So what did the students think of my course?

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By now we know what they make of my course in Germany, in France, in Norway even, but what did the students who actually took the course think of it? Courses at Lund University are evaluated by students and so was this one. Obviously, given the attention which “Modern Society and Its Critics” has attracted, there are problems interpreting the results. In addition only about half of the students responded (which, however, is normal at Lund U). Still, a certain pattern does emerge:

  • 66.7% of the students gave the course a “Very Good” grade (highest on a five point scale)
  • 86% of the students called the lectures and the seminars “Very Good” or “Excellent” (two highest on a five point scale)
  • All in all the course got a 4.2 point score on a 5 point scale, making it one of the best courses taught in the Political Science Department this semester.

Rather strangely, this assessment is very similar to what students told me last semester, before the course became a cause célèbre.  Here are a few individual comments:

  • “Without doubt the best course I’ve ever taken, bar none. Thank you for all the work you put into the course.”
  • “Few courses I’ve taken have been as thought provoking and interesting. A good combination of ideas and points of views. It is a shame it will not be given again.”
  • “It is the best course I’ve ever taken so I am very content.”

What were the best things about the course?

  • “The teachers. Their way of leading the discussions was very engaging.  Everyone had an opportunity to participate to the extent that they wanted.”
  • “The opportunity to discuss the material and have an open dialogue between teachers and students.”
  • “The enthusiasm of the teachers and their ability to include everyone in the discussions.”
  • “The material and the critical perspectives. The unusual material, the wide-ranging discussions.”

One student writes:

“I have now studied for two degrees at the university, one in law, the other in economics. Your class on “Modern Society and Its Critics” is the best course I’ve taken. The structure built around seminars for which you prepare by means of readings, podcasts and YouTube clips is brilliant. It is a perfect preparation for intellectual conversations where you can challenge and be challenged. This setup is lot more rewarding than standard lectures which provie summaries of textbooks.”

There was only one student who strongly disagreed. The course, this lone voice claimed, was “Very bad.” Oh well.

The complete results are here (in Swedish).

2 Comments

  1. Well done! And there is no reason to dispair that one person had an absolutely negative opinion. As many university lecturers may have noticed, there is always at least one person taking a non-conformist view in student evaluations.

    1. Yeah, I’ve noticed this. And given the animus of the small contingent of feminist activists in the class, I had really expected worse reviews.

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