Briefings

 

We have put together  summaries of the Student Staff Committees  taking place in each relevant department. Please select your department from the below to see the matters that were raised by past Course Reps together with some of the positives and not so positives comments made by students graduating in July 2019.

If the Department briefings that you are interested in does not appear in the list below, please email coursereps@leicester.ac.uk

 

Academic Rep Lunches
 

During the Course Rep lunches, the Academic Representation Team took notes of what was said. These are not a transcript, and some questions/information were missed.

College of Social Sciences Arts and Humanities (19/11)

Resources for humanities are not as demanding (cost wise) as the SE programmes however they are paying the same fees, and how that is value for money. Having one copy in the library per 15 students , means that when the programmes has slightly under 50 student there is only one copy. 

Staff have raised that they are aware of some of the challenges, but these will be looked into further.

 

What is it going to be done by the SU to ensure that students will not be assessed on material that is lost during strikes?

Guidance from the SU and university given about the strikes - note that departments have agreed not to assess students on material that would have been covered during the strike. If this isn't done, contact heads of department or the head of school.

 

Trying to understand what are the reason of the strikes, pensions, and the fallout re: the gov agreement. Beside the strike itself, what is the university's stance on the strike?

The negotiations are not in the university power, as it taking place at national level, and it comes down to the affordability of the model. University is sympathetic to the staff demands, however, it wouldn't be affordable for the institution to answer the demands. From SU point of view it is important to that staff know that they are supported, as it is a difficult decision.

 

Strikes impact on student learning, and is there a chance for reimbursement?
International students pay double if not tripe compared to eu home students, the idea of deciding what will happen with the money from the strikes is all good, but international student lose more money than the home/eu students. Reimbursment/ compensations should be available, and should be individually assessed.

Discussion of the strike fund pot, which comes from staff vages, and that students have access to discuss what this is used for. Annual Members Meeting will decide, and then how the money is actually spent will be decided by various Action Groups.

 

Attendance during strikes, particularly for international students.

For the strike action, university will suspend the attendance monitoring during the strike, however the scanning would be necessary to give the university an understanding the impact

 

What can the SU and the department do to help reps access their peers?

SU website has been solved, emails can now be sent and so can surveys. If reps have anymore suggestions these can be sent to coursereps@leicester.ac.uk.

 

Who is responsible for updating the front facing PGR students list, including their area of study?

Lists are being managed by schools, but the university is in the process of being centralised by the end of the academic year.

 

Issues with library and printing, journals that are not available from other institutions or university library, and students cannot ask for the books to be purchased, only through the supervisor, and that the funding for resources comes from supervisor's budget.

Discussed with student directly, and being investigated further.

 

Could 100% attendance could it be rewarded, to encourage students to attend?

This will be looked into by university staff.

 

Issues with timetabling and only receiving timetables on short notice.

Told to speak to SSC and timetabling members of staff, but also that this is good to know as the university is trying to improve the timetabling. Will be taken forward.

 

What can course reps do to help decolonise the curriculum?

Look at what your departments are doing, connect with members of staff. Make it an active part of SSCs and make sure it's being discussed.

College of Science and Engineering, College of Life Sciences (28/11)

Q: Physics SSCs go well and staff genuinely want to be involved with solving issues. Students aren't aware of the changes when they aren't part of the process, but it's good to see now they're part of the process.

A: Course reps should be thanked for the amount of effort they put in to making changes. Course reps are a good system to bring up suggestions and changes, and at Leicester course reps bring up good changes.

 

Q: Issues with timetabling and students being able to work, and because of how late timetables were released. Could they be released earlier in future? 2 weeks isn't enough time if you're organising childcare, so it's making mature students and students with caring responsibilities suffer (Psych specifically)

A:  Mature students should talk to their departments to organise things in particular.

 

Q: Changes through the year to timetabling aren't being added to outlook calendars.

A: Again, this should be looked at, especially for courses like medicine with a longer semester.

 

Q: No feedback from labs, only marks, which makes it difficult to improve as they don't know why they're getting low marks.

A: Students should have been given written feedback as well as marks, and this will be looked at.

 

Q: Oge asks if international students are being effected differently by the strikes.

A: Some departments are being informed, i.e. PG Physics. International students in Psych who are paying a lot, and their attendance effects visas, but there's been no clarity with how the attendance works.

 

Q: Oge asks if students have been informed of these rules, and what they're told. CRs say that it's very limited, and some departments have asked for CRs not to spread info about the strikes.

A: Staff have been asked to inform students when they are striking, but they don't have to. Attendance won't count when the staff are on strike. Register at some point, to show they're still in the country, and if you're on campus for a session that is cancelled you should still scan your card.

A: Students are entitled to ask about who is striking, they might chose not to answer, but they should ask.

 

Q: Students don't know how strikes effects attendance, assessments, etc.

A: If face to face meetings are missing, they will not be assessed. However, Psychology are assessing on written material if that is being made available.

 

Q: Each department is following their own method, there is no communication between the departments. Especially in relation to the strikes, as some departments are giving clear communication and others are giving nothing.

A: Different schools are effected differently, so they need to be able to respond differently. It is appropriate for them to respond differently, but there should still be communication. Information will be recirculated, but make sure people are checking their emails regularly for up to date information as the situations change daily.

 

Q: Strike if effecting the support staff on campus, so if international students struggle with their loans, they might have issues with accessing help.

