First Master Class Receives Positive Feedback

TaRC’s first Master Class, the Media and the Arctic course, was concluded in January-February by students giving their evaluations. All in all, almost two thirds of the 45 participants returned the feedback form. Happily for TaRC staff and the teachers, the feedback was widely positive.

When assessing their main takeaways from the course, the majority of students reported they had learnt to understand the complexity of the Arctic and its media representations better on the course. They also said they had begun to see more clearly how the Arctic is connected to the rest of the world.

Apart from the cognitive advances, the students praised the course for its general structure where people from different backgrounds – working journalists, scholars, students, and activists – came together and learnt from each other in a collegial spirit.

In open-ended remarks, the student-centred atmosphere in small group discussions was widely lauded.

I got the most interesting and useful information in small group lessons. There we had the opportunity to have a conversation with the group and the teachers and we could influence what we wanted to focus on and learn more about.

Many said they made friends on the course that they still keep in touch with. This pleases us no end – we are happy to see that the spirit of camaraderie and collaboration we witnessed so often during the Master Class week in November still lives on!

Making the exchange of ideas and co-operation smooth requires plenty of planning, and judging by many positive comments, that job was done very well.

Thank you for a really nicely organized course. No other course I’ve taken part in in my four years at uni has succeeded this well in making clear timetables and arrangements, and sticking to them!

Although participants thought highly of the structure and planning of the course, they also found things to improve (as they should, so well done to them!). These issues were mainly found in the course execution. The workload during the Master Class week raised some concern amongst students, and some extra time for reflection and practical tasks could also have been useful.

However, overall, students were satisfied or extremely satisfied with most aspects of the course, as shown by the averages in the following survey questions (scale: 1 = very poorly, 5 = very well):

  • How well did the pre-assignment reading and watching material support your learning during the Master Class? (avg: 4.21, N=27)
  • How well did the keynote lectures support your learning during the Master Class? (avg: 4.54, N=27)
  • How well did the panel discussion support your learning during the Master Class? (avg: 4.15, N=26)
  • How well did the Master Class support your work with the final assignment? (avg: 4.44, N=24)
  • How well did the final assignment support your learning overall? (avg: 4.21, N=23)
  • How well did you achieve your personal learning goals? (avg: 4.36, N=27)

All of us at TaRC wish to thank our participants and teachers once more for a great Master Class – we did it together! The preparations for this year’s event are well underway, and your feedback has already proved useful as we seek to develop the Master Class concept further. More information on that in due course this spring.