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A sample of anonymous student comments on LV 319.243, "Introduction to Sociology (in English)," taught by Gastprofessor Kenneth Westhues in compressed, intensive format in January 2007, at Karl-Franzens Universität, Graz, Austria.
Good work, it was fun! I liked the personal being part of the course from the prof (Involviertheit).
Strengths were a charismatic instructor, learning English, an impression of Canada, and good course atmosphere. Weaknesses were the time (in January, there are a lot of tasks) and difficult texts, hard to understand.
If all courses and professors in Canada are that good, I think I should make an Auslandssemester in Canada. The course was too short, and that is the first time I say this about a course. In most of the courses I took I looked at the clock 45 min. after beginning, waiting till it's over.
Very interesting and informativ. You can see that the instructor likes his job. But I think it is not good when the course is every day at the end of the semester, because you cannot go to every class. That is very schade.
Ganz toll! Learned a lot, not only for sociology, maybe for life. Really interesting topics, was another kind of sociology as we have here in Graz. Unfortunately, the course was blocked in three weeks in January.
Strengths were the professor's ability to challenge students to do something for common good, presentation of various perspectives on various subjects. I would have preferred to write an essay rather than tests. It was a good enrichment of my sociology studies.
I really enjoyed this course. Mr. Westhues is a very cooperative and respectful person, who treats the students like they deserve to be treated. Very interesting course that provides new points of view: critical thinking, sociologists like Jane Addams.
We got a nice view of sociology, a completely new view and new topics. Interesting course.
I've never had a professor who motivated students as good as Mr. Westhues did. It was very interesting, especially the readings.
The topics which Mr. Westhues prepared were all very interesting. The course was not so good organized, because in January nearly every student has many exams.
I think that the course teaches a model of free thinking. It was interesting, because a professor of another country teaches you about sociology and so you get knowledge from other countries. The course was every day in the last weeks of semester, and so it was very hard for me, because I have to learn a lot for other classes.
Strength: a very good communication between students and professor, the possibility of discussing the readings. Weakness: the every-day attendance in January, when all other courses end and the exams take place. Helpful for advancing one's English skills.
Average. Looks too much like american class. Too long readings, saying on 10 pages basically something it could be said in 2 sentences.
It is the best course for me here so far and the most interesting one. The readings were really good. We were asked to think dialectically. All had opportunity to express our opinion. The tests were not easy but they were challenging, which is also good. But it is difficult to concentrate on the same course every day; every day of the week is way too much.
Interesting, inspiring. Strengths were learning and practicing critical thinking, the value of discussed subjects in our own lives, not just our studies or future jobs. Weakness: five times a week is maybe too often.
Thanks, Mr. Westhues. This course was a big step in building my "intellectual house." Course gave the students the model of critical and dialectical thinking, and a new and fresh viewpoint to sociology (nature & culture). I liked the stories Mr. Westhues told us about Canada.
It was one of the best courses I had til now. Strengths: presenting sociological issue in a very different way than our other professors are used to; transforming my views in some points; widening my sight. Weakness: the short time we had it; it did not help me so much with my English.