Cari Tuhey, Undergraduate Administrator, History
Since Cari joined the History Department in 2008, she has encouraged reflection on the student experience and has taken an active part in the revision of the syllabi and methods of assessment.
A key example is the changes made to the BA in History with a European Language. In this degree, students spend the third year studying at a European university. Students on this programme learn not only the language of the country they visit but also a different historiographical tradition, so they learn the importance of the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies and are able to transfer this knowledge to others. However, this programme has had problems in the past, particularly in the way in which the year abroad was assessed.
In 2009, Cari and Departmental Tutor Dr Antonio Sennis overhauled the assessment of the year abroad so that it better reflected the structure and workload expectations of the department’s degree programmes. Previously, students were assessed on the basis of three dossiers of work, submitted on their return, and the average of the assessment marks from the host institutions. The new assessment is on the basis of two approved courses at the host institution, one standalone essay in English using primary sources and bibliography in the language of the host institution, and an unseen translation exam. In other words, assessment of the year abroad is now better designed to test the full range of students' skills.
In 2009, Cari created a new affiliate student handbook, specially tailored to the requirements of non-UK students who are unfamiliar with the structures, terminology and teaching methods of the UK. This interest in students also led her to think about how to optimise students' choices and help them make appropriate choices. So she created an online course directory to make course information as accessible as possible to students and to help them think about their options in an informed way.
Cari works very closely with many colleagues and is respected by all members of the department. Inevitably, she has a very close working relationship with Antonio Sennis, who cannot speak too highly of her. He says that the students' learning experience has been "amazingly improved by Cari’s insight and knowledge".
A real sense of her contribution is given by Antonio when he states: "We really have worked together on an equal footing. As our mutual motto says, Cari and I almost always agree and, on the rare occasions that we don't, she is right."