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Monday, 10 January 2011

Responses to student feedback: Emerging Modernities (Jeremy Tambling)

Comments on student responses to the ‘Emerging Modernities’ course, 2010-12-22

Prof. Jeremy Tambling

  1. The comments seem very generous indeed, and I am glad students enjoyed the course. I enjoyed teaching it. 
  2. For those who say there was not enough ‘feedback’, I can only say that I have never known a course where so few students approached me for help in my office-hours, or at any other time. I have made it clear that I only respond to emails to arrange appointments or to answer brief queries, because I believe university teaching should be, in the absence of tutorials, by informal conversation, and I am happy for these to go on as long as is profitable. This group of students hardly approached me at all, though I encouraged them to do so, even for help on how to approach the essay.
  3. Though I did not use Blackboard, there was plenty of material on my website for the students to use, but I did not refer to this: it was there as back-up and as information.
  4. My regret is that students felt that they could come or not come as they chose to class. The course was designed to be taken as a whole, not as a collection of separate texts, but I thought students missed classes much too frequently for this intention really to be carried out.
  5. For the students who felt that 3 hours was too long: I am sure they are right, but this was because I had more students than I thought, producing I hour lecture plus two hours seminar. I decided to put the seminars together, and teach all for the 3 hours. This gave more contact time, and I do not think it lessened discussion. If I had the chance to, given a similar situation, it would be good to have 2 hours plus one, but (a) I am not sure this could be arranged administratively though I could and will try and (b) I am not sure that the students would come together twice a week, though it would be ideal if they could! 

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