The following are notes written by Emily from course evaluations from the three courses where the guidelines were used. They were used in the two years Emily taught “International Justice on Trial” and the one summer she taught “Human Rights in America.”
Below are excerpted quotes from responses to questions Emily put on the evaluations. The course evaluations were required for each course and the instructor had the option to add questions in addition to the required questions about the course. This question was added to evaluate the use of the citation guidelines in each of the three course evaluations:
Was it helpful to allow for citing personal experience and interviews in your assignments? Are there ways to improve this?
See responses below.
Notes from Evaluations
Course: LSJ 2018
N = 21 Students out of 23 participated in evaluation
This is the first time the guidelines were used, emerged organically mid-course during discussions particularly when talking about eye-witness testimony, the challenges of what is presented in declassified documents, and Gerald Vizenor’s reading on 4th person.
- Preface/warning about interviewing people who have experienced trauma.
“I think this form of citing allows individuals who have partaken in certain forms of justice, or have experienced the injustice first hand a platform for sharing their information. I think this type of citation is helpful for making the paper even more meaningful for some people, which may lead to overall better quality of papers.”
“It was helpful because it allowed me to expand my idea of what qualifies as evidence and it tied directly into the conversations we were having in class. I really appreciated that the professor noted how it would be hypocritical to discuss this and not allow us to cite our own experiences because it really legitimized her arguments and the discussions we had in class.”
“I appreciate the fact that the professor is trying to disrupt our traditional understandings of what evidence looks like.”
“I thought it was a really profound idea, and just having it as an option felt right and follows a theme of this class about exploring more open-minded ways to understand truth and evidence.”
“I think the best way to learn is by doing and tying in one’s own experiences with the course content is crucial for maintaining knowledge.”
“It wasn’t personally helpful, but I’m sure it could be for someone with experience that relates. I also think it was very forward thinking after learning about knowledge production.”
“Personally, I do not have life experiences that are very applicable for my paper or are more valid than opinions from scholarly sources. I think this form of citing allows individuals who have partaken in certain forms of justice, or have experienced the injustice first hand a platform for sharing their information. I think this type of citation is helpful for making the paper even more meaningful for some people, which may lead to overall better quality of papers.”
“Yes, especially the interviews were helpful to be able to cite since we did them in class. I will not be using personal experience in my paper but I think it is a really cool thing to be able to include given the topics in class.”
“Yes it was. I feel like not a lot of us have had personal connections to people effected by the topics we chose to right about.”
“I personally won’t be using personal experience on the final paper, mostly because I am unfamiliar with doing so. However, I appreciate the fact that the professor is trying to disrupt our traditional understandings of what evidence looks like.”
“Even though I may not cite personal experiences, it is helpful because it allows for the writer to be more entrenched in what they are writing. It is hard because a lot of this is based on trust; however, the professor built up a great reputation with her class and I feel as though we all respect her too much to take advantage of her trust.”
“yes! I think its great to be able to include personal experience, those are some of the best conversations!”
“I didn’t site personal experience or interviews in the final paper.”
“This didn’t personally apply to my paper, but I thought it was a really profound idea, and just having it as an option felt right and follows a theme of this class about exploring more open-minded ways to understand truth and evidence.”
“Yes it is, I think the best way to learn is by doing and tying in one’s own experiences with the course content is crucial for maintaining knowledge”
OWN [Emily’s] REFLECTIONS:
Talk about neighbors, (examples?) encourage people to realize the value of voices of people are in our communities. (people talk about this: “feel like not a lot of us have had personal connections to people effected [sic] by the topics we chose to right [sic] about.”
Notes from Evaluations
Course: LSJ 2019
N = 19 Students out of 25 participated in evaluation
This was the second time that the guidelines were used in the course, after considerable editing of the guidelines, and were introduced from the beginning.
- Make expectations more clear
- Need to work more on how this is applicable to everyone in the class
“Yes, I think that is a valuable thing. It is important to watch out and ensure that people don’t use it as an opportunity to do no work however. Just make expectations of how citing personal experience should be clear.”
“I think it was helpful and allows for the class to learn from different peoples experiences as well as expand their own perspectives on subjects.”
“Didn’t affect me”
“Yes, however, while they provided a clear place to consider the opinions and interpretations of those around us, they were not always very practically applied to the assignments.”
“I don’t really have any relevant personal experience or interviews so I have no opinion on this”
Notes from Evaluations
Course: HRLA (Human Rights in Latin America) Summer 2018
N = 20 Students out of 21 participated in evaluation
This is the first time the guidelines were used in this course, Human Rights in Latin America. This class was taught by Emily during the summer. The course was developed by Dr. Angelina Godoy and Emily adapted the course and introduced the guidelines for students to use in course assignments, but they were considerably different than the LSJ assignments and course. There were not as deliberate conversations about knowledge production. .
“Although I did not do this I think it could add a lot of value to a person’s work if they wanted to do this”
“Yes, this was, it allowed for deeper meaning and connection especially when talking about real-life events.”
“Yes it was. It made the concepts very palatable, and easier to remember when we could apply them to our own lives, or find personal examples, or hear personal examples from classmates.”
“Yes it was super helpful and insightful because we were able to learn more about the experiences that other went through.”
“ Yes, I think when you are allowed to make personal connections, the assignment itself has a greater meaning”
“ It did not matter to me because I do not really have any personal experience about the content”