These evaluations come from the Cognitive Neuroscience course that I taught during the spring semester of 2016 at Haverford College. The course had 26 students and 17 completed this evaluation.

Quantitative Ratings

Haverford College doesn’t produce college averages for its student evaluations so I can only present my data collected from this class.

Plot of mean (+/-) SE

The next analysis describes how the course workload compared to other courses.
* Students had 5 choices
+ Much Heavier
+ Somewhat Heavier
+ About Average
+ Somewhat Lighter
+ Much Lighter

##    About average     Much heavier Somewhat heavier Somewhat lighter 
##                8                2                5                1

Following up to more precisely analyze their work outside class. The following question asks students to estimate how many hours they devote to the course each week.

##   vars  n mean  sd median trimmed  mad min max range skew kurtosis   se
## 1    1 16 4.94 1.5   4.75    4.86 0.74   3   8     5 0.68    -0.29 0.38

Commentary

Overall Comments

##                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OverallComments
## 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The instructor was enthusiastic and tried very hard. The course material was sometimes dull, but he did a good job keeping everyone engaged. Sometimes he lacked confidence, which was off-putting. Own it!
## 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I thought Professor Kurczek was energetic and passionate about cognitive neuroscience, and I enjoyed having him as a professor. It was also very easy to have discussions with him outside of class, and he always felt accessible. 
## 3  Professor Jake Kurczek was always enthusiastic, interesting, funny, and thoughtful during class.  He has a great sense of humor and is able to break down hard concepts into manageable pieces.  I feel as if he truly cares about his students, due to his involvement in the Haverford community and his interest in our well being.  I am very sad to know that Professor Kurczek will be moving to another college next year, since he would definitely have been one of the only professors I would make a point about taking another class with before I graduate.  I wish him good luck at his new teaching position and hope that he has enjoyed his time at Haverford College.  
## 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I found the instructor to be very enthusiastic about the material, and fair in grading and running the class. I also appreciated his creativity when it came to assignments and quiz design. 
## 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really enjoyed this class, and Jake was extremely approachable and made the class interesting. He brought in relevant activities to lectures, which definitely helped to learn the material, as well as keep me focused. 
## 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
## 7                                                                                                                                                                        I am so sad that Jake will not be leaving Haverford. He truly embodies everything a Haverford professor should be: passionate, helpful, engaging, curious, knowledgable, and so many other great qualities that would be take too long to name. I saw how happy he was when people engaged with the things we read/learned about and his excitement made me excited to keep learning and keep asking questions. I think he was very responsive to everyone's questions and great overall. Haverford will miss him. 
## 8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This course was one of the most interesting and wonderful courses I've taken at Haverford. The professor was enthusiastic about the material and clearly cared about teaching students. He was very accessible when I had questions and I learned a lot about neuroscience from this class.
## 9                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
## 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Great teacher! I liked that the quantity of readings was reduced near end of semester because I found that too many readings did not allow for good understanding of individual readings.
## 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
## 12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The class was great. Although the set up of the class was different from almost any class I have ever taken, the dynamic structure proved to be more engaging and more enjoyable than a typical college course. The term project was a great way to learn valuable research skills and develop an independent enjoyment of neuroscience. 
## 13                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I enjoyed this class quite a bit, and think that you're a very likable guy. I would suggest a review of the amount of material that you try to get into each session, and perhaps think about structuring the material so that smaller chunks build into larger concepts. Overall though, I thought it was well thought out and enjoyable. 
## 14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really enjoyed the class. I liked how there were projects and a big essay at the end on a topic that we care about. I tend to do better on projects than on exams, so this helped me get a grade that I felt proud of. I also learned more than I ever expected to from doing a lot of research on my own.
## 15                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I think he should consider cutting down on some assignments. We have 3 to 4 other classes that are just demanding. In this class, we have to make and answer questions weekly, read, several projects, debates, podcast, presentation, and 3 exams. Most classes I have only have about 5 major things and reading. I think this class is excessive. 
## 16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love Jake, his passion really comes through in class and the course was thorough and fascinating and I love the independent project.

