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Reflecting on end-of-course evaluations for CSC-151 2023Fa (#1267)

Topics/tags: CSC-151, long, rambly, unedited

Like many institutions, Grinnell asks students to fill out end-of-course evaluations (EOCEs) at the end of each semester. And, like many institutions, Grinnell has historically assumed that EOCEs can serve two purposes: Faculty members can use EOCEs to reflect on their teaching and the institution can use EOCEs to judge the quality of faculty members’ instruction. Of course, those two goals conflict. If my goal is to improve the course, I want students to carefully critique me. If my goal is to get a good raise or get promoted, I want students to praise me.

In recent years, the Grinnell administration has begun to acknowledge some flaws in end-of-course evaluations. We have data that suggest they are biased (or that the form of classes bias them). Women tend to receive lower EOCEs than men. Large classes have lower average EOCEs than small classes. If I recall correctly, we don’t have enough faculty of color to determine whether race has an effect, but national studies suggest that it does. We’re still trying to figure out how to address these issues [1].

We also moved to online evaluations a few years ago. From what I’ve heard, response rates have gone down significantly. I’m fortunate enough to teach in classrooms with computers, and I set aside time on the last day of class for students to fill those in. As far as I can tell, my response rate for electronic EOCEs is comparable to my response rate for in-person EOCEs. This semester, twenty-five out of twenty-eight students in CSC-151 filled out the EOCE, and twenty-seven out of twenty-nine students in CSC-207 filled out the EOCE.

As you might guess from my report on those numbers, our EOCEs from Fall 2023 are now available. I should read through them and reflect on them. Since I’m working with a colleague on CSC-151, I’m going to start with that course.

But first, a detour.

Detour: Questions on my end-of-course evaluation

Although I don’t plan to report on answers to individual questions, some readers may benefit from seeing the questions we ask. At present, there are three categories of questions on my end-of-course evaluations: The standard six questions that Grinnell has been asking for the past twenty-five years, a few questions I regularly ask, and a few new questions that the College has asked us to add [2].

Standard questions

As I noted, we’ve been using six standard questions for the past twenty-five years or so. Each is a Likert-style question that is accompanied by a field to permit an open-ended response. We use a six-response Likert scale with choices of Strongly Disagree, Moderately Disagree, Disagree, Agree, Moderately Agree, and Strongly Agree [3]. When reporting on these, we often treat them as the values 1 through 6 and then average them [4]. We also look at issues like the percent of responses that are Moderately Agree or Strongly Agree [5].

  • The course sessions were conducted in a manner that helped me to understand the subject matter of the course.
  • The instructor helped me to understand the subject matter of the course. This is one of the primary evaluative questions.
  • Work completed with and/or discussions with other students in this course helped me to understand the subject matter of the course.
  • The oral and written work, tests, and/or other assignments helped me to understand the subject matter of the course.
  • Required readings or other course materials helped me to understand the subject matter of the course.
  • I learned a lot in this course. This is the other primary evaluative question.

I’ve spent too much time on learning assessments as of late. Understand is low on Bloom’s taxonomy. Shouldn’t we be asking about whether they can apply the ideas from the course? Whether they can analyze new materials? Oh well; those are questions for another day [6].

These also don’t cover other issues I care about, such as whether my course helped students develop an enthusiasm for the subject matter of the course, or stretched them to think/work in new ways, or helped them discover new sides of themselves, or …. But I may be an outlier in expecting that we should consider such issues.

Sam’s standard questions

While I learn from students’ textual responses to those questions (and, I suppose would learn from the quantitative responses if they were unexpectedly low), I’ve found it appropriate to add a few questions that help me better understand how I might improve the course. I either took my questions directly from my colleague, Jerod Weinman, or based them closely on his questions.

  • What aspects of the course particularly contributed to your learning? How did they contribute?
  • What is something about the course that you would recommend we change or discontinue? Why?
  • What else would you like me to know about your experience in this course?

I like these questions because they are open-ended while providing some focus. The first helps us understand what we should keep in the course. The second helps us understand what we might change. They also help students realize that they can have an impact on the course.

Of course, I find that the useful information gets spread across questions and doesn’t always fall where I’d expect.

New institutional questions

Grinnell is (finally) starting to carefully consider issues of student workload. As I’ve noted in the past, our stated expectation that a four-credit course represent twelve hours of work is a bit problematic, since it suggests that the average student will be spending at least 48 hours per week on classwork, along with additional time on paid work and extra curriculars. And, as I’ve noted, I have yet to receive an answer to the questions of For whom? and For what grade?. Particularly in CS, students (and professionals) can spend very different amounts of time on the same task.

