History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY 2677 Australia: Politics and Nation (2008)
Unit Coordinator: Dr James Curran
Offered for the first time in 2008, this was a new course that will be run again in Semester 2, 2009. In their feedback on the course, 94% of students recorded a high satisfaction with the quality of this unit of study. In other areas, such as helping students to learn effectively, learning outcomes, relevance of unit to the degree and stimulating thinking, the unit scored the highest ratings.
Nevertheless students also provided constructive feedback about ways the course could be improved. Some were concerned that they did not receive feedback on their work until just before the exam. This will change in Semester 2 this year, when all students will be asked to write a 1000 word historiography paper after the first four weeks of the course. It is intended that this will provide an earlier opportunity to assess performance as well as providing students an opportunity to ground themselves in the key themes of the course. Another option might be for students to write an essay plan that is assessable. Others expressed a view that there were too many readings for tutorials. The reader will be streamlined and some readings cut from the weekly list. This will ensure that more focus is given to discussion of the original documents that are so integral to the course. Students provided much positive feedback on these documents.
Specific Comments included:
- ‘Australian history, after all, is not boring!’
- ‘Good balance between political, social, cultural’.
- ‘This course was very well run and showed that it had been well thought out prior to its beginning. All course work was interesting and highly relevant to the themes of the course’
- ‘Superbly taught with scholarship and humour’
- ‘Dr Curran is a passionate lecturer who also knows how to engage the class in tutorials’
- ‘Teaching: Lectures and tutorials were very logically structured and enjoying’
- ‘The unit has changed the way I view Australian history and the way I will subsequently view it myself’.
- ‘This course is well structured. It has two clear, strong themes and draws upon a range of issues and examples. The guest lecturers were experts in their area who need to be congratulated for their time and effort’.
- ‘The Unit was very enjoyable primarily because of its relevance to current public debates and a thorough understanding of Australian history. It was taught with great enthusiasm too!’
- ‘Excellent unit of study –really interesting and good fun. Lectures were always well presented and the audio visual extras made the lectures really engaging. Overall a really good learning experience and highly recommended’.
- ‘One of the best run courses I have done….lectures overall were very well structured and engaging. I also really enjoyed the AV clips’.
- ‘This has been one of my most enjoyable units. The lecturer’s organization, engaging material and welcoming nature made this unit most enjoyable. Tutorials were non threatening, whereby everyone’s contribution were valued’.