“Why is this the hardest class?” November 17, 2011Posted by mareserinitatis in engineering, teaching.
Tags: engineering, geology, hardest class, teaching
I’d like to know why I keep getting this question: “Why is your class the hardest?” I got it again today.
Okay…so I’m teaching a freshman skills class to engineering majors. In fact, the department specifically asked to have it’s own sections. If my students are thinking my class is hard, I have to wonder what’s going to happen when they really hit the hard ones.
I got this when I was teaching geology labs, though. My evals came back frequently with comments about how I graded much harder than I needed to, I expected too much for an introductory science class, etc.
The coordinator for the course actually went through and analyzed how each of us graded. It turned out that I had the most lenient lab grades and graded more harshly on the exams. (Honestly, if you read and understood the labs, all you had to do was regurgitate your answers for the lab.) It ended up that my grading resulted in the same average as the other TAs.
I’m trying to find out if I just look mean and intimidating because I don’t get it. I know I demand a reasonable amount of work, and I try to help the students as much as possible so they don’t get frustrated.
But apparently my classes are hard.