I cannot read my student evaluations until classes are over. I always ask them to give specific suggestions for improvements the next time I teach a course. While I got a few solid ideas (“no more pop quizzes”), students basically just loved Beowulf and all the material surrounding it.
They liked A Gentle Introduction to Old English, our textbook with grammar exercises. A shout-out to Murray McGillivray for his great book! He even has videos on YouTube of himself pronouncing Old English that you can integrate into the classroom.
My favorites are always the drawings. One student wrote, “While everything was challenging, it all felt necessary and like we were on an epic climb that was well paced.” Then she or he drew an illustration that I think says so much about the Beowulf experience:
An evaluation question asks the student to comment on this sentence: “This course improved my skills and increased my knowledge.”
One student answered, “I mean, I can now write in Old English, so yeah.”
Be sure to pack your Gentle Introduction before you make that steep climb up the Anglo-Saxon! And do carry some mead and ale as a refreshment along the way….