Response to Student Feedback
HSTY1044 - Twentieth Century Politics and Culture (2007)
Unit Coordinator: Margaret Sampson
Teaching staff and students thoroughly enjoyed HSTY1044 in 2007. Many of the questionnaires ended with comments such as: ‘Thank you, it’s been fun’, ‘lots of content, but I enjoyed it’, ‘I thoroughly enjoyed this subject’. Some suggested that we had achieved our goal of making 20thc Europe fresh to souls jaded by the HSC. Students liked the lectures, the guest lectures, the abundant WEBCT resources online, the weekly emails and the tutorials. All four tutors, Elizabeth Roberts, Emma Bonham, Burkard Jaehnicke and Julie McIntyre, were frequently praised in the comments by students: ‘Our tutor was absolutely fantastic!’
Around 80% of students agreed and strongly agreed with all the positive statements in the questionnaire. Most satisfying to the convenor was the figure of 86% who agreed and strongly agreed with the final two questions: ‘This unit of study encouraged / stimulated my thinking’ and ‘Overall I was satisfied with the quality of this unit of study’. 84% of students believed too that lecturers and tutors were responsive to student feedback.
Students were less happy with the overwhelming size of the reader (‘TOO MUCH READING!’). Some wished for more comments on their essays, depending on their marker. Only 15 % thought the workload too high. Hindsight suggests that the introductory abstract should have been made assessable. There were some complaints about the number of powerpoints in lectures; we can only agree! Some students were not happy with the primary source based essay as the main written assessment; others found it a valuable chance to write and research as an historian. Many stated that the course had contributed to their understanding of other subjects and not only in history.
Several students mentioned that they found the class sizes rather large for comfort. We tried and I think succeeded in bringing the course closer to students both in our tutorials and online.