Don't remove the gherkin
OK, so most of the final days of semester B are a bit of a blur. Plenty of all-nighters and the exhaustion that leaves you convinced that the early morning air has turned to see-though treacle.
Looking back at it now, the dying moments of Semester B produced some of the most upsetting moments of the course so far. And they all revolved around the thorny issue of:
Hmmm. Does anybody really mean it when they say they want ‘honest feedback?’
I’m beginning to think not. When the class was asked to comment, ‘honestly’, about a newly created module, this laterstudier did as she was directed. Well - I thought I’d been kind. You know. The old criticism sandwich idea. But from the lecturer’s response I’m not so sure it went down as intended.
Perhaps I should’ve taken out the gherkin?
Take another room, the same week. Add one anonymous student complaint, (not mine), to the head of department about the harshness of criticism given by a lecturer to create, well, a double ‘honest feedback’ situation of mega howl-round proportions. Introduce said lecturer, (upset), to the room to create some really awkward moments. Continue to boil students in tense atmosphere until they are well and truly stewed and the module is completely ruined.
I dunno. I guess it isn’t a good idea to ask stressed-out students for feedback just as they are frantically working on final assignments. I mean - who really wants to spend that precious half an hour at the end of twelve weeks shooting the breeze with lecturers for the benefit of the next lot of students? And just how accurate is that feedback going to be when the person tasked with marking your assignment is sitting in front of you?
Perhaps the answer is to encourage students to approach lecturers with ideas and concerns as the module progresses? It’s the end of my second year and I’ve known only one person ask a roomful of students if they felt that the preceding three hours were useful.
And I should mention that this semester I’ve also been on the receiving end. I thought that my shoulders were broad, but when someone - who should have made more sandwiches than Subway - called one of my images a ‘shitty little photograph’ I definitely felt something ‘slide.’