A: Will be followed up, but most support staff aren't striking. Drop ins have been cancelled and students are struggling to find support, but this will be looked into further.

 

Q: Exam timetabling has changed, but exams are very close together, which makes students perform worse. Also have Saturday exams.

A: Scheduling exams is difficult, and the Jan exam period is much shorter, although some schools have had it extended. However, extending the exam period is not a perfect science.

Q: Not about extending the period, as they're close together within the exam period. Could they be across the whole period rather than squished together.

A: The new timetabling system should get better, but its not going to be fully worked out next year. Last year, the spacing was much better, and this system will only continue to improve. The more options for modules, the more difficulty in timetabling, as it's logistically very difficult.

Q: Talk about the exams making it more competitive, but students are worried its about getting staff back to research. Term 1 and 2 is incredibly unbalanced compared to Term 3.

A: This was moved so results could be released earlier, so graduates can apply for jobs. Therefore, January exam period had to be constricted. Assessment portfolio needs to be redesigned, to provide a more variety of life skills as part of the examinations. Call for Course Reps to put pressure on department to change how the assessments are structured to make this better.

Also changed so that Easter doesn't affect the term structure, so there's plenty of time for revision before final exams. This was done based on feedback.

 

Q: Employability Skills - Leicester Award being introduced is beneficial, but there isn't enough info on what it is and what needs to be done. Last year, some students had exams in November, all weighted to 20 to 25%. All are at 9am, which is a positive vs having them later in the day. This is in Maths.

Q: Students don't know what the Leicester Award is for, or what we're getting out of it. Physics.

Q: Having completed it last year, it would be better if it was less based on self evaluation and more about career advice. This isn't necessarily part of modules, but it can be incorperated. Med Biochem Year 2.

A: Process has changed this year, so it's more embedded into the modules. More work needs to be done about communicatin what it's for. What would students want?

Q: Open door policy, so you can talk to careers service and academic staff about the award.

 

Q: Good careers advice would help, so students can see other career paths outside of your course. Having people coming in and talking about what they did after the course, so students can see what options are available to them.

A: Have you had appointment with careers service?

Q: Yes, but not this year. Is aware the support is available.

Q: Final year biology, had alumni students come in and say what they're doing nowadays. There should be another one in second semester.

 

Q: Students in biology have asked if metriculation and introduction lectures, with teaching squeezed into it, so reading week would be introduced.

A: This comes up every year, and the agenda changes. If they have them, students hate them, but when they have them students want them. Light teaching week for biological sciences.

 

Q: Would people be interested in an event like this on a college level?

A: Yes! But should be communicated to all students.

Allied Health
Completed Matters Raised:
Year Matter Raised Action Details Completed
  Midwifery - raised by Simon Barry (staff): Belvoir Park Lounge and Belvoir City Lounge due to being cold, untidy and smelly. Chris Rawden confirmed that there should be contact detail information in the rooms regarding space arrangements, so the expectation whoever finds the room in a state needs to make contact. Simon Barry will contact. In coversations with ECS COMPLETED
Nursing year 1:  Students raised timetabling issues. The paper timetable and outlook timetable do not correspond with each other. Dave Clarke would liaise with Joan Collier, Timetabling Co-ordinator to review the online timetable for the next semester and endeavour to get this as accurate as possible to the paper version. Confirmed completed for Semester 2 COMPLETED
Nursing year 1:  Students are not always receiving the blackboard announcements and asked if they could be emailed instead. Instructions on how to generate an email on blackboard to all students would be helpful to the academics. Danielle Gordon would investigate and send out to all academics. Instructions circulated to academics. COMPLETED
Nursing year 2:  Student didn't have access to previous years on blackboard. It was agreed by the Committee that students should have Turnitin access to all their assessments from previous years on blackboard and in the long term, this would be resolved for the follow years.   COMPLETED
Physiotherapy:  Professional development – students are not engaging, it was suggested to make this more interactive. Simon Barry would feedback to the module team. fed back to module team. COMPLETED
  Exam study spaces: students asked if there are any other study areas currently available on the campus The library plan to book extra rooms as in previous years and will publicise where they are in due course. Keith will pass information about Allied Health exam dates to colleagues. List available on library website, and a pop up space in CWB and FJB. COMPLETED
New Year 1  students have requested for consideration of having a multi-faith prayer room in the George Davies Centre as the students spend a considerable amount of time in this building. Chris Rawden would discuss with Debbie Oldham and Becky Quinn the buildings managers to see if they can accommodate. No appropriate space in GDC, but rooms in MSB and Attenborough. COMPLETED
  Appointing a rep to chair the next SSC on the 8 January 2020. Louise Goddard would liaise with the Course Reps to co-ordinate who would Chair.   completed
ODP year 3:  students previously had financial issues, whereby they did not have enough money to last for the term. Has been resolved with Kevin Harrup. Also, some students can apply for accommodation or travel through the LSF (Learning Support Fund).   Completed

 

American Studies

Contact from the department to the Students’ Union was sparse and we have not received all the SSCs minutes. This means that the following information may not be a comprehensive representation of what is happening in the department, however, below is a summary from the information we have

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/19 academic year:

  • Department circulated further information on how to request books at the library and complete inter-library loans
  • Student support workshops organised, including careers, dissertation support, explaining mark schemes and external examiners processes
  • Generally, the department are incredibly receptive to student feedback
  • Issues with timetables resolved, e.g. shifting/disappearing sessions
  • The number of study abroad options was extended

