History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY 2676 Australia and the World (2008)
Unit Coordinator: Dr James Curran
This was the first time that this unit had been offered in the Department. In their feedback on the course, 100% of students recorded a high satisfaction with the quality of this unit of study. In terms of relevance of this course to their degree, students recorded a response of 88%, while high ratings of satisfaction were also recorded for staff responsiveness and the ability of the course to stimulate student’s thinking about ideas and approaches beyond the subject matter.
Nevertheless students also provided constructive feedback about ways the course could be improved. A key element of this was the need for an earlier opportunity for students to receive feedback on their progress. Students appreciated the e-mail from the course coordinator following their tutorial presentations (an e-mail which not only provided the mark for the presentation but assessed strengths and weaknesses of the oral presentation). It is envisaged that in 2009 students will be required to undertake an historiographical exercise (due in Week 5) that compares the aims and approaches of two significant historians of Australian foreign relations. A number of students also asked that lecture summaries be posted online or put up during the lecture: this will be incorporated into planning for the course in Semester 1, 2009.
Specific Comments included:
- ‘It was challenging to be in a course where the academic is not trying to tell us what posture to take, but to think through the issues and the facts’.
- ‘the most interesting and also the most well-taught course I’ve done so far’
- ‘Well taught, excellent choice of content, timely and relevant for any students wanting a better understanding of Australian politics and identity’.
- ‘Weekly readings all tended to be too long’.
- ‘Helps to have someone with a government background running these courses’.
- ‘Excellent lectures: good not to have PowerPoint speaker supports. Helps in concentrating on what lecturer was saying’.
- ‘The teaching was very effective, but during lectures, just a one page summary of headings and topics being discussed would have been handy (but not PowerPoint slides)’
- ‘Very good lecturer but it would have been extra helpful to have lecture notes either during the lectures or posted online’.