347 Schaeffer Hall
Fall 2022 Office Hours
Tue & Th: 4:45-6:15
Dept of Political Science
341 Schaeffer Hall
20 E. Washington Street
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242
Posted book info and syllabi for Spring 2023 courses in Courses section
Posted Course Evaluations for Spring 2022 courses, POLI:3113 and POLI:3120
Posted two books in What I'm Reading
Posted book info for Fall 2022 courses
Posted updated Prelaw FAQ for UI students
Published updated and expanded edition of Prelaw Advisor in paperback and for Kindle readers
New book, Riding the Caucus Rollercoaster 2020, published in paperback and for Kindle readers.
New book, Supreme Court Agenda Setting: The Vinson Court, published for Kindle devices and computers with Kindle reader.
(paid links, here and elsewhere)
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
In fall of 1997 the Daily Iowan reported on a plan to publish SPOT results (Student Perceptions of Teaching, the old name for the official teaching evaluations). I have always written my
own evaluation questions, so I won't be able to participate in the planned publication. As a result I decided to put my evaluations on my web pages. Doing so allows me to include the written comments
as well as summary information for the questions.
At the end of 2001 I reformatted my evaluations pages (except for 30:029) to make them a bit easier to post and to make comparisons easier across semester. For each course the questionnaire results and written comments are divided into two pages. The questionnaire results page will be structured to allow easy comparison for the same question across semesters. The written comments page will contain the comments for each semester grouped together. I will probably only include three semesters of written comments because of their length, but I should be able to include more from the questionnaire results.
One advantage of posting my evaluations is that I have an opportunity to respond to the written comments. Any response I have to a particular comment will follow the individual comment and be in italics.
In addition to the evaluations I receive through the formal evaluation process, I occasionally receive comments from former students who have had a bit more time to evaluate the merits of my course or teaching. Not surprisingly these comments tend to be fairly positive, but they can also be instructive. I've put these on a separate Miscellaneous page. In the case of POLI:3101/30:116 it includes my all-time favorite (the first one listed), so do take a look at them.
Beginning for the Fall 2015 semester teaching evaluations were moved online for students (rather than handing them out in class). Details about the changes are on each of the course pages.
Beginning in the Fall of 2020 the required course evaluations were changed again. Apparently there was a very low response rate to the online evaluations (despite lots of reminders sent to students). There were also concerns that, how can I put this delicately, students weren't providing "fair" evaluations for certain instructors. Some feedback suggested that the online version was too burdensome to students (i.e., too many questions), especially if instructors added their own questions, plus some courses had to include questions for TA performance. As a result, the new evaluations consist of only six questions and instructor questions are not allowed. (Instructors can add "survey" questions, but it's not the same thing.) One positive about the new version is that the section for comments is a little more directed. Rather than leaving it to students to write something or not, there are three questions: what they found useful, what they would change, and what they would like the instructor to know.
The links below and at left are to teaching evaluations for my courses. There are three or four links for all but one of the courses: one for responses to the old multiple choice questions, possibly one to the new multiple choice questions, one to the written comments, and one to miscellaneous comments. The one Miscellaneous link without a course number is to general, non-course specific comments I have received.