The following five trends related to my teaching style and creation of the classroom environment are common throughout students’ qualitative feedback in their evaluations of my writing courses:
- Engaging Classroom – Students are motivated to participate in fun, but thought-provoking class discussions and activities that enhance their understanding of the course content.
- Supportive Learning Environment – Students feel comfortable in voicing their thoughts and ideas within the classroom while receiving helpful writing support throughout their course assignments.
- Instructive Feedback – Students received detailed commentary on their writing assignments from instructor feedback and peer reviews that guide them towards making critical and thoughtful decisions during the revision process.
- Adaptive to Different Learners and Majors – Various learning styles and preferences are recognized and adopted within course instruction. Special attention is made to how students can adapt what they are learning in the class to the practices of their specific discipline and/or profession.
- Dedication to Student Learning – Students recognize and value the thought, preparation, and enthusiasm embedded in writing instruction and class activities and discussions that engages and motivates their learning.
Mary was always full of energy during class. This class above any other got the students involved in classroom conversations and it was actually part of your grade. Mary was always quick to respond to emails. She also took her time to review our projects in detail giving advice and comments in a timely manner. You could tell that she was passionate about what she did and put a lot of time and energy into it. (Writing in the Health and Human Sciences: Fall 2014)
Mary does a fantastic job and getting students in her course involved by using group projects and class discussion. All her feedback on projects and student questions were clear and helpful. (Technical Writing: Spring 2014)
I like how Professor McCall is very enthusiastic and energetic in each class, she teaches her material with passion and I really enjoy that because it engages my enthusiasm and encourages my learning. (Introductory Composition: Fall 2012)
I really like the enthusiasm Ms. McCall has during the class it encourages participation. Has relevant in class and out of class activities to whatever project or concept we are working on. (Technical Writing: Summer 2016)
Her presentations were always very clear and clever. The in-class activities were original and thought-provoking too. (Technical Writing: Summer 2016)
Makes class fun while still learning (Introductory Composition: Fall 2010)
Supportive Learning Environment
She was always making every effort she could to help you when you ask for help and she was always very wuick [sic] to respond to emails with an accurate answer to a question. Also, she does a great job of being very friendly which makes it a lot easier to approach her for help. She did a wonderful job this semester as an instructor. I feel that how she handled the course is the way that all professors for that type of classroom setting should try to strive for. (Introductory Composition: Fall 2011)
Interactions with diverse group of students (considering about half the class was international) with respect. Very clear explanations on the subjects. Friendly and always there to help students. (Introductory Composition: Fall 2012)
Throughout the semester, I thought that you consistently did a great job providing feedback and suggestions on project ideas, rough drafts, and even final drafts. Your comments were extremely helpful and I feel that they have improved my writing skills. Overall, I think you did a great job of structuring the class; having days to peer review, relating project topics to majors, and assigning a healthy amount of outside of work really made this class manageable and enjoyable. I appreciate that you understand many of us students have demanding coursework and are therefore flexible in your deadlines and workload. Your speedy e-mail communication and feedback comments really facilitated the completion of projects prior to the deadline. I enjoyed your enthusiasm and humor throughout the semester. (Technical Writing: Spring 2014)
Mary does a great job making sure that her students get the help they need. There was never a time where I didn’t feel comfortable emailing or talking to Mary without feeling like she won’t help me out. The fact that I knew I could count on her to help me do well in this course was a great feeling. The use of different class activities was also great, especially the marshmallow challenge, which was a lot of fun. (Writing in the Health and Human Sciences: Spring 2015)
Mary is an absolutely amazing professor. She cares about her student’s [sic] and is willing to go above and beyond to help her student’s in any way possible. She is easily approachable with questions mainly because she creates such a welcoming environment in the class. It is truly refreshing to have a professor that creates a school environment filled with engaging learning activities to the material in class. (Writing in the Health and Human Sciences: Spring 2015)