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Students would like more communication from the departments whilst they are on placements and YAs
  • Some Learning & Teaching spaces are ill-equipped for the number of students

Positives

  • Lecturers and staff members deliver engaging content and challenge students to succeed
  • Great opportunities to study abroad
  • Staff members are accessible and helpful

Negatives

  • Organisation of Year Abroad could be improved (little communication or guidance on how to prepare)
  • Could be a greater variety of modules; Some modules are dated, and could be improved to be more relevant politically and socially
Archaeology and Ancient History
Year Matter Raised Action Details
  Seminar readings aren't available, and student don't have permission to view the PDFs. Module coordinators to look into this, and Hugh to check material from the seminar reading. BB was the issue, and students now have the readings.
Year 3:  Deadlines only being released one week beforehand, or not generally described. Reps asked to email Richard about this. Has been organised for next year.
  Are undergraduates allowed in the building after hours, and do they need to sign the out of hours book. Will be looked into and the information circulated. No - students generally want to use labs, and as there are no staff in after hours they cannot use them.
Second Year Can there be a reading week? Will be taken to LTC LTC has previously decided there shouldn't be a reading week previously, and their reasoning will be sent around to students.
Third Year Some groups haven't been send their data for group project, which is due 12/12. Told that students need to email directly.  
Third Year Some students don't like the inclusion of posters as an assignment, as they feel it's too subjective. Marking guidance to be circulated, along with links to university guidance. Info circulated.

 

 

October 2019 briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Breaks scheduled during two hour lectures
  • Information on upcoming dissertations was released earlier than in previous years
  • 2nd year students had a number of timetabling issues, particularly concerning clashes with history modules; this has been resolved for the 2018/9 academic year
  • Deadlines amended to limit multiple coinciding dates

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Students want to see an improved personal tutor system, with more contact time
  • Students reported that staff need more training on sensitivity and signposting, regarding mental health
  • Department staff are slow and inconsistent at replying to emails, especially where dissertations are concerned
  • Students would appreciate more lab work for science-based and practical modules

Positives:

  • Informative and well organised practical field trips
  • Enthusiastic, supportive and knowledgeable staff
  • The course provides opportunities to explore a variety of ideas or concepts in depth

Negatives:

  • Frequent timetable clashes despite low contact hours
  • Better support and communication for distance-learning and part-time students, including accessible contact time with staff and other students
  • Availability of library resources - often core and supplementary texts not available (especially print only resources - 1 copy per 20 students)
Biological Sciences
Completed Matters Raised
Date Year Matter Raised Action Details
10/30/2019 Year 2 Some deadlines are overlapping in the exam period. Mark and Secretary to look at the timetabling of deadlines and identify why there is an overlap. Students were informed that the deadline was pushed back untill january to enable as much time possible for the completion of the work, however, that they can submit before the deadline to avoid the clash with the exam period.
10/30/2019 Year 2 Uncertainty about the weighting of assessments, with different sources listing different weightings. Mark will look at inaccuracies and make sure the correct information is available across all resources. publication of assesment weighting is now complete
11/6/2019 Year 3 External Examiners response and Department resources will be uploaded to blackboard for course reps. Will be uploaded.  
11/6/2019 Year 3 19/M06.5 BS3064 essay. There is a choice of 2 essay titles. Students had to bring a plan for both essays. Students asked if it would be possible to just bring 1 plan for the chosen title. To be raised with the module convenor. Will be raised with module convener. Raised, and only submitting one is fine.
11/6/2019 Year 3 19/M06.6 BS3054 Pharmacology. Tutorial on News and Views. Students wanted to know if this topic could be removed as there was no submission for this work. Will be raised with module convener. Raised with convener, who explained why they don't cover that with assessment.
11/6/2019 Year 3 19/M06.8 Projects Students will be emailed about write ups on projects. communications went out after the meeting
11/27/2019 Year 2 Cards not working in some lecture theatres. School office to email maintenance and find out what's happening. scanning issues have been raised with maintainance, if further issues arrise to let the office know
October Briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Course Reps now have access to room bookings, for study, meetings, group projects etc.
  • All lecture slides were uploaded as both PowerPoints and PDFs in advance of lectures, to give students ample time to prepare; All Panopto recordings were uploaded to Blackboard
  • Maths drop-in session organised; students who had not studied maths at A-level found this particularly helpful (1st Year)
  • Deadline dates and word lengths clarified
  • Department have implemented changes regarding keeping in touch with YA students
  • Students were sent copies of external examiner reports and granted access to past papers; Careers and time management workshops were organised on student request (1st/2nd Yr.)

