History In the Making: HSTY3901 Student Feedback Semester 1, 2015

Overall students found History in the Making to be a stimulating and engaging course, with 98% of them agreeing HSTY 3901 had been intellectually rewarding. The course enabled these students to become advanced readers and writers of history, leaving one student feeling that completing History in the Making was ‘a challenging, yet enjoyable and uplifting experience’.


History in the Making was run for the first time in Semester 1, 2015. Sixty eight students were enrolled in the course and 75% provided us with feedback on their experience at the end of the course. Unit of Study Coordinator, Kirsten McKenzie and Tutor, James Findlay, were praised by their students for the ‘absolutely exceptional’ manner in which they guided the students through this advanced course in historical theory, methodology and writing. 98% of the students strongly agreed or agreed that they were pleased with the quality of teaching they received from Kirsten and James. Students also appreciated the connections they made with the numerous guest lectures who introduced them to many new topics and approaches to history. Students particularly enjoyed the ‘collegial atmosphere’ of the course developed through the peer group exercises where students shared their research and engaged with one another’s.
Students thus revelled in being able to select their own research topic for the major essay and as one student put it, ‘produce a really original work’. While students pointed to the challenges this brought, it was also highlighted that Kirsten and James provided them with a ‘high level of encouragement’, which helped the students to ‘foster self-belief to achieve to a higher level’. The step by step process by which students developed their projects and submitted work to be assessed was generally appreciated, yet as with all research methodologies there is always room for improvement and we appreciate the students’ feedback in this regard. Key issues raised pointed to the need for us to perhaps reconsider the timing of assessments and to start discussion groups earlier so students can engage with their peers on their own work earlier in the semester.
Overall students found History in the Making to be a stimulating and engaging course, with 98% of them agreeing HSTY 3901 had been intellectually rewarding. The course enabled these students to become advanced readers and writers of history, leaving one student feeling that completing History in the Making was ‘a challenging, yet enjoyable and uplifting experience’.

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