  • In a typical week, how many hours did you spend doing work for this class? This includes reading, writing assignments, problem sets, practice/studying, and all other work for this course not completed during the designated class time. (Possible answers are: 0–3 hours, 4–6 hours, 7–9 hours, 10–12 hours, and 12+ hours [7].)
  • The workload in this class was manageable. (Another Likert-style question.)

I can’t recall whether text answers were automatically included or optional or whether I suggested them or what. But my form also had space for textual answers.

Some issues to consider

Time/workload

Since I ended with the time questions, they seem like a good place to start my reflections on what I’ve learned from my EOCEs.

The distribution of work was about what I’d expect.

  • 20% of respondents (5/25) said they spent 4–6 hours per week.
  • 52% of respondents (13/25) said they spent 7–9 hours per week.
  • 8% of respondents (2/25) said they spent 10–12 hours per week.
  • 20% of respondents (5/25) said they spent 12+ hours per week.

In terms of the College’s goal of having my class require about twelve hours per week, I seem to be doing well. It would be better if everyone fell into the 7–9 range, but we will always have some outliers. In terms of keeping student’s workload reasonable, I’m doing less well. I’m concerned about those five students who are spending more than twelve hours per week. It would be good to know why. It would be better to know how I can help. It would also be nice to know what made things quicker for those on the low end. I don’t think they are all students with prior experience, so what skills did they employ to keep the workload short?

How can I help those who are taking too much time? I can pay more attention to who they are. I require students to do a post-reflection on each homework assignment (mini-project) and I could offer tips to those who take longer. Or I could ask them directly what made it take so long. I know from elsewhere on the form that some students were reluctant to ask questions. I also know that students are more efficient when they ask questions. So I should encourage students to ask questions.

Let me see what else I can learn from the other answers those students gave.

  • One did not provide any textual feedback.
  • Another identifies the mini-projects as the issue. Notes some stress from the 10:00 p.m. deadlines [10]. Notes some stress that they took longer than the time estimates. Perhaps I should drop those.
  • A third noted that the pre-reflection and post-reflection took extra time. Noted that they had other issues that may make them slower in general.
  • A fourth Also identified the mini-projects as the primary issue. Also disliked the time estimates. Noted that English is not their native language, which causes some work to take longer.
  • The fifth observed that they didn’t always do the reading questions (or, more precisely, that they didn’t always have time to do the reading questions).

Hmmm … What about the two students who reported 10–12 hours?

  • One eports spending about seven hours per mini-project and one hour per reading. Also reports having prior experience with CS [9].
  • The other writes: MPs definitely tilted the scale a lot. I could’ve probably spent less time on them with better habits, but those habits are surprisingly hard to just adopt.

It appears that eliminating the estimated time would be helpful. I had intended the estimated times as a tool; students who were taking more should reach out for help. But that’s not how students are taking them. And my estimates are not always good.

I should also work on cutting a bit from the mini-projects. While students learn from repetition, there can be too much repetition. I like to explore variations of problems (or, more precisely, to have students explore them).

Sam’s sarcasm

I’m sarcastic. Or snarky. Or both. Or perhaps they are the same. Or similar. Many students enjoy my snarkiness. But not all. Here are the telling comments.

[T]he sarcastic way the professor handled interaction with students made me uncomfortable to approach him for questions or office hours. It was not funny as it was meant to be.

Please comment on: The Instructor helped me to understand the subject matter of the course. I did feel that I learned a lot, although sometimes Sam approached things such as questions a little sarcastically.

I know that not every student deals well with my sarcasm. And I don’t want to make students uncomfortable approaching me. I’ve tried to teach while doing my best to restrain my sarcasm, and it has not been successful. Can I say to myself that it’s only two students or should I treat it as an issue that more students felt but few were comfortable addressing in the EOCEs? I thought I had asked my students this question directly on the last day of class, but it appears that I did not.

So, what should I do? I’ll try to be less snarky. I’ll encourage my class mentor to let me know when I’m exceeding bounds. I’ll encourage students to talk to my mentor if they find my snarkiness off-putting. And I’ll ask again at the end of the semester, probably on the EOCE.

In my defense, students also found me kind. Let’s see …

  • The strategy sam uses to get extension (tokens) and his kindness make the course manageable.
  • Thank you for being kind Sam.
  • He was very open to take questions and easy to reach over teams and email. He was very kind which made it easier to reach out.

