History Department Response to Student Feedback
HSTY3093 / 3094: Race & Gender in America (2004)
Unit Coordinator: Dr Frances Clarke
It makes little sense to give the percentage breakdowns in the evaluations for this senior unit, since only 11 students completed the evaluations (out of 15 enrolled). This means for example, that the overall satisfaction rating came out at 86%. Yet in answer to the question of whether students were satisfied with the overall quality of the unit, 1 student marked “neutral,” 7 marked “strongly agree” and 2 marked “agree.” (i.e. the percentages don’t mean much!) Leaving the raw figures aside, those who filled out the evaluations had a couple of really great suggestions.
Most students agreed that the length and nature of the reading in first semester was fine, but the same level of reading in second semester became burdensome, given that I had students read each other’s drafts on top of the weekly readings. After running the course for a year, I’ll definitely cut the second semester’s reading down when I teach this unit in 2005 – essentially because I discovered just how much benefit students derived from analysing each other’s work. In fact, that aspect of the course was singled out for the most praise. 8 out of the 11 students who filled out the evaluations indicated that they ended up really enjoying the peer review – which forced them to draft and re-draft and gave them an opportunity of sharing work with each other. In line with these comments, I’ll be expanding this part of the course in 2005 – for example, building in peer review of first and second drafts.
Many of the most useful comments concerned the readings for specific weeks. When this course is taught again, I’ll be overhauling the readings partly in line with these comments.