History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY3001/3002 - History of Travel and Tourism (2003)
Unit Coordinator: Mr Richard White
Students were asked to rate both semesters of the course. The response was very positive. On the statement ‘Overall I was satisfied with the quality of this unit’, 75% strongly agreed, 22% agreed, 3% were neutral – a satisfaction rating of 97%.
Other questions followed the same pattern except for the question of whether the workload was too high: 7% agreed, 7% strongly disagreed - most (70%) simply disagreed. Quite a few commented that the workload was appropriate in a pre-Honours course. Most students commented positively on the quality and range of discussion, the relaxed ‘but not undisciplined’ learning environment and the freedom to pursue individual interests. Some admitted to initial uncertainty about the subject, but came round: ‘More interesting and demanding than expected’ was a fascinating comment (from, I think, an unreconstructed Early Modernist, Bronwyn?). Some liked the multidisciplinary aspect; others commended it for its specific training in history. A number appreciated the opportunity to be involved in decision-making about the course direction and assessment. General summings up were positive:
* ‘spurred me on to do my best work…This has been a brilliant course…has made this course and year one of the most worthwhile I’ve done’
* ‘It was a fantastic course something a bit different but incorporating so many aspects of historical learning. Really loved it – TOPS course! Thanks!’
* ‘One of the best courses I’ve done at uni’
* ‘Brilliant course’
A surprising number had positive things to say about the long essay in second semester:
* ‘actually teaches students how to WRITE history, as opposed to reading it’
* ‘important to have done a 5500 research essay’
* ‘long essay allowed a bringing together of all themes /concepts from the course and also our own research of an original topic’
* ‘The longer essays are a good intro to the thesis & allow us to really sink our teeth into a topic’
* ‘good length, not too difficult – Allowed clear & detailed expression of topic, research and ideas’
* ‘Having an opportunity to really explore ideas and sources in depth (for the final paper) was great – especially since it allowed me to bring the things I’ve learnt throughout my degree to bear on the process of researching and writing it.’
Negative comment? One student felt it too unstructured. This had been a more common (though still only occasional) comment in 2001: rather than changing the course I addressed it with a more explicit outline of the nature of the course and that has seemed to satisfy most people. One suggestion was that feedback on oral presentation be formalised. I will consider ways of doing this in future. Finally a heartfelt plea: ‘One of the few courses in my BA where tutorials weren’t packed – this should be common throughout every history course!'
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you the students for making the course so enjoyable: it was privilege teaching such a lively, interesting and intelligent bunch of people.