Periodic evaluation Autumn 08
1. Description of and comments regarding possible deviations from and changes in the course description
ARA4303 as such has remained the same as designed, but actual programme for autumn ‘08 was changed (from last year’s “Satire in Modern Arabic Fiction” to “Literature and nation-building – The formation of ‘national literature’ in the Arab world”, for the sake of topical variation).
2. Comments on the quantative performance data for the course (grades, failures, withdrawals)
2, temporarily 3 participants (1 decided not to continue after the first sessions, due to other obligations). 2 produced excellent (“A”) results in their papers (no failures).
3. Are there indications/examples of exceptionally good quality? How is this followed up?
Texts chosen for reading and discussion seemed all interesting and amusing for the students. Tutoring may have helped to produce good papers. Student evaluation gave excellent results.
4. Are there indications of less than satisfactory quality? How is this followed up?
Students’ generally low knowledge of literary analyses and theory could be countered by relating aesthetic aspects to extra-literary Arab history.
5. What is focused upon in this period with regards to development of academinc quality?
Literature courses still have to be run on a lower, i.e. less aesthetically oriented level. Content is being given preponderance over form (without neglecting the latter), since it is easier to arouse students’ sensibility for the “concrete” social, political, economical phenomena a text talks about than for its (seemingly “abstract”) aesthetical aspects.
The M.A. course works quite well. There does not seem to be a need to modify it. During the current (spring) term, in which I teach MØNA1300 for the first time, special emphasis will be given to “market” this BA-level course as a preparatory course / introduction also for ARA4303 (and -4304) courses.
6. Suggestions for improving the course
Literature courses will automatically become more effective as soon as it is possible to prepare students for a “literary approach” on an earlier stage of their career, i.e. already on the BA level. One should consider the idea of making attendance of the MØNA1300 course obligatory for those who register for ARA4304.