~ Archive for Course evaluations ~

Your Student Government At Work


A quick look at our recent accomplishments:

  • Student Government Pub Nights: very popular weekly happy hours for students, with free beer and wine (starting this year on Thursday, Oct. 1!)
  • Faculty-Student Lunch Program: every year, we arrange for students to have free lunches with distinguished HLS professors.
  • Organize and distribute Unofficial Course Evaluations each semester.
  • Solicited, collected, and presented student feedback regarding the grade change to Dean Kagan.
  • Solicited, collected, and presented student feedback regarding the switch to the Early Interview Program to Office of Career Services.
  • Formed and headed a student committee to meet with President Faust on the new dean search.
  • Changed news@law in order to allow students to plan their weeks more conveniently.
  • Convinced administration to buy toasters for the 2008-2009 free Monday morning bagel breakfasts.
  • Obtained Splenda, strawberry cream cheese, and Heinz ketchup in the Hark.
  • Worked with Restaurant Associates to respond to vegetarian students’ needs, including increased quantity of vegetarian sushi and better vegetarian labeling.
  • Increased quantity of sweat towels at the Hemenway gym.
  • Successfully advocated to see the Hark re-open from 2:30-5:00 to serve students’ needs in 2009.
  • Distributed bags filled with candy and faculty advice to the 1Ls when they received their grades.
  • Created a database of 3Ls willing to give 2Ls advice on applying to law firms.
  • Dodgeball tournament (co-sponsored with HL Central and the intramural sports).
  • Approved of many new students groups in 2008-2009.

Fall ’08 Unofficial Course Evals


As we move into another registration period, the Student Government has some good news.

As you may have noticed, the Unofficial Course Evals for Fall ‘08 are up and available.  They can be found here: https://www.law.harvard.edu/current/orgs…

You will notice that the formatting on these evals is quite a bit different.  The same information is still presented.  It may be just a little less . . . user friendly.  Please take a look at them and let us know what you think.  This format is much easier and quicker to produce, and if they are usable in this format it will enable us to get the evals to you in a much more timely manner.

A simple key to understanding the format follows.  The eval survey is reproduced below and the included COLUMN INFO refers to which column(s) in the eval you can find the answers.

As always, your feedback is appreciated.

Thanks very much,


1)  Please select the course and professor you are reviewing from the drop-down list.

Select one: COLUMN A

2)  Workload (choose one)  COLUMN B

A.         Light
B.         Reasonable
C.         Heavy but manageable
D.         Extremely time consuming

3)  Difficulty of material (choose one)  COLUMN C

A.         Easy
B.         Average
C.         More challenging than average
D.         Very difficult

4)  Primary questioning style (choose one)  COLUMN D

A.         Panel
B.         Socratic, focusing on a few students per class
C.         Socratic, calling on many students per class
D.         Volunteers only
E.         Class discussion

5)  Characteristics of instructor (check all that apply)  COLUMNS F – Z

A.         Clear about content
B.         Unclear about content
C.         Clear about expectations
D.         Unclear about expectations
E.         Organized
F.         Disorganized
G.         Practical
H.         Theoretical
I.         Engaging
J.         Boring
K.         Regurgitates the reading
L.         Adds meaningfully to/builds usefully on the reading
M.         Does not use the reading
N.         Focuses on black letter law
O.         Focuses on theory, institutional design, politics, history, economics, etc.
P.         Focuses on his/her personal views
Q.         Is open to disagreement from students
R.         Is not open to disagreement from students
S.         Is knowledgeable about the material
T.         Does not seem to know the material
U.         Is easily sidetracked by student questions/comments

6)  Class time (check all that apply)  COLUMNS AB – AE

A.         Enhanced my understanding of the material
B.         Did not enhance my understanding of the material
C.         Lecture/discussion is difficult to follow if you have not done the reading
D.         Lecture/discussion is easy to follow independent of the reading

7)  Instructor availability (check all that apply)  COLUMNS AG – AK

A.         Available right before and/or after class
B.         Available during office hours
C.         Seems enthusiastic and/or proactive about interacting with students outside of class
D.         Seems reluctant and/or too busy to interact with students outside of class
E.         No basis for judgment

