HI173 - Jan 2018:
Feedback on the course is overwhelmingly positive. Seminars are intellectually stimulating and well-explained; there is a consistent feeling that the course addresses a broad range of interesting and challenging topics.
The students enjoy the lectures, the reading materials, and topics. Most of them have requested use of ‘lecture capture’ and on-line access to lecture slides. Many also felt that there was not enough guidance on the essay plan. This was addressed in the introductory meeting in week one and is further discussed on the module page, but it could be further reinforced in the seminars.
With regard to the seminars, some students feel it is not easy to participate in discussions and that they should be pushed more. They also want some of the difficult readings to be discussed in more depth.
Some students wonder if we might provide a more gentle introduction to the course period, to provide a common basis for subsequent discussion. This was the intention of the first few weeks of the course as planned this year, but we can look into this again in review. Similarly, some say they don't get "the big picture" of the module, and that we are taking for granted too much of a general background knowledge on imperialism and the period. Again, this is a suitable subject for review.
There are also calls to be more aware of how challenging some students find the readings, and perhaps to consider setting ‘easy’ and ‘hard’ readings each week. I am not sure that is a desirable response, but tutors are consistently praised for their ability to explain complex topics in class.
Seminar tutors will also be particularly mindful of the need for active measures to increase class participation; including the use of debate topics; students taking it in turns to present readings; and other means to stimulate discussion among those who do not feel compelled to speak.
RF, KS, GC