? "-actually, that's quite true. But I agree with Joan that learning should be the student's own initiative and while it is good to teach a few skills here and there, such an approach should not take up the entire module.

Or maybe he won because his module is related to these pedagogical methods he teaches? Ah, then naturally he/she would have an edge?

-anonymous 2

xxoos said...

i tried to go online and look for the list of winner but couldn't find any, perhaps due to my cmi seach skills.

anyway, my point is not that i'm against anyone winning the award, i'm just putting my nomination forward. yup~ i don't know which prof anonymous is talking about so i've no comments about it. i've been taught by a couple of winners of the award before, they're good, no doubt, but they don't really teach one learning methods, more so they taught me how to think about tackling issues on hand. what they taught is not for dealing with exams, but for real life usage. i know of some profs who hold quite a bit of disdain for exams, and about learning a whole module just to equip one with skills to tackle a two hour exam at the end of the semester. to me, learning is not about exams. don't know if you quite get my point, anonymous 2 cos i'm starting to lose my point too. lol~

Anonymous said...

I apologise to Joan and anon 2 for not checking out the facts properly before posting my comment. I was referring to the "Outstanding Educator Award Winner".

Anon 2, you are right. :) To teach classes using mind maps, one would have to teach the students to mind map as well. Otherwise, it wouldn't work. Mind map users can retain up to more than 90% of what they study, so teaching using a method like this is similar to teaching fishermen how to fish. It's a life skill as well. Mind maps can also be used to structure essays, theses and research; for personal self-development, meetings, scheduling time etc... When students can remember what they study effectively, the playing field is leveled and exams would no longer be about whose memory skills are better... People want to excel and it makes them feel good when they are able to do well; so anyone who can help them do that would naturally be very popular. But to be fair, A/P Chang has done more than just teaching his subject using mind maps, at least from what he shared about the pedagogical methods he has used in his classroom and his students' comments...

I've never been taught by A/P Chang, so I don't know him personally or even remotely. haha. But from what I read, A/P Chang went above and beyond expectations, at least my expectations of what a prof teaching at the university level does... and I have very little expectations of profs in terms of teaching because I do think that students are mostly responsible for their own learning. So, when someone does something like this, he really does stand out, at least in my mind, as a very good educator. Yep, you are right. He chose a pedagogical method that appealed to me and is one which I strongly believe is one of the best methods for learning. In any case, these are just a few observations from an outsider's point of view. They may not nec. be correct...

xxoos said...

anonymous, erm... don't think you need to apologise you didn't do anything wrong ah~

i also haven't been taught by a/p chang, so can't really comment much about his style of teaching. maybe i'm a cynic, but i don't entirely trust media. yea... it all seems to me to propagandistic. i believe there are also other good teachers but never had the chance to receive such a written report. also i think not all the students can benefit from these interactive teaching methods, so ultimately, whether a student benefits from it is dependent on the individual.

not only that, some methods of teaching can only apply to some departments. anyway, i don't have any UEs left, so I cannot try out his module. hmm... we should have a portal which student can submit their feedbacks and thoughts about professors and let other students view it and access which modules they want to do.

Anonymous said...

Yep, you could be right. :) In teaching as in life, there are always good things we can learn from other people... and good educators do that all the time... I think that there are some websites that allow students to rate their professors and comment on them, but I forgot their names...

It is difficult to judge who is really the "best educator" or "outstanding educator" and the student body and the university may each have their own standards... It is almost impossible to measure "effectiveness" in teaching... most things in teaching are unquantifiable... So, for profs (e.g. "that that that guy" who conducts so many wonderful field trips for his students) whose outstanding work hasn't yet been recognised officially; don't fret, you guys are the "Best Educators" in the hearts and minds of your students, both past and present; so keep up the great work. :)

xxoos said...

eh, anon, i didn't say that that that prof does field trips, did i? so u know which which which prof i'm talking about ah? hehehe~