Summary of and Reflection on Student Course Evaluations
This report includes the recent two-year results of my course evaluations completed by my students on four courses: AAD 350 Financial Management for Arts Organizations I; AAD 370 Financial Management for Arts Organizations II; AAD 520 The Arts and Artists in Society; and AAD 610 Financial Management for Arts Organizations (graduate version). The reason that I am including the recent two years on these four courses is that these are the courses I regularly teach and some of the evaluations from previous years have used different criteria, metrics, and formats which make it a bit difficult to compare them to the recent evaluation results. All evaluations are available on my digital portfolio.
Reported values are means only, and the highest value available is 5 (1-5 scale). I also included evaluation results for department and college to provide benchmark data on where my courses stand.
AAD 350: Financial Management for Arts Organizations IIn fall 2016, there were 37 students enrolled in AAD 350 and 35 students (95%) participated in the evaluation, and in fall 2017 the course had 21 students and 17 students (81%) completed the evaluation. My students in these courses marked my course in some criteria lower than the department and college average although the results are more favorable for the course in fall 2017. I suspect that this is due to two reasons. First, as shared in my teaching statement, I include minimal lectures in my class and most of the course work is done in collaborative discussions and hands-on activities completed during class time. I found that students who are accustomed to a traditional teaching style do not like this type of teaching regardless of the outcome to their learning. Second, most students find my course to be difficult due to the nature of the course focused on financial analysis, management, and predictions based on tax forms and reports. Every semester, I feel that the preconceptions about financial management and lack of preparation in mathematical foundations hold some students back. While this makes it challenging for me to teach the courses related to financial management and many students struggle in my class, the senior graduate surveys always rank my financial management courses one of the most valuable in the curriculum. I suspect that the difficulty of the subject matter affects the course evaluation as they may not immediately realize how certain knowledge and skills could be more valuable with time, especially when they are about to go out in the job market. By the time they are enrolled in the second part of the financial management, they get used to my teaching style and understand that they must work harder to succeed in my financial management courses (this is reflected in the course evaluation for AAD 370 in the next section).
There were several comments from my students asking me to give more lectures and provide less group work. I do not intend to change my teaching philosophy on this matter as I see their understanding of materials is much better and more nuanced in a collaborative group learning setting compared to a lecture-based teaching that I practiced the first time I taught this course in 2014. However, I have adjusted to provide more summary lectures at the end of each lesson unit, notes for exams, summary tables for formulas used for assignment and exams, and more structured group work environment for the fall 2017 course. The evaluation for fall 2017 is a little better and I suspect that making some changes based on students’ feedback from fall 2016 may have contributed to it.
Additionally, some students thought my grading is harsh and too direct. This is an intentional practice. I spend a significant amount of time giving students relevant feedback (often very detailed—see the example of students’ work in my teaching sections of the dossier) and there is no room for comments that are not relevant and are simply provided to make them feel better when they should know that their work needs improvement. I often warn my students at the beginning of each semester that my comments will be very direct and honest so they do not take them personally.
Here are some examples of the students’ comments from fall 2016 evaluation:
- “Learning how to read 990 tax forms was really important to me and helpful. I knew about [it] previously but had no idea how to interpret [it]. I feel really confident in being able to assess the financial health of an organization from looking at their 990s and using other financial indicators now.”
- “Dr. Jung’s superior knowledge of the material was obvious and made learning a topic I was stressed about somewhat easier. She is a very caring and understanding professor and that aided in my learning process as well.”
- “I feel very comfortable talking to Yuha in and out of class, as well as asking questions. She presents content clearly and effectively.”
- “I wish that she would lecture more. Working in groups the whole time made it very confusing and I felt like we would have learned more and understood the material more if there were lectures.”
- “The course should include majority lecturing and teaching and occasional collaborative assignments.”
- “She can be very intimidating and direct, but that is probably beneficial for students in the long run.”
Here are some examples of the students’ comments from fall 2017 evaluation:
- “I enjoyed the collaborations on the Google Drive. It made accessing notes, slides and study guides easy and user–friendly. I enjoyed collaborating with other students in the classrooms daily and being able to go back and reference the information when studying.”
- “I like that this course is focused on nonprofit work because it is what most of us will be going into in the future. I thought it was set up well, with concepts building on one another in a logical way. It taught me a lot of information about nonprofits that I think the vast majority of the general population would never know.”
- “She is enthusiastic about what she is teaching and understands the material well. I believe she does a great job of being organized and on task in the classroom. She demands respect from students and students are in return attentive and prompt to class.”
- “She was more than willing to provide us answers to questions we had, but also forced students to learn and try hard. This isn't a course where you get handed easy grades, and I think that is so important. She forced us to try and work for our grades and expectations were high about how we treated the course.”
- “Exams were too difficult, papers were graded too harshly.”
