History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY2055 - Race Relations and Australian Frontiers (2004)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Kirsten Mckenzie
We were very pleased with the response of students to ‘Race Relations and Australian Frontiers’ in 2004, the second year that this course has been taught at the University of Sydney. 94% of students were satisfied with the overall quality of the unit of study (4% were neutral). Students were particularly positive about the relevance of this course to their lives in Australia today, which is one of the key intentions of covering this theme. The response of staff to student feedback was particularly positive (no-one disgreed with this with this contention in the questionaire). As one student put it, the staff had "obviously put in a lot of effort towards student learning". They were "extremely approachable and strongly encouraged staff-student dialogue". The research essay was a particularly important part of student training. One participant noted that it "helped me develop skills necessary for post-graduate history writing." Guest lectures are used in this unit to present differing views on the highly-contentious interpretations of Australian race relations history, and these were positively received by students. Students were keen to have even more input from Indigenous teachers, and the possibilities of this will be explored with the University’s Koori Centre when the course is repeated. When the course is taught again in 2005 it will be run in conjunction with a website devoted to Australian history resources on the world wide web.