Response to Student Feedback
HSTY1076 - American History from Lincoln to Clinton (2011)
Unit Coordinators: Associate Professor Stephen Robertson & Dr Rebecca Sheehan
Students again responded positively to this unit of study. This year 139 students (of a total of 338) filled out the evaluation. 90% of students agreed or strongly agreed with the proposition "Overall I was satisfied with the quality of this unit of study,” for a mean score of 4.20 out of 5. 91% of students agreed or strongly agreed that “The teaching in this unit of study helped me to learn effectively," for a mean score of 4.31.
The most frequently given explanation for those scores continued to be the lecturing:
- "Stephen's lectures were my favorite of all my classes this semester. He spoke with clarity and passion and with cast subject knowledge."
- "Every single lecture was extremely engaging and interesting"
- "The lecturers showed genuine enthusiasm for the topic, therefore inspiring enthusiasm in the students"
Students repeatedly praised the outlines used in each lecture and made available online, and the music that Rebecca Sheehan used in the lectures that she gave.
For the first time, students consistently praised the choices available for the major essay, a positive response to the six additional essay topics I added for 2011, making a total of 30 options. The additional options also seem to have reduced difficulties accessing the required readings, as no complaints about this appeared in the responses.
Students varied significantly in their responses to the tutorials. Some of the difficulties related to the size of the groups and of the teaching rooms, which unfortunately I cannot control. In other cases, the group dynamics do not appear to have worked. I will spend more time working with the tutors on what they can do to encourage discussion. And some students struggled to connect the tutorial readings to the lecture content, an indication that I need to place greater emphasis on those connections, as I have done in past years.