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Alan Spevak
(Biology)


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Comment Summary
Total
Past Month
Past 6 Mo.
Positive
13
0
0
Negative
5
0
0
Neutral
1
0
0
Rebuttal
1
-
-
*** Rate this Professor! ***

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This Professor's Average Ratings
Rate this Professor!

How effective was this teacher?
Not Effective (1)
5.42
Very Effective (10)
What is the difficulty level of classes taught by this professor?
Very Difficult (1)
5.05
Very Easy (10)
How would you rate this professor's availability outside of the classroom?
Never Around (1)
7.11
Always Around (10)
What is your overall rating? Would you recommend this prof to your friends? 
Not Recommend (1)
5.89
Highly Recommend (10)

This professor has been rated 19 time(s).


Student Comments about this Professor
Rate this Professor!

Positive Comments (13)

Subject: Such a sweetie  (May 09 2008, 11:00AM)
Student: Diana (International Management)
Class:Biolog 100 for non-majors (--)
 14 of 39 students found this review helpful.

 I have never really been into Biology and was not looking forward to taking this Gen. Ed. class, however, the moment he welcomed the class with a warm smile and made one of his jokes, I realized that the semester wouldn't be that bad. He knows that a lot of students probably don't want to be taking the class or simply don't care about the material, but he makes it really interesting by adding awesome pictures and cool videos to his slide shows. The tests aren't even hard, I don't understand why everyone is complaining, all you gotta do is study (which you have to do in EVERY class). The people that posted negative comments and got D's are just lazy and don't deserve to be in college. He is funny, sweet, always ready to help, and anything but boring and unfair.
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Subject: a really nice guy  (Mar 22 2008, 09:15AM)
Student: Anonymous (education)
Class:basic bio (--)
 13 of 38 students found this review helpful.

 Spevak is a really good teacher. Yes his tests are hard but if you come to class and listen like how a student should you will do fine. He gives you book quizzes which are an easy 10 points if you read the following pages, and an easy 5 points of drawings he makes you do. He likes to joke around a lot which makes the classes go by fast. If you actually want to learn something about bio, take Spevak, just listen carefully when he speaks.
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Subject: Very educational  (Mar 18 2008, 10:36AM)
Student: JK (English w/ Sec. Cert.)
Class:Basic Bio (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Well, Dr. Spevak is a very nice guy and is very easy to get in contact with. His tests are a little difficult, but, hey, this is college; what isn't difficult? All I did to study for his tests was copy down the main areas of each slide onto notecards in question form and that did the trick! Heck, I didn't even study the last two chapters on the first exam and I still got a B! (or a B+, I can't remember) We had to read this book about how chimps and humans evolved from a common ancestor and if you didn't read it, the four or five quizzes are gonna be tough, so READ. My only complaint is that he talks kind of fast and goes through the slides a little fast, but they are posted on blackboard, so print them out beforehand and you'll be fine. Oh, one more thing, he does tend to forget that not everyone can access the .pptx or .docx files (the NEW Microsoft Word :{ ), so you may have to remind him a couple of times to change them to .ppt or .doc files. Happy trails!
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Subject: Tell em Spevak, I got your back!  (Jan 18 2008, 10:24AM)
Student: Anonymous (undeclared)
Class:Basic Bio (B)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Regardless of what anyone says Spevak is a wonderful prof. To those who posted negative comments....come on. Stop crying because you have to study and actually do some work. boohoohoo! You only complain because you're lazy or don't care. I'm glad he told all the negatively commenting people what was up. At least get you facts straight before you bash some one. He probably didn't even rebut because he cares what you think or say, but because he actually cares about the material and doesn't want his REAL students missing a great opportunity to learn something. Anyways, Spevak is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and helpful. I recommend anyone to take him for bio courses. Any effort that you put forth will be rewarded. I've never been able to kill myself studying before, and I did pretty well in his class. GO SPEVAK!
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Subject: Not as bad as you think  (Jan 10 2008, 05:08PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:Basic Bio (B+)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 As long you study the notes and read the book you'll be fine. The exams are worth a lot of points so you better do a good job on them. I bombed one test in the beginning and had a bit of trouble climbing up from that for the rest of the semester. Makes a lot of corny jokes. All the notes are on power points with a lot of visuals, helps out if you're a visual learner. Overall a great professor.
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Subject: WARNING  (Dec 06 2007, 09:56PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:Basic Bio (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 WARNING: EXAMS= VERY DIFFICULT
-except for like one of them (I think he began to feel bad because nearly 1/2 of the class dropped the course)
-Spevak= very nice, but not quite helpful
-go to his office hours, he'll try to help
-go to class, he'll take it into consideration that you were there
-he attempts to be funny and jokes around a lot, they're basically lame, but play along
-posts most lectures on blackboard, but sometimes they're incomplete which means it's up to you to fill in the blank spaces
-text= didn't help at all, a total waste of money, don't buy it
-on the syllabus he warns students that studies have shown blah blah blah, but the main point is, if you really want an A you literally have to study for 12+ hrs. or w/e it said on the syllabus, no joke
-study, study, study, study some more, play, and then study again before the exam
-3 exams, 4th is he final (non cum.)
-exams are weighted a lot -> make sure you do well
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Subject: Not to Bad  (Nov 06 2007, 03:39PM)
Student: Anonymous (Psychology)
Class:Basic Biology (--)
 13 of 38 students found this review helpful.

