GIS 3510: Intermediate Reading and Writing

Students’ Evaluations of Two Terms

Note: The first part of this unedited file (Fall 1998) owes its existence to the efforts of David Nied, who graciously agreed to serve as the student administrator. This file is based on all written, anonymous comments forwarded to Wayne State University’s Testing and Evaluation Center at the end of the term. The second part (Fall 1999) include all the comments I received at the end of the term.  In a few months this will be supplements with all the comments included in the online teaching evaluations.


Fall 1998:

1. I felt that Moti was a very good teacher. In the beginning of the class, Moti made comments and helped me feel at ease in responding to his requests. I always felt that I could ask a question and when he responded, he did so in a gentle fashion, never berating. This made me more at ease in preparing my papers and I feel that it helps to discover my potential as a writer. I believe that the environment for learning is much better in a friendly atmosphere. As for the class content, Moti taught me that there are levels in writing and he helped me to conquer my innate leaning toward summarizing without delving into the heart of the matter. Moti worked with me to show me what he expected from me. I would welcome any class that Moti teaches. Also, I am a proponent of information technology and Internet classes are more personal and friendly. Thank you for the experience.


3. Because of the nature of this course it can only get better with time and experience.

4. Dr. Moti Nissani, (Moti) has been in every aspect a professional instructor. He has a passion for his profession which is shared with his students. If Moti taught all the required classes that I need to graduate, I'd certainly sign up for each.

5. Due to personal circumstances, I needed to take an "Incomplete" for this course when I was only about a third of the way through the class. In addition to being a personable and challenging instructor, Mr. Nissani was very helpful and very supportive. I look forward to completing the course of Mr. Nissani very soon.


6. Moti is the hardest instructor I've had so far. If I haven't learned anything at Wayne State thus far I sure have learned to use a computer. I would strongly recommend this class to anyone who is struggling in English, believe me you will learn. Thank you Moti

7. I wish Dr. Moti Nissani devises similar on-line courses not only on English but also on ecology. I’d think it a privilege to be a student in all his classes.

8. here we are at the end of yet another semester. My comments are two-fold: First a few reflections of the instructor. Dr. Nissani is totally committed to education. He may seem to be a "hard" instructor at first glance, but his relentless attention to detail and accuracy merely reflects his drive and determination to provide the highest quality education to his students. Additionally, he has, without exception, made himself available to help and guide students requiring individual attention. Further, this writer knows a little about Dr. Nissani's activities outside Wayne. He is the only instructor I know who shares -when he can - his knowledge and expertise to underprivileged people of poor countries. That is the mark of a selfless and dedicated person in my book. Wayne - and its students - are lucky to have him. Now, I'd like to say a few things about the online course experience. When I first learned that this course was offered online, I just had to enroll. The idea of an online course is both intriguing and a novelty to me. But - I thought - can high class standards be maintained via this relatively new medium? Can there be sufficient teacher-student communication? Can there be sufficient student interaction? I found the answer is yes to all. On the matter of standards, educators are understandably concerned about work produce by "ghost writers" - or more simply -plagiarism. I have two thoughts about that. First, most of my upper division classes were graded on the basis of papers written outside the classroom. By and large, instructors abide this method. Secondly, I don't believe that there are very many of us motley students who have a tour disposal - superior writers willing to spend hours at a time writing papers for us. And so I think that online dishonesty - if it exists - is no greater than in a conventional venue. On the matter of teacher-student communication, my experience was most favorable. I found that the combination of E-mail and telephone voice communication ample to serve my information needs. In fact, I see E-mail communication as superior because it provides a permanent record of what was said. I often re-read E-mail instructions and found details I previously missed. Ultimately, this communication method helped me write better papers.

9. On the matter of sufficient student interaction, my experience was also favorable. While I don't socialize much in the classroom, I found that I did a great deal more communicating with fellow students via E-mail. I was delighted to "talk" to students from other countries who were taking the class.

Then there's the matter of the class web page. An excellent idea! Dr. Nissani had the foresight to post various students' efforts on each assignment. I think all students benefited from seeing their classmates' perspectives on various assignments. This unique advantage does not exist in the conventional classroom venue.

