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Content: Evaluations - College of New Jersey

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Introduction to International Relations was a class taught by me nearly every semester at the College of New Jersey from 2010 - 2012. I started as an Adjunct Instructor teaching this class in Spring 2010 before serving as Visiting Assistant Professor for two years. In a way, the Spring 2010 class served as a way for the department to evaluate my teaching skills, as well as allowing the students to get to know me; many of whom registered for multiple courses I taught in the following two years.

Unlike Rutgers, this class was much smaller, numbering no more than 30 students. This gave me the opportunity to intersperse my lectures with class discussion, field questions from students, and occasionally depart from formal lecturing to more informal conversations about various topics. While the lesson plans were largely the same, it was good to note the difference in teaching to a smaller audience where students were more compelled to participate. An online component was still featured for students too shy to speak in class to participate, but it saw far less activity than at Rutgers. For a class initially designed for an auditorium, I really enjoyed the smaller classroom setting which allowed me to tailor my lectures around student interest and receptivity. In particular, the Fall 2011 semester was one of the best IR classes I had, where many of the students enrolled either in my EU or Junior Tutorial class the following Spring.

Statistics of Students Feedback

No Question Term Evaluation Mean
DisagreeNeutralAgreeØ
1 2 3 4 5
Instructor Questions

1 The instructor encouraged and motivated me to do my best in this course 2012 Spr 0 0 1 4 23 0 4.79
2011 Fall 0 0 0 4 25 0 4.86
2011 Spr 0 0 2 8 16 0 4.54
2010 Spr 0 0 0 6 21 0 4.77
2 The instructor's teaching style contributed to learning material covered in this course 2012 Spr 0 0 0 3 25 0 4.89
2011 Fall 0 0 1 1 27 0 4.90
2011 Spr 0 0 1 6 19 0 4.69
2010 Spr 0 0 0 0 27 0 5.00
3 The instructor clearly explained the goals and requirements of this course 2012 Spr 0 0 0 3 25 0 4.89
2011 Fall 0 0 0 4 25 0 4.86
2011 Spr 0 0 0 6 20 0 4.77
2010 Spr 0 0 0 6 21 0 4.77
4 The instructor presented background for concepts or skills developed in class 2012 Spr 0 0 0 2 26 0 4.93
2011 Fall 0 0 1 5 23 0 4.76
2011 Spr 0 0 0 7 19 0 4.73
2010 Spr 0 0 0 5 22 0 4.81
5 Where relevant, the instructor presented contrasting points of view on topics 2012 Spr 0 0 0 2 26 0 4.93
2011 Fall 0 0 0 4 25 0 4.86
2011 Spr 0 1 0 6 18 0 4.64
2010 Spr 0 0 0 3 24 0 4.88
6 The instructor provided valuable feedback on assignments 2012 Spr 0 0 1 5 22 0 4.75
2011 Fall 0 0 0 10 19 0 4.66
2011 Spr 0 0 2 12 9 3 4.30
2010 Spr 0 0 1 9 17 0 4.59
7 In instructor returned assignments in a timely manner 2012 Spr 0 0 0 4 23 1 4.85
2011 Fall 0 0 0 5 24 0 4.86
2011 Spr 0 0 1 8 14 2 4.57
2010 Spr 0 0 0 7 20 0 4.74
8 The instructor was accessible to students outside of class 2012 Spr 0 0 0 3 25 0 4.89
2011 Fall 0 0 0 4 25 0 4.86
2011 Spr 0 0 2 8 14 2 4.50
2010 Spr 1 0 3 6 15 2 4.36
9 The instructor promoted an atmosphere that was conducive to students sharing ideas and knowledge 2012 Spr 0 0 1 1 26 0 4.89
2011 Fall 0 0 0 3 26 0 4.90
2011 Spr 0 0 1 7 17 0 4.64
2010 Spr 0 0 0 3 24 0 4.88
10 The instructor used student questions and comments to help students understand course material 2012 Spr 0 0 0 3 25 0 4.89
2011 Fall 0 0 0 3 26 0 4.90
2011 Spr 0 0 0 10 16 0 4.62
2010 Spr 0 0 0 3 24 0 4.88
11 The instructor was well organized and prepared for class 2012 Spr 0 0 0 3 25 0 4.89
2011 Fall 0 0 0 3 26 0 4.90
2011 Spr 0 0 0 5 21 0 4.81
2010 Spr 0 0 0 4 23 0 4.85
12 The instructor communicated enthusiasm for the subject matter 2012 Spr 0 0 0 1 27 0 4.96
2011 Fall 0 0 0 1 28 0 4.97
2011 Spr 0 0 0 3 23 0 4.88
2010 Spr 0 0 0 0 27 0 5.00
13 The instructor was respectful of differing viewpoints expressed by students 2012 Spr 0 0 1 2 25 0 4.86
2011 Fall 0 0 0 3 26 0 4.90
2011 Spr 0 0 1 6 19 0 4.69
2010 Spr 0 0 0 4 23 0 4.85
14 The instructor was responsive to student needs and concerns 2012 Spr 0 0 0 5 23 0 4.82
2011 Fall 0 0 1 3 25 0 4.83
2011 Spr 0 0 2 6 18 0 4.62
2010 Spr 0 0 1 8 18 0 4.63
15 The instructor treated students with respect 2012 Spr 0 0 0 4 24 0 4.86
2011 Fall 0 0 0 3 26 0 4.90
2011 Spr 0 0 1 7 18 0 4.65
2010 Spr 0 0 0 4 23 0 4.85
16 The instructor challenged me to think 2012 Spr 0 0 0 3 25 0 4.89
2011 Fall 0 0 0 3 26 0 4.90
2011 Spr 0 0 0 8 18 0 4.69
2010 Spr 0 0 0 3 24 0 4.88
Instructor Questions Mean 2012 Spr 4.87
2011 Fall 4.86
2011 Spr 4.65
2010 Spr 4.80
Course Questions
17 The course materials were well prepared and carefully explained 2012 Spr 0 0 0 4 24 0 4.86
2011 Fall 0 0 0 5 24 0 4.83
2011 Spr 0 0 0 6 20 0 4.77
2010 Spr 0 0 0 4 23 0 4.85
18 Assignments added to my understanding of the course 2012 Spr 0 0 0 4 24 0 4.86
2011 Fall 0 0 0 7 22 0 4.76
2011 Spr 0 0 0 9 17 0 4.65
2010 Spr 0 0 2 8 17 0 4.55
19 Where relevant,collaborative work with classmates added to my understanding of the course 2012 Spr 0 0 2 2 18 5 4.73
2011 Fall 0 0 2 8 11 0 4.43
2011 Spr 0 0 0 7 7 12 4.50
2010 Spr 0 0 0 2 14 11 4.87
20 Required readings were valuable and enriched my learning experience 2012 Spr 0 0 0 4 24 0 4.86
2011 Fall 0 0 0 4 25 0 4.86
2011 Spr 0 0 2 7 16 0 4.56
2010 Spr 0 1 1 7 18 0 4.55
21 The examinations or written work in the course reflected the content and emphasis of the course 2012 Spr 0 0 0 3 25 0 4.89
2011 Fall 0 0 0 2 27 0 4.93
2011 Spr 0 0 1 3 21 1 4.80
2010 Spr 0 0 0 4 23 0 4.85
22 Methods utilized for evaluating student work were fair and appropriate 2012 Spr 0 0 1 3 24 0 4.82
2011 Fall 0 0 0 2 27 0 4.93
2011 Spr 0 0 0 5 19 1 4.79
2010 Spr 0 0 0 4 23 0 4.85
23 I acquired valuable skills and knowledge in the course 2012 Spr 0 0 0 5 23 0 4.82
2011 Fall 0 0 0 4 25 0 4.86
2011 Spr 0 0 0 9 17 0 4.65
2010 Spr 0 0 1 3 23 0 4.81
24 I found the course intellectually challenging 2012 Spr 0 1 0 5 22 0 4.71
2011 Fall 0 0 0 4 25 0 4.86
2011 Spr 0 0 0 4 22 0 4.85
2010 Spr 0 0 0 6 21 0 4.77
25 I  increased my ability to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view 2012 Spr 0 0 0 3 25 0 4.89
2011 Fall 0 0 0 1 27 0 4.96
2011 Spr 0 0 0 6 19 0 4.76
2010 Spr 0 0 0 6 21 0 4.77
Course Questions Mean 2012 Spr 4.83
2011 Fall 4.84
2011 Spr 4.71
2010 Spr 4.76

