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Courses » Democracy and Nation-Building in the Balkans: 1453 - Present » Evaluations

Content: Democracy and Nation-Building in the Balkans: Student Evaluations and Testimonials

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With the exception of two or three students I previously knew had interest, let alone understanding, of the Balkans, I was surprised at how interested most of the class was in the subject matter by the end of the semester. As many students noted, the Balkans is a subject that is virtually unknown and unexplored in undergraduate studies in either Political Science of History, unless the study of ethnic conflict genocide is covered. Knowing also that I was presenting uncharted material, and realizing that a large portion of class had to have a history component to it, I was equally surprised at how well the students responded to the workload, which would be much even for some graduate-level courses.

I think a large degree of student receptivity had to do with the way the material was presented in class, the small class size (about 20) fostering discussion and debate. A part of this was certainly due to some students having me prior and knowing what to expect, but I really think that the interest generated for largely obscure subject matter is reflected in how the class was structured and conducted. Credit also goes to the Department of Modern Greek Studies, which not only sponsored the creation of the class but also offered it with Political Science.

Statistics of Students Feedback

The class was jointly offered as a Political Science and Modern Greek Studies "Topics" course - meaning custom designed courses offered within a multi-sectional course code. This was the only section of the course, but it was listed with about four or five other classes, all of which functioned as "sections" within the 389 and 381 course respectively. Statistical means of Department and Level are reflective of all 300-level courses.

No QuestionTerm Evaluation Mean of Section Mean of Course Mean of Dept. Mean of Level
DisagreeNeutralAgreeØ
1 2 3 4 5

1

The instructor was prepared for class and presented the material in an organized matter

2006 F PoliSci 0 0 0 0 13 0 5.00 5.00 4.49 4.49
2006 F Greek 0 0 0 0 4 1 5.00 5.00 4.84 4.67
2 The instructor responded effectively to student comments and questions 2006 F PoliSci 0 0 0 2 11 0 4.85 4.76 4.45 4.43
2006 F Greek 0 0 0 0 5 0 5.00 5.00 4.80 4.69
3

The instructor generated interest in the course material

2006 F PoliSci 0 0 0 3 10 0 4.77 4.76 4.28 4.24
2006 F Greek 0 0 0 0 5 0 5.00 5.00 4.87 4.69
4

The instructor had a positive attitude toward assisting all students in understanding course material

2006 F PoliSci
0 0 1 0 12 0 4.85 4.85 4.49 4.42
2006 F Greek 0 0 0 0 5 0 5.00 5.00 4.89 4.77
5

The instructor assigned grades fairly

2006 F PoliSci
0 0 0 3 10 0 4.77 4.78 4.23 4.19
2006 F Greek 0 0 0 0 5 0 5.00 5.00 4.89 4.69
6

The instructional methods encouraged students learning

2006 F PoliSci
0 0 0 2 11 0 4.85 4.81 4.06 4.00
2006 F Greek 0 0 0 0 5 0 5.00 5.00 4.76 4.62
7

I learned a great deal in this course

2006 F PoliSci
0 0 0 3 10 0 4.77 4.86 4.19 4.23
2006 F Greek 0 0 0 0 5 0 5.00 5.00 4.76 4.62
8

I had a strong prior interest in the subject matter and wanted to take this course

2006 F PoliSci
0 1 6 1 5 0 3.77 4.14 3.99 4.02
2006 F Greek 0 0 1 1 2 1 4.25 4.25 4.62 4.36

POOR EXCELLENT
9

I rate the teaching effectiveness of the instructor as

2006 F PoliSci
0 0 0 2 11 0 4.85 4.81 4.27 4.27
2006 F Greek 0 0 0 0 5 0 5.00 5.00 4.79 4.62
10

I rate the overall quality of the course as

2006 F PoliSci
0 0 0 3 10 0 4.77 4.86 4.16 4.17
2006 F Greek 0 0 0 0 5 0 5.00 5.00 4.80 4.62

Selected Comments from Students

What do you like best about this course?

Fall 2006

"The professor!!! I've learned so much, I don't know how you do it. You can teach me anything!"

"The information --> Prof. Rossi really knows his stuff ... I know a lot of the modern information, but now I know the history + democratic institutions."

"I like the way Professor Rossi prepared material in a way that encouraged learning. I also really enjoyed the topic. I knew absolutely nothing about the Balkans beforehand so this was very helpful and interesting."

"Everything."

If you were teaching the course, what would you do differently?

Fall 2006

"Nothing."

"Nothing. But it was so interesting I actually retained the information so I probably could teach it (not as well as Prof. Rossi though)."

"Nothing."

"Maybe spend the first minutes of class and assign someone with a presentation on an ethnic group within the Balkans."

In what ways, if any, has this course or the instructor encouraged your intellectual growth and progress?

Fall 2006

"Professor inspired my intellectual growth through interesting lectures and responsiveness to students' questions. Not only have I learned something about the subject, I truly believe my writing has improved exponentially from taking multiple Rossi classes.

Great class, best professor in Rutgers. I might have commented on this before because Rossi's teaching has been consistently terrific."

"Refer to [the first question]. Also I'll be going to Turkey this winter and paying extra attention to Greek, Jewish, and Armenian historical sites."

"Well, it has helped me to be a more effective reader and to read intelligently.

I had Rossi for a third time and I've enjoyed his classes everytime."

"The paper and readings helped me learn about the topics ... [This was] one of the best classes I have ever taken."

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