© Marva Barnett

Students' End-of-Semester Evaluation Comments
FREN 332-4, Spring 2002

7 students responding: 6 College of Arts & Sciences & 1 School of Engineering (5 first-year, 2 second-year)

FREN 332 is a multi-section course normally taught by faculty in the Department of French. It is the second, and final, course required for French majors and minors and serves as a prerequisite to most succeeding French courses.

Questions have been selected to avoid redundancy. Students are labeled by letter (A, B, C, etc.) to preserve anonymity while offering the opportunity to see how an individaul answered different questions.

Summary of evaluation [Rating scale: Poor 1 2 3 4 5 Excellent]:
Rate the course overall: 4.7/5
Rate the instructor overall: 5/5


1) What did you learn in this course?

a) I learned how to read and understand French texts-analytically thinking about texts- speaking with confidence- how to correct my work
b) Improved analyzation of texts- introduced me to new material
c) To better read, speak and write in French
d) I learned a lot about poetry, prose and plays. Most importantly I learned to improve my writing and to think critically about others' writing
e) A lot more than I ever could have expected- I still can't believe that at the beginning of last year I couldn't say "bonjour" and through this course, I'm now writing 4 and 5 page papers- analyzing literature! I picked up on a lot of grammar that I didn't learn (as I haven't taken 331) and believe I have greatly expanded my conversation, writing and reading skills overall.
f) Improve on a basis of French. The course did not necessarily help with speaking, but did help a lot on the writing. The rigorous schedule really improved my writing. I think the fact that I have written at least 5 times more French than English this semester speaks to that
g) To write and speak a lot in French

2) How effective in helping you learn were these aspects of the course, and how could they be improved in the future?

Peer editing:

A. Great- it helped me in editing my own papers
B. good, but do we really need to do 2 of everyone's drafts?
C. very helpful! I especially like "brainstorming with peers and discussing our theses
D. very effective- I liked being able to read others' writing… at first I didn't like the idea of being graded on in the peer editing, but overall it challenged me to think more critically
E. a great help- I think, for me, it was an even bigger help to correct other peoples' essays than to have them correct mine' the editing process makes you pick up on a lot of grammar/vocab etc and makes you thus more aware of it as you write your own papers in the future
F. very helpful, good to get opinions other than that of the professor. Kind of a pain doing them in short time, because a thoughtful critique takes time. But the result is very helpful
G. I love peer editing- get other viewpoints

Class discussions:

A. great, especially in such a small setting
B. good, a little bigger would be better
C. Because it was a small class, I found it easy to participate in class
D. Knowing that we were having discussions made me prepare the work ahead of time, so I think I got more out of it
E. I can't believe that, even at 9:30 am, we talked as much as we did- this element of the class was also very beneficial for me, as I enjoyed the conversation in addition to the written French.
F. Usually helpful. The discussions encouraged discussion, which helped improve critical French thinking
G. Helpful- but class seemed a little too timid, maybe some group activity at the very beginning to foster comfort

Student-student interactions and teacher-student interactions:

A. ?
B. Excellent, encouraged one-on-one meetings are good
C. Great for learning! No improvement needed
D. Everyone (students and teacher) was wonderful, approachable, helpful and easy to get along with
E. I really liked the other students- I think we worked well together, especially when we discussed themes in pairs- and in my opinion the student teacher interaction was great, easy, flowed!
F. Usually in context of writing papers, same effect as peer editing
G. All good- don't know ALL students well, but everyone seems very nice and willing to help each other- teacher great, extremely helpful

Web site:

A. Difficult without a printer, but having an available resource was great
B. Excellent, tough to go and print stuff though
C. Too much printing from web but overall helpful!
D. The website was good, but my only problem was occasionally forgetting to print something out
E. So many print-outs and worksheets!!! (But I admit they were helpful)
F. Not very helpful, usually a bunch of needless info. Truthfully, I rarely looked at the website assignments towards the end of the year.
G. Didn't enjoy printing out things from website, but website as a whole very helpful

Preparing and presenting your chosen poem:

A. Fun, I learned a lot about analyzing and poetry by doing it. The presentation was especially helpful
B. Good- encourage more displays perhaps
C. I enjoyed presenting and listening to the other presentations but I was nervous
D. Not my most favorite assignment, but I never would have been able to write my paper without it!
E. This was my favorite project (perhaps because I love poetry)- but the combination of reading, speaking and presenting aloud to the class was a great way to learn many different aspects of French.
F. Preparation was more rigorous because of the level of detail hence more of a learning tool; really lets one get into the nuances of the French language; presentation to me was just like another class discussion, nothing too special
G. FABULOUS- best activity

Class atmosphere:

A. I felt fortunate to have such intelligent peers and such a great professor really helped my experience
B. Good
C. Great! I enjoyed the prof and the people in the class- comfortable environment for learning
D. Laid back, low pressure, great
E. I loved the size of the class- very small, intimate, private, so lots of attention given to all- very friendly- a family- I will miss everyone next year!!
F. I really liked the atmosphere. I think I'll be disappointed with my other classes after a 7 person class in my first year. The atmosphere was pretty open and allowed for free discussion
G. Liked the horseshoe- could see everyone, teacher not up front and distanced


I) Student Profile

1) Why did you take this course/section?

A. Requirement, personal interest
B. Personal interest
C. Personal interest
D. Requirement, Personal interest
E. Personal interest
F. Personal interest
G. Personal interest

2) What sort of effort did you put into this class? How would you characterize your own performance?

