ENGL527: Visual Rhetoric
Winter 2013 | Section 000 (22955) | M 6:30-9:10 | Course Materials | Eastern Michigan University

Enrollment: 13
Forms Completed: 13 (100%)

Core Items (A: Much Above Average, B: Above Average, C: Average, D: Below Average, E: Much Below Average)

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Overall Rating of the Teaching Effectiveness of this Instructor 9/82 1/9 1/9 0/0 0/0 11
Overall Rating of this Course 9/82 1/9 1/9 0/0 0/0 11

Additional Items (SA: Strongly Agree, A: Agree, U: Undecided, D: Disagree, SD: Strongly Disagree)

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My instructor seems well-prepared for class 10/77 3/23 0/0 0/0 0/0 13
My instructor makes good use of examples and illustrations 7/54 6/46 0/0 0/0 0/0 13
The instructor is reasonably accessible outside the classroom 10/77 2/15 0/0 1/8 0/0 13
The instructor has stimulated my thinking 11/85 2/15 0/0 0/0 0/0 13
The goals of the course are clearly stated and consistently pursued 9/69 4/31 0/0 0/0 0/0 13
My instructor respects students regardless of sex, age or race 12/92 1/8 0/0 0/0 0/0 13


What did you like most about this instructor and course?

  1. Derek consistently creates interesting and dynamic projects that stimulate thinking across and beyond course concepts.
  2. His down-to-earth, kind and humble demeanor; his non-judgmental responses to questions of all kinds; and his accessibility outside the classroom.
  3. The flexibility in which we got to turn in assignments - it really helped me to not feel pressured to do something without really thinking about it.
  4. I enjoyed the real-life applicability of the concepts. The fovea, in particular.

    Comment (August 2013)

    As a series of weekly assignments, which offered a high degree of selection and flexibility, the fovea were designed to give students choice over the tasks they pursued. Some found this appealing, though it demanded a measured, evenly distributed approach to the coursework throughout the semester. -DM

  5. The "choose your own adventure" type of assignment selection.
  6. I really liked the flexibility of the portfolio, and found Dr. Mueller to be very much in his element this semester.
  7. The ability to apply what we are learning to assignments, ie the portfolio pieces; Derek is very engaging and good at explaning difficult concepts.
  8. Flexibility with coosing assignments; offering variety.
  9. Dr. Mueller is extremely respectful to all of his students and always encouraging and supportive. One of the best professors I've had in 5 years at EMU.
  10. The course was an interesting and useful combination of theory, background study and applied exercises. I was able to translate what we were doing into my workplace.
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  12. The instructor was always prepared and moderated discussions well. The course brought a new understanding of rhetoric through visual images.
  13. The wide range of subject matter explored, as well as the range of examples presented.

What did you dislike most about this instructor and course?

  1. Derek worked to remedy this once it was brought to his attention mid-semester, but share work with peers in class more.
  2. Believe there were 1-too many large assignments at the end of the term - have felt overwhelmed by this course, in particular.

    Comment (August 2013)

    A similar concern was shared by a few students in the class. I presented students with full access to all assignments at the beginning of the semester. Some took a more stready approach; some found it difficult to chip away throughout the term (as was the plan) and at the end of the semester felt the workload had compounded. -DM

  3. The book seemed to come pretty late. I think the missing chapter is a great assignment that I just quite don't have time for.
  4. Some of the assignments weren't spelled out quite as well as I would've liked.
  5. Major projects are backloaded at the end of the semester.
  6. I would have liked les focus on student questions. Often we'd not have time to discuss an entire reading, even though it felt rushed. And some of the questions were "bad."
  7. Discussion questions-->sometimes they seemed off topic or not at the heart of the reading; often it felt like they never went anywhere significant.
  8. Didin't dislike anything! Prof Mueller has a relaxed disposition that promotes open discussoin of ideas/opinions.
  9. The only think I didn't like about the course was that I didn't always feel like we spent enough time discussing all the readings. Sometimes DQs would be heavily focused on one reading to the point of overkill, and it would have been nice to spend time on others.
  10. I wish I had a higher skill level in some of the software like Publisher and Photoshop--I think I would have done better work. But that's me--not the instructor or course.
  11. Upon registering, I was told that I didn't need background in the topic. This class was taught like I knew what rhetoric was. Explanations of some assignments were vague whicl led to misunderstandings on how to complete them. It was even stated at times that you knew you weren't explaining them. If you want them done a certain way then say it. I'm not a mind reader.

    Comment (August 2013)

    The first week's readings provided a reasonable background on visual rhetoric and remained accessible for doubling back or following up all semester. As for explanations of assignments, my preference for some of the fovea was to leave room for students to make decisions about what they would do (rather than providing excessive framing or examples that would normalize the results). -DM

  12. There was not much I did not like during this course. The portfolio was interesting, but was easy to forget about.
  13. Some of the assignments and their grading process were a little abstract or vague. Also I feel that weighting the Missing Chapter so heavily was too strong of a contrast from other assignments.

What constructive suggestions do you have for this instructor or course?

  1. Perhaps more connections across/between concepts over time.
  2. Bring in the history of the field of rhetoric a bit more; however, no real complaints!
  3. I'd like to see the chapter assignment earlier and maybe either shorten the random/odd readings or intertwine them better. For instance, the first week's readings were interesting but I don't think we ever talked about them again. I'd also not read all of Camera Lucida.
  4. Provide detailed instructions for each assignment.
  5. I would have liked to seen one of the projects (probably the presentation) in the middle of the semester, around midterms. If possible, adding descriptions of all the fovea assignments at the start of the class would have been helpful choosing which to complete.
  6. Extend the portfolio concept to include all class assignments.
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  8. Trying to spread project heavy assignments throughout the term and not all at the end. Although, understanding with some of assignments to be completed at the end of the course as we go through content and material. I think a more evenly distributed workload is possible.
  9. Spend more time on readings/make sure they all get discussed.
  10. Maybe do some basic exercises to create familiarity with Publisher and Photoshop?
  11. Talk about rhetoric, it's a class about rhetoric so explain it. Spend more than 5 min on it.
  12. Provide more examples of the fovea assignments.
  13. I would like to see some involvement of film, or, more ideally, video game content included.

Additional Comments

  1. Derek has created a course with clear goals that somehow are responsive to the manner in which students connect/shape/design their understanding. This course is a dynamic learning experience that provokes thought, creativity, and application (theory as method).
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  13. I would also have liked to have seen/read more traditionally academic readings. Although the present selection was very informative, a little more grounding w/in the discipline of rhetoric would have been nice.