The validity of Student Course Evaluations

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Student Course Evaluations Get An 'F'.
Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

CST8207 Winter 2012 Course Evaluation

 2012Winter Survey
 2012Winter 2012
Algonquin College  
  Course:  CST8207 010 - Linux Operating Systems I   Department:  INFORMATIO
  Responsible Faculty:  IAN D ALLEN   Resp. Rec'vd / Expected:   32 / 96 
The Course

CST8207 - 010 --- Comparisons ---
Responses (%) Course All
[SA] [A] [U] [D] [SD] N Mean Mean Pct
Q1 Course learning activities (e.g lectures, discussions, practical work, group work, etc) are varied. 47341603 32 4.2 4 57
Q2 Course learning activites are linked to the course learning requirements. 5338603 32 4.4 4.2 56
Q3 All of the course learning requirements are covered in the course. 5338900 32 4.4 4.1 65
Number of Courses / Survey Responses used for Comparisons:2,936 / 18,854
Responses: [SA] Strongly Agree=5 [A] Agree=4 [U] Undecided=3 [D] Disagree=2 [SD] Strongly Disagree=1 
Pct = Percentile Rank (Higher is better)
The Course

CST8207 - 010 --- Comparisons ---
Responses (%) Course All
[E] [VG] [G] [S] [NS] N Mean Mean Pct
Q4 Overall, please rate the quality of this course 4441933 32 4.2 3.7 69
Number of Courses / Survey Responses used for Comparisons:2,940 / 19,065
Responses: [E] Excellent=5 [VG] Very Good=4 [G] Good=3 [S] Satisfactory=2 [NS] Not Satisfactory=1 
Pct = Percentile Rank (Higher is better)
The Professor

Responses (%) Individual
[E] [VG] [G] [S] [NS] N Mean
Q5 Overall, please rate the effectiveness of your course professor 5928633 32 4.4
Responses: [E] Excellent=5 [VG] Very Good=4 [G] Good=3 [S] Satisfactory=2 [NS] Not Satisfactory=1 
Question: What did you like most about this course?
Response Rate: 100.00%   (32 of 32)
1 practical and functional course

What an excellent course!

3 Rewarding once you figure something out.
4 The content. Learning a new operating system in a controlled method was greate.
5 the commands to use in a terminal
6 Definitely my favourite course, I enjoyed almost every bit of it.
7 Commands and applications
8 The course was very helpful for understanding linux O.S and it kept me interested most of the lectures.
9 Ian. He's a fantastic prof, really knows how to get a class awake and going with his theater like antics.
10 The contents of the course and the pratices in the labs
11 Fun teacher, interesting content
12 challeenge and all about commands
13 perfect way to get an introduction about linux
14 I learned a great deal, it was a very valuable experience. As a person who has worked in the high tech industry I well appreciate the value of having good Linux / Unix skills and feel I have improved mine considerably as a result of this course.
15 learning how to use an operating system other than vista..etc
16 enthusiastic prof
17 The instructor's approach.
18 labs and the materials are very cool.
19 I enjoyed learning about the history of where everything we see in computers came from.
20 The material was very well explained
21 Lab work and lectures provide a good understanding of the material.
22 incredible, learn lots of actually useful stuff and very indepth
23 I liked that it brought me back to the good old days of command-line interfaces
24 The course was intresting, every aspect of this course was learning.
25 The file system labs
26 No comment about the class.
27 I enjoyed being able to use everything we learned throughout the semester in the final labs.
28 it is my first time i heard and i like it
29 Linux is new to be but I've really enjoyed pretty much everything about this course. The labs where great and the information, while starting off slowly, was perfect in order to learn HOW linux works.
30 What I liked most is that there is always enough time to complete lab work.
31 Nothing
32 the labs, where you had to learn some of the commands yourself
Question: How could the course be improved to be of benefit to future students?
Response Rate: 100.00%   (32 of 32)
1 Providing some kinds of course notes which are short or not very long. Which will help us to review and learn efficiently in limited time.
2 Nothing, this course should be the pinnacle of College courses.
3 I think it needs to be a little slowed down as well, like I said about networking. For someone who has never done linux, it is a hard thing to grasp and understand at the rate the course is moving.
4 It's structured relatively well.
5 to have more helpful links and more time to prepare for the midterms
6 Don't change the professor.
7 Nothing to do
8 Nothing
9 The tests were more tricky then difficult. If they were more difficult then intentionally tricky, they'd be fine.

