eCAFE - Course and Faculty Evaluation, University of Hawaii

eCAFE: Course and Faculty Evaluations


Instructor: James Spencer

Available Survey Results

PLAN603, Fall 2011
POLS670, Fall 2011
PLAN603, Spring 2011
POLS390, Spring 2011
POLS390, Fall 2010
POLS670, Fall 2010

James Spencer: PLAN603, Fall 2011

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Urban & Regional Planning
Course: PLAN 603 - Econ Analy/Urban Plan & Policy Crn (Section): 74055 (001)    
1. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.59 17 1.0 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (18%) 13 (76%)
2. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.29 17 1.05 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 6 (35%) 9 (53%)
3. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.41 17 1.06 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 4 (24%) 11 (65%)
4. I gained a good understanding of concepts/principles in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.06 16 1.18 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 6 (38%) 7 (44%)
5. I learned to apply principles from this course to new situations.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.12 17 1.05 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 2 (12%) 7 (41%) 7 (41%)
6. I developed the ability to communicate clearly about this subject.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.71 17 1.05 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 6 (35%) 6 (35%) 4 (24%)
7. I deepened my interest in the subject matter of this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.35 17 1.0 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 7 (41%) 9 (53%)
8. I learned to value new viewpoints.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.29 17 1.05 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 6 (35%) 9 (53%)
9. I developed more confidence in myself.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.76 17 1.09 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 3 (18%) 8 (47%) 4 (24%)
10. I developed skills needed by professionals in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.76 17 1.09 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 6 (35%) 5 (29%) 5 (29%)
11. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.35 17 1.06 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 5 (29%) 10 (59%)
12. My opinions about some topics changed because of this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.82 17 1.07 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 2 (12%) 9 (53%) 4 (24%)
13. The course made me think hard and carefully.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.35 17 1.06 Freq(%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 5 (29%) 10 (59%)
14. Which aspects of the course were most valuable?
Jim explained things to me in a way that I could understand, even though I have no background in economics. Also, I really enjoyed the lectures in class, they were so informative, and interesting as well. I also had heard many critiques of this course when it was taught by other instructors because it did not tie in with planning. However, Jim was excellent at realting everything back to planning, which was greatly appreciated.
Dr. Spencer's being highly professional, organized, and keeping students in line. TA did an excellent job - always available, kept communicating with students, very approachable and professional.
economics princeple, labor market
Diversity of classmates. Knowledgeable professor - Jim obviously knows the subject very well, and is very passionate about it. Rebecka was a good TA - was good in posting resources, offering her time, offering samples of her past work, etc. Enjoyed the NPR audio pieces.
lectures and discussion on contemporary issues.
Each of his lecture. He reviewed and summarized all of the materials within class., gives a clear understanding.
less work load and very good teaching style
All content
no comments
class lectures; I really appreciated the constant application of economic principals and models to how it related to the planning field
I know how to value new points of view.
Prof Spencer is a great lecturer. His class presentations were valuable, and the reading material was good. The mix of problem sets, mid term exam, and final paper was also a valuable way to engage with the material in different ways.
I found the concepts presented to be extremely applicable, as well as the podcasts and clips that were pulled into the discussion.
Prof. Spencer's great lecture Very clear and always thought provoking.
The final paper was a good wrap up of the entire course, but it was difficult including content from the second half of the semester. Honestly, I read less during the second half of the semester.
15. Which aspects of the course were least valuable?
This probably will not make any difference in the future of this course, but I will say it regardless. There is no reason to assign a 20 page single-spaced final paper. I have never felt so overwhelmed by an assignment. I also feel illequipt and incapable of completing this assignment, even though I have a good grade and scored well on my mid-term and my homework assignments thus far. Frankly, it is too much. Especially with final papers due the same week for three other courses.
