History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY2001 - Religion and Society: Conversion and Culture (2002)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Lynette Olson
The evaluations of HSTY2001 'Religion & Society: Conversion & Culture' were even more positive. For some reason different forms were used, which were much better because they always asked for comments, but unfortunately were not accompanied by a statistical survey. Had the latter been made, I'm sure we would have scored over 4 in something, because only one student disagreed with the statement of overall satisfaction with the unit. Given that it thematically examined religious change comparatively re medieval Christianity, Islam and Chinese Buddhism, and was taught by three lecturers from three different Departments and Schools, the absence of criticisms about breadth and coherence was nothing short of miraculous. The workload was considered to be just right, which is good to know as it was the normal load for the Department. The criticism was made by a few that more comparison could have been drawn explicitly between the three components of the unit, and this will be acted on in future.
In the evaluations of both units nice things were said about me as a teacher, and nothing negative which must be a first in my course evaluations. In the first-year course in particular they added up to saying that I created an interested and friendly environment for learning. This I value very much, and also in particular the comment from a HSTY2001 student on staff being responsive to student feedback, 'You can't get much more responsive than Lyn Olsen [sic]'.
Finally, in the evaluations of these units taken together there was only one negative comment about examinations: HSTY1025 had formal only, HSTY2001 take-home only and it was a student in the latter who wrote said that examinations were inappropriate for History courses. This supports a comment made years ago by a retiring member of staff that in her experience students seldom objected to formal exams. As far as I'm concerned, one decides which form of assessment suits the unit and sets it.