July 20, 2018 | ° F

Student Instructional Ratings Survey worth taking

I read The Daily Targum almost daily, and I am tired of reading about the economic crisis, politics and how all of these things are affecting our University negatively. It appears I have one main reason for despising these topics: I enjoy meaningful opinions on student educational matters outside of "real-world" politics.

As a senior at the University, I feel my educational growth has been stifled throughout the years. After taking more than 40 classes at the University, I have been deprived of certain educational values. Although I have had many worthwhile classes, some have just lacked something I needed a little bit more of: interest and enjoyment.

Upon checking my eden account I came across a surprising e-mail for the Student Instructional Ratings Survey.

The instructions read: "The University asks for your help in completing this rating form. The results will be used by both the instructor and the University to assess and improve instruction."

After filling in bubbles for the first 10 questions — all in the odd strongly disagree to strongly agree format — I came to the section I rarely filled out to the best of my ability, the open-ended questions.

In this odd moment, I enjoyed the challenge the University was reminding me to partake in. After all, the instructions did inform me that the University would use my comments to review and improve my education, so why not share my thoughts with them. My thoughts are one of a 21 year-old-female student at the University majoring in psychology. The class is titled "Introduction to Social Work."

Here are two examples of my responses:

"What do you like best about this course? I enjoyed the 40 hours of volunteer work the most. Volunteering made the class worthwhile and was a surprising change to my average classes. Many of my other classes at the University have not given me this kind of hands on and real world experience in my education. I also enjoyed Professor Duwayne Battle's willingness to listen to student concerns in regard to exams and assignments. More importantly, I appreciated his willingness to apply student suggestions and/or changes.

In what ways, if any, has this course or the instructor encouraged your intellectual growth and progress? From the beginning of the semester, Battle has shown interest in his students: especially in encouraging their participation during class. Almost all of my professors in the past employed the lecture only method of teaching (a.k.a. PowerPoint slides and boredom). It was refreshing to have some participation mixed into this ‘Rutgers Norm' of classes I have experienced. Battle also helped facilitate my participation, which in the past I never desired to do."

Satisfied with my truthful responses, I clicked "submit survey."

I am now left to only wonder: Where have my responses gone? Exactly who will be reading them, and most importantly, do they even matter? For most if not all of these questions, I will never know the answer. Although it is impossible for me to tell you how the other students in my class will respond, I believe I have an idea of what most University students appreciate: A class that captivates their attention and in doing so provides them with enjoyment in attending class and completing academic work.

When it comes down to it, the instructor has the job of making a class one that the majority of students will learn from and enjoy. In the case of my "Introduction to Social Work" class, I enjoyed the volunteer aspect built into the curriculum and I enjoyed my professors' openness to student concerns. I also appreciated my professors interesting teaching approach that encouraged student involvement in class.

Providing students with enjoyment and interest is not a requirement to teach at this University, but it makes all the difference. It should be a principal upheld at this University and all other educational institutions. I would like to thank the University for asking for my help in completing the survey. However, I would more so like to thank the class and professor that furthered my educational growth. I hope my words may create thoughts of implementing and encouraging higher teaching standards among our University.

Krista Johnson is a Douglass College senior majoring in psychology.


Krista Johnson

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