Teresa E. Thornton, M.S., Ph.D

School Centered, Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Research

Student Evaluations Honors Biology
2015-2017

Q.  Identify those aspects of the course you found most useful or valuable for learning

  • Lab reports ensure that I actually learn the material, unlike tests in which I only temporarily memorize the material. 
  • Writing research papers
  • The writing individualized semester projects allow students to explore a subject that interests them and allows them to learn more through their own work/research 
  • I have improved tremendously on my writing in this class, in addition my work ethic improved.  
  • I really love how this course is based on hands-on-activities rather than tests. Experiential learning is not only more fun, but more memorable. Even though the lab reports are long and time-consuming, I think it's good practice for college and important for us to do.
  • Learning to write labs, learning to conduct long-term research, learning and improving my scientific writing skills
  • I found that learning about the environment and people's effects on the environment during this course was the most useful.  
  • The labs and reading real labs will be beneficial for college; you are such a great person!
  • Hands on work and laboratory experiments
  • Teacher feedback 
  • Learning how to effectively and successfully write a college level lab report
  • Independent Research and Presentation
  • The research project 
  • Projects and lab reports
  • I learned how to write a research paper and at the same time be a better writer. 
  • Class practice presentations, collaboration with classmates, and individual evaluations/ work with you. 
  • I enjoyed the GMO section of this course and especially the plant section! (I did slam poe-tree!) 
  • The research study really put me to the test and makes me know I am prepared for college
  • It was really helpful for me to come in after class and discuss writing assignments directly with you after class; you were really accessible so that made it easy! 
  • Whenever we would learn about a topic, it wasn't a brief "Power point - open book", we would research with the textbook and on other websites. I believe this helped me learn more about each topic. 
  • Dr. Thornton pushes me to be great
  • I learned the most from the labs and the research project. 
  • While at some times it was a tough course, I truly appreciate what this instructor does to push their students education to a level that some of them didn't even realize they could reach. I look back on the class and am so proud of everything that I accomplished. While I may have complained a bit to myself that the work was "difficult" (which kid hasn't?), I am just really happy that I got this instructor and everything that this instructor taught me has just opened my mind to greater possibilities than I could have ever imagined. 
  • I loved the fact that this class was so engaging and that there was a degree of difficulty. I never use to be a science fan and after this class I became really interested and don't mind discussing topics such as Food Inc and the dangers of Cuban Tree Frogs. 
  • The field trip and labs were most valuable to my learning.
  • Writing lab reports
  • The projects we did always helped me learn more about the topic!
  • General biology/ an idea of the different concepts in biology
  • The one-on-one attention that students receive while researching individual topics is a great aspect of this course. Research based learning is not taught in many other classes, and it is very important. 
  • Field trips
  • Although it shaved a few years off my life, the semester project was by far the most memorable aspect of the course.

the hands on quiz study guides, and helpful writing tips for papers

  • Teacher has numerous ideas and references to assist with student research projects
  • Loved the research project! The powerpoint and the review jeopardy game before tests

Q. What suggestions would you make to the instructor to improve the course?

  • N/A- It's a student based course.
  • Perhaps a little more detail in the lectures
  • Nothing !!!
  • You're amazing!
  • The class does not need improvement
  • This class was amazing, and I wouldn't change anything. I enjoyed all the projects, games, and research projects. This was by far the best science course I've taken!
  • Go slower on powerpoints and explain more. not just read them
  • It was a great course, and I could take the class again!
  • Make sure everyone in the class understands the first 2 projects well so kids can't claim they didn't know how each write-up is supposed to be written. Also, be sure to try and help kids write notes, but don't grade them on it. I just started writing notes a year before this class and I had difficulty knowing what's important versus other information.
  • Great course. Not sure I know any good suggestions.
  • The tough parts made me learn and pushed me and I wouldn't have it any other way!
  • Just keep doing what you are doing. The job is not necessarily for students to love the teacher or class, but to make sure they learn. I am pretty sure learning is the main thing that happens in this class and then everything else falls into place.
  • While I understand the concept behind lab reports, I found them to take up a large amount of time and they seemed to be a repetitive process.
  • Maybe a few homework note taking assignments before the lab just to be sure the students do not go in unprepared
  • Pretend everyone knows nothing, not assume they know the material when learning new concepts
  • Although the year is short, cover more areas of biology.
  • Slow down the textbook/PowerPoint material. Provide activities/projects that enhance the textbook learning.
  • more educational movies
  • Clear, concise instructions which properly define objectives in a detailed assignment
  • Teach more than one block of this course to keep class sizes smaller
  • More outside labs!
  • None, keep up the great work!!
  • Slightly more fair grading of writing
  • No suggestions
  • Maybe give the students a little more time to write their labs.
  • Provide clearer explanation for deductions on lab my one complaint is that sometimes there is one small thing wrong on a lab and I get a high deduction for it and do not understand why
  • I'm not sure.
  • More in depth teaching of concepts
  • Discuss the powerpoint more in depth to make us learn more basic concepts for act, common biology knowledge, also you are very generous by offering your time but maybe stick to the schedule on the door more strictly that way kids aren't sitting all of lunch.
  • Fewer tests!
  • Go through the powerpoints a little more clearly
  • Lower expectations