Back when I taught at a private engineering school just south of Kennedy Space Center, I handed out surveys in order to get to know my students better, and they helped. After I moved to Middlin' State (since they have tenure here), I quickly abandoned this in my large general-ed course, since it was too depressing. In the section asking "What do you want to learn from this course?," over 90 of 100 of them would write, "Nothing." If that was useful in any way, I only needed to find it out once.
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