Monday 10 January 2011

Responses to student feedback: Contemporary Irish Poetry (Liam Harte)

ENGL30941 Contemporary Irish Poetry and Fiction, 2010-11
Response to Student Questionnaires

The course received an overwhelmingly positive response from students, virtually all of  whom commented on the intellectually stimulating nature of the course in terms of its content, structure, design and delivery. The teaching was judged to be of a high quality; the feedback was deemed clear, constructive and timely; the tutor was considered approachable and helpful; the lecture/seminar format was seen as enhancing learning; and the primary and secondary reading was said by most to be engaging, challenging and informative. Several students said they really liked the fact that they were required to present on a topic of their choosing at some point during the course. When asked what they would like to see changed, the great majority of students said that they were very happy with the course as it stands, with many stating that they would recommend the course to others.

The following two aspects of the course were singled out for particular praise:

1. The Blackboard course site. Students said:

·      ‘I thought the Blackboard site for this course was excellent, very well organised and useful. I’d like to see a similar standard of Blackboard site for other English courses.’
·      ‘Blackboard was the best I have encountered – organised, informative and interesting.’
·      ‘Blackboard and the library were superb. Everything I wanted or needed in relation to the course I could access.’
·      ‘Blackboard resources were fantastic.’
·      ‘The texts on Blackboard were a great foundation.’

2. The introduction of an online multiple-choice examination, which carries 30% of the overall assessment. Students welcomed this as ‘removing the process of selective revision’ and said that it was ‘a great way of encouraging students to engage with every text’. Several also liked the fact that it provided them with timely feedback prior to the written examination. While some students felt the exam revision was quite taxing, the general consensus was that it should be continued in the future.

All in all, then, the feedback received for this course was gratifyingly positive. Students have evidently had an enjoyable and stimulating learning experience.

Liam Harte
January 2011

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