Actually putting students at the heart of Education – Plans for 2012/13
Aloha! Today is my turn to outline what I’m hoping to achieve over my final 11 months as a Sabbatical Officer.
In the past 12 months, lots of work has gone into preparing for 2012 (with it’s £9k fees and all), with a lot of projects now established to review and make improvements in a whole range of areas. This year, then, as well as ensuring they continue throughout the year and enhance the student experience, these are the three main areas I will be looking to address:
1) Identify, recognise and share quality feedback
Looking at student feedback, it’s quite clear where the University can continue to develop. To address this, I will continue to look at feedback, exams especially – ensuring that students receive approrpiate levels of feedback and access to exam scripts (as well as developing a policy of proof-reading the exams before they’re out…). Specifically, I’ll look to work on ensuring online submission and marking of work allows for greater tracking of quality, in terms of feedback timeliness and clearly highlighting how students can improve their work.
But that’s not all – it’s also important to recognise and quality feedback, because a lot of lecturers really do help students. To do this, I want to introduce a student-led Excellence in Teaching Awards night, where students take a lead in acknowledging their lecturers, and the whole University will be able to see the range of quality we have here at Southampton.
2) Developing the Student Voice
Last year was about implementing a new structure for representation, to fit alongside the University re-structure; now I want to focus on ensuring that the 600 reps out there are the best they possibly can be.
To do that, I want to significantly improve the training we provide reps, introduce sessions throughout the year, and also raise awareness of the roles within the student body with increased publicity. It also involves improving the way we monitor reps, to ensure that they are fulfilling their duty properly.
3) Amplifying Change and the Student Voice
With over 600 reps, if they all made just one difference in a year, that’s over 600 improvements to the student experience – but how many of these changes get back to the student body?
I want to develop clearer reporting structures for representatives to let us know what impact they have had, so that we can shout about it, as well as developing the communications within each Academic Unit by staff, showcasing what reps are talking about in meetings and what changes are being introduced.
An extension of that is reviewing how we reward and recognise those reps who have had an amazing impact on their course, and building on the Course Rep Awards that were introduced last year.
This role is quite unlike the others, in that it is predominantly spent interacting externally with University staff and pushing for improvements. With that in mind, I will certainly be looking to work with the University to enhance Employability, Personal Tutors, and Online Technology – but by enhancing the quality of the representatives, it increases the total impact had on the student experience to a much greater degree.
Let me know your thoughts below! Which areas do you think will have the greatest impact on your course?