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Genomes module is assessed by essays; Essay writing workshops should be organised this academic year, following feedback last year
  • Students would like a reading week, or light teaching week, to enable them to catch up with relevant work; this has come up for a number of consecutive years
  • Students would like all lecture slides to be saved in a consistent format by all staff members (e.g. module code, lecture number, lecture title)
  • Varied experiences with personal tutors and analytical project supervisors (3rd Year); Opt In system and new training/code of practice from this academic year; Please give feedback on this, whether positive or negative, and raise any issues with Mark Leyland
  • Issues concerning lack of support and consistency in practicals
  • Students want access to the microwave in IV
  • Students requested faster and more consistent feedback (Virology and BS2009 module a cause for concern); written feedback for BS3000; Qualitative feedback for exam grades; students would prefer paperless feedback
  • Multiple deadlines in very short periods of time

Positives:

  • Project work, including dissertations and group projects, are interesting and varied
  • Field trips and lab work allow students to gain practical and organisational skills needed for future work/study
  • Varied curriculum, with high quality of teaching
  • Supportive and engaging teaching staff

Negatives:

  • Multiple clustered deadlines, and lack of organisation in releasing key dates (deadlines, exam schedules, timetabling)
  • Students would like more lab time to be able to learn techniques effectively
  • Heavy content load
  • Feedback is inconsistent and sometimes vague, needs improvement
Chemistry
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
Year 1 Students requested more detail feedback on tutorial it seems to a specific tutor - it will be discussed offline Discussed with tutors, this should be done.
Year 4 Project ACD labs doesn’t have enough licenses which is starting to cause issues It was suggested that students start keeping a log of who needs and uses the licenses so the department can apply for more. Now made available for everyone, with unlimited licenses.
Year 1 Request to view week test for  CH1200 DR Blackburn already did this  
Year 4 There was a timetabling issue regarding a lecture for CH4251, the lecturer was not notified they would be teaching at the time so did not attend.  This has been rescheduled and the new time and date will be sent to students.  

 

October briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Resources such as additional problem sheet, supplementary module materials and help sheets for completing lab proformas, uploaded to Blackboard
  • Issues with Panopto quickly rectified
  • Deadlines clarified and timetable posted weekly on GP computer room
  • Turnaround time for feedback has been improved
  • Opening hours for the computer labs have been extended
  • More concise and accessible lab manuals

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Lecture notes on Blackboard should be uploaded more than 24 hours in advance – if this has not been rectified for this academic year, please raise again
  • Inconsistency in lab report feedback received from first and second markers; general feedback is not detailed enough
  • If you do not feel you have enough practice test questions, please contact the course convenor, who will provide you with additional materials
  • Department looking into licensing of ‘Mathematica’ software, which will allow all students access at the same time
  • Students would like more information with regards to PhD opportunities
  • CH4203 Earth System Science students would appreciate more practice questions

Positives:

  • Teaching staff listen to student feedback; staff are supportive and knowledgeable
  • Course interesting, diverse and challenging, with a range of different aspects (practical/lab time, biology modules, opportunity for placements)

Negatives:

  • Students would like more networking events with staff
  • A minority of staff members do not listen to student feedback
  • Course Reps need to be made more visible
  • Access to software/resources outside of University hours
Criminology
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
PGT Students are struggling with Research methods because of how the lectures are delivered. Students propose that they sessions are more interactive. Students say this is much better this term!
PGT International Students sessions need to be rescheduled, as it wasn't on student's timetables. Equally, some international students are finding the assignments confusing, and this session is meant to help. Session to be rescheduled. IM proposes this will help with assignment confusion. Scheduled and invited sent. Also advised of the ELTU.
PGT TSP: Missing lectures because of strike. Will be discussed with staff once strike is over. Staff won't upload the lectures, as this would defeat the purpose of strike action.

 

October 2019 briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Reading list, tutorials and example assignments uploaded to Blackboard
  • Summary slides added at the end of lecture PowerPoints
  • Department kitchen space opened for students to work
  • Seminar readings and careers information to Blackboard
  • Department Support Sessions organised to have ‘informal’ chats and trouble-shoot with staff, as well as reduce the stigma around mental health

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Ongoing issues over Panopto lecture recordings not being added to Blackboard
  • Students request more career based sessions
  • Students would like earlier information on dissertations, assessment deadlines and module choices
  • International students want more guidance upon starting University
  • Students want more workshops on Blackboard, Accessibility, Referencing, How to use the library etc.

Positives:

  • Staff are friendly, approachable and helpful
  • Interesting, diverse and engaging course content
  • Lecturers have great enthusiasm for the course and students, which shows in teaching

Negatives:

  • A minority of lecturers are not great at lecturing (reading off slides etc.)
  • Inconsistent and sometimes late feedback, should be standardised
  • More diverse assessment would be appreciated (although this has improved as the year has gone on)
Education
 

The majority of feedback for PGCE is related to one-off sessions. This information is fed back to the department and taken into account when planning the next academic year.

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Wider variety and higher quantity of food options made available in Café North
  • Clearer timetables and structure for phase 2 provided (PGCE)
  • Access to freshwater tap, kitchen and disabled toilets granted
  • Printers made available within the department
  • Multiple issues relating to one-off session resolved

