Okay, so maybe I was wrong about the good folks at Texas A&M. Maybe I can convince the powers that be here at Mason that we need to implement the A&M reward system retroactive to last semester. If so, the result of my student evaluations for Lying About the Past would almost certainly pay for my summer vacation. Why did I write that last post?
On a more serious note, given the minor controversy that has swirled around my hoax course, I thought that posting a few of the student comments on the end of semester evaluations might be worthwhile. And, for the record, that course recorded my first 5.0 rating on a 5 point scale in 13 years of undergraduate teaching. Here’s what the students who wrote comments had to say:
- I learned a lot from the class because of how hands-on it was. The research was all relevant and the end product was all self-determined. Mills directed our activity in that he guided us instead of dictating as in most classes, and our ability to make our own decisions otherwise was great.
- The course pushed me, which is always good. I learned to think critically about the impact of media past and present on our daily lives and views.
- The creation of the hoax was the most effective tool for learning because it let us have fun with something we do on a regular basis.
- You really taught us to look at sources and give them a serious eye. Without this class I wouldn’t have learned how to blog or look at every source for credibility.
- Best class I ever took here.
- Having to research really helped me learn history and also having to invent every aspect of the project was great.
- This course was so fun–wonderfully hands-on and a great learning opportunity. It was so hard creating history instead of just studying and it really helped me figure out how hoaxes are created.
- This was the best class I’ve ever taken. The readings were great. The project turned out to be a lot of fun, regardless of the amount of stress it created.
- The analytical approach to studying history and various sources has helped me in other classes. Studying how not to go about it was extremely helpful.