Evaluation of Teaching

It is important to evaluate your effectiveness at teaching from time to time, both by personal reflection, and by getting feedback from students. The standard teaching evaluations at the end of the semester are next to useless in the information that they give to you, both in the questions that are asked, and in the timing of the surveys. By the time you have the results, it's too late to modify your style to better cater for your students. In response to this, I like to give students the opportunity to provide detailed feedback about half way through the course, so as to get a good idea of how I'm meeting their needs.

On this page, I hope to provide some comments that I have received in my evaluations. Where negative comments are given, I also provide some reflection on what I have learnt from those comments, and how I plan to improve in the future. Below are some snippets from evaluations from students. Individual courses may have more detail on their individual evaluations. Detailed evaluations are available on request.

  • "In my opinion, the best lecturers convey both intense interest in their subject and also a deep knowledge of it that extends far beyond what they are presenting. Jolyon's lectures had this quality, giving the impression that there was a great deal more interesting material just "behind" the blackboard, ready to spill out at any time, but constrained by the careful organization of the lecture. It is this quality that makes one want to pursue a subject further. [...] Perhaps this merely reflects the more interesting subject matter on which Jolyon lectured, but somehow I don't think so."
  • "Your stuff on special relativity was great. Great introduction, very intuitive, clear, easy to follow and understand, with just enough rigor to make things concrete but not lose the concepts. Keep it up!!! Amazing stuff."
  • "Not just as a relativity lecturer, but he has substituted earlier in the year and he would lecture sometimes during section and he is a PHENOMENAL lecturer. The material in relativity was not all that I wanted, but he did a fantastic job with the lectures."