For example. How many words are in this string "i am 30 years old"

a)5 b)4 c)3 d)2

The answer should be either 5 or 4, depending on whether you count the numbers as words. So it really comes down to 50/50. That was the case with basically every question.

10 keep as it is
11 Dont think it can
12 the course curriculam is fair enough
13 provide a good linux lab
14 That's hard to answer; some students really struggled and I think this was because of limited previous exposure to a command line environment. Linux is hard to learn for many, especially if one has no background outside graphical OS's. I did have some background in Linux; as well as Unix, DOS and other command line OS's; and I still had trouble keeping up at times - so I could sympathize with those who had never seen a command line before.

Perhaps the course could be made a little less intense and oriented a bit more towards beginners. Another idea might be to require students to have some prior exposure to a command line environment as a pre-requisite. Maybe a DOS course or some training in a command line OS would be helpful before taking this course.

15 everything is available for the students cant be improved.
16 none, great class
17 Perhaps by having several test style clicker questions at the start of each class. I find that getting to grips with the terminal after so many years of GUI environment makes this transition slow and at times painful!
18 n/a
19 Either trim the course material, or extend the length of the course so students have the time to digest all of the information that is given.
20 This questions is tough because this is a tough course, not much more can be done than what I have seen this semester...especially compared to last semester
21 N/A
22 cant
23 Show us the content in a more sequential manner
24 This was a very hard course, also very hard to learn. The course it self was should be made so there is a equal opportunity for all types of learners. The course is geared so that you have nonstop reading. To many variations on the topic linux so it makes it hard to reseach the info your trying to find. Having no background in linux it is a hard concept to figure out.
25 better explained detail
26 N/a
27 Course could be improved by being a bit more fast paced. I found we spent way too much time on the basics.
28 the lab and the tutorial should emerge so that the student could take benefits of practical as well as theory.
29 I dont think anything needs to be changed much, it depends on the person, some just dont get it while others, like me, grasp it right away.
30 In my oppinion there is nothing to be improved
31 Get a new teacher
32 less tricky questions, and keep things simple as it is a intro course
Faculty: ALLEN, IAN D
Question: What did you like most about the course professor?
Response Rate: 100.00%   (32 of 32)
1 The professor's teaching style, attention to details, character and passion on encouraging his students from learning.
2 Excellent, cares about each and every individual student. He even tries to take the time to learn their names, strengths and weaknesses. An example of a perfect College professor.
3 Ian is full of life and funny, he knows so much about Linux and is helpful.

The ONLY knock on him is that I think that he expects people to know what hes talking about using fancy terms.

4 His enthusiasm. He loves linux and it shows. With that enthusiasm he wants us to learn the material. He's very thorough in his knowledge requirements. This means he wants us to have a strong foundation for our future linux classes.
5 he was very hilariosu but helpful
6 He got the information across with ease.
7 Explaining Style
8 He was very easy to learn from because of his outgoing style. he kept your attention very well and taught in a way i understood. The practice questions before midterms were also very helpful.
9 His energy, and teaching were fantastic. He could make everyone in the room laugh, cheer everybody up, but also teach a rewarding and interesting class. Made the 2hour lectures fly by.
10 very knowledgeable and do what ever he can to help students succeed
11 Very outgoing, made you get the point of what you were saying
12 teeaching style
13 funny
14 The professor always demonstrated tremendous dedication and an incomparable passion for teaching. No complaints here; I think he went all out to have his students learn and it was very obvious that he was greatly concerned whenever he saw that his students weren't grasping something. He would go to great lengths to drive home difficult concepts and he offered all the support you could ask for; still (unfortunately) many of these concepts seemed to prove too difficult for some students.

