Student Evaluations

Select Student Comments

Course evaluations at Brown allow students to provide written feedback about the effectiveness of the course and instructor. I use the suggestions from students to improve my future classes. Below, I have included some of their comments that I have found rewarding and helpful. I have been an instructor or teaching assistant for seven different courses while at Brown and include student comments from a variety of these courses.


“Emily was very enthusiastic about the material and knew a lot.” – Introduction to the American Political Process, Fall 2008

“I loved her background and the expertise and perspective she brought to the class this year, it informed and enhanced my experience.” - The American Presidency, Spring 2009

“She was very approachable and personable. Her teaching was affective and relatable. Students feel very comfortable with her. She put a lot of time and effort into helping us out.” - Introduction to Public Policy, Fall 2009

“She was very well-organized and gave good discussion-prompting questions. She also clearly expressed what she expected of us and followed through w/ her guidelines.” - Introduction to Public Policy, Fall 2009

“She is clearly extremely enthusiastic about teaching and very passionate about the subject matter. Also she actually changed some of her teaching styles in response to our midterm evaluations. I’ve enjoyed section much more since then.” - City Politics, Spring 2010

“I really love it that she seems so determined to help us succeed – but at the same time, she will not do it for us. Good balance there. She makes sure we know everything we need but makes us come up with it.” - City Politics, Spring 2010

“Clear enthusiasm about the material – in a very practical, applicable way, not purely an academic way. Understanding that each student has their own ways of learning, areas of interest.” - City Politics, 
 Spring 2010

“Allowed everyone in the section to voice their opinions and although she had her own, she was open to all ideas.” – Constitutional Law, Fall 2010   

"She was supportive and always wanted to make sure that we were happy at our internships. She was available for questions, and helped us develop ideas for our final paper." - Rhode Island State Government (internship course), Spring 2011

"Professor Farris was a very engaging Professor. She... facilitated a great class discussion and always encouraged us to get more out of our internships. I enjoyed the final paper and thought that Professor Farris was very helpful and encouraging with my topic." 
- Rhode Island State Government (internship course), Spring 2012


Student Evaluations

All questions were asked on a 1 to 5 scale with: 1= Excellent 2= Good 3= Adequate 4= Fair 5= Poor. I include numbers from my course as an instructor, Rhode Island State Government (Spring 2011) and two of my courses as a Teaching Assistant where I taught sections, Introduction to Public Policy (Fall 2009) and City Politics (Spring 2010).

Evaluation as an Instructor:

Rhode Island State Government, Spring 2011
     Farris
 Faculty Average
Please indicate your overall evaluation of the quality of the course?  1.3 1.6
How much has this course enhanced your skills in formulating questions? 1.8 1.9
How much has this course enhanced your skills in developing a logical argument?     2.0 2.2
How much has this course enhanced your skills in communicating through writing?  1.5 1.4
To what extent did this course develop your understanding of the main concepts of the field? 1.1 1.4
To what extent did this course develop your understanding of the relevance of this field to the real world? 1.1 1.7
To what extent did this course develop your understanding of how ideas in this course relate to those in other courses? 1.1 1.8
How would you evaluate the contribution of this course to your overall education? 1.4 1.8
Did this course lead you to think about important issues in fresh ways? 1.3 1.8
How would you rate the amount you learned in this course? 1.0 1.3
How clear were the criteria for grading assignments and/or exams? 1.9 2.0
Would you recommend this course to other students? 1.6 2.0


Evaluations as a Teaching Assistant: 

Introduction to Public Policy, Fall 2009
The Section Leader in this course:         Farris
 TA Average
Is usually well-organized and well-prepared  1.12  1.39
Seemed enthusiastic about teaching the section      1.44 1.41
Communicates his/her ideas well to the students 1.21 1.58
Made the subject matter interesting to me 1.42 1.77
Was knowledgeable about subject matter     1.24 1.36
Responses in a critical and valuable manner to written work 1.39 1.71
Was regularly available in office hours 1.35  1.39
If you had such meetings, these meetings were quite helpful 1.38 1.52
Provided ample opportunities for questions and discussion 1.21 1.37 
I would recommend this section leader based on his/her performance 1.24 1.52
This section was helpful to me 1.47 1.64
     OVERALL AVERAGE: 1.32 1.51


City Politics, Spring 2010
The Section Leader in this course:         Farris
 TA Average
Is usually well-organized and well-prepared 1.18 1.41
Seemed enthusiastic about teaching the section      1.21 1.33
Communicates his/her ideas well to the students 1.26 1.58
Made the subject matter interesting to me 1.79 1.81
Was knowledgeable about subject matter     1.31 1.38
Responses in a critical and valuable manner to written work 1.87 1.73
Was regularly available in office hours 1.24 1.37
If you had such meetings, these meetings were quite helpful 1.50 1.48
Provided ample opportunities for questions and discussion 1.31 1.30 
I would recommend this section leader based on his/her performance 1.33 1.48
This section was helpful to me 1.49 1.65
     OVERALL AVERAGE: 1.41 1.50