REALLY need to streamline the readings, or elect for a textbook and use select journal articles as supporting material. Actually, a textbook would be really helpful to learn the core concepts, since they would be presented in an organized manner. Then include supporting articles to help illustrate case examples, etc. Maybe a few more guest speakers to talk about real projects and help apply core concepts.
none
-
None
no comments
homework sets; midterm; 20 page research paper
NO
Because many of the students had not finished the readings each week, there was a real lack of discussion. Also, there was not a lot of guidance on the final paper.
I wish we would have continued formally exploring a wider variety of ways to analyze topics through the second half of the course rather than transitioning to the discussion based forum. My perspective is that although the students have their own range of experiences they can talk about, it is much more difficult to understand the broader planning perspective in relation to economics than having a case study/example explained in class.
N/A
I don't feel like the TA was able to convey the course information clearly. In fact, I think she didn't understand the content herself.
16. The instructor puts material across in an interesting way.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.47 17 0.62 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 7 (41%) 9 (53%)
17. The instructor was able to explain concepts clearly and effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.65 17 0.61 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 4 (24%) 12 (71%)
18. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.76 17 0.44 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (24%) 13 (76%)
19. The instructor frequently discussed recent developments related to the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.88 17 0.33 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (12%) 15 (88%)
20. The instructor treated students fairly.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.65 17 0.49 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 6 (35%) 11 (65%)
21. The instructor was easy to talk with and available for consultation.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.41 17 0.8 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (18%) 4 (24%) 10 (59%)
22. Students in this course are free to disagree and ask questions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.53 17 0.51 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 8 (47%) 9 (53%)
23. The instructor suggests specific ways students can improve.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.18 17 0.95 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 6 (35%) 2 (12%) 9 (53%)
24. The instructor was well organized and prepared for each session.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.47 17 0.87 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 4 (24%) 11 (65%)
25. The course objectives were clear.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.41 17 0.87 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 5 (29%) 10 (59%)
26. Please list your suggestions for improving the course and/or the instructor's teaching style and methods.
Loved the class. Loved the lectures. Even didn't mind the problem sets or the mid-term. Hate the paper. It's too much, really.
I don't think Dr. Spencer has to change any part of his teaching style.
Having the powerpoints in the first half of the course was helpful. For the second half, maybe powerpoints or one-pager handouts with the main concepts, definitions, etc.
none
You can shift with TA to explain the materials while you're resting. You speak more than 3 hours in class. It might be very exhausting.
his teaching style is awesome.
None
no comments
I really enjoyed the class lectures but was really confused when it came time to do the homework sets. I also really struggled with the midterm; the good advice of how to approach the midterm came after we had taken it-- I was really concerned about the "right" answer whereas if I had just bothered to explain how I understood it or one of many solutions, I would have been relaxed and done better on the test. The course material is very interesting but the readings weren't very relevant- I would suggest narrowing the readings as some weeks were too broad with too many assigned readings. Also, since they weren't "used" or reliably discussed every week, the cost/benefit analysis done by some of us was to not do the readings in favor of another class which had assignments for the readings that had to get done instead of the 603 readings which weren't as relevant. I did appreciate Jim being very accessible for office hours; thank you.
NO
It would be better if the final paper was shorter. 20 pages double spaced would be more appropriate. Prof. Spencer was not always responsive by email, and I think it is important to be accessible during the semester. The TA was very nice and helpful, but did not have a strong grasp of the material, or at least enough to answer questions at study sessions and during the class she led. I think less reliance on the TA for this course would be better. More facilitated discussion would have helped students articulate the material and encourage more reading and understanding of the material. There were too many students in the class. There should always be enough chairs for people to sit around the table in that room. There should be more guidance on the final paper with topic suggestions.
The first half of the course was very structured and was a bit easier to follow where we were going as a class. The second half was to be focused on discussion rather than formal power points but I think this could have been a little better guided if there were questions to spark discussion to consider while reading, perhaps provided on the syllabus or sent out weekly. Throughout the course I also think it would have been nice to know which articles were of primary focus and which may have been considered more optional because it was an overwhelming amount to pick though.