 He is a really nice guy, he is willing to work with students if you just ask him for help. He sends out reminder e-mails when there are quizzes coming up which is always nice. His lectures can be a bit tiring, but the tests aren't too bad. You can easily pass by only a few hours of studying. Don't be stressed by the negative comments he really isn't a bad prof.
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Subject: Great Prof.  (Mar 22 2007, 04:37PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:Basic Biology (B)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Anyone who said Prof. Spevak is difficult to take is full of sh*t. He gives you 4 tests in a semester which is a lot better than a midterm and a final and thats about it. No papers or anything. He gives you a study guide and overall is a nice guy. He knows that not everyone is going to be a bio major and takes that into account when he's lecturing or grading material. So for anyone who thinks he is too hard or doesn't put forth the effort is just lazy or retarded...maybe both
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Subject: Good Guy  (Jan 21 2007, 05:37PM)
Student: Anonymous (Business)
Class:Basic Bio (C+)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Alan understands that this is just a gen ed class, and were not all bio majors. There are only three tests and a final. Each test is mult choice, and covers a few chapters. There are no surprises on the tests and he'll email you all of the power points. But you really have to study, if you mess up on one test you're kinda screwed since there is no homework, or other grades besides the test. Overall it was a good class, and you dont even really need to go. I recommend him
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Subject: Soo cute  (Jan 23 2003, 08:54PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:Problems of the Environment (B+)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 He is so cute. He makes the stupidest jokes but they are hilarious. The class is easy, the exams are easy, the project is so easy. He is always available even if the university is closed he will come here just for you. Great guy, great class, definitely recommended!
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Subject: Take him  (Nov 13 2002, 02:52PM)
Student: Anonymous (Elementary Ed.)
Class:Problems of the Environment (B+)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 He's adorable. His topics might not be the most interesting things, but he tries to make jokes and it's cute. He's a very sweet little man. If you have the chance, you should take him. Did I say he was adorable?
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Subject: Cool Prof  (Nov 13 2002, 02:17PM)
Student: Anonymous (Undeclared)
Class:Problems of the Environment (A)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 This class is boring...but not unbearable. He lectures but types out all the notes for you and hands them out. We had three exams and they're based right from the notes. They're not hard at all if you study. We had a final group project which is easy too. There is a final, but it's not cumulative and it's just like all the other exams. He's a goofy guy and attempts to make the class interesting. He's a good guy and really nice. I'd take him.
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Subject: He's ok  (Oct 27 2002, 10:37PM)
Student: Anonymous (undeclared)
Class:prob. of environment (A-)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 All of the tests are taken straight from the lecture notes and are multiple choice. There is one project. This class is easy if you are good at taking objective tests. He is a nice guy too.
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Negative Comments (5)

