Very engaging and inspiring

Best class!

Incredibly passionate, focused and enthusiastic, she promotes a sense of passion in her students, engaging them to constantly question the material, the outside world and themselves.

She makes herself available whenever the student has questions or concerns. She goes above and beyond what i have observed in other professors to meet and converse with her students to ensure that they know exactly what is expected of them

Facilitates discussion well, promotes individual learning.

She promotes a class environment in which students feel compelled to participate in group discussions something not easily found in most courses. She dedicates a lot of class time to discussion and the application of theory to real life material.

Ilka is the best instructor I have ever had at VIU. I have taken three classes from her and I regret not being able to take more. She is always available (whether by email or in person) to help. And most importantly, her passion for her subject is obvious. She is so knowledgeable in the area of political and social anthropology (historical and current) and she is constantly introducing ideas that make you question life as you know it, which, in my opinion, should be a goal of university education. In every class I encounter a new way to view my world and the world of others. Ilka is a true anthropologist and a brilliant professor.

Ilka is passionate about the subject of social anthropology and I found that her excitement about the subject rubbed off on me. She has travelled to many different places and has conducted her own field work which makes her more knowledgeable when talking about learning about other cultures and societies.

Providing opportunities to rework assignments.

Anth 211 is a good course & good work & spirit Ilka Thiessen.

Ilka is very kind and entertaining. She creates a light atmosphere with her personality and she takes her work very seriously from what I can tell. Ilka let’s you try again and rewards hard work.

As a student with a disability, Ilka Thiessen is very understanding and accommodating to my needs (extra time, etc.)

Professor Thiessen does a wonderful job of provoking thought from her students 1 always come away from her class having learned something new. She is very open-minded and encourages students to express their views.

Ilka’s unique personality makes it hard not to like her, even when she gives you a bad grade.
Overall more clarity would be appreciated. I think she may be better for upper-level anthropology students.

Ilka is great for forcing people to consider the questions raised By the end of the semester, everyone in the class participates. This is something I don’t find very often.
Ilka includes EVERYONE, even if you don’t want to be included she’ll look at you and ask, “what do you think?” and if you don’t know she gets you to think about it. Ilka is also available for a considerable amount of outside class time. No matter the question or the crisis, she always answers my e-mails, even if it’s personal stuff, and she is always available to talk in person. I just really like Ilka’s teaching because she asks for a lot, but she is there to support you the whole way, and in the end, I learn more in her classes than most others.

I enjoyed ANTH 211 with Ilka and would definitely take another course with her.

The instructor provides information that is genuinely useful and challenging. I feel the instructor is at an intellectual level appropriate to be teaching upper level Anthropology students unlike several other members of the faculty.

Interesting lectures, ties topics to current events. The readings are sometimes difficult but always relevant. Group discussion is an effective tool.

Thank you!

Ilka is brilliant, and shows a keen interest in any subject she teaches. She has strong opinions, outlines them, and also states that students DO NOT need to have the same opinion (they just need to be able to argue for it effectively:)).

Ilka Thiessen creates an interactive learning environment by having group discussions each week. Being able to discuss theories and concepts with classmates and the instructor has been very beneficial to my learning experience.

Extremely interesting and entertaining while introducing concepts so they can be understood.

The frustrating thing is that people are intimidated by her classes, because you have to actually do the work I know a lot of people have jobs, but so do I.I find people drop her class because we have weekly and sometimes biweekly workpeople don’t do it (and it’s easy one page stuff!) and so they don’t show or drop the class. I find many students get used to being able to sort of coast until mid term and then sort of coast until finals, not really doing the readings and just doing the minimum work This is frustrating in a class like this one, which is discussion based....well, if no one does the readings, who am I suppose to discuss with!? I would argue that Ilka’s methods and relentless efforts are being somewhat wasted by those who disrespect her classes and disrespect the institution through not bing present.

Her use of analytical notes have helped me personally in becoming a more confident writer as well as obtaining the ability to argue, support, and theorize my work.

Using good examples for class materials.

Sometimes it is very confusing because we are challenging things and I get easily confused because she will say something is true then conflict it and say it is not I am just confused and would love a clearer answer.

Question the material, the outside world and themselves.

Anth 311 should be a required course for all global studies students.

I think Ilka can be misunderstood by students sometimes as being scattered or intimidating And for students who don’t really have a keen interest in anthropology, her style of teaching might be misinterpreted as less effective than it actually is But I completely disagree with these sentiments. As I have gotten to know Ilka and her style of teaching I admire her methods. For anyone truly interested in social and political anthropology, her classes are fascinating and her method works.

I have truly enjoyed any class I have had with Ilka I feel she has helped raise my confidence level and has opened my eyes to a broader sense of anthropology and what it means to be an anthropologist.

Obviously has a genuine interest in the subject matter.

Dr. Thiessen is fantastic and I always look forward to every class I’ve taken with her!

The instructor is engaging and enthusiastic about the subject of the course. The subject matter that the instructor chooses is interesting. The assignments constitute a reasonable amount of work taking into account the workload most students receive from other instructors.

She knows a lot about the subject and is good at relating topics to real daily life.

Dr. Thiessen has an extensive knowledge base derived from experience that she uses very effectively to help students understand concepts and theories. She has a great sense of humour and is engaging. She is definitely one of my favourite instructors here at VIU.

Anth 311 should be a required course for all global studies students.

She is very engaging. She is extremely well read and can synthesize complex ideas to a novice audience.

Presents information in an effective and interesting manner I always enjoy the lectures and the material covered in class.

Have no suggestions yet, Anth 211 is a good and well-planned course.

The no bathroom breaks rule on the course outline is discouraging I realize now after having take the class that students are in fact fairly free to use the washroom, but having this rule on the outline seems overly controlling and gives a bad impression of the instructor on the first day.

The discussions help in learning!!

Some times the weekly readings are too long and too academically written. I’m not used to reading stuff like that.

Ilka is very passionate about the material that she teaches. That passion translates into her lectures and helps keep them interesting for students.


To all of you who participated in the official VIU evaluation of my teaching Spring 2013, I thank you very much for your comments and the trust you put into me. However, if I would not have had and have such great fantastic students I would not have the same passion to teach. You are truly wonderful people and it is a joy to explore anthropology with you. From a selfish point of you, I hate to see you leave, but whatever path you choose in your life, I wish you the very very best!