One thing "I" needed to do to keep up with this class was to improve my critical reading skill. I often ran out of time to finish all the required reading for the class.
1) Make sure the TA is qualified or at least remembers the content. 2) Consider adding small assignments in the second half of the semester (after the midterm).
27. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this INSTRUCTOR?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.76 17 0.44 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (24%) 13 (76%)
28. Assignments are relevant to what is presented in class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.41 17 0.8 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 7 (41%) 9 (53%)
29. The reading materials were relevant to the course objectives.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.35 17 0.86 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 1 (6%) 6 (35%) 9 (53%)
30. The projects were valuable in understanding the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.53 17 0.8 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 0 (0%) 5 (29%) 11 (65%)
31. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.59 17 0.62 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (6%) 5 (29%) 11 (65%)
32. Other comments:
Jemes Spencer can uderstand all international student's situations.
Not sure if it's possible, but a larger classroom so that everyone has table space.
none
They are good, both of the lecturer and the TAs,,,
whoever wants to take plan 603..i strongly recommend you to take prof. James Spencer class
None
no comments
perhaps the final paper could be broken up over the semester- five pages on models and how they would apply, etc. The 20 page assignment at the end of the semester is really upsetting to some of us who feel inadequately prepared or knowledgeable to tackle it. Also, while I really appreciate being able to choose a subject of interest to research, I feel like I spent far too long trying to figure out what I was researching on. Perhaps a paper proposal or even just assigning Oahu geographically would help future students. I don't think this essay has helped demonstrate my learning in the class- rather it points to how little I know in economics and how much I would like to further understand. I would really appreciate another class in urban economics that focuses on why cities formed where they did historically and then look at current research on why they continue to grow in some places and the policies that influence economic growth.
I am interested in his teaching methods.
It was a very challenging course for me, but also extremely interesting. I would like to take Prof. Spencer's class in the future again if there is a chance.

James Spencer: POLS670, Fall 2011     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Political Science
Course: POLS 670 - Introduction to Public Policy Crn (Section): 77334 (001)    
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  
5.0 6 0.0 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 6 (100%) 0 (0%)
2. Course - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Elective   Required  
1.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.17 6 0.75 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 3 (50%) 2 (33%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 6 0.55 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (50%) 3 (50%)
6. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
7. Which aspects of the course were most valuable?
the most vluable part of the course would be the actual policy examples on water supply and the different policy approaches...and so the people base and place approaches.
None
Interesting discussions, nice diversity of students from different backgrounds, nice to meet students from other disciplines. The assignments were appropriate to help us think about the concepts, but without overwhelming us with exams/memorization, etc. Like the student-led discussions.
I appreciate the fact that Dr. Spencer allowed the class to engage in conversation that wasn't constrained to the material in the readings. He clearly has extensive knowledge about public policy and is well-versed at presenting both sides of the coin.
8. Which aspects of the course were least valuable?
all couse contain were very use ful
None
Wish there was more variety in the reading topics, given the course is supposed to be a general introduction to public policy - very "urban planning-centric" right now. Wish other students would have spoken up more; when they did speak, they had interesting insights to offer.
The class spent a lot of time focusing on the development of policy in Southeast Asian communities. This was Dr. Spencer's area of interest and study but I would have preferred using readings and examples that were grounded domestically in the U.S. My interest in policy is of that in the U.S. and the processes in which policy is created in the U.S. is different from the way it's done in third-world. With that being said, lots of the tangential conversation discussed domestic examples of public creation but I would have preferred to have been assigned more literature on domestic issues too.
