Sasha

How are you being represented this month?

Summary

Earlier this year, we introduced a new method for Course Reps to record and report issues affecting you, so that we can more easily be aware of the issues impacting you on your course and can as a result spot trends across the University earlier – and fix them sooner. I use this information to guide the discussions I have with the University, and you can read what I’ve been up to over the last month here!

Because it’s Christmas nearly – this month’s word cloud comes in the shape of a Christmas tree! As you might be able to tell, there have been a few key issues:

  1. Course Content and Delivery
  2. Learning and Teaching Methods
  3. Representation
  4. Communication
  5. Assessment

The Breakdown

As it’s been the middle part of term, Course Reps have been dealing with a majority of issues to do with course content and delivery – so that in the latter stages of the module, in the run up to final assessments and exams, you’re getting a standard of teaching that you think is brilliant. This has ranged from wanting further clarification on theories, which lecturers have then done so in future lectures, to┬ánot finding the lecturer’s writing legible on the board.

On learning and teaching methods, a lot of reps have been working on ensuring that lecturers don’t forget that this isn’t revision for you – this is the first time you’re learning the material, so they need to be clear and thorough in how they explain issues. Those reported have been resolved, which hopefully means that lectures are more useful for everyone.

As it’s been the start of the year, representation itself has been a talking point, with the rep teams for each course discussing how to best let you all know who they are and how to best contact them. We’re still having a few technical problems with our Find-a-Rep page, but you can find a list of your Academic Presidents here, along with their Facebook profiles!

Similarly, reps have been working out how to best communicate the work that they’ve been doing to you, and since then, many courses have introduced monthly reports for students to be sent to you all. If you’ve received any and have found them useful, or haven’t and think it would be a good idea – leave a comment!

Finally, an issue that has come up in the latter parts of this month has been to do with assessment – with many deadlines coming up, and especially because of the provisional exam dates being released. The University policy on exams is currently such that you cannot have 3 exams in a row – that is: one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the following morning (not 3 exams in 3 days). That’s not to say you can’t raise your concerns, as the lecturers can request a different exam slot on your behalf – just like 2nd year Psychology students did, and had their exam moved. If you’re worried about your exam timetable, tell your Academic President, and the worst that can happen is that they try for you and it’s not able to be moved.

I’m currently working with the University on how to best alleivate pressure on the exam period, but because of the sheer number of exams to be conducted in two weeks, it would literally need a third week of exams to be introduced in order to increase the spacing between exams. This has knock on effects on the next semester and the end of the year, so is this a viable solution?┬áPlease leave your thoughts below!

Hopefully that gives an insight into the work of your representatives for this month, let me know if there are any stand out students you want to give a particular mention to!

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