UCSB Hist 2c: World History, 1700-present
Midterm Survey Results
survey completed May 12-15, 2006

course by Professor Harold Marcuse
(Course homepage, Prof's homepage; marcuse@history.ucsb.edu)
page created June 21, 2006, updated 6/23/06

General Remarks (back to top)

  • On Friday, May 12, 2006 I e-mailed the 220 students in the course that a midterm survey was available on-line, which I had created using a tool from the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University. By the next Monday evening 132 had responded.
    • I have compiled these for easy viewing immediately below. However, you can also see the page-by-page results: go to the midterm survey responses; click on [more] to see a full survey page, then previous or next response to view each subsequent page (the dates--May 5, etc. are a week off).
    • the midterm survey itself is viewable only if I have it activated
  • This is a free service (users must create a free account): CHNM Tools login page (select survey builder). Note: a "poll" compiles clicks on one simple question.
  • NOTE: For the results below I exported the surveys as a tab-delimited file and imported them into excel, then sorted each column and counted the number of each response (10 a, 70 b, 52 c, ...), then calculated the percentages myself. DO NOT put any optional fields in a survey before the end: they are left blank in the tab-delimited export, so the subsequent columns are off in excel, and it is a pain to insert them later! (thus make all questions required except the last)
    • I learned that lesson with my introductory survey, which 162 students completed in early April (see introductory survey responses, the survey itself viewable only if I leave it activated; aggregated results presented in lecture 2)
    • If you want to correlate two different questions, in Excel sort on two columns simultaneously (be sure that you keep the original file if you've been sorting individual columns without keeping the rows intact). I did that for household income and education level, as well as income and political party preference.
    • I found a few free survey tools on the web that gave nice output as bar graphs or pie charts, but they kept crashing while I was trying to create my surveys. I'd love to hear from anyone who knows better survey tools!

Survey Questions and Results (back to top)

  • Your candid answers to the following questions will provide me with feedback that will help me to improve the rest of this course.
  • The survey is anonymous.
  • There are 18 radio button questions and 1 text box for comments (actual responses below).

I.Attendance and Readings

  1. How many lectures have your missed so far (of 12):
    a. none
    b. 1 or 2
    c. 3 or 4
    d. 5 or more
    Lectures missed: 0-2: 80% 3 or more: 20%
    If you've missed a lot of lectures, please say why you don't attend in the comments box at the end. Thanks!
  2. What percentage of the assigned textbook chapters have you read:
    a. 90-100%
    b. 75%
    c. 40-60%
    d. less than 30%
    % of textbook: 3/4 or more: 55%; less than 60%: 45%
  3. How *personally* valuable do you find what you read in the textbook? (not: because it helps me study for the exams)
    a. very valuable/interesting
    b. somewhat useful/ok for a requirement
    c. not very useful/I don't care
    value of textbk: very: 18%, some: 65% not:18
  4. What percentage of Equiano's "Interesting Narrative" did you read?
    a. 90-100%
    b. about 75%
    c. 40-60%
    d. less than 30%
    essentially everyone read most
  5. How valuable do you consider what you learned from the first paper assignment? (My goals were to have you working with a primary source, recognizing arguments and assessing evidence, and also to practice presenting your analysis.)
    a. very valuable
    b. somewhat useful
    c. not very useful
    value of 1st paper: very: 33%, some: 55%, not very: 12%

II. Discussion section

  1. How many section meetings have your missed (or slept through/been totally unprepared for)?
    a. 1
    b. 2
    c. 3
    d. 4 or more
    e. none
    section attendance: 92% missed none or 1 (of 12)
  2. When you prepare for section, how much of the assigned portion of reader do you usually read *before* section?
    a. most or all
    b. a fair amount
    c. not that much
    d. none
    prep before section: 67% most/all
  3. How valuable do you find what you are learning in section--for your understanding of what history is and what historians do?
    a. very valuable
    b. somewhat useful
    c. not very useful
    value of section: very: 73%
  4. Who is your TA?
    a. Rafaela
    b. Ricardo
    c. Laurence
    d. Mary
    e. Heidi
  5. How valuable is section for your understanding of the course content?
    a. it is good augmentation and reinforcement
    b. I learn some, but it could be more effective.
    c. Section isn't much help in the course at all.