Damn. I thought there were more of those. Maybe my kindness doesn’t balance my snarkiness.

Detours, intentional and otherwise

In an ideal world, readings would provide all the necessary background and labs would both build and reinforce understanding. In such a world, a typical class session would involve about five to ten minutes of announcements and seventy to seventy-five minutes of lab work. We’d use a little more time for pre-lab activities on days in which I give an assignment.

But that’s not how my class ends up going. Students ask questions on the reading responses. (I give them a space to ask questions.) Students provide incorrect answers to questions in their reading responses. And some students are even willing to ask questions in class, particularly when I call on them randomly and ask whether they have questions [10]. So I spend some time answering questions. I also don’t always answer the questions; sometimes I set up think-pair-share activities related to the questions or confusion. I’ve even been known to spend a whole class day answering questions or to add an extra day to a topic when students are struggling.

Is it better to stick to a schedule or to adapt to what I see happening in the course? I know my answer, but let’s see what students wrote.

I feel like the instructor did a great job of going over things in class that people struggled on and spent multiple class sessions on topics that were difficult to help us reinforce ideas which was helpful instead of just going to the next topic sometimes.

The days when SamR spent the whole class reviewing topics that a majority of the class was struggling with or answering questions were incredibly helpful.

Questions at the start were helpful, and so was lab work. The more general format of writing important things and questions down on the eBoard live was also great.

The course sessions often included an introduction, going over readings, homework, projects, and/or questions, and a lab when we had time. I believe that this format was good for ensuring that we understood the core concepts that the readings were trying to teach us through the discussions, while also allowing us to practice the concepts through labs. I feel like this format was good for helping me learn the course material.

The breakdown between answering questions, at the begining, moving on to well designed labs, and focusing more on the in group collaboration lab time rather than on getting evrything one hundred percent done worked great for me, as it helped me focus on building the soft skills of collaborations with other and planning out code rather than stressing about the technicalities of racket.

I really like that the professor divided each session in segments, having one for checking in, one for questions and one for lab. That made it organized and efficient.

Aren’t those last three nice summaries of how I structure my classes? However, I am amused that someone considers me organized.

It was also helpful to have time to ask questions before we started working on labs.

There are more, but these seem like enough to help me conclude that my current structure is appropriate. I also asked a question on the last day of class, after the students had turned in their EOCEs. Let’s see …

The other section had a much larger and much longer final project, including many more class sessions devoted to team work on the project. In exchange, they didn’t have the kinds of days in which the class debriefs on a topic or plans for an assignment or I spend too long answering a question or ….

I then closed my eyes and let them vote on an answer.

    1. I’d prefer a much longer project and would give up those days.
    1. I’d prefer that you maintain the current model.
    1. No strong opinion.

Those votes also support the class structure.

Oh, I asked another relevant Sam closes his eyes question. Let’s see …

Did Sam spend too much time on the pre-lab discussion?

    1. Yes, in general
    1. No, in general
    1. No strong opinion

I’m keeping my class structure. It works for me. It seems to work for my students. I’m sure that other structures would also work well, but I don’t see a good reason to change (other than the one we see in the next section).

Labs

One of the many ongoing questions in CSC-151 is what to do when students don’t finish the lab during class. In some semesters, we’ve told the students that they have to meet again to finish the lab. In some semesters, we’ve told the students that they should finish the lab on their own. In some semesters, we’ve picked one problem and asked the students to submit that one problem.

Most recently, we’ve used the Sam says I can stop here policy. When there are five minutes left in class, I tell students they should stop and submit what they have and they will get credit for the lab. I also suggest that they read over the remaining problems. Not all students do so.

Some students think I should require everyone to finish the lab.

I see the value that removing the pressure to finish a lab in class adds to group dynamics, and I hesitate to ask for more work, but I also wonder how things would be different if we were expected to complete some portion of our labs.

I think that the lab is useful for helping reinforce our learning, so I think trying to give us time to complete them would help us better learn the material.

I also asked a Sam closes his eyes question on the last day of class.

Was Sam says stop here on the labs a good thing?

    1. Yes, in general
    1. No, in general
    1. No strong opinion

It appears students support this approach. And I agree with student 3 that removing the pressure to finish [improves] group dynamics, particularly since I’ve seen less-good group dynamics when students are required to finish the labs. However, labs often build to important problems, and not all students take the time to read over those problems.

