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student evaluation

cboake at utk.edu cboake at utk.edu
Thu Jul 11 12:57:26 EST 1996

I thought that some of you might enjoy the following comment, which
startled me because it belongs a few decades earlier.  I taught
introductory genetics this spring, and just received the written remarks
from students (we ask them to fill out a scan form type evaluation and
also give them a sheet for answers to some questions).  In answer to the
question, "What aspects of this class detracted from your learning?" the
student wrote "colorless dress of instructor."  This leads to interesting
speculation (beyond the obvious of whether male faculty ever receive
similar comments): Should I have dressed like the majority of students, in
old t-shirts and jeans?  Should I emulate my elegant colleagues in the art
dept?  Should I emulate colleagues in my own dept, who wear jeans and
t-shirts?  Would the student have stayed awake if I had worn gaudy
clothes?  Were my clothes in fact colorless or did this student only come
to class just before my laundry days?  Should I make sure to wear bright
clothes on days that I give tests?

Chris Boake
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Univ. of Tennessee

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