This blogpost and podcast is for our colleagues in higher educations, professors, the world over.

SC 100  #10. Course Evals: Student Engagement

Are our students engaging?

Excerpts from the podcast via iTunes or StitcherSmartRadio


100 Podcasts

Daniel and David discuss their 100 podcast journey.

  • We began with the desire to collaborate on a book and the Student Caring project has grown into so much more.
  • It has been very rewarding for us to provide information valuable to so many people.
  • We are grateful for the many people who have been our guests. Thank you!

In our next series of podcasts we will be focusing on our colleagues and collegial relationships.

Course Evaluation Student Engagement Questions / Topics

I studied and put effort into the course.

  • Students are often balancing many courses and they’re picking and choosing which courses get the effort.
  • Sometimes students will decide that our course is not the one that receives their effort.
  • How do we know that students are engaging in our courses?
    • We can receive feedback in the form of assignments.
    • We observe active involvement during the class session.
    • Do students come to our offices for help?
  • If we only have a mid-term and and a final exam, those are the only opportunities for us to receive feedback. We can almost always guarantee you that the students will not be engaged. (We are not talking about the “Ring by spring” phenomenon here.) They will be learning by cramming.
  • Are you giving your students opportunities during the class to keep up with he work?
  • Ways that we can we encourage students to stay engaged…
    • Students can be required to turn in work for every class.
    • Professors can institute student blogs and require them to write a graded post once a week that all students read. This solves the problem for students who are afraid to speak up in class.
    • Giving more frequent short quizzes can eliminate the down time and lack of engagement.

I was prepared for each and every class, especially with reading and writing.

  • My students will read when I require them to read and ask them to react to it.
  • Assignments attached to the reading guarantee that the students are reading and engaged.
  • Some students are not buying books! This in part due to the high cost of textbooks.
  • For our students who are used to reading only Facebook posts or text messages, they may have difficulty reading something long.
  • With some text books costing up to $200. it can create a real temptation for the students to get by with what they can find on the web.
  • Finding ways for our students to stay engaged with he materiel is a big deal.

I was challenged by this course.

  • What does this mean?
    • Was the course hard? As a professor, I want it to be hard and challenging.
    • The course was too hard, it wasn’t even a course that I am interested in.
    • Students sometimes think of something as hard or easy, not based on the amount of work, but in how much they enjoyed their experience.
  • This is not the time to bring out the mantra, “suffering makes you stronger.”
  • Think back to your graduate school days…
    • Did the suffering make you stronger or are you still mad?
    • Do you have a dart board with the professors picture on it?
  •  Know who your audience is and teach to a lot of people in the room rather than the 3 or 4 who are going to graduate school.
  • How do we know our course worked and engaged our students before we look at the evaluations?
    • Notice how your students walk into the room at the beginning of class?
    • Do how do you students great you, or not?
    • Are your students talking about the subject matter during a break in class?
    • Are your students asking questions that show they are really thinking about the topic?
    • After class are your students stopping by to ask you to clarify things?
    • Feedback from other professors about your class is very valuable. When you hear students talking about a colleagues course, share it with them.
  • The caring professor is someone who is engaged with their course.

When the evaluations come, the results shouldn’t be a surprise. If they are a surprise we might want to step back and think about, not only how engaged our students are, but about how engaged we are.

We hope this has been helpful for you think about student engagement and your course evaluations.

We welcome your feedback so we may continue to honor our mission statement and help students, the world over.

Thank you!

Daniel & David

Right or control click here to download the MP3 of the Podcast.

 Student Caring | Engagement

SC 100  #10. Course Evals: Student Engagement




We will begin the new year with a series that we are very excited about…

Creating Positive Collegial Relationships

Creating Positive Collegial Relationships