eCAFE - Course and Faculty Evaluation, University of Hawaii

eCAFE: Course and Faculty Evaluations


Instructor: Robert Thomson

Available Survey Results

ZOOL480, Spring 2014
ZOOL480, Spring 2013
ZOOL480, Spring 2012

Robert Thomson: ZOOL480, Spring 2014

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Zoology
Course: ZOOL 480 - Evolutionary Biology Crn (Section): 85527 (002)    
1. Class Level (pick one) - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Freshman   Sophomore   Junior   Senior   Grad   Other  
3.75 8 0.46 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (25%) 6 (75%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
2. Course - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Elective   Required  
1.38 8 0.52 Freq(%) 5 (63%) 3 (38%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.88 8 0.35 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 7 (88%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.63 8 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (38%) 5 (63%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.88 8 0.35 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 7 (88%)
6. The instructor makes good use of examples and illustrations.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.88 8 0.35 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 7 (88%)
7. The instructor stresses important points in lectures/discussions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.57 8 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (38%) 4 (50%)
8. The instructor defined new terms, concepts, and principles.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.63 8 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (38%) 5 (63%)
9. The instructor was able to explain concepts clearly and effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.75 8 0.46 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (25%) 6 (75%)
10. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 8 0.76 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 2 (25%) 5 (63%)
11. The instructor broadened my understanding and grasp of the subject.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.57 8 0.79 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 1 (13%) 5 (63%)
12. The instructor clearly stated at the beginning of the semester the objectives of the course and requirements.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.75 8 0.71 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 0 (0%) 7 (88%)
13. The instructor was effective in meeting the objectives of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.75 8 0.71 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 0 (0%) 7 (88%)
14. The instructor spoke clearly and audibly.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.88 8 0.35 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 7 (88%)
15. The instructor was easy to talk with and available for consultation.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.75 8 0.46 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (25%) 6 (75%)
16. The instructor was consistently well-prepared and organized for class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
5.0 8 0.0 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 8 (100%)
17. The amount of material covered in the course is reasonable.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.63 8 0.74 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 1 (13%) 6 (75%)
18. How can the instructor improve the teaching of this course?
Nothing, it's great. I loved it, it's my favorite college class I have had so far, and he is my favorite professuer I've had so far too.
Motivating as well stimulating the students through intriguing and exciting activities that teach evolutionary biology! Not just within a group/table of students, or with discussions about a literature, but with puzzles or games.
Add a recitation hour that Bob runs himself so that we can discuss more stuff and argue more about the stuff that he went over that week in the course. You know that feeling when the last episode of your favorite TV series ends in a cliffhanger? That's how I felt 75% of the time after Bob told us he was almost out of time in class.
I wish we had a bit more time for the human evolution stuff, that was neat.
19. The course materials (texts, handouts) make a valuable contribution to the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.25 8 0.89 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (25%) 2 (25%) 4 (50%)
20. Audiovisual materials (or computers) were adequate and used appropriately.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.88 8 0.35 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 7 (88%)
21. The exams reflected the objectives of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 8 0.76 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 2 (25%) 5 (63%)
22. The instructor was fair in grading and criteria of grades.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 8 0.76 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 2 (25%) 5 (63%)
23. Which aspects of the course did you like the best?
The aspects I liked best were the interesting real world examples that were given when discussing a new topic. I also liked Robert Thomson's choice for the textbook, it is a well written and nicely laid out book that is much more enjoyable to read than many other textbooks other biology/zoology classes require. I liked the classroom and the open discussion feeling of many of the lectures
Best text book I've ever had, I actually liked reading it. We had fun and stimulating class discussions. Tests were fair, we didn't have or need some ridiculous curve to do well. He allowed time for us to ask plenty of questions and made sure we understood all the concepts. The class was fun and relaxed while teaching us a ton. All the subject matter was very interesting.
I liked the integration of many different examples.
Bob's cool.
Gods, what an awesome class! It seemed to start out slow, as review, but by the first exam I was sweating a bit; the second exam was bloody difficult. Dr. Thompson was an engaging teacher: he used entertaining examples and explained things well. I'd take it twice if I could, because new science is coming out all the time, and I am sure next year's class will be different.
24. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.38 8 0.74 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (13%) 3 (38%) 4 (50%)
25. Other comments:
Robert Thomson demonstrated full knowledge of the subject matter throughout the semester. He answered questions fully in ways that could make sense of more difficult topics. I liked how Thomson assigned readings of scientific literature and had us discuss them as a class.
I look forward to working with my classmates in the field, because there were some crazy smart people in this class.