Given that students are already spending a bit too much time on the class (in general), I’m reluctant to add more work. Once again, I should look for ways to shrink the labs.

Are there other changes to make? There were some comments on how I set up partnering.

I think it might be beneficial to have one partner for the week to do all of the Monday, Wednesday and Friday labs with just so it’s easier to adjust to each partner and see the benefits to understanding the way another person thinks rather than maybe steamrolling over them if you’re the person who knows more. I think expanding the amount of time would make people have to listen to their partners more since it’s over a longer period of time.

I would like to have seen a more equal distribution of partners. I ended up with some people multiple times, and some people never. I’m not sure what would be more effective than the current card system, but I would have liked to work with more of my classmates.

For those who don’t know, I try to use random assignment for partners. When students arrive in class each day, they grab a card that tells them where to sit in the room. Two students assigned to the same computer become partners that day. I’ve historically had them get new partners each day for a variety of reasons.

  • If you get a new partner each day, you get to meet more of the class.
  • If you get a new partner each day, we automatically adjust to days in which someone misses class.
  • If you get a new partner each day, you’re not stuck with a problematic partner for more than one day [11].

Still, I should consider the partner for a week idea, which I know some colleagues use.

For the repeated partner issue, I could ask students about repeat partners and shuffle. (If this is the third time you’ve worked with this person, go back and draw a new card.). Or I could try to keep track of repeat partners and shuffle if appropriate. I like the If this is the third time idea. I wonder how well it will work. We shall see.

What about partners for a week? I’ll need to think on that idea a bit more. I understand the advantages. I’m not sure that they outweigh the disadvantages.

Answer keys

I don’t tend to provide answer keys in the course. Students get feedback on their mini-projects, including a rubric that indicates what they should do and what they’ve done. For quizzes and LAs, they get a few short comments and a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade.

Why don’t I provide answers to quizzes and LAs? In part, providing answers will make it harder to reuse the questions. In part, I want to encourage students to ask someone for the answers (e.g., the class mentors or me). What did students write?

I would have liked a little bit more feedback on the quizzes and would have liked access to the answers to those that we have done.

A minor thing that I think should be added is answers to the sample LA problems on the class page.

Okay, it’s only one student who asked for answers. I can try to find time to give them answers to the sample problems, but I won’t give them for the quizzes and LAs. I’ll try to remember to encourage them to do so.

Implicit recommendations for other students

That’s about all that I have for recommendations on changing the course. In general, students seem happy with the way the course is organized.

Nonetheless, it feels like I should share some of the comments with students in the upcoming session. Let’s see …

I started going to office hours a lot pretty recently and I keep going because there is a lot of stuff I don’t know and because the professor doesn’t judge me because I don’t know something.

Morals: It’s helpful to go to office hours. Sam is less snarky during office hours. Make sure to make an appointment for office hours.

I appreciated being able to Teams message [Sam] with small questions and getting a timely response rather than putting off a whole project until next class because of a small road block.

Morals: Ask questions, small or large. Sam answers questions on Teams.

CS is really hard but what made it a little bit easier was working with someone. A lot of times I would come to class confused about the reading we had last night and then my partner would explain it to me because they understood. Or whenever I would get stuck while being the driver my partner was always there for me to try and explain what was happening. Even when things were hard and I was confused (and wanted to give up internally) because I had a partner, that made me keep going.

Morals: Be a good partner; it makes a difference. It’s okay to be confused; your partner will help.

[The instructor] was very open to take questions and easy to reach over teams and email.

Moral: Ask questions, whether via Teams or email (or in person).

The Redo policy was the biggest factor that contributed to my learning. Being able to say that my code didn’t work and following up on why it didn’t work gave me the peace of mind to accept that not everything I make will be perfect the first time around.

Morals: You don’t have to be perfect the first time (or even the second). Submit the work you have; you’ll get feedback.

I really liked that the instructor was always open for answering all sort of questions. I also appreciate that he answer out loud questions that were made anonymously through tm or gradescope.

Morals: Ask questions on reading responses and in class; you’ll get answers.

Other recommendations for me

There were a few more comments that I should address (or at least consider). These generally come as responses to What is something about the course that you would recommend we change or discontinue? Why?

The way Gradescope shows assignments was confusing for me because they’re not clearly in order and they all look so similar that it jumbled together in my mind.

I don’t tend to view materials on Gradescope from the student view, so I’m not sure what it looks like. But we do have a lot of assignments. I’m not sure the best way to help, other than to (a) put everything on the syllabus, (b) add links to the list of upcoming work on the daily eboards, or (c) make a separate page of links.

