What did you Think of Your Courses?
What did you think of your courses this semester? Did the content and presentation meet your expectations? Would you recommend the course to others? Might you have changed part of it? The Curriculum Committee really wants to know. You rely on the committee to produce the quality courses you enjoy each semester. The committee relies on you for feedback to tell them what you like, what you want, what you want more of. They want your suggestions, your ideas for future courses, your leads on potential future presenters. Most valuable are your individual constructive comments.
Organizing the Responses
Bill Tuel, Curriculum Committee member, who tabulated last semester’s evaluation responses, explained that after LLI members complete the evaluation forms, the data is used to populate spreadsheets showing all the numerical rankings and, most importantly, all the comments. Bill said that last semester there were 1407 individual responses, and 795 of those had specific comments or remarks.
Anne Sunners, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, said the final tabulations are then sent to the committee. Members are asked to review the findings prior to a meeting where they are then discussed by the group. The committee then has an overall picture of the outcome for each course. The producers study the rankings and the comments and then go on to share feedback with their presenters. Course suggestions and leads for future presenters are then explored by the committee.
Feedback is Valuable
Chuck Mishaan, a frequent presenter of his Opera as Politics series and other courses, is unique in that he both produces and presents his courses. He finds the feedback from evaluations very useful in understanding how his lectures are perceived, and how well the material is absorbed by the class.
He says: I enjoy the kudos that members submit, but also value comments like wanting more music, more discussion, more historical context (or less). Since my opera course is ongoing, the evaluations help me to fine tune my presentations and adjust the emphases on some of the major themes of the course.
Chuck adds: I very much enjoy teaching at LLI, despite the hard work of preparation and appreciate the acknowledgment and feedback I get in class and through the class evaluations.
Specific Comments Encouraged
Jane Diamond, a long-time Curriculum Committee member, has produced many popular courses for Bard LLI: Yoga, Tai Chi, Dance, Kaatsbaan, Imperialism, the First Amendment. Working with Denise Ryan, she produced the three course Global Crises series and the Presidential Election 2016 course. Jane says: Evaluations are useful to me if the comments are specific, either positive or negative. The overall ratings are useful if they are consistent among class members.
Jane talked of developing courses she is interested in taking and relying on her own impressions as well as evaluation feedback in her work as a producer.
Helping Presenters Teach
Several producers have mentioned how invaluable it is to have evaluation feedback when meeting with a presenter after his or her first-semester teaching at LLI. Often presenters who have come from other LLI’s, from community colleges, or who have never taught before can benefit from and are grateful for constructive feedback that assists them in further succeeding in teaching at Bard LLI.
Presenters at LLI volunteer their time and put countless hours of planning and research into their courses. Your feedback, your specific comments, are invaluable to them at semester’s end.