Robert Thomson: ZOOL480, Spring 2013     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Zoology
Course: ZOOL 480 - Animal Evolution Crn (Section): 86642 (002)    
1. Class Level (pick one) - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Freshman   Sophomore   Junior   Senior   Grad   Other  
4.33 13 0.89 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (8%) 8 (62%) 1 (8%) 2 (15%)
2. Course - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Elective   Required  
1.08 13 0.29 Freq(%) 11 (85%) 1 (8%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.85 13 0.38 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (15%) 11 (85%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.69 13 0.48 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (31%) 9 (69%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.69 13 0.48 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (31%) 9 (69%)
6. The instructor makes good use of examples and illustrations.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.62 13 0.51 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (38%) 8 (62%)
7. The instructor stresses important points in lectures/discussions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.54 13 0.66 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (8%) 4 (31%) 8 (62%)
8. The instructor defined new terms, concepts, and principles.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.54 13 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 6 (46%) 7 (54%)
9. The instructor was able to explain concepts clearly and effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.54 13 0.66 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (8%) 4 (31%) 8 (62%)
10. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.54 13 0.66 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (8%) 4 (31%) 8 (62%)
11. The instructor broadened my understanding and grasp of the subject.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.54 13 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 6 (46%) 7 (54%)
12. The instructor clearly stated at the beginning of the semester the objectives of the course and requirements.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.54 13 0.66 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (8%) 4 (31%) 8 (62%)
13. The instructor was effective in meeting the objectives of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.62 13 0.51 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (38%) 8 (62%)
14. The instructor spoke clearly and audibly.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.69 13 0.48 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (31%) 9 (69%)
15. The instructor was easy to talk with and available for consultation.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.46 13 0.78 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (15%) 3 (23%) 8 (62%)
16. The instructor was consistently well-prepared and organized for class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.69 13 0.48 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (31%) 9 (69%)
17. The amount of material covered in the course is reasonable.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.46 13 0.66 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (8%) 5 (38%) 7 (54%)
18. How can the instructor improve the teaching of this course?
More on actual animal evolution instead of systematics and phylogeny, it would make the class more interesting. Curve the class. If you continue with having a term paper due, maybe make portions of it due throughout the semester so students don't leave it all to the end and freak out at the aspect of writing a 10-page paper.
More case studies and students generally learn better with hands on learning. It is more stimulating then listening to a lecturer.
I would have loved some more modeling and maybe a brief introduction into how to use them
It's hard when a course is only based off of exams and one paper. Additional homework or quizzes might aid in learning the subject matter.
Exams were very difficult and graded quite harshly. Grade trend of class should be shown. Study guides/homework assignments could be distributed throughout the class to keep students actively learning.
The use of a short-answer test made this course much more difficult for me than it should have been. Even though I knew the material backwards and forwards, I found that I wasn't scoring as well as I should on the exams due to the fact that if we didn't write the specific word or phrase the grader was looking for we would sometimes end up with a zero on a particular problem even though we clearly understood the material. Switching to a different exam format would greatly benefit the students and allow them to better demonstrate whether or not they've learned the material in question.
Maybe slow down on some of the slides when lecturing
This was in the top 3 courses I've taken at UH, and I've been here 4 years. No improvements needed!
More study guides, perhaps easier tests.
Less mathematical and statistical stuff, please. I want to learn about animals, not population genetics.
19. The course materials (texts, handouts) make a valuable contribution to the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.23 13 1.09 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (8%) 3 (23%) 1 (8%) 8 (62%)
20. Audiovisual materials (or computers) were adequate and used appropriately.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.62 13 0.65 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (8%) 3 (23%) 9 (69%)
21. The exams reflected the objectives of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.38 13 0.96 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (8%) 1 (8%) 3 (23%) 8 (62%)
22. The instructor was fair in grading and criteria of grades.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.92 13 1.32 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 3 (23%) 2 (15%) 1 (8%) 7 (54%)
23. Which aspects of the course did you like the best?
I enjoyed the course subject and that Robert was able to communicate concepts clearly.
Short
The examples he gave were interesting and informative
Very interesting class, lectures and powerpoints are well planned and easy to follow.
The lectures were very interesting and contained tons of great examples. They were also easy to follow and easy to go back and re-learn when studying.
The speciation lectures
Robert is an amazing teacher. He is a great speaker and is very passionate about zoology, which reflects in his teaching manner. He relates to the students well and treats us as equals which is much more important than many teachers seem to think. His teaching style was very captivating...I was NEVER bored (and I swear I have ADD). I loved the combination of videos, discussions, slides and demonstrations. I hope Robert is being paid well, and if he isn't, he needs to be! UH needs more professors like him.
The last third, where we actually learned about animal evolution.
Models and simulations on board really helped me understand some concepts
He's a great lecturer and obviously really knows and really enjoys the subject matter. His powerpoints were exceptionally well thought out and organized too and managed to convey all the major points we needed to know concisely and effectively, which made it much easier to sort out some of the more complex topics. Because of this I found I hardly ever needed to take notes (since the ppts were posted on Laulima) and could instead really focus on the ideas in the lecture which was great. I'm definitely going to keep the ppts for future reference. He's also really nice and easy to talk to.
24. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.31 13 0.85 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (23%) 3 (23%) 7 (54%)
25. Other comments:
I would have liked some extra reading material, e.g. papers, that could have been optional for the students who wanted to delve more deeply into the subject matter than the time of class allows
For being such a young professor, Robert Thomson is very knowledgeable and is a great lecturer.
The only thing keeping me from rating this course as "excellent" is the fact that the exams were so difficult as compared to the course material.
None