9. The instructor seems to enjoy teaching.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
10. The instructor was able to explain concepts clearly and effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.0 6 1.1 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 0 (0%) 3 (50%) 2 (33%)
11. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.17 6 1.17 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 3 (50%)
12. The instructor broadened my understanding and grasp of the subject.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
13. The instructor was thoughtful and precise in response to questions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 6 0.84 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 1 (17%) 4 (67%)
14. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this INSTRUCTOR?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.33 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (67%) 2 (33%)
15. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
3.83 6 1.17 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 1 (17%) 2 (33%) 2 (33%)
16. Other comments:
he done a great job and i'm happy with him and the course. it teaches me alot of stuff that will be helpful for my future career
None

James Spencer: PLAN603, Spring 2011     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Urban & Regional Planning
Course: PLAN 603 - Econ Analy/Urban Plan & Policy Crn (Section): 89086 (001)    
1. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.78 9 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (11%) 0 (0%) 8 (89%)
2. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.7 10 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 1 (10%) 8 (80%)
3. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.7 10 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 1 (10%) 8 (80%)
4. I gained a good understanding of concepts/principles in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 10 0.71 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 3 (30%) 6 (60%)
5. I learned to apply principles from this course to new situations.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.4 10 0.7 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 4 (40%) 5 (50%)
6. I developed the ability to communicate clearly about this subject.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.3 10 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (20%) 3 (30%) 5 (50%)
7. I deepened my interest in the subject matter of this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.4 10 0.7 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 4 (40%) 5 (50%)
8. I learned to value new viewpoints.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.3 10 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (20%) 3 (30%) 5 (50%)
9. I developed more confidence in myself.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.9 10 0.57 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (20%) 7 (70%) 1 (10%)
10. I developed skills needed by professionals in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.7 10 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (40%) 5 (50%) 1 (10%)
11. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.7 10 0.48 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (30%) 7 (70%)
12. My opinions about some topics changed because of this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.2 10 0.79 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (20%) 4 (40%) 4 (40%)
13. The course made me think hard and carefully.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.6 10 0.7 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 2 (20%) 7 (70%)
14. Which aspects of the course were most valuable?
The weekly readings and discussions were very much tied together so that the lecture helped clear up any confusion in the readings and then took the readings a step further.
He applied studies from his projects to the course, so it is interesting and practical
The class lectures and most of the readings were very helpful to understanding basic economic theories and connecting them to the planning field. I got a lot out of the DiPasquale, Ehrenberg and Spencer readings. The midterm exam and term paper were helpful for getting us to synthesize what we had learned. I liked the NPR stories, spatial mismatch and social policy anecdotes.
reading assignments, writing assignments, and class discussion helped me to better understand all weekly topics. Now, I know what labor and land market is. It is a good start to have skills and knowledge on urban economics so as to on holistically analyze any city development.
Logic connection between urban planning and economics. Urban economics. Many global thinking in this class, that is very wonderful for me. This class also considers many social issues in current urban planning.
Lectures.
Great presentation of course material that was totally unfamiliar to me. Great guidance of discussion and logical analysis that really offered coherent understandings of very complex issues. Conceptual focus was very much appreciated, in tradeoff for technical and qualitative pedagogy. Mid-term exam was phenomenal. At every opportunity, this class offered outstanding education. Bravo.
15. Which aspects of the course were least valuable?
Fabozzi readings were too long and dense.
middle exam; we never do the exercise as the middle exam asked for. So, we are not well prepared to create new graphs or offers policy in the exam. If in weekly meeting (class) we get used to do that, I think it will be great.
No
Some international perspectives were really missed when foreign students did not readily participate and professor did not overtly engage them to do so.
