The table compiles quantitative evaluations on the three most representative courses I have taught in the past in the US, namely Introduction to Sociology (Fall 2016), Sociological Theory (Fall 2017), and Globalization and Justice (Spring 2018).
Table: Aggregated Quantitative Evaluations
|Prompt||Introduction to Sociology||Sociological Theory||Globalization and Justice|
|Instructor’s contribution to your understanding of course Content||4.81||4.43||4.5|
|Instructor created an atmosphere that invited you to seek additional help||4.92||4.62||4.75|
|Instructor responded to your inquiries about the course||4.96||4.75||4.8|
|Instructor created a respectful and positive learning environment||4.92||4.57||4.9|
|Instructor provided useful feedback on course assignments||4.85||4.24||4.7|
|The course challenged you intellectually||4.85||4.35||4.75|
(5 = Strongly Agree, 4 = Agree, 3 = Neutral, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly Disagree)
For the sake of simplicity, students’ comments are divided into five different subsections. As an instructor I strive to design my class for students to collaborate with me and each other in order to create a stimulating learning environment. The following comments summarize my role in and contribution to the classroom.
On Instructional Delivery and Discussion:
- Nikhil is one of the coolest teachers ever!! In a setting that usually relies on rigidity and coldness, Nikhil brings warmth and flexibility to his class. He encourages debate in the class (even against him), and he’s an extremely down to earth sort of guy.
- Nikhil Deb is fantastic, based on the underlying pressure (where he doesn’t feel like pressure, just a nudge or a push) to his students toward discussion in the class. By the end of the class, each student was raising their hand to provide their unique take or position on these controversial debates. And to invoke that much passion in the students—with this student culture to just sit and be quiet is remarkable.
- Deb was great at explaining and giving us opportunities to talk as a class and form and listen to different opinions other than our own. This is one of the best ways to stretch thinking in my opinion.
- I could not have asked for a better sociology instructor my first semester on this campus! Nik was thorough in all of his lectures, while also being steadily-paced whenever we were in bit of a rush. He was also very, truly understanding when it came to expectations and suggestions of the class as a whole, which was, and still is, very much appreciated.
On Learning Atmosphere:
- Not only was there such a great stimulant towards discussion and thought, but the topics, the topic of this class [ Globalization and Justice] was fundamentally awesome. Both in it being controversial, but also of the fundamental curiosity it provoked in our students. Much of it was helpful in reexamining our perspective and how we see the world. To be blunt, both Deb and the content was absolutely fantastic. I think our class understands that. And due to Deb and the content, I have never worked harder on a paper before than in this course. Based on me trying to be as comprehensive and that sound in this complicated realm of worldview. Just thoroughly fantastic.
- He was one of the nicest professors that I have had. I enjoyed coming to his class. He was always very welcoming to all of his students. He was an all-around good guy who cares for his students. His students are his number one priority in the class. I would for sure take other classes with him.
- Created an atmosphere of no judgment and did not try or show his political opinions when there was an opportunity that he could have. He challenged you to think outside the box and consider both sides.
- While it is only an introductory course, I definitely learned a lot with Nikhil’s teaching. He taught topics that we could relate to and always strived to make the course interactive and interesting by using documentaries, articles, and group discussions.
- His willingness to attempt to cater the class towards what the students want is great.
On Availability and Responses to Students’ Inquiries:
- Professor Deb makes himself very accessible to students and answers emails in a timely fashion. His classroom is always a great environment for discussion and it is great.
- Deb is very quick to reply and help with problems. Probably the best at UT. Also, very interesting class and liked class discussions.
- Helpful and always responds to emails quickly.
On Technology Use:
- His PowerPoints were very helpful in understanding the material and I like how he gave us little quizzes that just went towards participation because then we knew what types of questions he was going to ask on the test.
- Technology was good and stimulating. He showed helpful documentaries and gave good visual representation of what we were learning.
- The readings were supported and clarified by a few video clips we all watched in class. The documentaries were eye opening.
- The documentaries and visuals he presented to us in class were very interesting and his class discussions were very critical and engaging
- This class was awesome! I loved his teaching methods through using power points as well as all of the movies we watched in this class.
- I loved this class [Social Movements] so much, it was interesting, and the instructor was very interested in the topic and made us love what he was presenting.
- It [sociological theory] opened me up to a new way of thinking and a new way to look at the world around me.
- The class was structured in a way that allows you to engage with other students. I enjoyed this style and it was fun and engaging.
- Workload was light. Each class was engaging. I really enjoyed the videos at the end of class. I learned a lot in this course. Great professor!