I’d appreciate if all quizzes could be taken on a computer. Being able to test my code is a big factor in reducing stress during SoLAs, and not being able to do that for in-class LAs really stressed me out.

Managing on-computer quizzes when there are more students than computers is difficult. I also ask different kinds of questions when students can’t use the computer, and I don’t expect perfect code. Since students can do SoLA questions on the computer, I think paper quizzes strike an appropriate balance.

Maybe change the mini project deadlines make them longer?

If I understand, this student is suggesting more time on mini-projects. They may also be suggesting that I make bigger mini-projects. I prefer the rhythm of weekly mini-projects. They also help keep students on task. And this response is echoed by another student.

I think that miniprojects are too mini. When thinking about how I would show my work to other people, I feel that miniprojects fit in a strange middle between something simple like a class example and something complex like a website to solve a demand. I would like the course to have bigger projects, at least more to the end of it.

Hmmm … What are my end-of-semester projects? There’s a two week group project that I call A procedure is worth 1000 pictures. That’s mostly week thirteen. Week fourteen is the last SoLA. Week eleven was word clouds. That’s a fun and appropriate project to show off. In the fall, week twelve is Thanksgiving break, so I don’t have something due. I could add something new in the spring. Week ten is SoLA 3. Week nine was pixel problems.

There were also other comments that I should look toward bigger projects, or at least projects that focus on one particular goal, rather than lots of small goals. It’s worth considering. I just don’t know how much time I’ll have to write new projects; I’m already planning time rewriting the CSC-151 image library.

Of course, there are also contrary opinions. Here’s one.

I think the homework load can be too much at times, It would be a lot less stressful if the projects were split up into smaller parts that were due more frequently. This could be like splitting up a project due thursday into three parts due sunday, tuesday, and thursday before class.

Scaffolding is good. But scaffolding can be excessive. For assignments that are only a week long, I worry about too much scaffolding.

The 10 o’clock deadlines. Please make it at least 11. I understand why they are the time they are but I almost always couldn’t meet them and my personal work style is (probably unhealthy) more oriented towards working at night. I think maybe 11 would work as a new time.

Done, at least for mini-projects. I’m keeping readings at 10:00 p.m.

Having the mini-projects and SOLAs more evenly spaced out so that there is more time between SOLA 3 and SOLA 4 in the final week.

I’m planning to add an extra SoLA in the spring, so there will be four SoLAs with six LAs each rather than three SoLAs with eight LAs each (plus the final SoLA, which is a chance for students to try again on any topics they’ve missed). In terms of the gap between the last regular SoLA (SoLA 3 in the fall and SoLA 4 this coming spring) and the final SoLA (SoLA 4 in the fall and SoLA 5 this coming spring), I prefer to have the last regular SoLA in week 14 so that it can encompass all the topics; I don’t want to introduce new topics on the final SoLA.

I wish the class had more exercises on passing functions as parameters, using lambda to create lambda (fxn that returns and fxn). Also, I wish we had more training in using map, filter, section, etc. in creative ways.

It’s an introductory course, so I don’t want to push to hard on these things.

This is not very easy to do but planning in advance the days where we don’t do a lab would be helpful. There isn’t much I would change overall though.

Unfortunately, students don’t always get stuck on the some topic, so it’s hard to know when I’m going to replace a lab with a discussion.

I would like to see how this course would work with a more common programming language. Many institutions use Python for their first CS courses. I feel that if I had worked an entire semester with Python or similar languages I would have more applicable projects I could show.

That’s a complex change. I worry that a more popular language will lose some of the advantages we see with Scheme. But don’t worry; I’m sure we’ll discuss it again.

There were other comments in this section, but I think I covered them in my earlier discussions of labs and mini-projects.

Favorite comments

There were a few comments that made me particularly happy. Even though I like to hear ideas for improvement, I also appreciate encouragement when I do things well.

Having taken a lot of education classes here, I think this course was possibly the only non-education class I’ve taken that feels like there was a lot of effort put into the actual teaching of this course and creation of a classroom culture and other things of the sort that typically aren’t done in college classes.

I have many colleagues who put as much or more effort into the design of their classes; I’m sorry that the student didn’t encounter these courses. CSC-151 also benefits from years of effort by multiple faculty to consider these kinds issues. I spend more time on classroom culture than most, but the overall pedagogy comes from all of us. Nonetheless, I’m glad that our work on the class is working.