Robert Thomson: ZOOL480, Spring 2012     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Zoology
Course: ZOOL 480 - Animal Evolution Crn (Section): 87791 (002)    
1. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.79 14 0.43 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (21%) 11 (79%)
2. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.64 14 0.5 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (36%) 9 (64%)
3. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.64 14 0.5 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (36%) 9 (64%)
4. Other comments:
The course was informative and a great addition to UH's Zoology electives. There was a lot of material to cover, but it was done in a comprehensible manner. A lab component or other opportunity for students to use the demonstrated phylogenetic software would be ideal.
Professor Thomson was a very intelligent professor and I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from his course. Although his exams were a bit challenging and my grade may not be the "best," I've gained a lot of insight that I wouldn't trade for a higher grade
This course covered a lot of material, but it was all really interesting and by the end we were able to tie things together, which is good. I am only disappointed that we weren't able to cover all of the topics in the syllabus. The exams were all very fair and the homework was helpful. Will recommend it to my friends.
Is very organized and is always available for help. Makes exams difficult because it is really hard to know what he finds important. In lecture there are many topics and he moves fast through them. Should give more practice problems so we know what to expect on exams. Should not let TA proctor exam. He did not know the information well enough to offer any guidance during the exam and for the review. Should not let TA grade everything because he has taken off points for something that was correct. It would also be nice to read your comments on homeworks and exams instead of his.
I think it would've been pretty cool to have guest lecturers. I know that you just got here and don't really know anyone, but I think it'd be cool for future classes. I really enjoyed you incorporation of youtube videos and models into your lectures. Thanks for one of the best classes I've had here in a while!
He had a very thorough knowledge of the subject and you could tell that he was truly interested in what he was teaching.
good class and very knowledgeable professor some exam questions are a little tricky and could go over some key topics more but over all it was a good class to learn a lot of material
The course was done excellent. Perhaps next time when textbook will be published it will be more easy to read it :)
Good, knowledgeable, flexible, and energetic teacher. I appreciate the effort that he put into teaching this course and would recommend other students to take his classes.
Great professor. Very knowledgable and has great understanding of subject.