He always brought his very unique and highly entertaining style of teaching to both his lectures and labs and I enjoyed this course the most of all my courses.

15 Very Loud Clear voice.
16 energetic, enthusiastic, eager
17 His ability to get information across to the students for what is quite a dry subject and one with a great deal of content.
18 very good teacher .. helpful at all times
19 He was very entertaining.
20 Prof Allen did an excellent job of explaining the material. He was also always available for extra help whenever was needed.
21 N/A
22 hes an incredible teacher, energetic and gets you involved in the information and helps yhou learn,
23 He is funny and his high level of energy keeps me awake
24 Very animated, this creates a nice class atmosphere.
25 He is funny
26 Number one professor in the college.N
27 I liked that he was extremely helpful during the labs, taking the time to go through every single thing step by step. Was focing you to ask questions that you didn't know.
28 very helpfull ,motivated ,enthusiastic professor i have ever met .great to be his student
29 Ian is a good teacher. At times he can be a bit o dramatic in his teachings but overall he covers the material very well.
30 What I liked is that he is really dedicated to helping students out with lab work and stuff they don't understand about the midterm. Also that it is really easy to approach him I with a question.
31 not a fan of his teaching style.
32 crazy energy and forcefulness to teach the material
Faculty: ALLEN, IAN D
Question: What, if anything, could the professor do differently to be of benefit to future students?
Response Rate: 100.00%   (32 of 32)
1 A little bit flexibility of "Read All the Words", such as filenames of assignments, emailing assignments instead of Blackboard.
2 Nothing
3 Slow down.
4 Not much, he's pretty good. I would say speed it up a bit but from the grades on the midterms, it shows he should slow down and repeat more. He's doing all he can and I think he's great, some students merely have difficulty grasping the concepts no matter how many times you tell them.
5 to have more labs to help us for the upcomign midterms and exams
6 Nothing major comes to mind but maybe a little bit less dramatic wouldn't hurt.
7 Doing excellent
8 Nothing
9 Less trickery on the tests
10 nothing, just keep teaching
11 nothing
12 its fair enough
13 n/a
14 The one thing that I might comment on is his questions; practice questions, lab questions and exam questions; they could sometimes be rather confusing; or maybe complex might be a better word. Perhaps he could strive for a bit more clarity in this area.
15 great professor dont think he can do anything different for the students.
16 none
17 N/A
18 n/a
19 Spend more time on topics, and not jump around from topic to topic so quickly and almost seemed random.
20 Not much more can be done. Prof Allen did an outstanding job teaching a very hard subject. I witnessed countless times where he stayed late helping students (myself included) with labs, assignments, and exam preparation
21 N/A
22 nothing really
23 Try not to me all over the place when teaching. Sometimes it's hard to keep up. Teaches well but all over the place.
24 Dont allow other nonsense in the class. The student should have to take it upon himself to tell other students to be qiet.
25 he has done a ggod job already
26 N/a
27 I found that during the lectures Ian was a bit overdramatic with public polls for questions. I found that I learnt more during his labs than during the theory classes.
28 nothing
29 Cant think of anything, some dont like his dramatic entries but I've enjoyed his sense of humor. And his teaching methods, while not for everybody, worked for me.
30 In my opinion there is nothing he should do differently.
31 Learn to teach in linear, not chaotic (he's all over the place) He hates Windows so much that he rarely compares linux to windows as an aid for his students to understand the material more. I paid for a tutor and learned my linux that way. I can actually say I learned nothing from the Prof. which is a shame considering he knows his stuff. The Prof. is like a living looney tunes animation.
32 try to trick students less and stick to only a 2 concepts with commands