16. The instructor puts material across in an interesting way.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.2 10 1.03 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 1 (10%) 3 (30%) 5 (50%)
17. The instructor was able to explain concepts clearly and effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 10 0.71 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 3 (30%) 6 (60%)
18. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 10 0.71 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 3 (30%) 6 (60%)
19. The instructor frequently discussed recent developments related to the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.3 10 1.06 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 1 (10%) 2 (20%) 6 (60%)
20. The instructor treated students fairly.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 9 0.71 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (11%) 1 (11%) 7 (78%)
21. The instructor was easy to talk with and available for consultation.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.1 10 0.99 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (40%) 1 (10%) 5 (50%)
22. Students in this course are free to disagree and ask questions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.3 10 0.95 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 0 (0%) 4 (40%) 5 (50%)
23. The instructor suggests specific ways students can improve.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.8 10 1.14 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 4 (40%) 1 (10%) 4 (40%)
24. The instructor was well organized and prepared for each session.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.6 10 0.7 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 2 (20%) 7 (70%)
25. The course objectives were clear.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.6 10 0.7 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 2 (20%) 7 (70%)
26. Please list your suggestions for improving the course and/or the instructor's teaching style and methods.
Involve more students in the class participation by sometimes asking their thoughts or asking them questions to elicit a response. I understand there were a lot of foreign students in the class and they feel their English isn't very good but overall it is fine for answering questions or participating in the group discussion.
It would be good to have more discussion of the readings in class, since they were packed with new concepts and talking rather than just listening is a good way to remember things. Maybe prepare specific questions about the readings ahead of time?
allow the students to get used to do analyze as the middle exam did.
No
More variety in the lectures with small-group discussions would be refreshing.
27. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this INSTRUCTOR?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.56 9 0.73 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (11%) 2 (22%) 6 (67%)
28. Assignments are relevant to what is presented in class.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.22 9 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (11%) 5 (56%) 3 (33%)
29. The reading materials were relevant to the course objectives.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 9 0.5 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (33%) 6 (67%)
30. The projects were valuable in understanding the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.44 9 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (56%) 4 (44%)
31. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.56 9 0.53 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (44%) 5 (56%)
32. Other comments:
Overall an excellent course. Fully explained how all economic factors are interrelated and also showed us how much more could be learned from outside study or other economics courses.
This course is very helpful. I wish I had some background of economics in order that I can learn more from this course
Excellent communication of the concepts made the material interesting!
No
The readings are a bit too many sometimes. With fewer, we could discuss them more in depth.
I would very much look forward to taking future Geographic Economic courses or Advanced Urban Economic courses! It would be great if Urban Econ was more of a 'stream' within DURP.

James Spencer: POLS390, Spring 2011     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Political Science
Course: POLS 390 - Political Inquiry & Analysis Crn (Section): 86816 (001)    
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  
3.39 18 0.78 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 3 (17%) 5 (28%) 10 (56%) 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  
1.83 18 0.38 Freq(%) 3 (17%) 15 (83%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.62 21 0.5 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 8 (38%) 13 (62%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.29 21 0.78 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 1 (5%) 10 (48%) 9 (43%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.86 21 1.01 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 2 (10%) 6 (29%) 6 (29%) 7 (33%)
6. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.29 21 0.9 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 3 (14%) 6 (29%) 11 (52%)
7. Which aspects of the course were most valuable?
qualitative interview exercise
A further understanding of research and analysis.
The final project is an excellent trial run to give students an idea of the gravity of conducting a research study.
Learning to conduct a survey project.
Professor Spencer's lectures were the most valuable aspects of the course. The readings assigned were often abstract, however, he explained them and elaborated for students to grasp its meaning.
Learning different aspects of how to approach research projects and surveys as well as how to construct affective literature reviews to set up projects
The first part of the course was teaching us the vocab and lingo and basic principles of social science research. That was very valuable.
Professor Spencer presented a number of interesting studies done on a variety of subjects in order to help us understand the concepts we were studying.
Lit review
Going through the course and learning about the steps in conducting social research was informative.
Knowing the language of research was the most valuable thing I took away from the course. The specific terminology and research methods covered in the readings often come up while doing research for other classes. Knowing concrete ways to formulate and construct research projects was very useful as well.
The group work we did with our projects. Thinking of a connection between two variables is difficult.
