eCAFE - Course and Faculty Evaluation, University of Hawaii

eCAFE: Course and Faculty Evaluations


Instructor: Mehana Vaughan

Available Survey Results

Mehana Vaughan: NREM691, Spring 2014

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Natural Res & Environmtl Mgt
Course: NREM 691 - Advanced Topics in NREM Crn (Section): 89325 (006)    
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  
5.05 19 0.23 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 18 (95%) 1 (5%)
2. Course - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Elective   Required  
1.11 19 0.32 Freq(%) 17 (89%) 2 (11%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.89 19 0.32 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (11%) 17 (89%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.47 19 0.61 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 8 (42%) 10 (53%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.94 19 0.73 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (26%) 9 (47%) 4 (21%)
6. The instructor was consistently well-prepared and organized for class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.95 19 0.71 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (26%) 10 (53%) 4 (21%)
7. Assignments and assessments in this course were related to course objectives.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.37 19 0.5 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 12 (63%) 7 (37%)
8. The instructor provided specific meaningful feedback.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.58 19 0.77 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 0 (0%) 5 (26%) 13 (68%)
9. The instructor was accessible to students.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.11 19 0.88 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 3 (16%) 8 (42%) 7 (37%)
10. What did you like best about the course?
The guest speakers and the field trip, as well as the opportunity to get out into the community and contribute something. Introduction to the Ostrom framework was enlightening and a game changer (although rushed)...
multidisciplinary backgrounds of students in the class. added to the collaborative focus of the class
The project component
the guest speakers were awesome and enhanced course content
I really enjoyed how interactive the course was. we all had the opportunity to learn about and from one another, and the community component was also very beneficial in grounding theory we learned about.
Students came from a variety of disciplines which made discussions incredibly rich.
Really really awesome guest speakers. Also appreciated the literature we were exposed to.
The field trip
The unpredictable and easy going nature of the course (schedule) was challenging and extremely helpful for me!
I like many selective readings in this course, they provide knowledge, opinion, and view that I have never known or thought.
The format and food were very great. It made coming to class (with all of the other stuff in life going on) a little less like a chore and more like going to a friend's house for a visit. This comfortable atmosphere was much better for generating the kind of relationships that we talked about in the course.
I really enjoyed the style of the course, the interactions with fellow class members, the journal format, and learning more about the field of collaborative natural resource management. The field trip as well was amazing. Puanani Burgess was awesome.
I enjoyed the fact that this wasn't an ordinary lecture course. The class was able to bond through discussion and an outside field trip activity.
Mehana. She is an amazing person, teacher, and mentor. She is truly inspiring and brought so much life, passion, and deep understanding of the course topics. This course is completely different than any other graduate level course that I have ever taken. As a class we were able to develop a camaraderie that I have not experienced since high school. I was able to connect and meet many smart and interesting people outside of my department. The guest speakers were also amazing. Listening to all these foundational leaders provided a great opportunity for us to learn from different perspectives and voices. All the guest lecturers were smart, enlightening people, who were willing to open up for share with us.
It would be hard to just name one thing - this course provided many valuable lessons on multiple levels, including the underlying science and theory of collaborative management, but also a sense of place-based learning, leassons learnt from interacting with class members, guests speakers, and field work.
11. How can the instructor improve the teaching of this course?
Less breadth, more depth? As mentioned above, I wish we had spent more time delving into such seminal works as Ostrom's CPR work and less time on other assignments (i.e. the journals, outlines, etc.). We never reached the level of critical discussion as a class on these important texts because we were always rushing to the next topic. Between the lit review, the community- based project, and all the little pieces of paper we had to navigate, there should have been ample opportunity for the instructor to evaluate our understanding of the material. The promise to our communities to deliver a product came with a high level of commitment (and at times some pressure)- next to that, all the write-ups, outlines and drafts that we had to do for class seemed like busy work more appropriate for middle school students.
more focused discussions and projects. inch wide, mile deep.
Iʻd suggest a single place for directions on assignments and a syllabus that is set as much as possible. It was confusing to tell what and when something was due, how to turn it in, and sometimes the directions on what we were supposed to do was provided verbally which I couldnʻt always remember. Like in our mid-term evaluation, there was so much going on that it was difficult to track assignments. With so many sheets of paper being handed out each class and mini objectives, I felt lost during class because I was trying to hard to organize things in my mind and in my folder. In sum, more organization and a clear place to look up assignments directions and a single place to turn them in.
more clarity in expectations of assignments and ample time to accomplish them better time management
maybe break it into a two-semester course. we need a full year to work with the different programs we have built relationships with