Subject: For Bio Majors Only  (Jan 13 2008, 09:21PM)
Student: Anonymous (--)
Class:Basic Bio (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 The study guide that contains all the information for the class does not exist anymore. Dr. Spevak was a nice guy in class and seemed to be available after class, however that did not make up for the fact that his tests require 12 hours or more just to pass. Dr. Spevak knows biology inside and out but this class is a basic biology gen ed that isn't basic at all. I'm a 3.9 gpa student who withdrew from this class because it would have crippled my gpa for the rest of my college career. I later learned that the class average for final grades was somewhere in the 60% range. I don't know about you, but I'm saving my D's for upcoming 400 level courses, not BIO 100.
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Subject: DONT TAKE HIM  (Oct 23 2007, 11:37PM)
Student: Anonymous (Psychology)
Class:Basic Biology (F)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Dr. Spevak is really a nice guy but he cannot teach. He jumps around from topic to topic and he doesn't really explain things well. HE DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE STUDY GUIDES LIKE THE POSITIVE COMMENTS WERE SAYING anymore because he said students stopped coming to class. Don't take him at all.
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Subject: Horrible Prof  (Oct 04 2007, 12:01PM)
Student: Anonymous ()
Class:Basic Biology (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 Spevak was a horrible professor. He made us read some stupid book called Earthdance which is 400 pages about how the earth evolved. This class was supposed to be basic biology, but for his tests, there was nothing basic about it. He is hard to understand because he jumps from topic to topic. Don't take if you can!
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Subject: What the hell?  (Feb 12 2007, 11:11AM)
Student: Anonymous (not biology)
Class:basic bio (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 I took this prof because the ratings on here were so good and the first day of class he said that he changed the class around and not everything was in the notes now because of the posts on this website saying you dont need to come to class. We just took the first exam and the class average was a 63%- a D-! He tells us all the time in class that we should not have chosen him as a prof because others are easier! What a jerk! Are gen-eds allowed to have a class average that low and not curve?
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Subject: lol?  (Feb 06 2007, 01:35AM)
Student: Travis Kemper (Biology)
Class:Biology (--)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 For starters... the way you take a test is on a screen and its up for about 2 seconds and goes away, he says he has tried "paper form" of a test and wants to try something new? Gimme a break he seems like an old school guy, but apparently is trying to create a sweet trend that blows big balls. I put lol as the subject title because this class is a joke, he is a joke as well, he doesn't teach anything then gives a 6 page study guide with everything that we've gone over, so it is pointless. Spevak has 4 tests, do bad on one and you are just about screwed...so if I were you and you see Spevak think of lol because that is what you are going to do when you come to class...[]
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Neutral Comments (1)

Subject: he is ok  (Nov 13 2002, 12:31PM)
Student: Anonymous (undeclared)
Class:problems of the environment (C+)
 12 of 37 students found this review helpful.

 he is really really boring and makes dumb jokes that no one laughs at. but for this class you don't even have to buy the book cuz he hands out lecture notes at the beginning of every class and the test questions come right from that word for word. if you want a pretty easy prof who is REALLY REALLY boring then spevak is the man!
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Professor Rebutal

3/07/2007
I am a visiting professor for my second stint at Ship after leaving in 2003.

To avoid the negative impression one may get from reading a couple of bad (and sadly inaccurate) comments, I am submitting below the standardized faculty evaluation results from one of my sections of Basic Biology last semester, plus some written student comments. These are all in the public record, for anyone in authority to verify.

Further, I wish to address the inaccuracies of the comments made by "Anonymous" and "Travis Kemper" (which is either a pseudonym or else he dropped the course, because I have no record of his taking the first exam).

The average of my four sections of Basic Biology on the first exam was 66%, with one section having an average of 72% (similar exams for each section). "Anonymous" should have had a little more faith, since I subsequently did apply a curve to the exam (prior to reading his/her rude comment). However, I did indeed suggest the first day of the semester that those who were looking for an easy course should take someone else – I did this to try to spare them some pain, and so "Anonymous" rewards me with an insult. He /she might try coming to class once in a while, and maybe learn what’s really going on in the course.

Regarding "Travis Kemper", the projected exam questions were shown at a rate of two minutes per slide of four questions, then all the slides were shown again at a rate of one minute per slide, and finally the slide show was stopped and anyone could see any questions again for as long as they wished. No one complained of a shortage of time, and 99% finished the exam in 35 minutes or less. Hard copies of the first exam were also available for anyone who asked, not just those with special needs. The one page study guide was given at the request of students– I would not have produced one if not requested - I have other things to do with my time. Travis, I wish I were laughing out loud, instead of feeling sad at reading the comments of a student who is just not getting it.