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Interactive Whiteboards: Students want training, and access outside of timetabled hours
  • Check whether changes have been made regarding travel reimbursement for drivers on placement
  • Please report any issues with sessions, even if these are not ongoing, as this feedback is very helpful when planning for the next cohort
  • Please feedback to department with any issues relating to placements or specific schools
Engineering
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
Year 3 & 4 Keyboards in the computer rooms are quite dirty, can something be done? CT to look into this. IT were informed
Year 3 & 4 Library laptops are super slow and basically unusable. CT to report back. Updates should have taken place.
Year 3 & 4 Some students weren't aware of tutorial sessions, and some lecturers weren't either. MM to look into what happened. MM reminded tutors, no further issues.
Year 3 & 4 Eduroam not working in some parts of building. Marina to flag with Tom Robotham. New switch has been installed.
Year 3 & 4 Students unable to access R Block to access labs. PST to check student access and give a list of students to security. All students should now have access.
Year 4 EG4017 not being able to record lectures, as the lecture theatre doesn't have recording equipment. HRW to feed back to lecturer first, and see if this can be resolved. Communications sent, no further issues raised.
Year 3 3rd year project proposals not approved yet. HRW to look into this. Noted that these are formative, to ensure feedback is implemented. 
PGT Core textbooks missing from the library, or only having one. Reps to email Heena with the books they're missing. New copies ordered, some staff hadn't submitted reading lists.
PGT Course Rep events clashing with core lectures. Reps advised to email coursereps in the future if they have clashes.  
Year 1 & 2 Personalised timetabling issues, with students having seminars they aren't meant to attend on their timetable. This means they're being marked as absent. This is to be raised with timetabling.  
Year 1 & 2 Students feel like they're chucked into MatLab, and that they should have some more support. Staff will review the assessements and try and get more TAs for next year.  
Year 1 & 2 Can labs be reorganised after strike action? Will be looked at after strike. This is not possible

 

October briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Feedback improved in certain modules, following student complaints
  • Extra resources, including reading lists, mark schemes and practice questions, uploaded to Blackboard
  • Deadline submission times clarified; raise again if any further issues
  • Students issued with guidance on uploading documents to Blackboard
  • Blackboard issues quickly rectified
  • More core textbooks provided by the library; all texts now have e-book copies
  • Students commented that staff are generally very receptive to feedback
  • Lecture times rescheduled or moved, to deal with overcrowding
  • Extra revision sessions scheduled on student request

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Low availability of core texts in the library. Students want more information on the processes to request extra books in the library, and how to gain access to resources online.
  • Lecture capture is not comprehensive, and does not capture working out on the whiteboard
  • 1st Year Labs - Electrical engineering students feel disadvantaged compared to Mechanical, due to the content of the labs
  • No sense of community in the department – students would like a common/social space and an opportunity to share knowledge to lower years
  • Staff should be uploaded all lecture notes and resources to Blackboard; if they are using OneDrive then please let the department know
  • Feedback is unclear, vague and inconsistent; doesn’t relate to mark scheme
  • Students want vending machines in the building for those with tight schedules
  • Project meetings generally run well, although there students have a variety of experiences depending on their tutor

Positives:

  • Supportive staff who listen to student feedback
  • Group Work is engaging
  • Good career development support during the course

Negatives:

  • Intense course; information in lectures and assessment periods feels crammed and it can be difficult to manage the workload
  • Clearer explanations of difficult concepts
  • Barriers to learning through extra costs, in particular food on campus and sport
School of Arts (English, Modern Languages and History of Art)
Completed Matters
Department Matter Raised Action Details
English All of the deadlines for January are on the 15th, and dissertations are due on the 10th. This will be looked into, but the only feasible choice is to make the deadlines earlier. Assessments have now been staggered, with some shifted to later in the term.
English English Society don't have membership available on the SU website. Fed to Activities to see what's happened. Activities have confirmed this is fixed.
English Some modules are missing or incorrect on evaluation forms. Students to email Sarah when they have issues. Department will try and get the deadline for these extended. This was because of flitches in the system.
History of Art and Film New marking criteria for stepped marking has been made available. Staff should make students aware of where this is. Staff have been asked tomake students aware in their individual classes.
History of Art and Film Issues with watching films in physics, as the projector is next to a window. Robert to create a list of "Good & Bad" rooms for watching films. RS developed a spreadsheet for appropriate and inappropriate rooms for film screenings. This will be shared with timetabling.
Modern Languages  Issues with playing DVDs that aren't Region 2. To be looked into with IT Services to add the correct programmes to Windows 10 computers. Possibility to department investing in portable DVD players? School of Arts has purchased 3 DVD players, and PowerDVD has been made available to all students.
Modern Languages Final year students would like their essay questions earlier, because they have difficulty juggling workload. Lecturers to discuss, as it has already been pushed earlier once. Decission taken to not change the release date, but to make sure that they're released by reading week.
Modern Languages Formative presentations for second year or causing more stress than they are helping. To be discussed between lecturers. Discussed by lecturers - formatives won't remove, but will provide more support for students and make sure they understand what these assessments are for.
Modern Languages Request for stapler and hole punch in the MLSC. These will be bought.  
Modern Languages Can questions be released earlier, so they don't clash with presentation topics? Will be discussed. As above.

 

October Briefing
 

Contact from the department to the Students’ Union was sparse and we have not received all the SSCs minutes. This means that the following information may not be a comprehensive representation of what is happening in the department, however, below is a summary from the information we have

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Issues with correspondence for Joint Honours/Year Abroad students rectified
  • Better advertised that students could speak to personal tutors about references and getting further feedback on assessments
  • Scheduled meetings with tutors introduced
  • More resources from the reading list were made available in the library

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Vague feedback, with few comments; students do not know how they could improve
  • Staff difficult to access and unavailable during their ‘open’ office hours
  • History of Art students had to take Film modules due to lack of staff in department
  • Communication with SU incredibly poor and minutes rarely received

 

English

Positives:

  • Staff are supportive, helpful, informative and implement student experience to improve student experience
  • Wide variety of optional modules available
  • Good Year Abroad opportunities

Negatives:

  • Organisational issues, especially involving timetabling
  • Multiple coinciding deadlines
  • Students request better library resources and a more diverse curriculum

