The CC evaluations are in. They're done voluntarily, online, so only about six students actually filled it out. (I'll offer credit next time. Then they'll all do it.) Here are all of the qualitative responses. I'm happy, because one or two of them got it, and one of them has a sense of humor.
What are the strengths of this instructor?
Explains and elaborates on facts and events very well, so there is no misunderstanding.
HE is very good on interactive disscussion, and has helped not to be quiet in class
Instead of giving memorized tests in this class, Mr. Graham asked us to read the information and we had full discussions each week on the material. In my opinion, this method allows for a greater understanding of the information than merely memorizing facts and then forgetting them. He has instilled greater concepts in this course, which I feel has a better, lasting impact. He also asked us to write 2 papers in this class. I think this is a good practice because there are too many students that need much improvement in this area.
The format of the class allows students to relate the material current events and keeps students engaged in the class.
What are the areas for improvement for this instructor?
A particular student tended to dominate the class, not to a serious extent but, enough to be annoying.
He self admits that he can have a difficult time focusing his thoughts and stating a clear question that he wants an answer to. His thought process comes through in the way he communicates. This leads to my only real feedback. It would be great if he could reduce the number of times he uses the word "um". It interrupts his flow of thought and also interrupts the flow of conversation, making him and the topic harder to understand and focus on. I counted once for curiosity purposes and the word "um" was spoken 17 times in about 8 minutes. It's just something that would make him even more effective if he reduced the use. He knows his history incredibly well and is a great teacher.
What are the strengths of this course?
He knows his history incredibly well and is a great teacher. I also really like the format of the class. No short term memorizing of facts, but in depth conversations of large topics and big picture points. These things stick with a person better than short term memorizing. He also really encourages the class to speak up and be a part of the topic. I think that builds confidence for students too. Helped increase my retention even more.
This class fills a space missing in the knowledge base of the average college student.
What are the areas for improvement for this course?