Comments from Basic Biology Students Fall 2007:
-"Prof. Spevak was an awesome teacher. His lectures were interesting and he did a lot for the students"
-"I like how he posted the notes on Blackboard so then we can listen and not have to take notes"
-"Dr. Spevak made us aware of the grading system at the beginning of the semester"
-"The professor is understanding and always willing to talk"
-"The professor seemed really excited about what he was teaching, and knew what he was talking about"
- "he’s adorable and so sweet"… I really enjoyed the teacher"
-I have more of an interest in biology after this semester…thanks for a great semester"
-Dr. Spevak really uses good illustrations in helping us learn the material"
-"was a fun class! …Enjoyed the enthusiasm of the professor-would take another course like this"
- I don’t normally like Bio, but with this prof I did. I enjoyed having professor Spevak as a teacher"
-"Prof. Spevak was awesome teacher and taught the class a lot better than previous teachers in the past"!!!
-"Dr. Spevak is a wonderful professor, I would highly recommend him for any promotion possible. He not only attempts to teach things in a way we understand but also gives the opportunity to ask questions"


 

Category Percentages

 

Averages

Question

Responses

Strong
Disagree

Dis-
agree

Slightly
Dis-
agree

Slightly
Agree

Agree

Strong
Agree

 



DR. SPEVAK
Average

Course
Average

Depart-
ment
Average

College
Average

Univer-
sity
Average

 

Instructor Items

1 Willing to answer questions and assist students

23

0.0

0.0

4.3

4.3

26.1

65.2

 

5.5

5.5

5.4

5.4

5.4

 

2 Uses examples and practical applications

23

0.0

0.0

0.0

17.4

34.8

47.8

 

5.3

5.2

5.1

5.1

5.1

 

3 Encourages students to analyze, etc.

23

0.0

0.0

8.7

8.7

60.9

21.7

 

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.2

5.2

 

4 Provides feedback on exams and assignments

23

13.0

8.7

8.7

43.5

4.3

21.7

 

3.8

4.8

4.8

4.9

4.9

 

5 Course requirements, grading system explained

23

0.0

0.0

0.0

8.7

21.7

69.6

 

5.6

5.5

5.4

5.4

5.3

 

6 Effective in teaching this course

23

0.0

4.3

0.0

21.7

39.1

34.8

 

5.0

5.1

4.9

5.0

5.0

 









































6/20/2003
As every scientist knows, the larger the sample size, the better the chances are that the observation or experiment will reflect reality. Since only five students [so far] have commented on my course on your web site, I have included below some additional comments from student evaluations(N=12) and also a copy of the University's tabulation of standardized student evlauation questions(N=28).Originals available on request.

Alan M. Spevak,Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Biology Department

Problems of the Environment -Bio 145 : written comments on student evaluations for Dr. Alan M. Spevak,Biology Department
-nice professor. very effective
-good teacher; knows a lot
-interesting information, teaching style
-he made class interesting and tried to do different activities to get the class involved
--fun teacher; I wish he wasn't leaving
-Dr. Spevak did a great job giving lectures
-the course was interesting and well taught
-excellent class
-[class was] fun and interactive; delightful prof., he really knew what he was talking about-didn't always go by textbook
-Dr. Spevak was an effective teacher and his lectures were easy to follow
-the prof is great
-prof was funny

Category Percentages

Averages

Question

Responses

Strong

Dis-

Slightly

Slightly

Agree

Strong

Section

Course

Depart-

College

Univer-

Disagree

agree

Dis-

Agree

Agree

Average

Average

ment

Average

sity

agree

Average

Average

Instructor Items FALL 2002

BIO 145

evaluations

SPEVAK

POE

BIO

LAS

SU

1 Willing to answer questions and assist students

28

0

0

0

0

57.1

42.9

5.4

5.1

5.2

5.3

5.3

2 Uses examples and practical applications

28

0

0

0

10.7

57.1

32.1

5.2

5

4.8

5

5.1

3 Encourages students to analyze, etc.

28

0

3.6

3.6

39.3

42.9

10.7

4.5

4.7

4.7

5

5.1

4 Provides feedback on exams and assignments

28

0

0

0

21.4

46.4

32.1

5.1

4.6

4.6

4.9

4.9

5 Course requirements, grading system explained

28

0

0

0

0

35.7

64.3

5.6

5.2

5.1

5.2

5.3

6 Effective in teaching this course

28

0

0

0

14.3

57.1

28.6

5.1

4.9

4.6

4.9

4.9

Student Items







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