Course Evaluations

What follows are selected responses to course evaluation questions. For my entire, unedited set of course evaluations, see “Student Course Evaluations – Links to Full.”

“Comparative Media Poetics: Cinema and Videogames”
University of Chicago
Spring Quarter 2013 (CMST 29003)

What were the instructor’s strengths? Weaknesses?

  • Ian is a fantastic teacher. He singlehandedly made be consider attempting to get a cinema studies minor because this class and his work were so interesting. He seamlessly blended lectures and discussions together, both of which were incredibly useful. He also was very considerate of the work he assigned us, changing the amount of readings when he thought they had become too much. He is also clearly very knowledgeable about video games, making this class really interesting in terms of both the art aspects of video games, the technical aspects of video games, and the history of video games. The only weakness I can think about is sometimes Ian would apologize for some aspect of the course, showing that he wasn’t always very confident in his choices. I think the class was amazing and, he did not need to apologize for anything.
  • Used a combination of very clear lectures and discussion. Very open and interested in feedback, and helpful during office hours. The class was still being tailored, and kinks were being worked out, but considering I think it flowed very well.
  • Ian Jones is funny, knowledgeable, intelligent, and very coherent. The lectures were always very clearly presented, and interesting, and it was very infrequently that questions were not answered immediately or students were not given the opportunity to speak. The general impression of the class that Ian provided the students with bits of knowledge that we then collectively used to learn together, students and professor as a whole, about the topics at hand.
  • Ian clearly is incredibly knowledgeable about this field, on both the cinema and video game sides. I also thought his syllabus was particularly diverse with a variety of topics and different game genres. He might have relied a little too much on his lectures to get through class, so that sometimes he’d finish early without a clear point to start discussions or attempts to start discussion felt like looking for a particular answer rather than fleshing a topic out.

How productive was class discussion?

  • Very productive. The questions presented to the class to discuss were often direct enough to keep discussion on topic, while open enough to allow for many modes of thought, and different but relevant points.

“Introduction to Film”
University of Chicago
Spring Quarter 2015 (CMST 10100, Section 03)

What were the instructor’s strengths? Weaknesses?

  • Mr Jones is excellent. He clearly knows a lot about film and film analysis, but didn’t provide too much to overwhelm the class with a lot of information that is beyond the introductory level. He seemed very interested in what the students had to say when we discussed films in class. He was also very good at making sure that many students spoke during discussions instead of the same four people each time. Overall, I think Mr Jones is a great instructor who does a good job making the class enjoyable. (Also he’s pretty cool because he really wanted us to fill out the course evaluations and so in our last class inserted three frames of the words “COURSE EVALS” as a subliminal way to remind us to fill these out. How cool is that?) The one weakness that Mr Jones has, in my experience, is that sometimes he can be intimidating to approach and ask questions about, but that wasn’t as much of a problem once we got into the class.
  • Ian was great at explaining the different concepts involved and showing a variety of clips, genres, etc. in class. He was really well organized and put a lot of effort into the lectures, which I liked because they were on prezi rather than a boring powerpoint.
  • Ian’s great at getting people to participate, and you can tell he’s very passionate about the subject. I’d say you do have to be fairly interested in the topic, though, or else you might lose focus. Overall, I found his lectures super interesting and engaging. The screening choices were a good mix of popular movies and ones I’d never even pick up. Happy we watched them, though.
  • Ian is so passionate about film – it’s great! He made the class fun because he was so into the material himself. He’s really intelligent and presented lectures in an interesting and informative way. This class was my favorite class I’ve taken so far at this school. While he is a bit strict and may not be the easiest person to communicate with via email, he is great to talk to in person and you will look at film in a totally different way after taking his class.

How productive was class discussion?

  • The class discussion usually revolved around the same students, but this did not prevent others from speaking up and Ian definitely made an effort to call out to the others without putting them on the spot.

How has this course contributed to your education?

  • I am now seriously considering majoring or minoring in Cinema and Media Studies.
  • Definitely makes me reconsider majoring/ minoring in Film- it was a really nice introduction to cinema and media studies.

“Introduction to Mass Communication”
DePaul University
Fall Quarter 2015 (CMN 102, Section 105)

In what way was this course most helpful to you?

  • I think group activities were the most helpful part of this class. Having to build strong arguments for debates and being creative in thinking about ways to advertise products for example were great ways of making this course more helpful and interesting.
  • The amount of assignments and level of expectation. Also, as someone who struggles a great deal with social anxiety/public speaking, it was really nice that the professor put most of the grading emphasis on the quality of work that you produced instead of how many times you speak in class.

What were the instructor’s strengths? Weaknesses?