Let's now turn our attention to the logistics of this new online experience. In addition to the many positive aspects mentioned above, online courses render physiological and ecological benefits. For example, they eliminate one or two class visits per week - saving both auto fuel and precious drive time that the student can convert directly into time spent on assignments. Over the years, I've spent far too many late night hours driving home from class on blustery winter nights. My online experience taught me that I produce better quality work in the comfort of my home, as opposed to doing something while under the pressure of being at a certain place at a certain time.

Now let's look at what an online class can do from an ecological standpoint. The average class - let's say - has 15 students. Each student drives an average 20 miles round trip, and spends one hour doing so. And let's say the average car delivers 20 miles per gallon. Atypical course is 15 sessions long. In this scenario, the students collectively spend 225 hours driving to and from class. They also collectively use about 225 gallons of fuel during the semester. Now multiply 225 gallons per class by the hundreds of classes offered each semester, and it becomes easy to see that online classes could potentially save many thousands of gallons of fuel each year. And so the physiological and ecological benefits of online classes are both immense and undeniable. I feel that Wayne's faculty and management have a duty to shed their shackles of conservatism and embrace this new technology; its time has come, and Wayne needs to remain on the cutting edge of progress. That goes for Dr. Meier too.

10. I really thought that taking this course over the internet would free up some time for myself. It did accomplish this somewhat. We worked pretty hard in this course, and I feel a lot was gained from it. I put about the same amount of time in on this course as I have for any of my 140+ credit hours I have taken through the years. The difference was that the amount of time I would normally spend driving to class, picking up dinner after work on the way, parking, walking, paying fines (occasionally), and listening to every person ask the same couple of questions about the syllabus (and a plethora of time consuming personal questions), was spent doing the assignments. In other words, my time was much better spent actually working on assignments rather than wasting time on the rigors of everyday college life. I think this is the best part of this class. We did more homework, but our time was used much more efficiently.

Fall 1999:

just wanted you to know that I think I finally learned something in a composition class. Your input
has been much appreciated. This did not seem like an impersonal on-line
class; it was more like being privately tutored. Also, thanks to you I
learned a great deal about my husbands family and about a subject that
deserves retelling.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year
Professor Nissani,
Yes, I think that the grade is very fair. I did send you my EPE essay today
by email. I have learned quite a lot for the work I did and I will continue it
practice reading and writing. Thank you, for all of your help and extreme
Hi Professor Moti,

Thank you for the compliments and encouragement towards my wanting to stick
it out in this wonderful class. I have truly enjoyed your style of teaching
and your patience and guidance.

I would like to be a die-hard if possible and complete the assignments you
say are missing. I would like to raise the grade if at all possible. Is it
possible to have until Monday so that I can get these missing items you
mentioned to you?

I certainly hope to see you again as well. Thank you for a great learning
experience. This has helped me so much. May 2000 be the best to you and
yours also. Look to hear from you. Thank you.
Dear Moti,

I enjoyed your class very much and also hope our paths will cross again. I
will continue my work towards a bachelor's degree from Wayne State, so I
think the chances are good that we may meet at some point. I will keep my
eye out for classes that you are teaching that may be of interest to me,
although I'm sure all of what you teach would be of interest to most anyone.
I thought the internet class was well structured and enjoyed the freedom it
allowed me in getting my work done. I understand that it does take
discipline and self-motivation to keep on top of things. Again, it has been
an enlightening experience and I look forward to learning more from you in
the future.
I enjoyed this class and learned much from it. Thanks for the grade and the
vote of confidence. Maybe we'll run into each other in Newfoundland. THANKS
Dear Moti,

Let me start by saying, thanks for the grade, I think it is appropriate.
Also, thanks for all the help and encouragement throughout the term. I
will take your advise and turn off the tube more often. Once again,
thanks for your help, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.
Have a safe and happy 2000.

***Hello Moti,
>I decided that the computer class is not for me. I need interaction, so I
>will take intermediate writing next quarter through the humanties course for
>art majors. Thank you for you generosity, I think you are a good teacher,
>just bad timing for me, my heart was mot in it, and I being an artist,need
>to touch paper and have verbal feedback. The best to you and have a great
>P.S. You can still e-mail me with new updates on books. I loved your
>selection they were good.

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