History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY3001 - History of Travel and Tourism (2005)
Unit Coordinator: Mr Richard White
For the first time in many years, shrinking numbers for this course meant it only had to be taught once a week, rather than two or three times: the results were positive for all concerned. On the statement ‘Overall I was satisfied with the quality of this unit’, 100% strongly agreed, a result that cannot be improved on.
Comments on all aspects of the course were positive. One mentioned ‘an unusually good outline’, another the ‘great selection of reading’. Most students seemed to find it both enjoyable and stimulating, ‘relaxed but rigorous’, and many mentioned the quality of class discussion, its enthusiasm and ‘commitment to learning…more than any other experience at the university’, ‘All the students were really committed’.. I have to say this was largely due to the students themselves, a fantastic group – intelligent, lively, motivated and simply very nice – who made teaching them a privilege and a pleasure.
Among the comments: ‘conceptually sophisticated, sensitive to detail and variation – yet still fun!’; ‘The course demands responsibility for reading etc., which is great, where students are encouraged to contribute as fellow “junior” academics’; ‘At first I was unsure how this unit would work. I mean, one week on Disneyland?! However, it has been a fascinating and unique course. The ideas and subject-matter are really different and refreshing. A fantastic course experience.’
There were a couple of suggested improvements. Some thought the timing for the 4th year essay proposal was onerous: they could see the point but felt it did not work in practice. This is redundant anyway under the new structure where I have decided to trial the course as a 3rd year rather than 4th year course, one semester only. The other suggestion was a reader, though most also said they appreciated the richness, variety and choice in the readings: the “loose” nature of the reading’. The suggestion of a reader has been made before: I have adopted it for the related second semester course with mixed success. It was also suggested we have more material on special reserve: I will follow that up. Interestingly there were no comments about the work-load given only 4 credit points are attached to the course for 3rd years.
Apart from the always ambiguous workload question, the only items that did not rate 100% concerned clarity of outcomes, generic attributes and feedback (93%, 80 % and 85% respectively). While these elicited ‘neutral’ rather than negative responses, I will see if any fine tuning can be done.