  • The instructor went beyond covering the material of the book which made the class much more interesting. Relating the book topics to recent TV shows, movies, and social media was one of the best ways to make the course material much easily approachable to his students.

How productive was class discussion?

  • It was really productive, because we did a lot of group work we were used to talking to each other and sharing opinions so I feel like people were more open to sharing than my other classes
  • Class discussion (including group presentations and debates) were very productive. I wish this way of covering a course’s material is used more often in other courses. It helps students interact with each other, do researches and know better information about a topic, and it also creates a challenging and competitive environment.

“Introduction to Mass Communication”
DePaul University
Winter Quarter 2016 (CMN 102, Section 504)

In what way was this course most helpful to you?

  • I really liked when we broke off into groups and did small activities which we informally presented to the class. I seemed to get more from researching and discussing the issues at hand, then presenting and debating them with the class, than I did from the lectures.

What were the instructor’s strengths? Weaknesses?

  • Prof Jones was always eager to open up the floor and have a casual and engaging discussion as a class. I appreciated the sincere and enthusiastic interest in the subject that he had. I didn’t care for the many times we counted off into groups, I would often have a group that wouldn’t want to honestly work on the assignment.

“Introduction to Mass Communication”
DePaul University
Spring Quarter 2016 (CMN 102, Section 302)

What were the instructor’s strengths? Weaknesses?

  • The instructors strengths incuded being clear, focused, attentive, well prepared, knowlegable, and organized. One weakness of the instructor would be that he went through his presentations a little quickly. Other than that, I thought the instructor structured the course well and I found his was of teaching to be engaging and effective.

How productive were in-class activities, such as small group work (debates, etc.)?

  • They were productive in having us apply ideas from the readings and engage everyone’s participation.
  • Debates were so fun! they really aloud me to learn the class material in a fun and easier way      

How was the balance between instructor-led lecturing and student-led group work and discussion?

  • I think there was a perfect balance and I thought that the lecturing prepared me for the group work.
  • The lecture led perfectly into discussion and gave our groups material to talk about and reflect on
  • I liked how he let us do the talking and he wasn’t so by the book. He really lets his students direct the class which is something I had never seen before.

“First-Year Seminar I: The Moving and Interactive Image”
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Fall Semester 2015 (ENG 1001, Section 016)

Evaluate the instructor’s attendance promptness, quality of critiques, time it took for assignments to be returned, etc.

  • Showed up on time, the paper comments were great & assignments were typically returned at a good rate.
  • He was on time every class. Quality of critiques were rich & helpful. Time it took for assignment to be returned so-so but not bad at all.

How accessible was the instructor?

  • Very accessible. He answers e-mails from students within few hours and give constructive criticisms on any working drafts.
  • He was very accessible. When finding the need to email him he was quick to respond, and scheduled meetings made it easy to receive one on one advice

What is your overall evaluation of the instructor?

  • Productive, constructive, helpful and nice! I’d like to take his class again.
  • I think Ian Jones was an instructor who really cared about teaching the best he could, and would not hesitate to take a class with him again.
  • 9/10 Always room for improvement, but I really liked that he offered his time to really look over & discuss our papers

“First-Year Seminar II: Avant-Garde Film and Video Art”
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Spring Semester 2016 (ENG 1005, Section 008)

How challenging, rigorous or rewarding was the course?

  • I would say this class was 7/10 challenging, but 10/10 rewarding. I learned a lot about film that’s become very useful in my practice.

What is your overall evaluation of the instructor?

  • I really like having class with Ian. He is very knowledgeable and always have amazing lectures.

Do you have additional comments on the instructor?

  • I loved him. Great teacher, really loves what he is talking about and you can tell. Really created a great atmosphere for in class discussions.

“First-Year Seminar II: Avant-Garde Film and Video Art”
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Spring Semester 2016 (ENG 1005, Section 014)

How challenging, rigorous or rewarding was the course?

  • Ian holds high standards for writing and this is much appreciated.
  • Extremely rewarding. First time I’ve had a teacher explain thoroughly what he wants when editing the rough draft of my papers.

What is your overall evaluation of the instructor?

  • Easygoing yet high expectations. Great instruction and very good at explaining what exactly he wants.
  • Very knowledgable, very kind and understanding. He was challenging and held good discussions while maintaining a reasonable work load. Cares about his students

Do you have additional comments on the instructor?

  • Ian is a great instructor, well organized and very professional
  • Ian is very knowledgeable and gave great analysis to the reading materials and advice to my writings.
  • I was extremely impressed with Ian’s ability to foster a rigorous analytical discussion. I was also impressed by his attention to inclusiveness in the material by artists of all different backgrounds, which especially in the realm of Avant Garde film is rare. A+