III. Midterm

  1. The midterm study guide was (choose one):
    a. very helpful
    b. good to have, but not that effective
    c. I didn't use it
    midterm guide: 80% found useful, 3% didn't use
  2. How did you find the midterm IDs?
    a. easy, fair
    b. difficult
    IDs: easy/fair 80%
  3. The midterm essay question was:
    a. fair
    b. too difficult
    Essay: easy/fair 80%
  4. The source interpretation was:
    a. easy/straightforward
    b. hard/confusing
    **Source: 41% easy/fair

IV. Website & Lecture Type; 2nd Paper & Comments

  1. How often have you found the course website useful?
    a. often
    b. once in a while
    c. not very useful
    d. I haven't visited it (much)
    website: 37% often, 50% sometimes useful
  2. Would you prefer to have more context/theory lectures that provide a framework for the detailed narrative in the textbook, or content-rich lectures like Prof. Roberts' on Japan?
    a. framework lectures are more helpful
    b. more of a mix in each lecture
    c. dense content lectures are better
    lecture type: 25% prefer framework, 50% mix; 25% dense content better
  3. If you could change just one thing about lecture, what would it be?
    (if other, note in text comment box below):
    a. more images
    b. more video
    c. more explanation why things are important
    d. more interaction with the audience
    e. slower pace
    f. other (please put your suggestion in the text box!)
    change one thing? 65% more explanation, 15% more video
  4. Which statement best reflects your main feeling about the 2nd paper?
    a. 23% I haven't started to think about it yet
    b. 24% I have no ideas for a topic
    c. 25% I have a topic but don't know how to connect it with the course
    d. 11% I don't understand what I'm supposed to do
    e. 17% I feel ok about my topic and the assignment
    2nd paper: 23% not yet, 24% no ideas, 25% can't connect to course, 11% don't understand
  • Please comment on the course: What gripes do you have? What do you like about it? If you don't attend lecture often, why not? What can I do to improve lecture or the the course? Do you have any topics you REALLY want to see covered?

What students wrote in the text comments field (back to top)

56/132=42% (56/220=25% of whole course) wrote something in the comment field.

  • Some remarks that I responded to in lecture:
    6: need better coordination between lecture and textbook
    4: complaints about midterm study guide
    2: powerpoint bad (hard to take notes); just terms would be better
    2: website: "shooting self in foot"

The actual comments (sorted alphabetically on first letter):

