How Advanced Is My Class?
September 20, 2006
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I’ve just received a “graduate capabilities” survey from my university, asking me to indicate how advanced are the skills conferred by my History and Theory of Planning course. The form is divided into subcategories for specific topics and skill sets – sustainability, economics, IT skills, etc. I would imagine this sort of information is used for overall course planning, to make sure that, as a degree program, we offer students the capacity to receive advanced training in all of these areas through an appropriate combination of courses.
The trick for me is that the form requires a comparative knowledge of other courses – knowledge that I don’t necessarily have. I feel reasonably comfortable, for example, indicating that my course doesn’t provide advanced training in sustainability, because I knew when designing the course that students have other opportunities for detailed work in this area, so I didn’t emphasise this topic. I’m less sure, however, how to evaluate some of the other topics and skills – it’s harder to tell, from the information I have available, how other courses cover, for example, topics like economics, or skills like critical thinking…
All of which is a long-winded way of saying that I’ve made the blank form available online, in case lurking students would like to help me out with a bit of comparative feedback. If you have time, could you fill in your personal perception of how the skills covered in my History and Theory of Planning course compare to the standards across the degree program as a whole, and email the results to me. Or, if you prefer, post comments below on the topics that interest you.
I have a couple of weeks to respond, so any feedback between now and early October would be most helpful. The form is available here.
[Note: this form is not used to evaluate my personal teaching skills, so don’t worry if you need to indicate that the course doesn’t cover something, or covers something very superficially: no course will cover all listed skills at an “advanced” level.]