 

History of Art and Film

Positives:

  • Library and course related resources support learning well

Negatives (Feedback is generally quite poor):

  • Very little contact time or access to teaching staff
  • Timetabling is poor
  • Little sense of ‘community’, students in the department feel forgotten
  • Feedback can be slow and vague
  • History of Art students had to take a number of Film modules due to lack of staff

 

Modern Languages

Positives:

  • Staff are supportive and knowledgeable
  • Good sense of ‘community’
  • Good study abroad options

Negatives:

  • Small size of cohort can limit the choice of modules available
  • Lack of communication between departments for joint-honours students
Geography
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
Year 2 Powerpoint slides are difficult to read for students with accessibility needs. Mark to consult with student support and advise staff on the accessibility of their ppts. Staff were informed, and a review of ppt techniques and text visibility underway.
Year 2 Year 2 seminar work being put on Blackboard the night before the seminar, with multiple readings. Staff member has been spoken to.  
Year 3 Students would like the Resource Room open until 6/8pm - an ongoing issue from previous academic year. MP will resolve issue before next meeting. Will be open until at least 6pm.
Year 3 Can there be a microwave, kettle and other soft furnishings (i.e. blankets) in the resource room? Noted this regularly comes up. BH will look into this. Cannot have a microwave or kettle, but room is being refurbished.
Year 3 Workshops anaylising interviews occurred later than students would have wanted, could these be before the summer instead? MP will ask module convener of the Research Design module to encorperate this. This cannot be changed, as it has been moved to before summer previously and students didn't appreciate the change.
Year 1 GY1411 not starting on time due to IT issues in Attenborough LT3. Raised with timetabling. Raised to IT and timetabling, who hadn't heard of the issue before now. Seems to have been one off.
Year 1 Students concerned about strikes, and the cancelled classes. Saff to organise an information session so students feel fully aware. Session organised (20/11/19), and all students emailed.
Year 3 Students would like more varied careers talks. School to arrange career talks. More talks organised.
Year 2 GY2433, students fel like assumptions are made about their previous knoweldge. Raise with Mick Whelan. Will be changed for next year.
Year 3 GY3417. Feels very content heavy, would be nice if it could be broken into more discussion groups. Will be mentioned. Staff member has spoken to students, and is taking feedback onboard.
Year 3 One module contained a presentation on how migration could effect the students personally, and some students found this too personal - have been asked to raise with module leader about plans for next year. Reps to raise with module leader. Lecturer contacted, and has explained that they can use non-personal accounts.
Year 3 When will computers be installed in F33? DMP to check with Bill Hickin  
Year 2 GY2413, students have received marks but not detailed feedback. Individual students to cntact Loretta Lees to request meeting, for verbal feedback clarification.  
October Briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • MSc students now have a dedicated common room
  • Dissertation information sessions introduced, which were very positively received
  • More training for dissertation supervisors was introduced
  • Extra technological demonstrations provided
  • Timetable issues resolved
  • Extra resources, test materials and further information on GIS uploaded to Blackboard
  • Essays returned within timing guidelines, with improved feedback
  • Average marks for every module distributed to students

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Training around student wellbeing/support and extenuating circumstances would be appreciated
  • Feedback on personal tutors is generally poor, and the onus to organise meetings generally falls on the students
  • Students would like a scheduled break during two-hour lectures
  • Disparity in support and response time from dissertation supervisors
  • Lack of guidance in certain practical sessions, especially where lecture and seminar material differs
  • Students would like office hours of all staff to be put on Blackboard and Office Doors (the latter has been actioned)

Positives:

  • Good field trip and study abroad opportunities
  • Good implementation of student-led changes
  • Committed, enthusiastic and caring staff who listen to students, especially supervisors

Negatives:

  • Greater consideration and support regarding mental health issues
  • Disparity among dissertation supervisor support; can be inaccessible
  • Assessment feedback is often late, and can be vague and inconsistent
Geology
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
Year 3 Third year: Mark Purnell’s lectures seem to explain supplementary information rather than the core content and students are confused what is core content. Cerin Pye to email Mark Purnell expressing concerns on behalf of cohort The feedback session from the next day, addressed the matter raised sooner
Year 2 Second year: Request for the SB room to be open until 6pm.  It was noted that it should be open until 6pm and then locked by the porters. VJW to check with porters. It has been raised, but feedback is welcomed
Year 3 Third year: GL3111 Diversity and Evolution of Vertebrates, students would like more information on the exam structure and course work expected.  SVL to speak with Mark Purnell and Jordan Bestwick  It had been solved before it got to be raised
Year 3 Third year: Request for preparation material for GL3104 Concepts in Sedimentology and Stratigraphy with Applications to Reservoir Geoscience module to be available on Blackboard in advance of session i.e. available Monday for Thursday session.  SJD to check  if there are pedagogic  reasons for not doing this .  
Year 3 Third year: Request for a date to be set when students can expect to be reimbursed for expenses incurred for GL3100 Independent Field Based Project. Information to be given to students early in the process to allow for budgeting and expectations when monies will be paid. SVL to speak with Module convenor for future. It will in future year
Year 2 Second year: In G85 Bennett the left hand screen is not aligned correctly, cutting the image from the projector.  VJT to report to ‘AVBook’ on behalf of staff, Lydia Blackburn to report on behalf of students.  
Year 2 Second year: Request for the summary at the end of GL2103 Magmatic & Metamorphic Processes to be recorded, it was noted that there might be reasons for non-recording of the summary for engagement reasons.  Lydia Blackburn to ask lecturer Andrew Miles.   
Year 1 First year: During Induction week students were unaware they had to swipe in to timetabled events.  The School had been told the monitoring system wasn’t switched on during induction week.  CS to blanket authorise all students for induction week events.  
  Students felt the course was hard on mental health issues, is there a dedicated mental health officer? Time given to Welfare Officer in SGGE is high compared to other Schools in the college.  Professional support available in the centre.  The School would like to know what the challenges are as there may be possibilities to mitigate.  Balancing workload between modules is an issue.  Students to be given more advise of where they can go for help. Wellbeing service currently has a 6 week waiting time, The University is working to change this and the number of sessions is no longer capped to 6. It was noted that self-referral to GP is also available. CS Information where to get help to be sent to students Email sent to students, which reps note was comprehensive. New Welfare Officer for Geology identified as Sarah Lee.
  Students are getting varying levels of help from mapping supervisors.  Extra sessions have been put on by Richard England.  It was notes that there is a welfare issue for segregated mapping areas and lone working Jess Campbell and SJD to speak offline Dealt with by Head of School.
Year 4 Original project propossal inaccessible to some students.   All are available on BB.
October Briefing

