Below are peer evaluations from Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC), Muskegon Community College (MCC), and Allen Community College (ACC), beginning with the most recent. Feedback was provided via faculty observations, colleagues' written comments, and from Blackboard course reviewers. Blackboard course reviewers consist of faculty from around the country and the Blackboard Course Program Directors.
Assessments are authentic and there are multiple types of assessments. I am especially impressed with the Learn More section in each week that provides students the extra practice (should they be struggling) as well as the opportunity to go beyond the learning outcomes. Whether a student begins this class as a novice, or someone has background in the content, the course is full of learning opportunities. Read more course reviews from peers.
This is the best course I have ever seen. I am reconsidering how I design courses as a result of reviewing this course. The instructor nailed every single element.
Cheryl is extremely active, productive, imaginative and her courses are well-liked by students. She is a very savvy technophile who uses her skills to create more engaging course experiences for students and to help other faculty (via seminars and presentations).
She has created multiple new resources for students, which she has shared with other faculty. Also updated outdated course material. She is responsive to student comments - making changes when necessary. Very enthusiastic about what she teaches.
Committed teacher. She works hard to be the best teacher she can be with a very heavy teaching workload. She gets excellent student evaluations.
Absolutely excellent instructor. Students really enjoy her teaching style. Colleagues really appreciate her insights and energy, along with leading-edge technical skills...
Brilliant course development. Great use of technology. Excellent contact and rapport with students. Course design is very student / user friendly. Course is well designed for those with hearing or sight limitations and is presented in clear, step-by-step format that allows a novice to follow and utilize. Wide variety of learning styles addressed. Instructor grades student work the same day or after, proivdes specific and concrete feedback with encouragement and specific areas of needed improvement. To say that the instructor uses Blackboard and its technologies proficiently is the understatement of the year! Far exceeds (college) requirements.
I found your lesson to be well-planned and delivered. Also, it is clear that you have established a relationship with your students built on trust and engagement - that is incredibly positive.
Cheryl is an excellent teacher. She knows the material very well and has established a professional relationship with the students. It is obvious that her students respect her and her abilities; yet, feel comfortable approaching Cheryl with questions.
I am proud and privileged to work alongside her with our students, and I hope she continues to educate both students and faculty at GRCC for a very long time!
The standout practice for this course is the ability for students with disabilities to feel welcome and capable in a course such as Photoshop is tremendous. Nicely done inclusion techniques!!! Also, ease of navigation through the course and the objectives. Well done simple and clean layout. Another standout practice is the ability of the student to continue learning from and interacting with the instructor at many times well beyond the face-to-face classroom sessions.
This truly is an exemplary course. Though I know little of Photoshop, I do know enough of Bb to see that all relevant Bb features are used to great effect in the course. I feel I might just as well go back to paper student submissions, dial-up Internet, and a corded phone, given how outclassed my Bb courses are by Professor Kautz' course!
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Winter 2013 - Grand Rapids Community College
Blackboard course reviews for the CO152 Photoshop FACE-TO-FACE course:
"Simple use of color for enhancement and I enjoyed viewing your course, its layouts and enhancements made for student support. I thank you and I am sure that your students do as well!!!"
"Your class is very aesthetically pleasing! The colors catch the eye and the simple design prevents students from feeling overwhelmed."
"You definitely make great use of technology! I think incorporating mobile communications in your course (and at your institution) is brilliant! It is meeting students where they are and where they want to be!"
"You do a great job communicating with your students and responding to their needs and requests. You are very inventive in meeting your students where they want to be and your response time is excellent! This is an area where you excel!"
"It is great that your students have all their help and support materials in one area. Another of your strengths is in accommodations for students with disabilities. You're included different headings, screen-readable tables, high contrast colors, and documents in various formats - all to ensure readability by students!"
