Students pay thousands of dollars for tuition, books and housing so they can attend an institution that provides a top-notch education, and Dixie State University’s students expect it to begin with a talented professor.
Supervisors evaluate DSU professors on different classroom attributes, but students have their own evaluation forms they bring to the classroom. As a new semester begins, students have created their own guidelines and may be selecting classes based on professors who:
No. 1: provide a chance for a personal relationship.
“I believe a personal professor would help you succeed more because if you’re more comfortable with the professor, you’re going to be more willing to listen to them,” said Kylea Custer, a freshman communication major from Las Vegas. “If you’re willing to listen, you’re going to obtain a lot more information. I know I learned a lot more from professors who I could relate to and talk to outside of class comfortably.”
A respondent who participated in the Dixie Sun News survey posted on surkeymonkey.com said, “It is ideal when a professor tries to connect with his or [her] students on an individual basis, whether [it’s] learning names or individually commenting on work. It shows he or she cares about the student and profession.”
Kade Christensen, a junior businessmajor from Boise, Idaho, said there needs to be balance between a professional and personal relationship. He said if a student and professor are on too much of a personal level, the student might be subject to favoritism. However, if a student and professor are on a strict professional level, the student just takes in the material presented.
“If you’re just another person, why would they care?” Christensen said. “If they know your name and interact with you, then you’re not just a number and a grade.”
No. 2: test on the same material taught in the class.
“I have one professor that’s not very good at covering the material and then has different material on the test,” said Liz Cook, a freshman nursing major from Logan. “It’s important to stop and make sure what your teaching is clear, but you need to get through the whole chapter.”
Custer also said she expects her professors to test her on what they teach her.
“I definitely think they need to teach me the material that I need to know and then test me on that material because I’ve always hated being tested on different material that they didn’t teach us in class,” Custer said.
No. 3: supply feedback on classwork.
“I don’t necessarily need my papers back, but I do like feedback because if I’m making mistakes, and they don’t tell me what I need to work on, then how do they expect me to improve?” said Kenna Craven, a freshman general education major from Logan.
No. 4: provide an open class discussion.
“If you find a professor that encourages (discussion) in class, I think it’s a really strong [attribute],” Craven said. “I like discussion in class, and I think it’s better when the professors [encourage discussion].”
No. 5: have respect for the students.
“I expect my teachers to respect me, and I expect them to want me to succeed,” said Ryan Graves, a sophomore biology major from Ogden. “It shouldn’t be, ‘See how much I know, and I’m going to prove to you that I’m smarter than you.’ It should be, ‘I have more experience than you, but let me help you understand this so you can succeed and progress and grow — not just as a scholar, but as a person.’”
No. 6: are organized with grading and class lectures.
Graves said he expects professors to present organized lessons, hand papers back in a timely manner, and keep grades upgraded on Canvas by Instructure. He also said he expects professors to have multiple assignments to accumulate a student’s grade rather than a grade accumulated by testing.
Another survey participant mentioned how helpful it is for students when a professor is organized.
“I love a professor who is organized,” a survey respondent said. “Having things on Canvas and easily accessed and on a calendar makes my success so much less stressful.”