In 2011 I was one of the lab instructors for the HCII's flagship course, User-Centered Research and Evaluation. I co-constructed lab lecture materials, small group activities, and grading rubrics with my fellow instructors during this semester-long lab course.
I invited a pedagogy expert from my university's Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence to a class session I lead, and received this external review.
Part-way through the semester, I solicited brief early course evaluations from my students. Below is the exhaustive collection of those student evaluations.
|What are the strongest features of your TA's teaching? In other words, what contributes most to your learning?||What specific suggestions do you have for improvements that your TA can make?||Is the TA's pace:|
|The 8-10 minute summary of what was covered in the last lecture provides a good recap to students. The TA takes time to help students remember and understand the important concepts to be learned.||The review session can be a little longer depending on the level of importance of each lecture. Sometimes when there have been a lot of important things covered in lecture, students want to make sure that with detailed explanations they can understand the fundamental concepts. Practices and groupworks help, but there can be some verbal explanations in recitation.||just right|
|Conciseness. She doesn't circumlocute. Gets to the point. Understands when students get points and when they are lost.||Make sure that everything we have to do on the homework is addressed in recitation. I don't want to be guessing as to what I have to do. Overall my TA is fine, I wish I had an early course evaluation of the course in general, because those are where my issues arise.||too slow|
|She explains concepts and requirements very well. She is really good at clarifying vague points introduced or discussed in lecture. The activities are very well structured and definitely reinforce learning.||At the beginning of section there is a small review, but it is often very fast. Maybe taking a bit more time to review the material introduced in lecture the previous day would be beneficial.||just right|
|Well prepared. Has powerpoint slides and handouts and can direct us when we're confused during activities.||TA is fine, I don't think she needs to really do anything differently.|
|The process of the classwork was carried out efficiently. The opportunity to do tasks of assignment was good.||TA can bring more example about how to go about a specific task in that section.||just right|
|She goes over lectures, which I think is greatly needed in order to have a chance with the homework. She encourages discussion. She is to-the-point.||She should have a firmer grasp of what the assignments are. She should give us time to talk with her about graded homeworks. She should cover material not covered in lecture that could be important on the homework.||just right|
|The fact that the TA is listening carefully when we are doing the classwork and steps in to clarify or direct us when needed helps me. The summary of the lecture done in the beginning of section is helpful.||The TA should have more examples especially with the model chapter are consolidating models to explain them better. The TA should give us feedback when giving out the homeworks, not just hand it out.||just right|
|I like the group exercises we do as they give us a lot of practice and application of what was taught in the lecture the day before. Wish the section could be longer or the material be shorter as we always run out of time to discuss.||Being more aware of the course material. Sometimes when questions are asked the answer is to look on Piazza and see what the professors say, which is valid al beit unhelpful at times.||just right|
|She is knowledgeable and easy to approach. Provides good feedback when asked after class. Very good at keeping class on time, getting us broken up into groups quickly and on our way to practicing.||Be more excited about the material. Some of it is rough in the first place, some chipperness might help.||just right|
|Iris assumes a lot of competency in our class, which I really like. The section moves pretty quickly and remains relevant and interesting. We never get bogged down in learning obvious or mundane crud.||Filling in the gaps from lecture might be nice. It seems we rarely talk about questions we have regarding what was taught in lecture. But I know we do have questions, usually.||just right|
|Going over lectures. Providing cocnrete examples and real world examples of topics from lecture. Discussion.||Maybe a little bit more time to address group questions or discussion as a whole class? But maybe other people in the class don't feel this way. More physical or printed examples of correct models or reports for reference. The lectures and book are very theoretical.||just right|