  1. As a senior and someone who came well-prepared from high school, these history survey courses aren't really that enlightening/eye opening for me. However, I appreciate your efforts to try to take a slightly different tack - I find historical theory and interpretation interesting. It would be helpful if you would structure the readings from the textbook to fit better with lecture, right now it feels like it's not even the same class. Also, I feel it's unfair to assign what amounts to a small research project as the second paper, but that feeling could be affected by the fact that I'm taking my proseminar this quarter and have enough research to do!
  2. At times it can be hard to gather what the general important idea you want us to get out of a slide is. Especially when it is mostly dates, but you have told us that memorizing dates is not the most important thing for this course.
  3. hard to concentrate
  4. How can we connect different "themed" lectures/events that we attend, since we need more than one to do the second paper?
  5. I am a history major and this is one of my last lower division classes to complete. I have enjoyed and gotten a lot out of every other history class that I have taken, and found that the most valuable lectures are power points that explain the significance
  6. I am currently enrolled in Hist 17C. We were given the study guide one week prior to the exam. There were 5 questions on the study guide, 2 of which appear on the midterm, and each student must answer one. I did not feel at all prepared for the source interpretation. With such specific information being needed it would be nice to know what will be on the exam. Otherwise lecture is great. I enjoy the professor and my TA as well.
  7. I am missing this week of class because i am out of the state at the National Lacrosse Championships with my team. Other than that i have not missed any lectures or sections. I find the class pretty interesting and informative, and the requirements for it fair.
  8. I am never sure what the lectures' main points are and what concepts are important to know. Lectures could be more straightforward and highlight and make clear what the main points are and why they are important to know.
  9. I believe most students along with myself were under the impression that we would get to choose between the slave trade essay and that on the French Revolution. Though we are at fault, the wording was somewhat misleading and resulted in me focusing my study on one of them (French Revolution unfortunately!).
  10. I don't like memorizing dates. I like the overall "interactive/global" aspect of world history. I don't feel like going that particular day. I want to cover WWII.
  11. I don't really understand the details of what happened in China and Japan all that well. I want to understand what we've been doing since the midterm with more clarity, because I don't feel like I'm getting everything as well as I did for the first part of the quarter.
  12. I enjoy the class. I wish I was better about getting all of my reading done. I get a good portion of it done each week, but there always seems to be something that I am unable to get to. I feel that the only thing that may help me out a bit is if we went over historical significance a bit more with each subject.
  13. I enjoy the course. I do not always attend lectures (out of laziness), but when I do, I find them quite interesting. Also Heidi is very good at explaining and emphasizing important themes of the course in section. The reading is very good, I especially enjoy reading the textbook. I don't know if this is useful, maybe you wanted criticism, but I really like the way the course has been taught. You're doing a great job professor.
  14. I feel like the class would be more interesting if we could discuss the events of the past in more detail. Since it is a survey course I was expecting more actual history details. I feel that it would be useful to have a base knowledge before I tried to understand how the theory of history worked. It would also be more helpful to learn the and then I could try to think about their significance myself. I do understand the importance of understanding the theory and practice of historiography, but in an introductory survey course a presentation of the facts seems more appropriate.
  15. I have missed a few lectures because I have had to go back home for a few personal reasons this quarter. I avoid missing them though.
  16. I have missed lectures because I am lazy. The most important thing I could say would be for you to have a very thorough and in depth study guide of what you would like us to know for the test. Also a more in depth explanation of what you exactly want for the 2nd paper.
  17. I just feel that there is not enough information given, and the lectures are not that important as long as the reading is done.
  18. I like the content of the course and the Professor is a really cool guy, I just wish the lectures included more relevant detail to the course. I find myself often dazing out because what he is talking about is just too much in-depth from the topic we are intended to learn about. I am a little confused, still, about what i should be writing down and what i should focus on. I wasn't sure, until i read and worked through the study guide, what I was to learn and understand prior to the midterm.
  19. I love Mary. She has really helped me understand the course better. I have a hard time following the lectures. She clarifies the information you want us to know. I would suggest instead of the power point outlines, making a list of key terms then having us fill in the info from your lectures. We will have better notes, not just regurgitated info.
  20. I missed a few lectures because I was sick, but i find the discussion sections useful. I like getting the general gist of the events covered, and the causes/effects. I don't have enough time to do all the reading.
  21. I missed lecture today because I had to prepare for another midterm. It has been the only lecture that I have missed thus far.
  22. I missed several lectures because I tore my ACL early on in the quarter. In fact I missed today's lecture because I had surgery in Santa Barbara. I will try to come to the rest of lectures.
  23. I really didn't like the fact that we got the study guide so late just because i was studying all the wrong things until i received it and i wasn't able to study the more important ID's. I really enjoyed today's lecture with prof roberts, i am just more use to that type of lecturing and its easier for me to comprehend the material. but other than that i feel lecture is well organized and presented im just not use to this way of being presented the information.
  24. I think that you should focus more on what actually happened than just the dates. I cannot follow along in lecture, i find it to be too boring and difficult to follow along. You are unclear in what you are saying.
  25. I think the most of the lectures are confusing. They seem to go in every direction, but they are interesting I am just lost most of the time. The study guide was very helpful I just hope for the final we will receive the entire study guide sooner.
  26. I think you are doing a great job so far, but here is some advice for you. I think that your excellently detailed website matched with the lecture notes may be directly correlated with the decreasing number of students coming to lecture. I think that stud