If we could have focused a little more on developing the projects, it might not have felt as rushed towards the end.
Maybe standardizing an in-class schedule (reading discussion, lesson, activity)
Break this up into 2 courses one based on theory/readings/discussion, the other can be the lit review and community project. Not really fair to students to put all into one semester.
Focus on fewer activities during class.
Improve the course? double the amount of credits! That way the students could realistically devote the amount of time to it that this class deserves. Other than that its hard to say because i found each aspect extremely helpful, but the experience as a whole entirely overwhelming! Maybe by consolidating the focus of the course into the readings and the journals, and supplementing that with more field trips and guest lectures. I think the context needs a stronger consideration before trying to apply it?- consider cutting the group project or reducing its scope (only lit rev or only community aspect?)..
It might work if there are summaries and conclusions about what the class learned for each week in writing. These might be provided by instructor or students who are facilitators. It will help to remember what students have learnt.
A little less work assigned. There were a lot of assignments and these made it really difficult to keep up with everything going on not just in this class, but in other classes and life in general.
Streamline the lit review and project process - the way questions were posed was kind of confusing and it seemed that we didn't have enough time to make really meaningful contributions to our projects. It felt like just a start, which may ultimately be all that is possible...
Try not to follow the schedule too much. I think it caused for a little more scurrying than if the class just flowed. Be a bit more organized. Try not to announce new changes in class (as you might forget what you said)
There was just too much of everything. Too much reading - Although they were relevant and awesome readings Too many assignments - I liked the journal ones but the little ones here and there created unnecessary stress and anxiety Way too many group projects - I felt as if a majority of my grade depended on whether other people did their share of the work. And many times they did not. So I ended up doing the work load of the group projects mostly on my own. Again more added stress/anxiety/sleepless nights.
Maybe to try to cover a bit less and instead get more into depth into certain materials.
12. Global appraisal: Overall how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Very Good  
4.63 19 0.5 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 7 (37%) 12 (63%)
13. Global appraisal: Overall how would you rate this INSTRUCTOR?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Very Good  
4.89 19 0.32 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (11%) 17 (89%)
14. I gained a good understanding of concepts/principles in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.21 19 0.54 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 13 (68%) 5 (26%)
15. I gained a better understanding of myself through this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.42 19 0.84 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 1 (5%) 6 (32%) 11 (58%)
16. I developed skills needed by professionals in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.22 19 0.65 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (11%) 10 (53%) 6 (32%)
17. My opinions about some topics changed because of this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.29 19 0.85 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 1 (5%) 7 (37%) 8 (42%)
18. What things did you get from this course that will benefit you personally?
The commitments we made to our community-based projects will remain with me. It was a real opportunity to learn what happens on the ground and how to navigate the sometimes tricky balance between academia and advocacy. The readings were extremely helpful- they came from materials that I probably never would have encountered on my own, and served to frame my thinking on my own projects in a way that was really revolutionary. I also want to say that Mehana served and continues to serve as a tangible model of what a researcher engaged in participatory methods looks like, since we don't have many examples of this in the UH sciences. The opportunity to observe and learn from her has been incredible, and stands to contribute not only to my own personal growth as a researcher but also to the future of our natural resources and to the lÄ?hui that depends upon them.
working with people happens on a many levels, and at every level of interaction in life that effective cooperation and collaboration can only improve whatever facet of life it happens in, whether it be a school project, planning a discussion, or engaging in a community.
Iʻve learned how to approach communities and that is integral to my future career in this field. Iʻve also learned about the literature on collaboration which can inform how I make decisions.
management, collaborative, and communication skills
The insight shared by our guest speakers was tremendous and will benefit me both academically and professionally.
Being aware of different perspectives of natural resource management during collaborative projects and learning how to incorporate these perspectives into the project.
a stronger ability to express myself
Thinking about group, not only myself. Whatever I have to do, e.g., lessons, foods, or the project.
I gained a better understanding of how to approach others (whether through work or volunteering) differently. Seeing things not just from their point of view, but also through the lens of their culture and experience. I think it has taught me to be a little more patient and humble when dealing with others.
A deeper knowledge of the field and exposure to some ideas/concepts that will be important to my research.
I think I gained a lot of confidence in myself and created closer relationship towards other classmates in this class. I really felt comfortable around everyone and felt that I would not be judged when I spoke or made a comment.
