History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY2609 - African American History and Culture (2008)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Clare Corbould
This unit attracted 182 students in 2008, a higher number than usual. The increased enrolment was probably a result of the course not having been run for a couple of years, perhaps combined with Barack Obama’s nomination to run for president. Whatever the reason, 96% of the 94 students who answered the question agreed or strongly agreed with the proposition that “overall I was satisfied with the quality of this unit of study.” Students had many complimentary things to say about the lectures and tutorials, but to the student who objected to my bad jokes, I’m afraid that they are here to stay.
The worst result in the survey was for question 9, “I received timely, constructive feedback from staff about my work in this unit.” Although students were welcome to submit a non-compulsory essay proposal, only 37 students did so. Thus only 32% of students agreed with this proposition, 48% gave a neutral response and 20% disagreed or strongly disagreed, for a mean of 3.17. Clearly, I need to adjust the assessment schedule to ensure that all students receive feedback that they can use in advance of a major assessment such as an essay.
Several students commented that we spent too long on slavery and not enough time on the twentieth century, especially the Civil Rights Movement. Given my expertise is in the later period, I will considering moving through the earlier material more quickly in future. Several students also said that there was too much reading in some of the tutorials. I agree, and will address this problem next time I run the course.