  27. I wish we could go over some of the things in the textbook more since when I read I don't remember many details of what I read the first time through and would like to get things straight in my head, though I realize it is only a ten week course so you have to pick and choose things to learn about in more depth. I am glad we are learning more about Asia and really enjoyed the lecture on Japan.
  28. I would like to see more content covered in the course, such as Asia in the earlier part of the course
  29. I would like to see more in depth lectures about facts. I am a history major and I am looking for a course that will give me the facts that I will use in the more in depth classes that I will take in the future. Teaching theory and thought are good, but I would like to see more fact. I want a good basis of knowledge to kick off my upper division classes with and I don't know how much of that I am getting. I like you as a professor though, you seem very knowledgeable and approachable. I also really like the fact that you are not afraid to admit you don't know everything and have reached out to those who might be able to complement you (Prof. Luke Roberts) in order to best prepare us students. Thank you for that!
  30. I would only suggest that there would be more cohesiveness throughout the lecture. Often it feels like we travel through time too quickly in terms of subjects. Also, sometimes you go off on irrelevant tangents that make it a little distracting when taking notes. Other than that, it is professors like you that reinforce my love for history, so thank you.
  31. I'm a 4th year history major. Hopefully this survey hasn't made it seem as though I'm a know-it-all or in any way above this class, but the fact is I already know most of this stuff. Just never got around to taking all of the lower divisions stuff and instead
  32. It is sometimes difficult to connect the textbook readings with what is discussed in lecture. It would be more helpful if you alluded to more of the text in lecture.
  33. It was frustrating that the updated midterm guide came out so late. It kept getting pushed back. . . it was supposed to come out on sunday. . . but didn't get updated until wednesday. I'm having a hard time seeing what's going on during the time periods we're studying and what is important about the subjects we are learning.
  34. It would be more helpful if the midterm study guide were posted a few days earlier.
  35. It would be nice if the lectures contained more content and explained how it is connected to concepts/theories more clearly.
  36. It would helpful if the powerpoint slides illustrated/and or reflected the key concepts that you intend for the students to grasp rather than abstract ideas that we seemingly have to interpret. If this is not a possibility, there is no point to have the slides because I believe, as weird as this may sound, that I would take better notes without the current powerpoint (I find myself copying down the slides and not listening to what you are saying about the slides).
  37. It's not that I don't have any ideas for the paper, I just don't have an event or specific book to tie into the paper.
  38. it's sometimes hard to know what you expect us to know for tests. more big picture or more details?
  39. i've stopped attending lecture because i feel that i'm more productive reading the assignments on my own rather than falling asleep in class. don't be offended though, i have 2 classes before yours, starting at 8am, i'm not a morning person, and i'm starving during your class. i go to all the sections too, but i find them pretty boring and useless, the only thing it has been helpful with so far was preparing for the equiano essay.
  40. Lecture feels REALLY long. It would be beneficial to switch gears more often, no matter how that is accomplished (ex 30 mins lecture, 20 mins film, 45 mins lecture, or more audience interaction). The lecture when we went over the same material in order
  41. Lectures could cover more material dealing with the textbook and readings for the week. Video, pictures, demonstrations really help make the lecture more interesting. The music at the beginning is really cool too. Another cool thing was when each of the TAs and Prof Marcuse got to lecture about their own research.
  42. Lectures have proven to be nearly useless. While its goals are solid, its presentation is flat. This carries over to the first paper, which had an extremely limited topic and forced the student to agree completely with the topic. The topic was "what co
  43. Like themes and direction of the course; stress of interconnectivity. Do not attend all lectures because content is familiar.
  44. Make it more fun.
  45. My answers concerning the mid term could change based on my mid-term grade. About the survey. . . i have missed no sections, but there is no option for missing "0" sections Thank you, i appreciate your interest
  46. My biggest gripe is that Prof. Marcuse seems really preoccupied with other things, which may be unavoidable if there are personal issues, but if not then it seems like he needs to cut back on some stuff so that he can focus on the course. The study guide
  47. my section is extremely helpful in understanding how lecture and readings are relevant to the course. I have trouble in figuring out what i should be writing down in lecture, i dont know what are the main points, so if those could maybe be pointed out or listed at the beginning of lecture that would help
  48. N/A
  49. Please show what is impt to know, a good outline. also, please make sure the study guide for the final is ready much more in advance than the day before. . it was not fair to get it that close to the midterm
  50. Professor Robert's lecture yesterday was very enjoyable. He used different elements and had a prepared outline with the difficult names spelled out and ready to go. He even passed around an authentic book from Japan--though I honestly forget why. . . But it
  51. The course could be a little more interesting. It would be helpful to have lecture be a little more context based (like in Prof. Roberts' lecture, in order to know what is going on). When I enter class, I feel like I am expected to already know/be familiar
  52. The first few weeks were a little too Euro-centric (although understandably unavoidable when dealing with issues such as slavery, imperialism, and the industrial revolution). From the syllabus, I look forward to the lectures on non-Western topics.
  53. The reason I have not attended some lectures are if I have had a midterm later that day. otherwise lecture is very interesting and posting them online is very helpful!
  54. The subject matter is great. The theory is great too, but I would like you to lecture along with the textbook, more content I mean, because the textbook is so dense with info, and I have trouble getting oriented. The theory is great for re-examining things, but this is the first time I'm learning about China, Japan, and other world histories. I loved Kuhn, it made me think. I'm enjoying the class.
  55. There is a lot of content to cover yet in lecture there is a lot left out. I feel like there is too much theory and reasoning behind why things went on without any review or discussion about the event or situation. I would like it if you picked out some
  56. There was no option for not messing any sections. The course website is really confusing.
  57. There's a lot of repetition concerning the main causes for certain things (ex: what causes universal revolutions) and although it is helpful to repeat necessary information (and I appreciate the effort) after a while I tend to tune it out as old information.

prepared for web by Harold Marcuse, June 21, 2006, updated: see header
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