To be honest, I was never an English/writing person, but Mary’s class was the first English class that I thoroughly enjoyed. She was always organized and provided feedback for every assignment. The projects were also fun and not bland. Great instructor! (Technical Writing: Fall 2013)
Ms. McCall, to me, is no doubt one of the best English instructors I have had, and probably one of the best instructors in general. Her passion to connect with the students and truly help everyone learn is awesome. (Introductory Composition: Fall 2014)
She does a good job of giving meaningful feedback and telling you what may help without explicitly saying it. This helps you to critically think and come to a solution on your own. She is also very approachable and is always willing to help. She gives you reasons why what she is teaching will help you in the long run and in your professional class. In all, I thnk [sic] this is the most helpful class I have ever taken at Purdue. (Writing in the Health and Human Sciences: Spring 2015)
Mary is very good at staying in contact with her students and keeping us informed. The very best thing she does is give detailed comments on graded work. She is very thorough and gives excellent constructive criticism. (Introduction to Professional Writing: Spring 2016)
Mary is a great instructor. Expectations and learning objectives are clear. The readings are relevant and aide in learning the material. Mary also cares enough to go over your work with you and make sure your revisions are the best they can be. Editing is a good focus in this class as well which I do not think enough classes do. (Introduction to Professional Writing: Spring 2016)
She provides solid, directional feedback on all assignments that helps me improve my work. (Introductory Composition: Spring 2011)
Adaptive to Different Learners and Majors
Overall, Mary does a great job at teaching this class. She has a lot of different types of activities that work with many different learning styles, she provides lots of helpful feedback on projects and she works hard to make sure that everything she teaches is helpful. The PowerPoints she provides have lots of information and I have saved many of them for my own personal future reference. (Writing in the Health and Human Sciences: Spring 2015)
I think she gives excellent feedback on assignments and I think she should continue to do so. I also enjoyed the last project we worked on (the interview report). That interview report opened up great opportunities for me and gave me a chance to explore the professional writing field. (Introduction to Professional Writing: Spring 2016)
My instructor is very respectful and understanding of situations and does her best to accommodate everyone’s needs. She also makes sure class activities are applicable to our future careers. (Introductory Composition: Fall 2015)
she is very enthusiastic with regards to her teaching style. very easy to talk to outside of class and genuinely wants us to succeed. I liked the variation of topics that we used as projects. I think this class is very beneficial, especially to juniors in the health profession as it helps with personal statements and resume stuff. (Writing in the Health and Human Sciences: Spring 2015)
Really excellent class, I would definitely reccomend [sic] this as a writing course for medical professionals. I believe the material and projects we cover will be very helpful to our futures. Instructor is always very prepared and organized. Activities stimulate thought and discussion in class. (Writing in the Health and Human Sciences: Fall 2014)
Dedication to Student Learning
Mary was the best teacher I have had at Purdue so far, and I have been here for three years. She is always so prepared for class. She is enthusiastic, but understanding as well. I think she did a great job of relating to the class. I think her lectures were always well-prepared. We effectively and efficiently used our class time every single session. I can tell that Mary has put a ton of effort into this class. She knows what she is talking about, and she knows how to communicate that. I have spoken to students in other sections of this course who did not have Mary, and they didn’t like the class. I wasn’t very excited about taking this class, but I think that Mary made it excellent. (Technical Writing: Fall 2013)
Mary works extremely hard to assure that she is prepared for class and also to help us be prepared for class as well. She is down-to-Earth as an instructor and I really enjoy the assignments because she knows what she is talking about. In addition to that, Mary respects all majors and tailors the course for each student because she understands that there is a very diverse group of students taking the course. (Technical Writing: Spring 2014)
Mary was one of the most well-prepared and actively involved teachers from whom I have benefited. Given, Maymester courses arguably have a simpler, more streamlined structure with fewer elements than a 16-week course, but she completely adapted well to all the constraints of the class. Furthermore, in a fairly objective sense, Mary’s outstanding professionalism reinforced the classroom’s standards for a professional ethos. The checks and balances she implemented, such as peer reviews and schedule reminders, only complemented the trim, fast-paced nature of the class. (Technical Writing: Summer 2016)