AAD 370: Financial Management for Arts Organizations II
In spring 2017, there were 27 students enrolled in this course and 21 students (78%) participated in the evaluation, and in spring 2018 the course had 23 students and 16 students (70%) participated in the evaluation. The course evaluation results of AAD 370 are more favorable than AAD 350 in the previous section. As explained before, it can be presumed that students get used to my teaching style and the difficulty level of the content by the time they are enrolled in the second financial management course. I have also made changes based on my students’ comments by providing more mini lectures and individual work time.
Some of the comments from previous evaluations asked for more practice examples for the formula-based calculations used in assignments and exams. Another suggestion was that they had a difficult time creating a budget for an organization that had a more than $5 million budget. For spring 2017 course, I included more exercises using examples in class. I also used smaller organizations that have a budget between $1-3 million, which helped students manage the budget project better.
Here are some examples of the students’ comments from spring 2017:
- “The PowerPoints going over the content were very helpful because they provided a point of reference/review that helped underline important points or concepts. The case studies and other exercises were also extremely helpful because they incorporated the actual process of creating a budget, drafting policies, etc.”
- “Yuha was very clear about assignment parameters without having to spell out every single bit of instruction….As with the first part of the Financial Management, she was very knowledgeable and made concepts easy to understand. She was also very understanding if any problems arose with other group members during projects.”
- “She is very helpful, approachable and persistent. I appreciated that she went out of her way to help us.”
Here are some examples of the students’ comments from spring 2018:
- “I appreciated the different areas of financial management we covered. I feel like I have resources that I will be able to use post–graduation”
- “She is very fair. She covers material clearly. She always answers questions for students!”
- “The assignments were helpful in understanding how financial records and management work in the real world. Every assignment we did contributed to helping us become more qualified financial managers.”
- “I loved the actual real life projects that we worked on–like the organization budgets and policies. These were great in demonstrating how the skills we were discussing translated to the real world and what we might be doing in our future careers. Overall, the class activities were great in supporting the actual facts that we were learning.”
- “I knew what to expect from taking the first half of the course last semester. The group work and class discussions helped me understand the material better.”
- “Dr. Jung 100% expects the most out of her students of any professor in this department. She does not let people get away with doing mediocre things–whether that be a paper or not coming to class. She actually enjoys financial management, which makes it better for those of us who may not love it as much as she does. She expects a lot, but is very willing to help students reach that standard. And I appreciate it because her class operates how the real world operates.”
- “The group work became a problem sometimes. In the case of the organization budget I understood that it was to help us not have to do all of it alone, but I would have preferred to have done it all on my timeline rather than waiting on group members who procrastinated.”
- “Occasionally the way she goes over assignments is a little too brief and I would prefer a more in–depth explanation/conversation!”
AAD 520: The Arts and Artists in Society
In fall 2016, the course had 29 students enrolled and 20 students (69%) participated in the evaluation, and in fall 2017 there were 16 students and 11 students (69%) completed it. My students in these courses evaluated my course higher in most criteria than the department and college scores. I have taught this course four times so far and have recently updated and revised it to be more streamlined and focused; some of the changes I made were based on students’ feedback from fall 2016. For example, I worked on getting rid of redundant assignments and replaced them with a wider variety of assignments. In fall 2016 it was the original course before the revision and fall 2017 was the first time I offered the revised course. The scores for fall 2017 evaluation are slightly higher than fall 2016, which could be related to the revisions made to the course content and assignments.
Here are some examples of the students’ comments from fall 2016 evaluation:
- “Honestly, this was my favorite course this semester and it is probably my favorite class I've ever taken in school. It met and exceeded my expectations. The lessons were interesting every week. I believe what I've learned in this class will impact my life personally, my citizenship, and my future vocational aspirations in a positive way.”
- “She offers excellent feedback and I wish every instructor phrased assignment prompts with her level of clarity. I always understood what was expected. Professor Jung reached out to me towards the beginning of the semester. I can tell how much she cares about her students and wants to see them succeed. I feel my performance in the class steadily increased after meeting with her.”
- “Dr. Jung is amazing and provides wonderful and constructive feedback on all of our class assignments. This class and what Dr. Jung brings to it has encouraged me to think differently about the arts and what I can do with my Masters in Arts Administration one day.”
- “She is an outstanding teacher. I've been very inspired by her knowledge and leadership throughout this course. She balances mentorship, friendliness, and professionalism very well. She has been a role model and I will miss her class.”
- “I would incorporate more variety in the types of assignments given in the class. The class felt very repetitive after fifteen weeks of essentially the same assignment. Each week, the work due was some variation of: "you have been presented with X cultural issue. Propose an arts program or initiative to confront this issue in your community." It was hard to maintain focus and take the work as seriously when we were being asked to do the exact same thing over and over again.”
Here are some examples of the students’ comments from fall 2017 evaluation:
- “The broad topics covered were helpful in seeing how the arts fit into almost every aspect of society.”