LEarning how to develop samples, and other community tools for test taking
8. Which aspects of the course were least valuable?
Literature Review and final group project
Some of the topics assigned for group projects seemed like a stretch but many of us did not understand that they were only to give us ideas to come up with our own topics.
None.
some of the readings were very broad and hard to understand.
Overall, this course was satisfying.
Less time at the end of the semester to prepare a presentation was difficult. Although there was enough information to present on, the process seemed rushed.
None.
Lectures could have been more stimulating.
This class could be a smaller part of a larger class I feel like.
Writing long papers seemed to be overkill considering it was not a WI course
9. The instructor seems to enjoy teaching.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.48 21 0.68 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (10%) 7 (33%) 12 (57%)
10. The instructor was able to explain concepts clearly and effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.05 21 0.97 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 6 (29%) 5 (24%) 9 (43%)
11. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.14 21 0.85 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 3 (14%) 9 (43%) 8 (38%)
12. The instructor broadened my understanding and grasp of the subject.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.19 21 0.98 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 2 (10%) 2 (10%) 7 (33%) 10 (48%)
13. The instructor was thoughtful and precise in response to questions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.11 19 0.99 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 2 (11%) 2 (11%) 7 (37%) 8 (42%)
14. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this INSTRUCTOR?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.24 21 0.77 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (19%) 8 (38%) 9 (43%)
15. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
3.9 21 0.83 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 5 (24%) 10 (48%) 5 (24%)
16. Other comments:
This course was challenging due to its confusing and complex nature, however i felt as if it was not necessary to take although it was a required course.
Spencer's class is a stone groove.
The final survey project should have been arranged earlier with groups established. This would have made the project easier to understand and would have allowed students to develop their experiments more.
Clearly, Professor Spencer is an experienced instructor whose knowledge about the contents of the class is evident. He took the time to go over in detail everything he wanted to teach us throughout the course.
I had a hard time getting my final project going because the group was a little scattered, however I'm not sure there's anything the instructor could have done about that. I was also a little confused along the way of his standards or expectations of our work, which made me worry that I wasn't performing well.
Communication and teaching style did not facilitate my learning as sometimes I would get lost in what the instructor was trying to say. The instructor has a strong and thorough grasp of the concepts and course materials; however, getting the pertinent ideas and concepts of the course was hard to follow during lecture.
The only downside I see to the course is not a product of the teacher. The group research project at the end is very difficult to do if literally no one else is doing work and I think unfairly creates WI course requirements for the person who ends up doing all the work.
I think the final research project and paper should have been given earlier in the semester.
I did not understand the subject matter or what was going on in class a majority of the time.

James Spencer: POLS390, Fall 2010     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Political Science
Course: POLS 390 - Political Inquiry & Analysis Crn (Section): 73254 (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  
3.65 20 0.75 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 2 (10%) 4 (20%) 13 (65%) 1 (5%) 0 (0%)
2. Course - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Elective   Required  
1.95 19 0.23 Freq(%) 1 (5%) 18 (95%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.9 20 0.31 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (10%) 18 (90%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.8 20 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (20%) 16 (80%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.65 20 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (10%) 3 (15%) 15 (75%)
6. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.45 20 0.69 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (10%) 7 (35%) 11 (55%)
7. Which aspects of the course were most valuable?
Research methodology
Learning the different aspects of conducting research. Vocab, technique.
presentations, structure for final paper
the concepts that the instructor explained were interesting and taught me a lot
very independent
Method of Research and final project
the surveys
The group paper we are required to do. It got me to apply all the tools of research methods that were taught in class.
Professor Spencer walked us through the thought process of a research project. There are a little nuances in planning/research of which I was unaware.
Research was very valuable and the understanding of how it should be done and possible short comings of it.
Dr. Spencer's course is great in that it balances the tremendous subjectivity of political science with concrete methodologies for studying social phenomenon.
the project.