"The standout practices include (1) Accessibility Accommodations: It is evident that you put a significant amount of time ensuring that all students had access to your course and course materials. Your course is screen reader friendly, offers materials in various formats to ensure students can access them once downloaded, and provides high-contrasting colors to make for easier reading. (2) Instructor Availability and Communication: You offer your students myriad ways to reach you - Bb IM, Virtual Office Discussions, Google Hangouts, email...! You make it simple for students to find you, in many cases, you offer a reply almost instantly! (3) Technology Use: Being that this course is teaching students to use a software program, it makes sense that you use a variety of technology tools in your course. This definitely works to keep your students engaged and interested in the subject and strives them to improve their skills in multiple online or computer-based programs."
Winter 2013 - Muskegon Community College
Blackboard course reviews for the BUS180C Word Processing HYBRID course:
"The stand-out practices of this course include accessibility accommodations for students. She seemed to be in-tune with how students consumed their information. Also, the inclusion of technology was top-notch. Organization was also one of the top areas. The course was designed very well and allowed for students to have needed information in a variety of ways."
"Learner support was by far the most effective, and impressive, portion of the course. It is evident that the instructor took great care to be accommodating to students on a variety of ways -- specifically with the JAWS reading software adaptation for visually impaired students. One perfect example is she used formatting of the headings within specific documents and assignments so these students wouldn't have to listen to the entire thing to get their information. I would say this is a model of accommodation for students. Very well done!"
"The inclusion of technology also was top-notch. The instructor had various methods of interaction with the students, and all of the technology that was introduced seemed to truly fit with the course objectives and were not just bells and whistles with no purpose."
"It is evident that the instructor for this course was meticulous in both the creation of the course, as well as in learning the variety of ways that their respective student's learned. One of the major points of exemplary status came in the instructor's ability to take material and have it readily available in a variety of formats, which may be different for the various learning styles. Excellent work!"
"I think this course is what an exemplary course would be. I would imagine it is very difficult for a course to hit exemplary in ALL areas, primarily because of content of different courses, but this course was among the best. The instructor did an excellent job of incorporating interaction between students and with the instructor, and was very conscious of the learning needs of her students."
"The instructor is to be commended on having multiple outlets for the students to reach her --IM, Google+, QR codes, texts, etc."
"The instructor did an excellent job of providing rubrics so the students would understand what was required and what could be done to improve their work."
Winter 2012 - Grand Rapids Community College
Blackboard course reviews for the CO 252 Advanced Photoshop ONLINE course:
"Good use of videos for demonstrations. The 'Learn More' area was a nice addition for those students that want to go beyond the assignments. Great introduction in Week One and audio welcome announcement!"
"The course stand-out practices include a variety of student support available and listed in multiple locations, clear expectations for the course and students, and ease of navigation and consistency of the course site."
"Course design was clean---it was clear and logical---easy to follow. The tools used would facilitate the learning experience. I observed a variety of teaching methodologies within the class."
"CO 252 Advanced Photoshop is an exceptional course The level of student interaction is high."
"An excellent course. Enjoyed reviewing the course! Thank you for sharing!"
"The design of this course meets the criteria for an Exemplary rating. Course goal and objective are easy to locate and found in multiple places. They are measurable and for students easy to understand terms. Content is in manageable segments and navigation is straightforward and easy to follow. The Course Plan is great. The addition of previous student work was a real plus! Blackboard technology was used well in the course design, especially for student support."
"Nice use of assignments peer review (with rubrics)! Assignments are explained well to the students with visuals, printouts, resources, and going beyond ideas. Blackboard course tools are well used in the course, including Collaborate for virtual office hours, IM, and notification alerts to mobile devices."
"There are a number of ways to receive feedback built into the course site..."
"There are excellent examples of learner support, starting with the multiple ways that the student can contact the instructor..."
Fall 2012 - Muskegon Community College
Faculty observation evaluation from Professor Denise Passage, Muskegon Community College:
"Cheryl put a lot of work into this class, creating a hybrid course (Microsoft Word). The hybrid course is very easy to follow. Cheryl went above the hybrid course requirements, making the course very helpful to the students. The students appeared to be very comfortable using Blackboard during Cheryl's demonstration during class. Cheryl does an excellent job of using various techniques to assist students with different learning styles. She also repeats the material in different ways to reinforce learning. The students were engaged in learning."