Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Missing Course Evaluation

So all this course evaluation stuff has reminded me of something I tried to look into before. Those with a current access to LawWeb will notice that Alex Johnson’s Property (C,L) Spring 2008 course evaluation is missing (and has always been missing). I emailed the Law Student Records Office about this oversight last April and here’s our email conversation.
Dear [LRSO person],
The student evaluations for Professor Alex Johnson's Spring 2008 property class aren't on the lawreg website. Could you please explain their omission to me? Thanks very much.
J. Crew Model
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I cannot explain why his course is missing. I will ask law ITC to look into the situation. Thanks for the heads-up.
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Hi [LRSO person],
Did you find anything out by following up with law ITC? Thank you for your help.
J. Crew Model
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Thanks for the reminder. Yes, I was advised that there were some evaluations submitted and they were working on getting them to appear. I will ask them about it again.
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Mr. Model - I just learned that the one person in law ITC who knows about the evaluations is on vacation this week. Hence, it will be awhile yet.
Must have been some vacation since its STILL not up there. I’m not the type to jump on conspiracy or cover-up theories but this seems a little weird.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's not too hard to surmise why these evaluations might be missing. Those of us who had Prof. Johnson in spring of '08 utilized the evaluations to chastise the University for inflicting this dreadful professor upon us. The overwhelming majority of the reviews were quite negative, and almost embarrassingly so when compared to an average course evaluation. If one were cynical, one might think that some administrative face-saving was going on.

Anonymous said...

I was in Johnson's spring '08 property class. I personally enjoyed the class and took Johnson's T&E class later. Some fellow sectionmates disliked Johnson, but more enjoyed the class than not. I've always wondered why the evaluations were never posted, but I am doubtful of any face-saving conspiracy claims.

Anonymous said...

if you take a look at the spring 09 evals, most of them are also extremely negative. were the spring 08 ones even worse? it might just be an administrative problem, because the spring 09 ones are really brutal...

Anonymous said...

What are the gist of the criticisms?

Anonymous said...

The criticisms largely centered on the careless manner with which he taught the class. He clearly possessed mastery over the subject and, knowing this, it seemed like he had no interest in fully explaining the material to first-year rubes who had very little background in the subject. In short, his teaching qualities were antithetical to everything a professor teaching a first-year law class should have. On top of this, he was exceedingly arrogant and, more often than not, unnecessarily dismissive of even the most basic substantive questions or concerns offered by the students.

Anonymous said...

also in that class, and I second 6:56. I enjoyed the class and would take him again. He teaches quickly and is not always as brutally clear and slow as some professors, but he is entertaining and cares about his students.

Also, he was always asking people to come to office hours and ask for help if they had questions; but almost no one did. . . so if you tell him you understand the material at the time only to later admit you didn't, what can he do?

Anonymous said...

I was also in the class and have always wondered about why the evaluations were missing. Johnson seemed to be a pretty polarizing force. He moved pretty quickly and not always clearly, taught a subject that may not have interested many of us in the first place, and doled out our first closed book, partially multiple choice final. He also admonished us to try not to use the bathroom during his class, which sort of panicked me, personally ;) Strong personality, but I do tend to agree - I think he cared about his students and the class was sort of his version of tough love. And, he did generously invite us out to Johnson Acres! I don't think I'd take Johnson again, partly because property and related subjects strike fear in my soul, but I'd smile at him in the hallway.

Anonymous said...

9:08, 6:56 = Alex Johnson

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I was also in that class and had no real problem with the guy. The "you'll learn about this in T&E, but let me digress for a half hour to talk to you about it anyway" got really freakin annoying after a while, but all in all the guy was a decent prof who didn't bore me to tears (looking at you, Cohen - love ya, big guy, but you cannot cram 40 pages into the last 10 minutes of class after rambling for almost an hour). So yeah, AJ was alright. Dude has some fly cufflinks, too. Would love to see those evals, though!