A. I worked pretty hard… I would say I got out what I put into it, probably more work than most others
B. A lot, tried hardest
C. The effort I put in increased throughout the semester. I tried very hard during the last half
D. I tried to participate, but my taking a semester off made remembering French difficult
E. A lot of effort- I really wanted to learn the material, so spent much of my free time going over things from class
F. A lot, had to put in effort to do well. I think I performed very well
G. Did all my work to the best of my ability (considering other homework, obligations etc)

II) Course

1) How challenging was this class?

A. Fairly challenging
B. A lot of work
C. Fairly difficult but not impossible
D. Very!!
E. Perhaps more challenging for me than for other students, because I have only been in French since coming to UVa, but Marva was an incredible help and made it fine
F. Not very challenging, a lot of work
G. Hard because a lot of work, not because it was difficult material

2) How useful did you find the writing assignments? How much writing were you required to do in this class (double spaced pages)? Please specify such factors as rewrites and response papers.

A. My writing improved immensely, I wrote 20 + pages
B. Useful, a lot of writing! 20 pages or so- more drafts
C. Writing was integral to the course. W wrote 20 + pages of papers and responses
D. A lot of writing, but it was helpful. We had 6 big compositions and peer editing two different drafts of students for each composition. Every assignment had purpose (20 + pages)
E. Very useful- I learned so much through the writing/editing process- maybe 20 ++ pages? (re-writes on all papers, 6 major papers total)
F. A lot of papers, including rewrites, of reasonable length; a lot of smaller assignments (20 + pages)
G. Lots of writing- helpful- 20 + pages

3) Did you receive helpful comments on your assignments? Were assignments returned promptly?

A. Yes
B. Yes, yes
C. Yes, yes
D. Yes, yes, yes = very and Professor Barnett was always accessible
E. Yes always, yes always
F. Yes and yes. Very helpful.
G. Yes/yes, like peer editing

4) What do you feel are the strengths and/or weaknesses of this course?

A. Small class = very good
B. She's a good- great teacher- the class was a little too small, so not enough discussion
C. Workload can be overwhelming but it helped my French overall
D. It was great- strengths- Professor Barnett, weakness- she won't teach again until spring!
E. Strengths: the professor, the text book, the outside worksheets
F. Learn a lot immediately, too much work
G. Strengths: lots of speaking and writing, weaknesses: didn't really learn to fix my grammar as much as I would've like (just betes-noirs)

5) What specific suggestions do you have for improving the course?

A. None
B. Bigger class, allow more input on what to read
C. Less worksheets
D. None
E. Perhaps use (in class) the worksheets/handouts/toolkit papers to a greater extent
F. Less paper handouts
G. Less worksheets!!

6) Did you find the course enjoyable? Which aspects? Please comment.

A. This was probably my favorite class. I enjoyed the discussions and being able to get to know my classmates so well
B. Yes, enjoyed the material
C. Yes, the small class, peer-editing
D. I like how there are only 7 students!!
E. Yes, very much- it's the only class I've had before 10 am that I've ever really looked forward
F. Yes, despite the early hour. I just liked the general atmosphere
G. Mmhm- nice classmates. I loved the dinner.

7) Would you recommend this course to other students? Why or why not?

A. Yes, it will improve your writing and thinking a lot
B. Yes, good professor, interesting info
C. Yes, good introduction to French courses
D. If they want to learn about the language and improve reading and writing
E. Yes, definitely, you learn so much and the professor is amazing
F. With this professor, yes, really helps in learning French
G. Yeah, really nice professor

III) Instructor

1) Did the instructor seem knowledgeable about the subject matter?

A. Yes!
B. Yes
C. Yes
D. Very
E. Yes!
F. Very much so, very educated in literature
G. Yes

2) Did the instructor seem organized, well-prepared and in control of the class?

A. Yes, our class was well behaved anyways, but she was so great at stimulating discussion
B. Yes
C. Yes
D. Very. She always had dittos and info for us to help with homework
E. YES, always!
F. Yes
G. Yes

3) Was the instructor accessible to students outside of class (e.g. during office hours)? Did she seem approachable?

A. Yes, I went to her office hours many times and it was always really helpful.
B. Yes
C. Yes and yes
D. ALWAYS, she was always available and approachable at office
E. Yes, definitely; she is wonderful and friendly and always encouraging us to come visit her for office hours.
F. Yes, very much so
G. Yes!!

4) To what extent did the instructor help further your interest in the subject?

A. Mme Barnett has probably convince me to major in French
B. She gave me new directions to explore
C. She was attentive and helpful during office hours. Also sent emails of French-related activities.
D. Extreme, she was amazing! I couldn't have done it without her!
E. To a great extent- she gave me the opportunity to further my interest in French and led me along the whole way.
F. Um, not really, more of a self ambitious person
G. Very kind, saw pictures of France, recommended French house and other French activities.

5) Please comment on the classroom atmosphere fostered by the instructor.

A. I feel like our class was very close… it was also wonderful when she invited us over to her house for dinner!
B. Good, class too small
C. Intimate, allowed to speak comfortably
D. Cute, we sat in a horse shoe shape, liked it, encouraged group discussion
E. Friendly, happy, she even had us all over to dinner at her house; I really feel like this small class became a family under her instruction
F. Open, academic discussion, comfortable
G. Relaxed

6) Please comment on what you feel to be the instructor's strengths and/or weaknesses in this course.

A. Mme. Barnett was so helpful, so nice, so motivating… no weaknesses
B. Enthusiastic, kind
C. Too many worksheets, course packet? She was approachable and helpful. She helped us to do our best.
E. It is obvious she was always prepared, had excellent control over the subject matter, loves what she does, she always encouraged us to really get into the class and our work and seemed genuinely concerned with each and every one of us
F. Very outgoing, fosters discussion, non-judgmental, gives too much work
G. Strengths- approachable