History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY2901/2902 - Reading the Past/Recovering the Past (2004)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Clare Corbould
Students were asked to rate the two courses together at the end of the year. Of the 68% of the students enrolled who completed the survey, 92% said that they were satisfied with the courses overall. 93% agreed with the proposition that “In this Unit I felt part of a group of students and staff committed to learning,” with 7% responding neutrally and nobody disagreeing.
As in 2003, some students preferred HSTY2901 to HSTY2902, finding the former more challenging and the latter repetitive. Others disagreed, finding the study of “different approaches and analysis of shortfalls of some approaches very useful” and “much more interesting” than 2901.
The journal and book reviews similarly received mixed feedback. Generally students appreciated the opportunity to pursue topics in which they were interested, but many also found it a difficult genre in which to write and would have liked more guidance.
Likewise the workbooks, which required students to condense ideas, generated varied responses. While some students found that the workbook forced them to consider topics closely, others thought it “absurd” to write a 250-300 word summary of the week’s readings and that it was inadequate to “demonstrate what they had understood.” The variety of responses says much about how difficult it is to write concisely, and also that the students needed more guidance as to how not to summarise readings, rather than write about the topics as a whole.
One aspect of the course that came in for consistent praise was the quality of the tutorials. Led by Caroline Brehaut and Alex Roberts, who were each mentioned by name several times, these were, for many students, the core component of their learning during each semester.