I occasionally complain about the uselessness of most quantitative measures of quality for complex activities like teaching or writing journal articles. But that's not to suggest that I'm against course evaluations. Far from it! In fact, I offer the following suggestions for new questions on the evaluations:
- How much do you regret taking this course?
- If you overslept and missed class, would you consider that a good thing or a bad thing?
- If you had to choose clothing to represent how much you cared about this course, which of the following would you wear to class?
- Suit and tie
- Clean shirt
- Dirty shirt
In my opinion, we have far too many questions on course content. My classes, at best, are 50% content and 50% digressions. So I propose the following following new questions:
- Please rate the overall quality of the instructor's digressions.
- What percentage of class time was spent on digressions?
- Of the class time spent on digressions, what percentage was initiated by the instructor as opposed to that one guy?
- How much did you learn about the instructor's personal life?
- He/she remains an enigma
- Too much
- WAY too much