History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY1025 - Early Medieval Europe (2008)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Julie Ann Smith
Overall satisfaction 86% with only 50% of students enrolled responding to the survey. This unit has been structured to cover a thousand years of history. The challenge of learning about such along period has been met by focusing on ‘key moments’ that aid in understanding political, social, intellectual and religious movements. One issue that concerned a number of students was the long period that the unit comprises and the challenges of coming to grips with it. In future when I offer this unit I shall focus on a less daunting timescale whilst still retaining the ‘key moments’ approach. This will also address the concerns over the dense amount of material offered in some lectures.
87% of respondents considered that the assessment allowed them to demonstrate what they had learned. The essay topics were not focused solely on the material covered in the lectures but necessitated broader reading and were designed to allow students to explore some of the broader aspects of the topics. In future I shall make sure that I set aside time in a lecture shortly before the assignment due date to explain the nature of the assignment topics, the level of research that they encourage, and the possible variety of approaches.
Most students were very happy with the unit teaching materials - Reader, Outline, lecture notes (posted online after the lectures). Some students suggested that the lecture notes might be more detailed, and I shall expand the textual element of the lecture notes in future.