Instructor Evaluation(s) of the Prof who Couldn’t do Arithmetic

Instructor evaluations at the end of term? Forget about it. That is what university students would usually say. But this time…my friend Hils and I couldn’t let go of such an awesome opportunity to bitch about our instructor.

After we wrote our evaluation of the professor, we decided it would be fun to write a version of what we ACTUALLY wanted to say. So here’s both. They are quite long, but rather entertaining.
1. The real evaluation is up first, written mostly by me, and some by Hils.
2. Afterward, enjoy our ridiculously snide dream evaluation, written mostly by Hils, and some by me.

1. The Real Evaluation:

I understand that this is an introductory level course, but she should ensure that statements are worded as correctly as possible. This would not only give students the correct information for their own knowledge, but also avoid confusing some students who may have more advanced knowledge in the particular subject at hand. For example, on one quiz, she stated that “antidiuretic hormone causes water to be reabsorbed from the bloodstream”, when the correct statement should be “antidiuretic hormone causes water to be reabsorbed from the kidney filtrate back to the bloodstream.” Although these two statements have entirely different meanings, the incorrect statement was deemed to be a correct response to a multiple choice answer, putting students who had a clear knowledge of kidneys to be at a disadvantage.

She should also make eye contact to her student audience during lectures. At times, her eyes are drawn to one side of the room, and while eye contact would make the lectures more engaging, it would also allow for her to notice students who have their hands raised to ask questions.

She should stay true to her word regarding what will be tested on assessments. On 2 of 3 assessments, she previously stated that certain topics would not be tested, but the topics appeared on the assessments nonetheless. For example, on the Vista discussion board, one student asked, “There are a lot of areas in the notes for this week where it states the % absorbed of the nutrient. Are we to know these details?” Prof answered, “For the benefit of everyone, you do not need to know the % absorption for each micronutrient.” However, on the final evaluation, one question required our knowledge of the % absorption of Calcium. This is very unfair to her students, and she should reflect on this.

Prof should reflect on her attitude towards students’ inquiries on debatable questions on assessments. At times she can appear offended when asked to clarify the wording of a particular question. She must understand that as students, we ask these questions not to humiliate her or prove that she is wrong in front of the whole class. Rather, we ask because we hope to have equal and fair evaluation for every question.

Additionally, it appears as though she is more familiar with some students than others, and addresses them differently. While it is natural to know certain students better, all students should be treated with equal respect.

2. The Snide Evaluation – What we REALLY wanted to say:

I understand that this is an introductory level course, mainly geared towards students who did not reach their full potential in high school and thus could not claw their way into the UBC Science program. However, she should ensure that her information is, as basic as it is, at least worded correctly. This is, without a doubt, a challenging task for a professor of at least 15 years, but it is beneficial for the few students who would like to gain valid knowledge in class, as opposed to the majority who don’t mind that the professor claims that 48 x 4 = 132. This would also be favourable for students who actually have a firm grasp of the topic at hand. For example, on one quiz, she stated that “antidiuretic hormone causes water to be reabsorbed from the bloodstream”, when the correct statement should be “antidiuretic hormone causes water to be reabsorbed from the kidney filtrate back to the bloodstream.” While it is usually nice to have professors proclaim “Ehh, close enough…” it is, in this case, unfair for the professor to deduct marks from students for the mere fact that they paid attention in Biology 12.

Prof should try to make eye contact with her students, the majority of which are situated in filthy tangerine seats near the middle of the room. Her eyes, however, dwell on a small patch on the left wall, a patch of wall so lovely that it averts her attention from her precious Anaconda who has yet another useless comment to make about supplements, and from the unfortunate student with an annoyingly drawling voice who still has a shaky grasp on the concept of ATP. Having the professor’s pearls of pure wisdom directed entirely towards this anthropomorphized piece of wall, it is inevitable that her students would turn to their DS’s and embark on a futile search for the same type of love their professor shares with an inanimate object.

She should refrain from lying about the topics tested on assessments. On two thirds of the assessments, she stated that certain topics would not be tested, but they appeared on the assessments nonetheless. For example, on the Vista discussion board, one student asked, “There are a lot of areas in the notes for this week where it states the % absorbed of the nutrient. Are we to know these details?” Prof answered, “For the benefit of everyone, you do not need to know the % absorption for each micronutrient.” On the final examination, feigned gasps were heard as a multiple choice question innocently asked us for the % absorption of calcium. I understand that it is difficult for professors, being mere creators of the assessments, to control exactly what is typed on the assessment. There are always unavoidable miscommunications between the brain and the fingers; at times I am utterly shocked by math equations magically appearing on my literature essay about Hamlet. However, it would be much appreciated if she checked over her assessments and verified that her sense of fairness, which, I must note, is perhaps worthy of angels, is not vanquished by her mischievous fingers.

Prof should seriously reflect on her inappropriate attitude towards students’ inquiries on debatable questions on assessments. She always seems to be offended at the slightest request for clarification, giving snide retorts as if she can’t imagine that a mere student would even think of questioning a reputable professor like herself, despite having most likely acquired her doctorate from eBay. She doesn’t seem to understand that, although it is always satisfying to humiliate professors in class, her students are only asking for marks that are rightfully theirs, as this is the Asian way. It is suggested that she take a how-not-to-be-an-overconfident-prof course in which the first lesson would be to eat a big slice of humble pie.

Additionally, Prof seems to favour a certain group of students in the class. Of course, it is only natural to favour these darling students who hang on your every word and raise their hands to tell you a cute anecdote about farming practices in Iran. And who wouldn’t love Iguana, the student who enjoys initiating lengthy debates-turned-monologues regarding the nutrition content of unripe bananas. However, it would be much more desirable to have a professor who at least pretends to appreciate the students in the back who had the decency to arrive to class on time to not only listen half-heartedly, but also to spend the lecture heroically utilizing banana peels as weapons on the race courses of Mario Kart DS.

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