I definitely gained the opportunity to be sitting in a class that was centered upon Hawaiian values (provided a Hawaiian sense of learning). I gained a bunch of friends that I know I could work with professionally. Learned a lot more about how to collaborate with others in a way that's not so intrusive.
So much.... I feel as if some of Mehana's passion has been passed on to me and all of the class. I love her integration of natural resource management from the science and the social perspectives. It really brought to light the importance of culture and people in management situations. It reminded me of the value of just making people connections in trying to develop my career. I find myself searching more about this topic on my free time. And just discussing what I have learned in this class with my friends outside the university. This class totally changed my perspective of natural resource management. I feel very blessed and appreciative to have had the opportunity to have taken such an inspirational course. More of these are needed in NREM.
I learnt some key tools to promote collaborative management, place-based practices, sharing and caring, and the aloha.
19. One real strength of this course is the classroom discussion.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.16 19 0.9 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 2 (11%) 0 (0%) 10 (53%) 7 (37%)
20. I received personal attention from the instructor.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.42 19 0.9 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 2 (11%) 4 (21%) 12 (63%)
21. The course objectives were clear.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.74 19 0.73 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 5 (26%) 11 (58%) 2 (11%)
22. The instructor sets high standards for students.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.63 19 0.5 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 7 (37%) 12 (63%)
23. What two or three single words best describe this instructor?
Passionate. Busy. Giving.
passionate, oluolu, focused
welcoming, well-informed, intentional
gracious, open, knowledgeable
Kind, communicator, teacher
Warm Passionate Abitious
Interested passionate
Easy to approach and talk to.
Thought provoking kumu
3k: kind and knowledgeable kumu
Intelligent, grounded, passionate
Thoughtful, intelligent, kind
Encouraging Intelligent Kind
Intelligent Passionate Approachable Strong Fun Beautiful inside & out Leader
Awakening, inspiring, and caring
24. Assignments require a reasonable amount of time and effort.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.05 19 1.35 Freq(%) 2 (11%) 1 (5%) 1 (5%) 5 (26%) 10 (53%)
25. The group work contributes significantly to this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.37 19 0.9 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 2 (11%) 5 (26%) 11 (58%)
26. The assigned readings significantly contribute to this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.47 19 0.51 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 10 (53%) 9 (47%)
27. Student performance evaluation criteria, including definition of "excellent/A" performance, etc., were provided.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.21 19 0.63 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (11%) 11 (58%) 6 (32%)
28. The field trips were useful learning experiences.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.74 19 0.45 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (26%) 14 (74%)
29. The guest speakers contributed significantly to this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.84 19 0.37 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (16%) 16 (84%)
30. Other comments:
Kumu Mehana- you are an amazing kumu and an inspiration for us local students. In your course, I developed a vocabulary for thoughts and concepts that were previously just endless swirling currents in my naʻau. We mahalo the sacrifice you and your ʻohana have made to guide us in our journey. You brought an amazing group of students together and I hope we have done you proud. In trying to do too many things, we may not have lived up to your expectations at every moment, but it's not because we didn't care about or value the experience you were trying to create for us. This course is unlike anything I will likely encounter again during my time in grad school- it is something that I will always remember.
More depth, less breadth :) Mahalo for a wonderful semester!
Mahalo for the mid-semester reviewer and for addressing the small suggestions that we had raised.
I was frustrated when I came took time to prepare for an activity/discussion, but then we never got around to it, or didn't end up having sufficient time to it. In the case of preparing for a discussion, that's ok because I ended up learning more, but in the case of preparing for an activity, it was kind of a waste of time. I feel like Mehana sometimes didn't realize how much time went into assignments/preparations and therefore didn't realize how frustrating this could be for students. Especially students who have so much other stuff going on!
Please dont stop expecting too much of your haumana, but please let them breathe too! you are an amazing kumu and i would sign up for this class anyday!
The field trip and speakers were excellent resources. I very much enjoyed both of them and hope to continue with some of the programs that I have been introduced to during the semester. Mahalo!
This is a great course that i will definitely recommend to others
I would suggest that the literature review be taken out and maybe replaced with the paper specifically for the community project. It seemed the literature review was something that everyone just tried to complete and meet page requirements for the sake of getting a good grade. This course was very overwhelming and should be more than a 3 credit course. I really enjoyed this course and learned a lot of concepts that I will take away with me and use for the rest of my life. The course was disorganized at times but all assignments were always meant for deeper learning.
The quest speakers were amazing... I really appreciate the opportunity to meet so many local inspirational leaders from our island community. I felt like so much knowledge and stories were shared from both sides. The field trips were also amazing gifts. This course had so many opportunities to learn and grow outside a typical classroom setting. It really opened up so many different perspectives for me to learn from.
I feel lucky to have had the chance to take this class.