Graphics program draws poor results

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By Louie Diaz Jr.

A multi-million dollar fundraising drive is underway to build a new graphic communications management centre. But despite the hype being created around the fundraising campaign, GCM students didn’t think too highly of their program last year.

According to fall 2009 and winter 2000 Instructor Course Evaluations (ICE), GCM students were some of the least satisfied when it came time to grade their courses and professors.

When approached by an Eyeopener reporter, department chair Mary Black said she hadn’t really taken the survey’s results into consideration.

“I don’t recall noticing the numbers. I don’t have the time to look at every piece of paper that falls on my desk,” Black said. “From my perspective the students are very happy with the program.”

The ICE results obtained and ranked by The Eyeopener show that GCM students were the least satisfied with their courses and instructors in fall 1999, and the third least satisfied in the winter 2000 term, right before retail management and interior design.

GCM recently launched a $10-million fundraising campaign to build a new facility, part of the Ontario government’s SuperBuild initiative, and Black said she wasn’t worried about poor survey results affecting efforts to raise money.

“Three-hundred and nine students are enrolled at GCM, 200 showed up at the [fundraising] launch” last Thursday, she said. “This shows they’re happy. [The result] doesn’t fit. There’s something not right.”

Black said she thinks the fall 1999 results may have been skewed by a third-year estimating course taught by an outside instructor. She said students were having problems understanding the professor’s expectations.

Rye Goodyear, a GCM professor, said the numbers can sometimes unfairly generalize students’ opinions, which can reflect poorly on faculty members.

“I don’t know if [the survey] can get right to the heart of what’s going on in the classroom,” Goodyear said. “Sometimes it can be a popularity contest.”

He said GCM also employs many part-time instructors, which may influence results.

But Goodyear said he values the results of the surveys grading his performance and pays close attention to the fairness of tests and evaluations in his class.

Some GCM students aren’t convinced the results reflect the quality of their program.

Kenny Rosa, a third-year student and the course union president, was surprised when shown the final tallies.

“Some people don’t take the survey seriously,” he said. “It’s pretty hard for me to believe it.”

Stephen Markham, a fourth-year student, said the program has been amazing during his time here, but still lacking in some places.

“One area that lacks, though, is teaching skill,” he said. “I think we voice our opinion more than other programs and that’s why the results are so low.”

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