History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY2050 - European Conquest 1500-1750 (2004)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Andrew Fitzmaurice
HSTY 2050 European Conquest, Semester 1 2004, received strong student feedback in ITL surveys. Overall satisfaction with the course ran at an average 4.3 out of 5. There was particularly positive feedback on lectures: ‘this guy is a bit nuts but he is a hell of a lecturer’; ‘best teaching in the Uni so far’; ‘the lectures were great’. Comments on course structure and clarity were also positive. Students were happy with the level of feedback in terms of the response to their concerns - ‘Andrew was generous with his time and resources’ - but there was some concern that the first feedback on progress came with the return of the only long essay at the end of the semester. I will address this problem in future either by having a small essay due earlier in semester or by bringing the essay due date forward. A number of students also were surprised (not always unpleasantly) by the degree of what they found to be ‘philosophical ideas’ employed in the course. This course does indeed place great emphasis on the history of ideas. I will endeavour in future to explain that the history of ideas is an important branch of history but also to show with great clarity how those ideas must be integrated with political and social history.