Lecture Suggestions

##                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LectureComments
## 1                                                                                                                                                                                             Since it is a lecture-based class, which can be boring, the little breaks in the middle where we did an activity, filled out a survey, etc. were VTAL.
## 2  Occasionally the lectures could get a bit off topic, but they were entertaining and engaging, and overall informative. I think there were a few too many activities that involved taking self-assessments that didn't always feel completely relevant to the class material. However, a lot of the activities were in enjoyable and informative. 
## 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Lectures are very informative and interesting!
## 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
## 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
## 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
## 7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Keep as is! 
## 8                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The second half of the semester was more stimulating than the first half because of the addition of class activities.
## 9                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was sometimes difficult to discern the important content from tangential/fun fact-information.
## 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
## 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
## 12                                                                                                                                                           For the most part the lectures were successful in allowing for student engagement. However, a lot of times I felt like some of the most difficult material was glazed over in lecture. 
## 13                                                                                                                                                          Obviously there is a lot to cover in the field of cognitive neuroscience, but sometimes I would say it is worth covering slightly less and doing so in slightly more depth if possible. 
## 14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
## 15                                                                                                I don't enjoy coming to class. The lectures are all over the place. I don't know what we are learning most of the time. I don't know how to transfer what I learned from class to tests. He is very responsive to his student's questions though. 
## 16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The activities really help break down the material and helped me focus more.

Evaluation Suggestions

##                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 EvalComments
## 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
## 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
## 3  Exams were very interesting.  Self evaluations (on the first one) as well as the assigning your own points/picking your own questions was interesting and a different experience.  The second form of the exam was less stress inducing since we were allowed to use novel journal research, which yielded a better outcome grade-wise and understanding-wise in the long term I think.  
## 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
## 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
## 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
## 7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       None. Great format. 
## 8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The first exam was a little confusing because of the directions, but the second exam was more straightforward. 
## 9                                                                                                                                                                                                                     These tests are incredibly time consuming--partly because of the lack of structure (point allocation and limitless time). This would take me about a week to complete.
## 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
## 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
## 12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I felt that the term project was thoroughly enjoyable. I learned valuable research skills, while developing a strong understanding for neuroscience.
## 13                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
## 14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
## 15                                                                                                                                                                              I had a hard time learning things from lecture and carrying over to exams. He grades fairly, but I dont know exactly is right or wrong because he does not make any comments. At least, I haven't seen any. 
## 16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Great structure

Poor Topics

##                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         BadTopics
## 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Biology/Anatomy
## 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Neuroanatomy wasn't as interesting as other topics, but once again, it was foundational to my understanding of other topics. 
## 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Decision Making\nEmotions 
## 4  I found the topics at the beginning of the course (anatomy and methods) least interesting, only because I have taken other similar classes before (neurobiology, biopsych) and so already had a lot of exposure to these. Of course these foundations are necessary for this course, especially for those who have not taken many neuroscience courses before.
## 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Brain anatomy (I know it is necessary, however) 
## 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            None
## 7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The stuff in the beginning about ATP--I was really confused.
## 8                                                                                                                                                                                                           I think the dry subject of anatomy and hemispheric lateralization were least interesting, but anatomy was one of the most important topics to learn. 
## 9                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Early history.
## 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I was not too interested in language
## 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Neuroanatomy
## 12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I felt that the psychopathy lecture was the least useful. 
## 13                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I did not like the social cognition parts as much. 
## 14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Language
## 15                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Everything is useful in some capacity. 
## 16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I didn't find the research methods interesting although it was useful.

Good Topics

##                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  GoodTopics
## 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Social Neuroscience.
## 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I liked learning about emotion, language, and psychopahology.
## 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Learning\nMemory \nNeural Anatomy \nFunctional imaging\nLanguage Disorders \nPsychopathology \n
## 4                                              I found the topics we covered at the end of the course (executive functions, emotions, social cognition, etc.) most interesting because those were topics I had never really explored before. I also found the two debate topics (neuroscience in education and law) to be very interesting.
## 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Pyschopathology and social cognition were my favorite
## 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       All
## 7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Most if not all of them. 
## 8  I especially liked the debates on neuroscience and law and on neuroscience and education. I think that few neuroscience classes talk about the discussion of neuroscience outside of the classroom. I liked that we were able to talk about the pros and cons of a public dialogue on neuroscience because it went beyond the classroom.
## 9                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Language and the associated disorders.
## 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Decisiin making and memory because they are very important functions
## 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Conditioning
## 12                                                                                                                                                                                                     I was most interested in the decision making lectures. However, the term project was the most useful in learning about neuroscience.
## 13                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I found the executive function portion to be very interesting. 
## 14                                                                                                                                                                                             The basics of understanding anatomy and methods to studying. I see these things staying with me later on and being of a help no matter what.
## 15                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Learning about bilingualism which is something I did for my midterm and final. 
## 16                                                                                                                                                              The topics that I could see in everyday life. Talking about the applications of the topics made them really interesting for example executive functioning in the classroom.

