History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY2064 - Communicating Culture in the Middle Ages (2004)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Julie Ann Smith
This was the first offering of this unit of study which focuses on the processes through which ideas, beliefs, values, and expectations were understood and shared during the later Middle Ages. Perhaps the least satisfactory element of the USE survey for this unit this semester was the low response rate – only 39% of students enrolled responded – which impacts upon the value of the survey for indicating student satisfaction. Many students expressed informally to me their satisfaction with the quality of the course, and their appreciation of my approach to the student learning experience. Overall satisfaction with the quality of the unit of study was 83%.
One of the main concerns of some students was that the expected standards of the unit of study and the requirements for assignments were not clear – although there were several students who considered that the standard was made quite clear (eg, ‘I finally understood what was expected of me in a university essay’), and that the open approach to assignments allowed for creativity and personal areas of interest. However, I shall ensure in future that these points are addressed in the course outline. Another area with quite varied responses was the question about interaction with other students, with some considering that the small group discussions were ‘valuable’, ‘interactive’ or ‘an excellent source of collaboration and sharing of ideas’, while others considered that interaction was not an important component of the course and one student felt they were ‘more like lectures’. I consider small group discussions during tutorial sessions to be an important means of ensuring all students participate, and will continue to take this approach in the future.