What is a Course Analyst? An Overview of a Rare Student Job

Submitted by Faith Harris, student at The Ohio State University and Course Analyst in the Teaching and Learning Department of University Libraries

When I was looking for a campus job before my second year, I came across a job called “course analyst.” Seeing as it was a job at Thompson Library (and having a life-long love of libraries and books) I decided to apply and see what this job was all about. I interviewed with (my now manager) Hanna Primeau, an instructional designer in the Teaching and Learning Department, and loved everything I heard. I began working in September of 2022 and set off on my newly found work.

Imagine my surprise when, a couple months into the job, I was told I am the only person on campus, and across multiple universities, with this position. And I was offered the opportunity to write about my position on this blog.

My job consists of many different responsibilities, including editing future courses, providing student feedback on the content, and suggesting changes to be made. I go through the course as if I am actually taking it for credit, doing all of the assignments, reading all of the assigned texts. I do the final projects, the midterms, and the quizzes. Afterwards, I utilize the Word document created by my manager and tear the course to shreds!

Only joking! After completing each assignment, I provide my feedback: what I liked, what was helpful, what didn’t make sense, and what could be improved. On top of this, I look for any typos, broken links, any sentences that don’t make much sense and record it all in a document for Hanna. I have provided feedback for two different courses so far, ARTSSCI 2120 and course 1411 by Danny Dotson.

I also take on other random projects that come up around the department. I have provided feedback for specific modules in different courses, I have recorded videos to be added to courses, and (my most recent project) went through the Choosing and Using Sources textbook to look for any errors and help improve the user experience.

Overall, the main purpose of my job is to provide a student perspective on assignments, readings, websites, pretty much whatever comes my way! The Teaching and Learning department uses me as their gateway into the student mind. Hanna told me from the start to always be honest with my feedback: if something is boring, say it’s boring. If something doesn’t make sense, say it doesn’t make sense. Our goal is to make these courses as enjoyable and as useful as possible for the students taking them, and that’s where I come in!