Selected Comments from Students

Please indicate aspects of the instructor's teaching or of the course that have been most valuable to you

Spring 2012

"Dr. Rossi was able to provide background and great insight into everything he taught and the enthusiasm he displayed for the subject he taught was apparent and provided for an engaging learning environment, conducive to sharing ideas and making the most of the course."

"Dr. Rossi was the most amazing professor I had at TCNJ ... He represents what a TCNJ professor should be. He gives a lot of work but it [is] all graded fairly and [he] makes you able to learn and comprehend all the material. I was never once bored in class. His enthusiasm for the course was neverending. I am very sad to see him go as no one can replace someone as great as Dr. Rossi."

"Fantastic lecturer, enthusiastic about course material, highly knowledgeable."
"Dr. Rossi's ability to teach this class and explain everything is unmatchable. He is entertaining yet informative."
Fall 2011

"Dr. Rossi showed great passion for the subject matter. He was very enthusiastic and encouraged student participation. He made class entertaining and I always looked forward to his class. His teaching style made made class very enjoyable and I learned a lot. I loved his class and would take his classes in the future anytime."

"I was considering switching out of the Political Science Department until I had Rossi. He was honestly the best professor I've ever had ... His class was so interesting and I've learned more from him in one semester than I have from any other professor I've ever had at TCNJ."