One of the problems for me with social sciences is that they tend to lack in the "science" aspect. This class focused more on the scientific side of political science research and it complimented the rest of my course load nicely.
Every single materiel that was taught to us was used to a great extent in midterm and research paper. None of that "Why the hell do we need to learn this" or "I don't think this will apply to my life". More like "That's interesting, I never thought about that".
the group project
8. Which aspects of the course were least valuable?
midterm exam too long, felt unprepared when writing the literature review
i think the midterm was not needed. as long as we can apply the concepts in our final project, i think that we should be good.
A lot of the material was based off his own work.
Group works
nothing
None
None-It was all very valuable to me...really
some of the readings were somewhat unnecessary and the topic could have been better illustrated through lecture.
The Professor Spencer's schedule forced him to miss two classes. An additional two classes were used for presenting reports and one class was used for the midterm. This was a lot of missed class time in a course that meets weekly.
Barely any class participation. There were a few good times when this happened but rarely.
too much reading material
9. The instructor seems to enjoy teaching.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.8 20 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (20%) 16 (80%)
10. The instructor was able to explain concepts clearly and effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.55 20 0.76 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 0 (0%) 6 (30%) 13 (65%)
11. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.21 19 0.85 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 2 (11%) 8 (42%) 8 (42%)
12. The instructor broadened my understanding and grasp of the subject.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.6 20 0.6 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 6 (30%) 13 (65%)
13. The instructor was thoughtful and precise in response to questions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.6 20 0.6 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (5%) 6 (30%) 13 (65%)
14. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this INSTRUCTOR?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.55 20 0.51 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
15. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.45 20 0.51 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
16. Other comments:
if you are going to be taking a 390 course, this is the one that you should take.
Professor Spencer is articulate and engaging. The textbook is a bit boring but useful.
I enjoyed the class very much.
Difficult subject to make interesting
It was a solid course with a competent and motivated instructor.

James Spencer: POLS670, Fall 2010     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Political Science
Course: POLS 670 - Introduction to Public Policy Crn (Section): 78513 (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 6 1.63 Freq(%) 1 (17%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (83%) 0 (0%)
2. Course - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Elective   Required  
1.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
5.0 6 0.0 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 6 (100%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
6. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
7. Which aspects of the course were most valuable?
The theories are very comprehansive
information regarding public policies in different regions
Concepts and themes that explained the intricacy of public policy - for example, the role that the community played in the policy-making process as well as the different governing bodies that determined the outcomes. What was also valuable were the different examples/case studies that were used to illustrate the concepts and themes.
I like the focus on theory, and also the application of theory in the second part of the course. This course came the closest so far to what I enjoy studying, which is political philosophy. Public policy seems like the application of political philosophy which makes it practical and therefore valuable. It's a shame that I found something I like but I get rejected from the public policy program.
8. Which aspects of the course were least valuable?
I think I need the summary of each class discussion but I did not get it.
It was too obvious that he came from DURP. I don't think urban planning and public policy should be considered the same thing. To me policy should consider much broader consequences of actions; planning in contrast seems to focus on a very specific aspect. In other words planning seems a lot less comprehensive. The planner is more of a facilitator while the policy maker/analyst is actually pushing to achieve a goal.
9. The instructor seems to enjoy teaching.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.33 6 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 2 (33%) 3 (50%)
10. The instructor was able to explain concepts clearly and effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
11. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
12. The instructor broadened my understanding and grasp of the subject.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 6 0.84 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 1 (17%) 4 (67%)
13. The instructor was thoughtful and precise in response to questions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
14. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this INSTRUCTOR?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
15. Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this COURSE?
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Very Poor   Poor   Average   Good   Excellent  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
16. Other comments:
Maybe better if professor give us the summary of theories discussed
Very nice guy. Seems to really enjoy teaching and care that his students understand the concepts.
I enjoyed the class.
Professor Spencer deserves tenure.