Poor Readings

##                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 BadReadings
## 1                                                                  Some were just too technical for me to understand. I can't remember which ones specifically, but some of them were full of neuroscience jargon that I didn't understand.
## 2  Some of the readings from the beginning of the course about neuronal imaging techniques were less interesting, but I understood their importance in giving me a better understanding of the material introduced later on in the course. 
## 3                                                                                                                                                                                              Some of the very dense science literature.  
## 4                                                                                                                            As stated above, the readings were interesting by themselves, but seemed separated from the rest of the class.
## 5                                                                                                                                                                    Readings that focused on an extremely specific aspect of the material 
## 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      None
## 7                                                                                                                                                                                   The ones in the beginning---too many to devote time to 
## 8                                                                                      The readings assigned in the first half of the semester. There were too many readings to keep track of and we did not use them much in the lectures.
## 9                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       N/A
## 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                              None really
## 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     None
## 12                                                                                                                        I felt that the historical readings were the least valuable however it was a good way to work into new material. 
## 13                                                                                                                                                                       The Poeppel article was interesting but I found it less valuable. 
## 14                                                                                                                                                                                          The readings that were copied from a text book.
## 15                                                                                                                                                                                         The rest was a bit more difficult to understand.
## 16                                                                                                                               Some of them were a lot of pages on a relatively simple topic and reading all of that seemed unnecessary.

Good Readings

##                                                                                                                                                                                                                      GoodReadings
## 1                                                                                                                                                                    The reading on Phineas Gage was by far the most interesting.
## 2                                                                                                                 I was really interesting in the readings about psychopathology, as well as all of the readings about language. 
## 3                                                                                                                                                        Case studies, neural anatomy, textbook readings were very comprehensive 
## 4  I thought most of the papers we read were interesting, and adequately explored the topic for that class more in depth than the lecture. However, they felt a little separate, as we did not really discuss them much in class.
## 5                                                                                                                         The readings which served to highlight the overall material rather than focus on a small aspect of it. 
## 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                             All
## 7                                                                                                                                                                                                       Most if not all of them. 
## 8                                                                                                                     The readings assigned in the second half of the semester because they seemed more relevant and interesting.
## 9                                                                                                                  I found the overview articles/textbook excerpts helpful in providing deeper and organized content information.
## 10                                                                                                                                                                        Decision making, emotions, executive functions, memory.
## 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                           None
## 12                                                                                     I felt that the neuroscience studies were generally very interesting as they showed real world studies of the material we were looking at.
## 13                                                                     Some of the introductory readings that covered the basic anatomy of the brain were very helpful and allowed me to understand all of the ensuing readings. 
## 14                                                                                                                                                                              Discussing empathy and its biological components.
## 15                                                                                                                                                      I like the reading about hemispheric specialization, and the life of H.M.
## 16                                                                                                                               I found the primary research studies the most interesting. Also the story of IM was fun to read.

Other Reading Comments

##                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ReadingComments
## 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
## 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I thought most of the readings were relevant and informative. 
## 3  Case studies, neural anatomy, textbook readings were very comprehensive and added to the overall understanding of the course.  Some of the very dense science literature was very hard to get through and it did not always make sense as to why we were reading them.  Maybe, instead of just assigning them and forgetting them, have class discussions so that we can learn how to better dissect a dense piece of scientific reading.  
## 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
## 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
## 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
## 7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
## 8                                                                                                                                                                   I like that a textbook was not used and that research articles were assigned instead. I definitely improved in my reading of these articles because of this class. I think a textbook was not necessary for this class and that the research articles were more effective.
## 9                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
## 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
## 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
## 12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
## 13   I do not. Although by commenting, I suppose I am creating an oxymoron. Or perhaps I'm not because this comment isn't specifically about the readings. Although now I've mentioned them, so it could be argued that this comment is at least kind of about the readings, and thus by saying that I don't have a comment about the readings while talking about the readings, I'm furthering the oxymoronic nature of this comment. Well.  
## 14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
## 15                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
## 16                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Incorporating them more in class. The second half of the course did a good job doing this.