Lists: What students would do, and feedback
1) Before I "kick the bucket":
"Get over my fear of heights"
"Travel to see how other people live"
"See my children have their own family and be happy"
"I would like to skydive"
"I'd like to visit Paris, France, and London, England"
"I would like to skydive, fly all the way around the world and stop on at least every continent, and visit the Playboy Mansion"
"I must meet my birth mother, travel to Scotland to find my roots, and go skydiving--the ultimate risk"
"I want to skydive, take a trip to Ireland, and visit the sites at Washington, DC"
"Travel to Japan, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, and the Middle East--so many have become racist against anyone of Middle Eastern descent but really have little idea of what their culture is"
2) A perfect day:
"A relaxing morning with French toast and bacon, playing paintball with friends, and an open-ended party night at a beach house"
"I would go golfing with my dad, read a book outside in gorgeous weather, watch one of the Lord of the Rings movies, and play video games late into the night"
"Would include nice weather, quality time with my daughter and wife, a breakfast of scrambled eggs with melted cheese, bacon, and orange juice--we'd have a picnic; a day with my family is always perfect"
3) A person or people that affected their lives:
"My sister has been there for me through 'thick and thin'" ... "She raised me through high school"
"With 'his way,' and his pride and stubbornness, this is who my stepfather is. He can be an enormous prick sometimes, which probably has something with me coming off that way. Although he is not my biological father, he's my real dad."
Feedback for Instructor
"More time should be spent on in-class writing"
"Instructor comments were helpful"
"The class was just what I expected. Wouldn't change a thing"
"T - D - E (topic sentence, development, evidence) could be more emphasized--it's the basis for good writing"
"I used the example papers posted to the portal" (portal=course web site)
"My vocabulary expanded"
"I really liked the fact that you made us shut laptops. The demand of attention and learning was great" (at Brown College, I've been told that I'm the only instructor that asks students to shut laptops, which every student has; I do this because students usually do IM, e-mail, and surf the web while seeming to pay attention)
"Sometimes not challenging enough, i.e. easy vocab tests--I was just going through the motions"
"The homework load forced me to be organized but wasn't overwhelming"
"At times it seemed like class was told a paper would be due one week but only really due the next week"
"Very organized class; best use of the portal I've seen"
"All in all it was not that hard" (this may have been because of my "baby steps" method of revising/editing student papers and having them fix the writing and then turn in the "real" version")
"TDE structure helps speaking skills, too"
"[Acceptance of late essays and homework] policies were just right" (I would describe myself as very lenient in this area)
"Portal was immensely useful; great use of portal and e-mail" (some students send me essays via e-mail if they have to miss a week of class; I then grade them using the comments function on MSWord and send back the graded essay; this allows me to keep a decent inventory of student work, both good and bad)
"More instructor and peer review would be useful"
"Take a break from vocab tests when a major essay is due" (this is a good idea)
"The portal postings were helpful to not have to write notes down" (class directives, etc. available from any internet-ready computer)
"Learned how to read and observe better"
"Peer review kind of broke my shyness regarding having others read my work"
"Checked the portal multiple times a week"
"My speech has improved"
"You are a great teacher and you know how to connect with your students" (I didn't make this up)
"I could benefit from group activities for brainstorming topics" (That's a great idea that I had not thought about; I could have students talk about their essay ideas in small groups and see peoples' reactions, although I wouldn't explicitly ask students to evaluate essay ideas--body language would be enough)
"The portal posting was very useful so I could see exactly what was expected and I checked them at least twice a week"
"Written comments were more than in other classes and very useful"
"I had no problem about the instructor being strict about late work" (hmm--I guess this shows the importance of keeping it private when students turn in late work; don't see how I could be seen as "strict")
"I'll use how to form a proper paragraph, editing a paper, and also forming a proper argument" (I always use the phrases "formal" vs. "informal" and "proper" vs. "improper" (the latter to a less extent) instead of "correct" and "incorrect")
"Need more assistance for topic ideas for essays; let students plan out the essay ideas well in advance" (that's a really good idea; hadn't thought of that)
"I like doing the easy material first and the essays last"