"Professor Rossi is by far the most competent, fair, and knowledgeable professor I've had so far at the College. He challenges us to think while meeting us halfway and has been a pleasure."
"Far and away the most interesting, entertaining class I've taken thus far. Professor Rossi is engaging and informative and made me actually want to learn the material."
"Dr. Rossi is THE BEST professor at TCNJ. He is the most knowledgeable about the subject matter and has an interest in the material that makes his classes the most interesting and most intellectually challenging courses at TCNJ."
"Dr. Rossi not only has been a wonderful instructor, but he has been one of the most brilliant and talented instructors I've ever had. He is captivating, intelligent, and has the gift to convey his knowledge to his students in a way that is nothing short of amazing. He is and has been a true asset to the Political Science department and gives his students the strong desire to learn. I will take what I learned in his classes the past year and apply it as best as possible to my future endeavors.:
Spring 2011

"Dr. Rossi is the ideal professor. His class is my no means easy; in fact it is probably my hardest class. He really knows the material, he is very organized, he very enthusiastic.."

"Very clear and understandable notes and lectures. I also liked how accessible the professor was outside of class."

"Enthusiasm and background knowledge really shown through. Really respectable man whom I'm excited to take next year."

Spring 2010

"Professor Rossi's teaching style was a great way to make International Relations understandable. Before taking this class I was dreading the subject matter because I really had no exposure to any political science . Professor Rossi helped me understand IR in a way I never thought I could."
"Rossi has something that other teachers at TCNJ lack: enthusiasm. He cares about his students like no other teacher I've had before does. I loved his lectures and he encouraged discussion - something lots of teachers don't bother with. He doesn't let his ego get in the way of the subject. Thanks for a great semester."
"Rossi's teaching style is extremely effective. He creates hilarious analogies to various theories, which kept the students engaged all while staying completely on topic. He is one of the very few teachers who can hold my attention the entire class period. Because of this, I have learned more in this class than any other so far."

"The instructor created an atmosphere where students could make many inquiries and he answered them to the best of his knowledge. He gave students the opportunity to speak and provide differing views and did not brush any questions aside. Also, the way he presented information and then elaborated was very conducive for my learning."

"His lectures are wonderful. I actually got more out of the lectures themselves than the accompanying PowerPoints, which for me is rare for a Political Science class. He relates to us as students. He draws comparisons to pop culture and current events (and these enhance at least my understanding of the subject matter exponentially), and he provides an intellectually stimulating atmosphere."

"Rossi knows his subject inside and out. Respectful and extremely entertaining. His PowerPoints were clear hand helped me learn a lot more than I would from just reading the required text."

Please indicate aspects of the instructor's teaching or of the course that you feel most need improvement

Spring 2012

"Nothing."

"N/A"
"None. One of the best professors at TCNJ"
Fall 2011

"Eliminate online discussion in place of class. Though class is large [it can be] still doable. More case studies."

"None. Prof. Rossi challenged our thinking yet kept the class positive and interesting."
"Nothing. Awesome teacher."
"Sometimes assumed that we had prior knowledge to historical figures and events when I did not."
Spring 2011 "Textbook was a little too in-depth"
"None!"
"Class was a little too informal sometimes. I like being able to relate to the material, but I feel like I could have handled more academic discussions.
"Nothing in particular. This class was run very well."
Spring 2010 "Nothing and please don't think I'm just saying this to quickly finish the evaluation form. Rossi was my favorite political science professor; he somehow manages to consistently make a dry subject engaging, interesting, and even fascinating."
"Maybe more primary readings and more opportunities to discuss/debate issues."
"None"

Please use additional space to clarify any of your responses from the other side of this form or comment on your overall impression of the course

Spring 2012 "Wish he had tenure. TCNJ lost an important asset this year"
"Best professor I've had so far."
"One of the best professors at TCNJ!"
"Without a doubt, the most enjoyable course I have taken this semester"
"It's a shame that he's leaving."
Fall 2011

"I walk away with more than just a grade. Unlike many other classes, I feel like I actually obtained knowledgeable information."

"This was the best and most interesting course that I have taken at the college, and Professor Rossi had a lot to do with it."

"Dr. Rossi is probably my favorite professor that I've had at TCNJ!"

"Dr. Rossi is the department's greatest instructor ... who has always put the interests of his students first. That is the defining factor of a truly wonderful instructor."

"Favorite class/professor I've taken thus far."

Spring 2011 "Very well prepared course. Professor was very organized and enthusiastic."
"Good work!"
"Great class/professor!"

Spring 2010 "Teaching style helped me to learn. He always keeps this class interested and fosters discussion around the topics presented in the course."
"Very happy with the course. One of the best instructors I've had."
"I can't wait to have him for [European Politics] and possibly other classes. Hire this man!"
"Dr. Rossi kept the course fairly light despite occasional dense material. He did a great job of teaching us the materials."
"I will 100% take this professor again if at all possible. I'd love it if he offered more classes here!"

 


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