8)  Exam (choose one) COLUMN AL

A.         The exam primarily reflected the material covered in the reading
B.         The exam primarily reflected the material covered in class
C.         The exam equally reflected the reading and the class discussion
D.         The exam did not fairly reflect the material covered in the course
E.         I have not yet taken the exam
F.         No exam in this class

9)  All things considered, if you had it to do over again, would you take this class? (choose one) COLUMN AM

A.         Yes
B.         No

10)  Your year/program in school (choose one)  COLUMN AN

A.         1L
B.         2L
C.         3L
D.         LLM
E.         SJD

11)  How much did you learn from this class? COLUMN AO

A.         This course gave me mastery of the law on this subject (i.e., I could write a good brief on this area right now)
B.         This course added substantially to my understanding of the law on this subject
C.         This course added marginally to my understanding of the law on this subject
D.         This course added nothing to my understanding of the law on this subject

12)  Comments (e.g., classes you would recommend taking before this course, anything you wish you had known in advance, information on papers required for course, any other miscellaneous comments)  COLUMN AP

Visiting Committee Feedback


Last week we sent out the following email seeking feedback for the Visiting Committee.  We’re still looking for more feedback.  See the email below for details.

Hello fellow students,
As you may have seen in a previous email from Catherine Claypoole, the Visiting Committee will be coming to HLS on March 5 and 6.  The Visiting Committee reports directly to the Harvard University Board of Overseers, and this yearly visit is a great way for students to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns about the state of HLS.  If you have an opinion about what the school is doing well, what more they can do, or what you would like to see changed, these are the people to share those thoughts with.
We highly encourage you to share your thoughts about the current state of HLS with the Visiting Committee.  Representative of the Student Government will, of course, be meeting with the Visiting Committee, and we want to be sure we have as much information from you – the students – as possible to bring to that meeting.
Please email us at studentgov@law.harvard.edu with any thoughts or concerns you may have.  We will be compiling the comments anonymously and presenting the compiled document to the Visiting Committee in March.
The Committee is especially interested in hearing any thoughts you have on next year’s early interview program and early fly out week, but any other comments you have would also be welcomed.  Some other possible significant areas of interest could be the new grading system, the status of the HLS faculty under the Obama administration, the curriculum in general, any opinions about Restaurant Associates, or anything else that affects your life here at HLS.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t want the Student Government to compile your comments anonymously, you are certainly still welcome to email the Committee directly at viscom@law.harvard.edu.
This is a great chance to ensure that your voice is heard.  We hope you will take maximum advantage of it.  Please try to get your feedback to us as soon as possible so that we can include as much of it as possible in a packet being sent to the Committee on 2/24.
Thank you for your time.  We look forward to hearing from you.
Your Student Government
(Comments are disabled for this post.  If you have feedback please email it to us at  studentgov at law.harvard.edu.)

Student Government Issues Mid-Year Report


Today we emailed our mid-year report to all HLS students (if you didn’t get one, let us know). The report outlines what we did this semester and what we plan to do next semester. But, ultimately, your Student Government exists to serve you. So let us know how you think we’re doing and what we could do better!


Spring Course Evaluations available!


Thinking about which electives to take this spring? Check out the unofficial course evaluations for Spring 2008 at https://www.law.harvard.edu/current/orgs/student-gov/secure/unofficial-course-evaluations.html.


P.S. If you find that a course in which you are interested has only a few responses, or that a course isn’t mentioned at all, remember that the unofficial course guide  depends on the contributions of students like you. This guide will get better and better as more people contribute at the end of each semester.

P.P.S.  Thanks to 2 and 3L Representatives Doug Tilley and Jess Nachman for their help getting these together.

Registering for Winter classes? . . .


Check out the Student Government’s unofficial course guide, posted on our website at https://www.law.harvard.edu/current/orgs/student-gov/secure/unofficial-course-evaluations.html.

If you have questions or concerns (e.g., ideas for other questions to ask), let us know at studentgov@law.harvard.edu.

Finally, be on the lookout for the Spring course guide, coming in the near future (and before you register for Spring electives).


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