©Marva A. Barnett

Teaching Analysis Poll

FREN 332-4, The Writing & Reading of Texts, 2/29/96, 10 students responding

Marva A. Barnett

What is most helping you learn in this course?

  • groups
  • Each class we are accountable for something.
  • The teacher wants to help.
  • The teacher is very available.
  • Madame Barnett works hard to make sure we are able to back up what we say when analyzing stories, which helps when writing essays.
  • open to everyone's opinions
  • good motivator
  • questions on board
  • discussions

What is impeding your learning in this course?

  • too much work (especially when papers are due)!!!!
  • jump right into analysis before total comprehension of events (need to give summary of events before getting into groups, before delving into analysis or it gets confusing / overwhelming)

What suggestions do you have to improve the course?

  • We need very specific instructions re: assignments. / weekly syllabus / write on homework on syllabus.
  • Maybe give a little summary of events before delving into analysis. (Not too much time on comprehension in class.)
  • Let us out on time.

My responses to students' ideas:

  • They are right: the workload is significantly heavier than that in other sections of the course. I slowed the pace on Racine's Phèdre and reduced the required work via e-mail (especially since several students had trouble getting to a computer).
  • As a whole class, we discussed their questions of comprehension in chronological order. The number of comprehension questions diminished after a time. Especially given the conflicting data in the second suggestion (above), I did not take the time to give or have students give a plot summary before moving on to analysis; the more detailed responses to comprehension questions seemed to solve this problem.
  • I continued to hand out written assignments for a week or two at a time (to accompany the syllabus). But I took more time in class to go over and clarify the written homework assignments.
  • I made sure to finish class on time.