Response to Student Feedback
HSTY2670 - New York, New York (2008)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Stephen Robertson
This unit again proved to be very successful: 94% of students agreed or strongly agreed with the proposition "Overall I was satisfied with the quality of this unit of study," for a mean score of 4.50 out of 5; and 92% of students agreed or strongly agreed that "The teaching in this unit of study helped me to learn effectively," for a mean score of 4.41.
Student comments explaining those scores singled out the lectures in particular as a strength of the unit, together with the unit web site, the use of online sources, and the focus on a particular place and on space. Below is a sample of the comments:
- I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures – the mix of historical fact, colourful stories, visuals and music was great. It was a rare subject in that I hated missing a lecture
- As an American studying abroad, I really enjoyed hearing your perspective on NYC history. It is clear that the lecturer is engaged and enthusiastic about the topic and that was contagious
- Passionate, interesting – great ‘story’ telling – what history should be!
- Thinking about ‘place’ was different and interesting
- The class was challenging but interesting and well designed to engage students. Great class!
- This course was one of the best, if not the best courses I have done – everyone I spoke to felt the same way as well. I’m a little sad its finished, to be honest.
In response to student feedback in 2006, I used different assessment in 2008 – 2 short essays and a take-home exam, each weighted the same, rather than a single major essay. Students responded positively to that change, with 88% agreeing or strongly agreeing that the assessment allowed them to demonstrate what they had understood, up from 63% in 2006. I’ll retain this assessment the next time the unit is taught.
The changes students suggested were logistical: more copies of the books used in the assessments and smaller tutorials. Unfortunately, tutorials are out of my control, but I will arrange for more than one copy of the essay readings to be placed on reserve.