Last week I held 5 Top-up Training session for Course Reps, with the help of the Ed Unit. These lasted just under 1 hour and had 2 main sections. The first part of the training gave information about campaigns and Course Rep related issues taking place over this semester. The second part of the training was a workshop on time management skills provided by Marta Ulanicka from Learning Development in the Careers department at the University of Leicester.
A reminder was given about the National Students Survey (NSS) which has been running since 6th February 2012 and will continue to run for a couple of months. This is a survey measuring student satisfaction which is completed by final year undergraduate students. he data gathered in previous years has made big changes to the student experience in many Higher Education Institutions across the UK. It can even lead to small changes at a course level. The higher the response to the survey the more chance there is of improving the learning experience for future students.This year our University are running a campaign to promote the survey and encourage students to fill it in. As part of this campaign the Education Unit are running a competition for final year Reps. We are asking them to promote the survey to final year students’ in their department. We will provide them with flyers to hand out in lectures or post in pigeon holes in their department. There are a few rules they need to follow such as that they cannot force someone to take part in the survey and theycannot influence their response, for example they must not encourage them to say good or bad things about their department. The winners of the competition will be based on the following:
- The percentage of students in that department filling out the survey
- The overall number of responses that department gets
- The campaigning effort the final year course reps in that department put in as a group.
Each final year course rep in the winning department will receive a £10 Highcross voucher.
In March the Ed Unit will be running the ‘I love My Academic‘ campaign. We ran this last year and it was a great success. It is an award celebrating good teaching where students nominate academic staff and say why they should win. The campaign will run from 12th March 2012 to 30th March 2012, which is the end of the Spring term. The survey will be filled out online at http://www.surveymokey.com. Close to the start of the campaign a link will be sent out to Course Reps who will be asked to distribute this and promote the campaign to students in their department.
This year Course Rep Accreditation will be assessed based more on qualitativerather than quantitative data. This means that it is better for the Reps to attend a few Course Rep events but put in a lot of effort and contribute a lot to them rather than attend many and contribute little. We have asked them to record and submit anything that they do that they feel contributes to their effectiveness as a course rep. Doing it this way also means that they might think of somethings that helps them in their role that we hadn’t thought of. Their record can be in any format you like e.g. an online blog, word document or hand written. They must include evidence in your record such as photos, screen shots, email and references. The deadline for submission of their Course Rep Accreditation record is 30th March 2012 by 4pm.
A big change is being made to the Course Rep system this year which is that we will be hoping to recruit and train the 2nd and final year reps in the summer term! This is still very much in the planning stages and we welcome any input from existing course reps. The benefits of doing this include allowing more time to spread out the training and give more sessions, letting more Course Reps attend. We can also tailor the training more towards existing reps. One suggestion is to give different training sessions to Reps from different colleges. We are hoping to get existing Reps involved and ask them to contribute to the training sessions. Of course 1st year reps will still be elected and training in October.