Response to Student Feedback
HSTY2619 - Living in Colonial Australia (2009)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Kirsten Mckenzie
This unit was taught for the first time in 2009, taking the place of ‘Australia to 1888’.
Student response was overwhelmingly positive:
94% of students who completed USE evaluations (58% of those enrolled) agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied overall with the quality of HSTY2619 (3% were neutral)
97% (3% neutral) felt they had received timely, constructive feedback from staff about my work in this unit.
96% (4% neutral) felt that staff in this unit of study were responsive to student feedback.
A key promise in the unit description was that students would discover that “colonial Australia was stranger and more fascinating than you ever imagined”. The course reader was organized to reflect current historiography and include the most recent scholarship. New assessment tasks were also introduced in order to provide more feedback and guidance for individual research projects. All these aspects of the unit are reflected in the student comments below.
- At the start of the course Kirsten said many people discover Aus. history & appreciate it later in their degree & and this was def. the case for me - lectures really sparked an interest in me. Had never done ‘real’ research before - it was so exciting to read/touch books from 1790 in the Mitchell library.
- Essay proposal was very helpful. Additionally, ‘modeling’ the assessment to us was excellent teaching practice.
- Yes it was excellent and has changed my view of studying Australian history.
- Essays & proposal returned very promptly, esp. compared to other units & faculties - Fastest yet!
- Emma’s critique of my proposal was very informative & her subsequent assistance was invaluable in suggesting articles.
- Kirsten was thoroughly interesting in lectures and tutorials and pushed one to engage at a deeper level with the course materials/ideas.
- We had good information about how to handle our research paper - and this information came early, which was even better.
- Enthusiastic passionate teaching made course interesting. Renewed interest in Australian history!
- [On feedback] Very fast! I was blown away by the lengthy and HELPFUL feedback. We also loved the one-on-one meetings.
In a course of this type keeping a balance between case studies and overall context can be a challenge. In response to some of the problems students expressed about these issues, more material (such as a time-line) will be posted on the web and greater attention will be paid in lectures to questions of chronological framework