« A Little Levity, and A Wish for the 1Ls | Main | Introspective Wonderland and the Ideologically Balanced Academic World »


How do you know it's winter at Columbia? Your inbox floods with messages reminding you to evaluate courses.

This year, they've started a competitive contest between the three classes to see who fills out the most course evaluations. They've revised the website we use to leave comments. And they've set up an automated spambot to send me endless reminder emails. The frequency of these emails currently surpasses even that of offers to enlarge my manhood, sell me a fake Rolex, or provide me with investment opportunities in the funds of African dictators.

Look, I used to do consulting work. You don't have to sell me on the idea of evaluations: 360 degree evaluations, bottom-up evaluations, project autopsies, I'm all for them. But one key thing about these evaluations? Unless they're going to be followed-up later, they should happen when the project is over.

My classes are not finished. In what kind of rational universe should I be evaluating them yet? And my last property class ends just five hours before the course evaluation deadline, which means if I really want to be serious about this, I have a very narrow window. In reality, we should evaluate courses after the exams, so that we can give future students answers to their most important question: how well does what you learn match up with what you're tested on. But for that we rely on word of mouth, not course evaluations.

In the meantime, I wonder if I can set up an autoreply to spam the course evaluation spammer?


TrackBack URL for this entry:


Tony, I set microsoft outlook to automatically delete emails from "courseevaluations." It works marvelously. :)
I didn't bother. They've shown up so often that SpamBayes now considers them spam. Still annoying.
Tony ok, i signed up for a site meter but I have no freaking clue on how to add it to my blog site .. a litle help or advice would be appreciated.
Erm... you're on Blogspot, so I don't know directly, but ask next time you run into me.
I'm boycotting just on general principle. I refused to be swayed by the possibility of a pizza party. There's free pizza almost every day as it is. I hate pizza by now. And I have to wonder if filling out course evaluations that no one [with any authority to make changes] even reads is really the most important thing I can possibly do as a law student at Columbia. Somehow I feel like there are other reminders that would be way, way more useful...
Sitemeter gave instructions when you signed up, else I never would have managed it. Check the email account that you gave them for your password and HTML. Add the HTML into your template code. Alternatively, you could go the invasive route and have them do it automatically. I have to admit, the emails were effective in getting me to do the evaluations, though because I was in a hurry, they ended up being rather cursory (though still accurate). Torts was summed up as "VINCENT BLASI IS A ROCKSTAR." True, but perhaps not as useful to future students as a more detailed response.
I remember a system at business school where during the last session of a course evaluation forms would be handed to participants. Some lecturers then refused to dismiss the class till the things had been filled in. Problem solved.
At the University of Arizona it works like this: sometime near the end of a term/module of a class, the prof and any TA's leave the room after anonymous evaluation forms are passed out, and a random volunteer turns them all in at a drop off box. You can leave early, as soon as your eval form is done.

Post a comment

NOTICE TO SPAMMERS, COMMENT ROBOTS, TRACKBACK SPAMMERS AND OTHER NON-HUMAN VISITORS: No comment or trackback left via a robot is ever welcome at Three Years of Hell. Your interference imposes significant costs upon me and my legitimate users. The owner, user or affiliate who advertises using non-human visitors and leaves a comment or trackback on this site therefore agrees to the following: (a) they will pay fifty cents (US$0.50) to Anthony Rickey (hereinafter, the "Host") for every spam trackback or comment processed through any blogs hosted on threeyearsofhell.com, morgrave.com or housevirgo.com, irrespective of whether that comment or trackback is actually posted on the publicly-accessible site, such fees to cover Host's costs of hosting and bandwidth, time in tending to your comment or trackback and costs of enforcement; (b) if such comment or trackback is published on the publicly-accessible site, an additional fee of one dollar (US$1.00) per day per URL included in the comment or trackback for every day the comment or trackback remains publicly available, such fee to represent the value of publicity and search-engine placement advantages.

Giving The Devil His Due

Choose Stylesheet

What I'm Reading

D.C. Noir

My city. But darker.
A Clockwork Orange

About time I read this...


Projects I've Been Involved With

A Round-the-World Travel Blog: Devil May Care (A new round-the-world travel blog, co-written with my wife)
Parents for Inclusive Education (From my Clinic)

Syndicated from other sites

The Columbia Continuum
Other Blogs by CLS students

De Novo
Theory and Practice
Liberal Federalism?
Good News, No Foolin'

Nancy Pelosi covers her head and visits the head of John the Baptist.
Vlogging in from Austin.
Omikase/"American Idol"

Jeremy Blachman's Weblog: 2007
Happy Passover
Looking for Advice re: LA
Google Books

Stay of Execution
What I've Learned From This Blog, or My Yellow Underpants
The End
Mid Thirties

Legal Theory Blog
Program Announcement: Summer Programs on the Constitution at George Washington
Book Announement: Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy by Whittington
Entry Level Hiring Report

The Volokh Conspiracy
Making the Daily Show:
Civil unions pass New Hampshire House:
Profile of Yale Law Dean Harold Koh:

Crescat Sententia
Hillary II
Politics and Principal/Agents

Law Dork
Election Approaches
Following Lewis
New Jersey High Court: 'Same Rights and Benefits'

Surveying the revival
Birds of paradise

Half the Sins of Mankind
Cheney Has Spoken Religious conservatives who may ...
Does Ahmadinejad Know Christianity Better Than MSN...
Borders as Genocide In discussions of climate chan...

For lovers of garden gnomes...and any China-freaks out there
We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Does SOX explain the flight from NY?
More Litvak on SOX effect on cross-listed firms
What did the market learn from internal controls reporting?

The Yin Blog
Iowa City = Riyadh
Jeffrey Rosen's "The Supreme Court"
Geek alert -- who would win between Battlestar Galactica and the U.S.S. Enterprise?

Letters of Marque
And there we are

Signing Off

Dark Bilious Vapors
Jim (The Waco Kid): Where you headed, cowboy?
Bart: Nowhere special.
Jim: Nowhere special. I always wanted to go there.
Bart: Come on.
--"Blazing Saddles"

Technical Difficulties... please stand by....
The Onion should have gotten a patent first....

Legal Ethics Forum
Interesting new Expert DQ case
Decency, Due Care, and The Yoo-Delahunty Memorandum
Thinking About the Fired U.S. Attorneys

Ex Post
Student Symposium- Chicago!
More Hmong - Now at Law School
Good Samaritan Laws: Good For America?

Appellate Law & Practice
Those turned over documents
CA1: courts can’t help people acquitted of crimes purge the taint of acquitted conduct
CA1: restrictions on chain liquor stores in Rhode Island are STILL okay

the imbroglio
High schoolers turn in plagiarism screeners for copyright infringement
Paris to offer 20,600 bikes at 1,450 stations to rent by the end of the year

The Republic of T.
The Secret of the Snack Attack
links for 2007-04-04
Where You Link is What You Get

Distractions for stressed law students

The Other Side: Twisted AnimationsSomething Positive, a truly good webcomic

Syndicate This Site



Stop Spam Harvesters, Join Project Honey Pot