- “The journal entries and readings were the most helpful. The readings were interesting and provided relevant information to the course, and the journal entries allowed me to process and apply the readings to my professional life.”
- “She was very responsive to emails/questions, and seems genuinely interested in what I have going on both in school and at my work.”
- “I really enjoyed the weekly announcements in this course, providing a wrap up from the previous week and setting up the next.”
- “Dr. Jung's feedback on our written assignments was very helpful. Both from a material–oriented view as well as a technical view.”
AAD 610: Financial Management for Arts Organizations
This course in spring 2017 had a total of 25 students and 23 students participated (92%) in the evaluation, and the course in spring 2018 had a total of 21 students and 19 of them (91%) participated. My students in the 2017 course evaluated my course to be higher in almost all criteria than department and college scores. This was my first time teaching the graduate level financial management class and it was received very well by the students. When I taught this course second time in 2018, the scores were a bit lower than the previous year. I suspect that this is due to the fact that I had two undergraduate students taking this very difficult graduate level course. I heard from some of my graduate students that having undergraduate students in the class lessened their experience of the course as undergraduate students sometimes became hindrance (e.g., not communicating effectively, not submitting their parts on time, etc.) to group discussions and working on group projects. In turn, the two undergraduate students had a difficult time understanding the content and completing assignments. It is very unusual for us to allow undergraduate students in 600 level graduate courses and it was done under very unusual circumstances. One of the comments I included below from the 2018 course evaluation alludes to that a student thought other fellow students were not qualified to be in the graduate level course with them possibly without knowing that they were in fact undergraduate students. We, as a department, plan to never let this happen again.
I recently revised this course to be more aligned with my teaching style and streamline some of the assignments based on the feedback from previous student evaluations and informal feedback. For example, I added more quizzes, edited assignments that were too large in scale or were redundant, and reduced the size of organizations by choosing smaller organizations with smaller budget size (between $2-5 million) that will be analyzed by students for the duration of the semester. In addition, I am making group sizes smaller (2-3 people instead of 4-5) to alleviate some of the scheduling issues due to busy schedules and time differences among our busy graduate students.
Here are some examples of the students’ comments from spring 2017 evaluation:
- “Completing the operating budget was extremely helpful. Most of the units in this course left me feeling confident I would do this work in the real world.”
- “The explanation by the professor made the assignments easy to understand. She was detailed, accurate, and corrected any mistakes in a timely manner. I most appreciated the group assignments because the course material was difficult. I needed peer feedback and study time.”
- “She responded to every assignment clearly and with helpful guidance. I could tell that she was engaged with everything I did throughout the course. As a result, I was encouraged to work harder and strive for excellence continually.”
- “She grades assignments quickly and provides really good feedback. She answers questions quickly which is valuable in an online format. She talked with me on the phone when I needed clarification on my project.”
- “If she could be cloned as a professor, I would prefer to take every course under her leadership. This is because I have learned so much throughout her class. I look forward to taking course with her in the spring.”
- “Surprisingly, I appreciated the quiz in the middle of the semester. It reinforced key concepts, and I understood that week’s content more than other weeks. Adding more quizzes, especially in the beginning, might help students understand the differences between assets and liabilities, kinds of accounting, etc.”
- “I like having group assignments and interacting with discussions and small tasks, but having a project this large in scope and this complicated was really stressful.”
Here are some examples of the students’ comments from spring 2018 evaluation:
- “The assignments in this class dealt with real–world situations, which was very helpful. We used real organizations and real 990 forms. This allowed to contextualize the content.”
- “Everything. This course is crucial for upcoming arts leaders. From terminology to best practices, I feel like I'm walking away from this course understanding financial leadership and its many nuances.”
- “The instructions were very clear. I always knew what to include in each assignment. The progression throughout the course was at a really nice learning pace, and sequentially made sense.”
- “Practical financing strategies. I think Jung is a fair and honest grader. Some may call her intense, but it is for good reason. We are here to learn how to be better learners, workers and leaders.”
- “Dr. Jung was quick to answer questions and provide guidance, and in a course with math (yikes!) and complicated financial equations and theory, it's nice to have that support.”
- “She stated in every announcement video exactly what she expected and sometimes include extra tips. Dr. Jung acknowledged when she made mistakes.”
- “The group assignments took entirely too long and did nothing to help my understanding of the course material. I am not sure how some of my classmates were granted admission to a graduate program, and I felt myself shouldering a lot of the burden of the assignments. It is my job to learn the course material, not to teach it to other students.”
- “I will say that I would love to see an opportunity for peer assessment in this course. Having so many group projects, it naturally means that some will take the lead when others do significantly less.”
- “I really appreciated her direct approach, but I could sense that a few of my group members did not respond well to that.”
- “Feedback was direct but could have been a little more tactful at times.”