The Friday Funny: ‘No value-free’ in college course evaluation forms

Given our topic for this week – no value-free – and one of the posts highlighting the challenges of doing truly evaluative work in a university setting, here’s a classic posted on EVALTALK back in 1997 by Roy Pardee.

Pic from Madison Area College

Pic from Madison Area College

It shows that evaluative terms can most certainly be used in gathering student feedback about the quality of college courses, providing a dramatic enhancement to the usual dreary agree-disagree Likert-type response scales. Enjoy!

From Robert K. Wattson, Jr. (professor emeritus who, according to extensive student evaluations, was one of the finest aerospace and mechanical engineering profs. ever to hit the planet.) comes this helpful course evaluation form. Modify it to suit your own needs.


Please provide your candid and discerning responses. Please check at least one item for each category. Thank you!

1. The presentations were:
_____ enticing
_____ inspiring
_____ spell-binding
_____ soul stirring
_____ without equal in civilization

2. The classroom is:
_____ tastefully decorated
_____ comfortably furnished
_____ suitably air conditioned and ergonomically friendly
_____ glowing with the warmth of the instructor’s presence
_____ all of the above and yet qualitatively far below the instructor’s worth

3. The instructor is:
_____ peerless
_____ attractive
_____ conscientious
_____ personable
_____ brave, clean, friendly, and reverent

4. The class assignments were:
_____ stimulating
_____ exhilarating
_____ a legend in their own time
_____ suitable for engraving in stone
_____ of significant value when used in a conscientiously applied program of oral history

5. The discussions were:
_____ disgustingly clean
_____ admirably informative
_____ suitable preparation for academic excellence
_____ models of perfection
_____ reflective of the vast depth and breadth of the instructor’s erudition

6. At the thought that this course has ended, I am:
_____ depressed
_____ despondent
_____ suicidal
_____ about to go off the deep end
_____ contemplating leaving the country

7. At the thought that I may again have this same instructor, I am:
_____ soothed
_____ cheered
_____ jubilant
_____ ecstatic
_____ joyful beyond all telling

2 comments to The Friday Funny: ‘No value-free’ in college course evaluation forms

  • Dugan Fraser

    Genuine Evaluation is:
    A. Super-de-dooper
    B. Absolutely marvellous
    C. An invaluable resource
    D. A total delight
    E. Witty, thoughtful, beloved.

  • Jane Davidson

    LOL, thanks, Dugan!
    Where’s a “like” button when we need one, eh?