Students Evaluate Their Instructors

I engage my students throughout the semester so I usually have an idea how they might evaluate the class/me. I keep the following in mind: 1) Many resist reading the syllabus, and I get annoyed, waiting for signs that reality is penetrating their resistance, that they’re not following the guidelines and rules that can significantly impact their grades. It is not unusual for students to dare me to flunk them and I do when they don’t clean up their act.

This post was inspired by a recent notice that I could review my students’ evaluations of their classes with me this past semester. See the notice at the end if interested.

2) Too many students expect to get B’s and A’s for C-work. The challenge is to get them to do the work that will earn them a B. Some have actually earned A’s when they got with the game plan. 3) I teach in the one of most corrupt, if not the most corrupt academic department on campus and that poison has to be dealt with. I wished the new evaluation process would at least list what grades the students expected and their GPAs, though these measurements can be deceiving because Film and Media Studies is one of the easiest curriculums in this College.

I’ve noticed that my evaluations, not especially high and not especially low, can be influenced by the number of students who got grades above B.

Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter With No Name this past academic year added to the dynamics this semester. In one news writing class, I had only five students and they struggled, looking for shortcuts and angles and stratagems to circumvent the class requirements for assignments. Playing dumb was one strategy. However, I did notice some improvement but it took soooooo long for them to come around. But I didn’t detect any signs of cheating.

In a second news writing class, I filed one complaint against a student who believed that cursing and shouting would intimidate the instructor into giving her an A. Because of Sandy and Nor’easter, I had to do a revision that I believed resulted in me giving more A’s than I had anticipated: About 6. Some of this year’s sophistry included one student telling me she expected to get an A because she always got A’s in other classes. She also came up with her interpretation of a class requirement which resulted in me sending a informative but biting email to every one in class, informing them that the student’s expressed interpretation of the course requirement was “hogwash.”

Email memos to class – as a pedagogical strategy for dealing with classroom unrest – have reduced some of the contretemps that results from students trying to argue for grades that they don’t deserve. More about this later.

In my advanced news writing course, I discovered one student trying to get a grade that she didn’t deserve and instead of flunking her, I allowed her to get credit for the class, known as a CR on her transcript. But I also had two others blowing off assignments, precarious for my classes, but I did not argue with them. I decided that one student just didn’t have what it took to follow class guidelines, that resulting in a C+. The second student should have known better.

I use to try to engage students in discussions about their academic skullduggeries but eventually recognized, fully, that that attempt at honest discussion usually resulted in more sophistical bullshit on the part of the students and increased the arguing. What follows came from the College.

Teacher Evaluation Fall 2012 Student Comments Available

The fall 2012 teacher evaluation student comments are currently available for your viewing.  To view your student comments, log onto with your Hunter Netid and password. Please note that these comments will be migrated to sometime during the end of this month.  The purpose of this migration is so that the student comments may be permanently stored for your convenience starting for the fall 2012 semester and onwards.  Even though the “myprof” site provides access to the summaries of the closed-ended questions to the Hunter Community, the comments will only be viewable by you the instructor and no one else. If you have any questions or problems, please email the teacher evaluation team at

The fall 2012 teacher evaluation individual summaries of the closed-ended questions will be available in approximately two weeks via  You will be notified via email when these are available for your viewing.


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