Thank you for being kind Sam. You genuienly made an incredible diffrence this semester, and please just know that the amount you care for students and their wellbeing does not go unoticed and makes a genuine diffrence in our lives. Your teaching was great, but it was this that truly made a diffrence this semester, and made it so much easier to work through the course and focus on learning without having to stress as much about having a bad day negativley impact your preformance on the whole semester and your future.

Remember my earlier comment about what I want students to learn in my classes? Be kind is probably the most important thing.

Even though I had a lot of CS experience already, I’m really glad I took this course because it taught me a lot of skills not specifically related to programming that I’ve found really helpful, like teamwork and communication.

I hope that the skills for working with others translate to other situations, too. As I’ve noted, I hope students learn more than the official subject matter of the course.

I overall really enjoyed the class, and I think this class made me realize the rumors of it being a really difficult weed out class are completely wrong.

I thought we’d eliminated that reputation. It’s never been our goal to have a weed-out class.

The SOLA/ MP structure was honestly phenomenal and I did not expect it to be as helpful as it ended up being. SOLAs provided a concrete way of building and testing specific skills that went into the course, but their structure made it OK to fail and encouraged future learning even if you didint nail it the first time, putting an emphasis in growth and learning rather than on nailing an exam one specific day and having that determine your grade. MP’s provided a more fre form way of exploring longer and more complex computational exersizes giving us the space and support to explore how to go about solving these problems while generally being engaging and fun to work on :)

I’ll end there.

Final notes

It seems like the course is going relatively well. I have some additional fine-tuning to do, particularly with the work load, but the years of tuning have given us a good course.

Next up will be CSC-207. That course is much rougher and I managed it less well. Stay tuned for a more painful musing (at least for me).


[1] I don’t believe you can easily measure something as complex as the quality of teaching using simple numeric measures. I also don’t believe you should measure the quality of teaching at the most stressful part of the semester. Given sufficient resources, I would use two primary strategies to assess the quality of teaching.

First, I would have trained observers meet with each faculty member, visit a sequence of classes, and then meet with them again. We currently have similar visits as part of reviews for promotion and tenure. However, those visits come from other faculty in the department and they only do a few such visits. I would prefer observers whose full-time job is observing and reflecting on classes. It might be difficult, as different disciplines employ very different pedagogical techniques. But someone trained in education should be able to handle multiple strategies. And, as they get more practice, they would improve.

Second, I would ask students to reflect retrospectively on courses, not at the end of the semester, but a few semesters later. It’s hard to judge a course in the moment.

I’d still keep end-of-course evaluations, but only as a tool for faculty to ask questions of their students and use the responses to improve their teaching. Strangely enough, I think the two evaluative strategies I’ve just described could potentially serve both goals; while their primary intent is evaluative, they also provide feedback on teaching.

[2] Why doesn’t the administration just add those questions? I believe that it would require faculty legislation to add new questions, and EOCEs are in such a state of flux that it’s not worth making that change independently of the other changes.

[3] As I understand it, there’s a debate in the survey communities as to whether to have an odd number of choices for Likert-style questions or an even number. That is, do you permit a neutral response or do you force your respondents to choose a side? I fall into the camp that prefers an even number.

[4] There is also a debate as to whether these categorical responses can be treated as quantitative. I fall into the camp that says they should not be treated as quantitative; it makes little sense to average strongly agree and moderately disagree. Nonetheless, I acknowledge that some professional statisticians support the quantitative treatment of Likert responses.

[5] If I recall correctly, we hope to see about 90% moderately agree or strongly agree for questions relating to the instructor and the amount learned.

[6] Such as the day we discuss new EOCEs in a faculty meeting.

[7] I would not have designed the form this way. For example, why don’t we permit fractions of an hour? We do we have gaps between 4–6 and 7–9, but not between 10–12 and 12+? Why are the ranges so big?

[8] I have 10:00 p.m. deadlines to encourage students to stop at a reasonable hour.

[9] That doesn’t identify the student to me and it shouldn’t identify the student to my readers.

[10] Reminder to self: Strategies for calling on students is one of the issues that belongs in differences in how we teach CSC-151.

[11] I believe that every student can be a good partner. However, there are some partners who are impatient with partners who work more slowly than they do. There are also some partners who don’t adequately prepare for class. And there are some partners who are so enthusiastic about the material that they don’t realize that they aren’t giving their partners a chance. My reading of this semester’s EOCEs suggests that partnering generally worked well this past semester.


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