Department of Religion
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708-0964

Course Evaluations
Religion 20.01, Spring 2000
Religion of the Pharaohs
Instructor:  Caroline T. Schroeder

Enrollment:  14 first-year and sophomore students
Number of evaluations:  13

5=excellent / 4=good / 3=adequate / 2=fair / 1=poor

Average  # of 5's  4's  3's  2's 1's 
3.81 0 10 3* 0 0 *1 3.5

Select Comments:
"I thought that overall, the class was really good.  The information was very interesting & it kept me wanting to read more.  I feel that I have learned a lot about Ancient Egyptian Religion & society.  I did feel however that there was a lot of reading.  This is my lowest level course and it was the class that had the most reading from class to class." (rated course 4)
"The subject material was extremely interesting.I think at times we moved too fast with too much material, but that's understandable because there's so much history.  I enjoyed the integration of film, internet, literature & both modern and ancient perspectives.  Sometimes it was hard to do all the work for this class & do work for other classes." (rated course 4)
"I thought this course was great, really interesting.  The only thing was that it was too topical, not very in-depth.  I learned a lot about using sources in papers.  And I do feel like I learned a great deal about ancient Egypt." (rated course 4)
"I learned a fair amount about evaluation of historical texts, but I expected someone a bit more knowledgeable in the field, such as a professor, to teach the class -- someone with a little more experience." (rated course 4)
"Lots of interesting material -- wide variety of topics but perhaps too much info.  My exposure in this class will help me appreciate Egyptian culture (i.e. art, architecture, museums) -- I'd love to go to Egypt even more now." (rated course 3.5)
"I thought it should have been more of a survey -- we tried to go too in depth, and now I don't remember anything.  Spread too thin.  I also would like more of a lecture format, at least for part of the class -- if you have several hundred years to read about, it helps if the teacher sums up the main points and can add some fun facts." (rated course 3)


Average  # of 5's  4's  3's  2's 1's 
3.69 3

Select Comments:
"Very well organized, accessible -- email & phone & very enthusiastic -- really got into the material & made an effort to research questions she didn't know off the top of her head & got back to us.  Encouraged us to think deeply about the texts & art." (rated instructor 5)
"Carrie knows a lot about Egypt.  I just wished she shared more of her knowledge with us.  I know this was a seminar involving a lot of discussion, but I wished she imparted more of what she knew on us.  I wish more multimedia was used." (rated instructor 3)
"Carrie does not have the greatest knowledge base on the subject, but she does try very hard.  She is enthusiastic about the material and finds every source imaginable.  Often she assigned volumes of work which were impossible to complete.  The amount of reading required was extreme, and often times , I did not feel that the readings were overly important; I often was confused as to what exactly she wanted to know." (rated instructor 3)

Intellectual Stimulation

Average  # of 5's  4's  3's  2's 1's 
3.92 2
3 0 0

Select Comments:
"You had to think to survive & do well!!!" (rated intellectual stimulation 5)
"The course required a lot of thinking based on the readings.  We had to evaluate the texts and discuss them. It took a lot of time to understand how to approach the papers." (rated intellectual stimulation 4)
"Forced us to think critically and analytically about primary and secondary sources and relationship between them, to come to our own conclusions." (rated intellectual stimulation 4)
"Too much.  I wasn't really interested in some of the stuff we covered -- more religion stuff instead of cultural anthropology.  More art too." (rated intellectual stimulation 3)
"Tons of reading & writing.  Papers & discussions most stimulating." (rated intellectual stimulation 3)

Demand Level
5=very high / 4=high / 3=moderate / 2=low / 1=very low;  *6 is above the official scale

Average  # of 6*'s  5's  4's  3's 2's  1's
3.81 3 8
2 0 0 0

(no numeric ratings; select comments)
"Films -- great, very appropriate.  Readings -- such volume, a bit excessive.  Projects -- presentations are helpful & good for class skills."
"Lichtheim [source book] -- hard to understand at first but eventually valuable.  David & Grimal [textbooks] were boring but valuable.  E-reserves were most interesting & books on art projects not that valuable for people not presenting.  Films were cool but their relation to the rest of the class could be a class in itself."
"Too many literary texts that weren't explained too well.  Films were great, but should be during class time if we can ever hope to do any part of the reading.  Reading should be downscaled only to what's important.  Projects were fun."
"Readings were extremely demanding and oftentimes rather dry, but overall they were valuable."
"The films we watched backed up the work we were doing in class.  The texts of course were relevant. There were a lot of books thought!  I enjoyed the museum websites.  Very interesting!"

Evaluation Methods
(no numeric ratings; select comments)
"Papers:  I really learned how to utilize texts in my papers.  She grades HARD on papers.  She made us discuss reading, so we had to read.  But I question all of the readings' educational value."
"Papers forced us to synthesize information & use it intelligently to prove an original thesis.  They were many and difficult.  Presentations were graded too harshly."
"Good grading system.  Help was available if needed."
"Grading was harsh, but numbers were higher than would be expected from the comments on papers."
"Papers I guess were required for evaluation.  I do not feel as though the papers supplemented my understanding of the material.  She also 'docked' people for showing up late to class, which is absurd."

Classroom Dynamics
(no numeric ratings; select comments)
"We were forced to participate, as she called on us every day.  Discussions were not always interesting.  I would've participated more if I had time to do the reading."
"She was stimulating."
"Good student participation."
"Discussion felt forced and evaluated.  People were not happy.  Discussion was interrogation style.  I felt like my grade was constantly on the line."
"Discussions went well.  They were very interesting and everyone (almost) participated actively.  If the readings were less, then class would have gone well."

What Adjective Best Describes This Course?
Note:  some students used more than one word to describe the course.
demanding (2)
disappointing (3)
excessive (2)
hard (2)
harder than expected
overly ambitious
tough (2)

For more information or verification, please contact Sandra E. Woods in the Department of Religion, Duke University, 919-660-3510.