Faculty Course Surveys

Summary results for my Faculty Course Surveys are listed below. Full FCS data is included after the summaries.


Legend: 1=Agree, 5=Disagree

Q1.   The instructor is knowledgeable about the course material.

Q2.   The course material is presented with enthusiasm.

Q3.   The instructor stimulates my interest in this subject.

Q4.   Concepts are clearly explained with appropriate use of examples.

Q5.   I get timely feedback on my assignments.

Q6.   I get constructive feedback on my assignments.

Q7.   The course handouts / postings contain all of the information I need about the organization and operation of this course.  

Q8.   The assessment methods, including tests, provide a fair evaluation of my learning.  

Q9.   Students are treated with fairness and respect.

Q10. The class meets as scheduled and on time.

Q11. The course is well organized and managed.

Q12. The instructor is available for consultation as specified on the course handouts/ postings.

Q13. This course provides a valuable learning experience.

Q14. The way this course is taught helps me to learn. 

As I reflect on my FSN 101 FCS results over the years, there are a couple things I notice. First, I am happy to observe that my results are primarily within the “under 2” range. This tells me that I am overall doing a good job at meeting my basic goals as a teacher. However, there is always room for improvement, and I strive to adjust my strategies each year to improve my skills and to keep up with various trends (i.e. a more technologically/social media immersed student culture). One area that stands to me is the responses for Question 3: The instructor stimulates my interest in this subject. This is something that I have been acutely aware of since the first time I taught the course, and continue to struggle to find ways to keep the course relevant and engaging for the students. I consider myself a positive, upbeat person, and I try to deliver my lessons with this tone. Textiles is a very content-rich course, with a lot of facts and figures to memorize. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to generate lively discussions on the topic as might be possible in other types of courses. However, I have started several active learning initiatives for this course to help enliven it and get students more invested in the material. I have developed multiple games, paired activities, and individual exercises (see Active Learning Activities on pg. 4-9) to break up the lecture-style delivery of the course. I have also included videos where possible to provide an alternate delivery method for the content, and have linked several additional interactive resources online via Cotton University. This is still a work in progress, but I am revising and adding more and more active learning content each year.


That said, I have received numerous comments from students in person and in the FCS written comments about how they enjoyed my lessons and that I helped to make a relatively “dry” course more interesting. Some of the concerns in the course were that I spoke too quickly - this was particularly noted in my first year of teaching. Part of the problem was that I was nervous being a first-time instructor. The other concern was that there was a lot of content to cover in each class and I wanted to be sure I could get through all of it. Since my first year, I have improved my confidence standing in front of classes of all sizes (whether 25 or 200!), and I have worked with Dr. Tullio-Pow, the course director for FSN 101, to eliminate unnecessary material from the lessons so that students are not overwhelmed with the amount of content that is covered each class.


Future development for this course will include further refining of the FSN 101 lab book to make it even more concise and relevant to the learning outcomes.

As a continuation of FSN 101, I expect to see similar FCS results for FFD 200. The course is organized in the same way as it’s predecessor, and I am not surprised that once again Question 3 seems to be ranked higher than the others. Again, I believe this is in part due to the students being more interested in some of the more “exciting” courses like design or illustration, however I take that as a challenge to try to incorporate more and better interactive elements into the course each year - particularly for the years that I am able to teach the lecture as well as the lab. Overall, the feedback is very positive, and my future goals are to continue to improve upon the groundwork I have laid so that I may deliver a better, more engaging, and more effective learning experience.

Fall 2016 was the first year I taught FSN 120, so there is only one FCS to review. Here, I am happy again to report that my scores are all in the 1- range, with nothing exceeding a value of 2. Areas for improvement appear to be regarding Question 4: Concepts are clearly explained with appropriate use of examples, and Question 8: The assessment methods, including tests, provide a fair evaluation of my learning. For Question 8, because this is a group-taught class (multiple instructors and a course director involved), I do not have much input regarding the assessment methods. However, this course has been revised since it was offered last year, and some of the assignments have changed in response to student and instructor feedback. While we cannot ask last year’s students how we did in terms of improvement this year for the course, I look forward to reading the comments for this year’s cohort to see if there is an overall improvement in perception of the assessment methods.


For Question 4, I interpret this to mean that my delivery in all concepts was not perfect. I have learned a great deal from my time teaching the course last year and applied many new ideas to the delivery of the material, particularly in consideration of different learning styles. The Think-Pair-Share activity mentioned on page 4 was an attempt to teach the same content in a slightly different way in the hopes that it resonated with a few more students who were perhaps having trouble previously. The feedback I received in class when I asked the students if they liked that activity as a way to learn the pattern manipulations was overwhelmingly positive. I will continue to seek out new ways to improve upon my delivery style and to find new methods to teach the content so that I am addressing multiple ways of learning.



I was thrilled to see such a positive review for FSN 220 in Winter 2017, the first year I taught the course, however I must note that out of 27 students, only two submitted online evaluations. This was somewhat disappointing because I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the course. However, I am happy that the two students who did feel positively about my teaching method took the time to fill in the surveys. Without feedback, it is difficult to know where improvement will be most valuable; going forward, I will be more proactive about reminding students to fill in the surveys online. 

The final course I have taught is FSN 707, Research Method in Fashion. This was the first year the course was delivered with a more design-centric approach (applicable to communication design and apparel design alike). Having taken the course as a student myself, where there was no consideration of a designer’s perspective, i was thrilled to be teaching a course that provided a much more thoughtful approach for our students. As it was the first time the course was taught with this curriculum, there were certainly areas for improvement.


One of the challenges was that it was held late at night, with the tutorial section running from 8-9pm. Most of the students had a full day of classes, and were simply burnt out by the time this class began. This year, we have made sure that the course was offered at an earlier hour, and there has been a noticeable difference in energy levels in the classroom. Dr. Tullio-Pow, the course director, also made a point to check-in with the instructors and the students regularly last year (and this year) to learn what was working and what was not, so that we could improve upon the course in future years. This year, having spoken to some current fourth year students (who took FSN 707 last year), all have commented on how helpful the course has been now that they are working on their senior projects. Capstone instructors have also noticed an improvement in the planning and development of the fourth year projects. This is encouraging to note and I hope to continue to make my lessons more and more engaging and relevant for the third years so that they may be prepared to achieve great things in their fourth year.

Kirsten Schaefer / T 647.678.5528 / contact@kirstenschaefer.ca / © 2019 by Kirsten Schaefer