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • MSc students now have a dedicated common room
  • Extra technological demonstrations provided
  • Late and vague feedback was chased up and rectified, as well as feedback sessions being introduced following coursework return
  • Extra resources and test materials uploaded to Blackboard
  • Dissertation sessions scheduled (data collection, creating graphs, writing an abstract, editing) scheduled
  • More GIS sessions introduced to various modules

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Demonstrators are not always prepared for sessions
  • Inconsistent grading with limited feedback and little suggestion for improvement
  • Students faced some issues with deadlines not being clarified until late. The course handbook should include all deadlines, so please raise again if this is not the case.
  • Ongoing debate over whether students should have access to view their flag percentage on Turnitin
  • High workload and multiple coinciding deadlines. Please raise any issues concerning this on a case by case basis.

Positives:

  • Good field trip and study abroad opportunities
  • Good sense of community in the department; friendly and helpful lecturers

Negatives:

  • Hidden costs on field trips
  • Students would like improved communication and organisation, especially regarding conflicting deadlines, cancelled lectures and field trip information
History, Politics and International Relations
Completed Matters
Matter Raised Action Details
Blackboard is complicated and new students aren't able to check it easily. Staff actioned to remind their students to check Blackboard. Blackboard templates are now being used, and will be discussed at L+T away day.
Open lectures are good but can people just put the information in the email instead of attaching a file to the email. Will be considered by convening staff.  
Great Historical Conundrum wasn't working, but has now been fixed. Staff actioned to check these beforehand, as it has shortened the time students are able to take part.  

October Briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Clear referencing guidelines uploaded online, following student confusion over the different referencing systems used in History and Politics/IR
  • Dissertation lecture organised - clarified timelines and explanation on assigning supervisors
  • Sample essays and revision resources uploaded to Blackboard
  • Essay skills and referencing workshops organised
  • Guidance documents for dissertations uploaded to Blackboard
  • Popular modules ran more than once so that a higher level of students
  • Library staff member invited to SSCs so that students can liaise concerning any issues

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Students would prefer different seminar styles, and a move away from long readings – shorter readings, set questions to discuss, discussing lecture content, coursework prep
  • Experiences with personal tutoring vary greatly, and much of the responsibility to organise meetings falls on the student
  • Little information in lectures or on Blackboard concerning literature reviews or historiography (PG)
  • Lack of communication between History and Politics/IR concerning timetabling
  • Ongoing issues with Turnitin receipts, although the department is working to resolve this

History

Positives:

  • Interesting course content, including wide diversity of modules
  • Passionate, accessible and supportive staff, particularly in final year
  • Library resources support learning well

Negatives:

  • Diversity of modules also came up as a negative, therefore the module review process with respect to decolonising the curriculum is important
  • Unjustifiably high fees, considering lack of contact hours
  • Sometimes feedback is late or inconsistent
  • Lack of support regarding personal issues; could be better advertised as students are unaware this exists unless they seek it out

 

Politics

Positives:

  • Wide diversity of available modules
  • Passionate and supportive staff, particularly in final year

Negatives:

  • Decolonise the curriculum to increase the inclusivity of the course - course breadth is wide but very Eurocentric
  • Long seminars in final year
  • Lack of free or easily accessible resources
  • Inconsistent dissertation supervisors
Informatics
Completed Matters
Matter Raised Action Details
Computers in the labs were really slow recently  IT will be there during the session to see what the problems are and how they can be resolved Related to the Windows update, will avoid updating in daytime in the future.
Have a lab session soon, using ARCMAP (?), this week twice, and don’t want the session to be slowed down.    Referred to IT.
Some content i.e. maths is rushed, and staff say they can't make this any better. Can staff add links to revision resources onto the ppt? Staff will ensure students know where they can go for extra support about this.
Issues with installing some software. Students told to make appointments so this can be resolved in person. Will now provide compatability advice when software is mentioned.  
Two content heavy exams in one week. Staff will look at this.  One has been moved.
Noise at the end of sessions, or during. Course reps to come up with an action plan. Staff will signpost students to where they can go for help. Raised to staff, and now solved.
ArcMap runs slowly (CW301) Reported to IT Raised to IT, but as module is outside of department's control this is the best they can do.

October Briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Higher number and better level of training for Teaching Assistants in labs
  • New marking guidelines distributed following complaint that no detailed mark schemes were available
  • Problem sheets and lecture slides released earlier to allow students more time to digest the material
  • Issues with whiteboard visibility in Panopto and Visual Studio were resolved
  • Issues with Blackboard, lab timetables and Linux packages were resolved quickly
  • Microphones ordered after complaints of lecturers being hard to hear

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Students would like more practical/interactive sessions, particularly in 3rd Year
  • Some students had issues finding out who their personal tutors were
  • Students enquired about seeing exam scripts after they had been marked, and were told the department would look into it
  • Students would like more clarification on deadlines and assessments
  • Ongoing issues with lecture recordings not being uploaded or having poor sound, please raise if this happens again

Positives:

  • Curriculum content and teaching is well received
  • Students feel that their feedback is acted upon
  • Helpful real-life applications, with a focus on gaining industry skills
  • Computer labs are well equipped, and a good social learning space to interact with others

 

Negatives:

  • A small minority of lecturers are unengaging/unsympathetic and 'read off slides', however this does not take away from the positive feedback
  • Group projects can be challenging (mixed ability, some work harder than others)
  • Course organisation (clashing deadlines, intense periods followed by lulls)
Law
Completed Matters
Matter Raised Action Details
Can Careers newsletter be sent every two weeks, rather than weekly, so it is more managable. Careers Tutor. Decided it should remain weekly, or it would be too long.
Some careers events do not appear in student calendars. Will be looked at by Careers tutors and timetabling.  
Students who were abroad next year had no received placement information. Noted this should be received 20/12. Actioned to WH to check this is done.  

October Briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • ‘Feedback to your Course Rep’ session organised, which gained a lot of feedback for the department
  • First SSC covered NSS results and explained to students the improvements that the department were implementing
  • Additional copies of core texts made available in the library
  • Issue with website crashes when completing online applications, and with the online membership system were resolved
  • Societies given a physical space within the department, and office name signs were ordered for all rooms
  • Improvements made or scheduled for the Harry Peach Library

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Law Students constantly request a reading week. The department have agreed to look into this and draft a mock timetable for student consultation, so please monitor whether this has been done
  • Concerns over lack of one-to-one personal tutor meetings. Students would prefer to keep the same personal tutor for their entire degree, rather than changing each year.
  • Law careers workshops suggested (CV, Covering Letters, and Internships etc.)
  • Tool for students to check their own attendance has been suggested, as many employers request this data

Positives:

  • Quality of teaching is high, in particular in tutorials and seminars
  • Good student opportunities, including links with law firms, societies, applying teaching content to real contexts
  • Good learning resources
  • Friendly atmosphere within the department

Negatives:

  • Course organisation could be improved, especially timetabling
  • Improved assessment feedback, including on practice essays
  • Students would like the introduction of a reading week. This comes up every year and there is a feeling among the Course Rep team that the department prolong discussions across the year and fail to deliver by the next year, when the cycle repeats.
  • Longer tutorials, as all questions are rarely covered (could be due to too large class sizes)
  • There is a significant satisfaction gap between BAME and white respondents (-10.2 less satisfied than white counterparts)
School of Business
Completed Matters
Department Year Matter Raised Action Details
Accounting and Finance   1st year: students are struggling to use BlackBoard. In particular, the reading list is in different places for different modules. Student Office should conduct checks to make sure that lists were in the right place.
AD could be added as an instructor to modules to help with this process.
 
Accounting and Finance   LA asked when 3rd year students would receive information about their dissertation Supervisors. HS assured him that she would personally be sending out correspondence to students by the end of the week.  
Accounting and Finance   LC asked if it was possible to contact his fellow classmates. HS also said that should the Coursereps wish to share anything with their cohort via email, then the Student Office would be more than happy to help them do this.  provided access to their cohort through SU website
Economics Final year LER commented that after returning from Study Abroad, he had difficulty readjusting, particularly with access to the correct Blackboard modules Granting additional access to specific modules and have access to his BB modules from last year.
DV will contact the Study Abroad co-ordinator for further advice regarding readjustment to studies. 
Year abroad coordinator has been informed and they will look at a mean through which events can be organised and updates can be provided
Economics   LB added, from his experience as a second year, that invigilators found it difficult to control leaving students when exams took place in lecture halls.  DV asked who the invigilators were so he could investigate and NP said that he believed they were mainly seminar tutors.  Students should not be allowed to leave the room in the last half of the exam, and invidulators should be more vigilant about disturbances.
Economics   SB reported that the card reader in the Bennett Building Lecture Theatre was not working and therefore reduced learning time whilst the lecturer sorted out attendance issues. HS reminded the group that they could ask their lecturers to contact the Student Office on their behalf and vouch for their attendance if they were worried about faulty readers. Staff were aware and this was dealt with. Course reps also noted students were scanning in on the IT Scanner outside of the building, instead of the attendance scanner in the lecture theatre.
Economics Year 1 RJ mentioned that the EC1013 Calculus and Optimisation lecture lasted 2 hours without a break, so dissuaded students from attending DV asked HS to inform him if module leaders are obliged to schedule breaks in longer sessions. Staff was politely asked to grant a break between the 2 hours.
Economics   GK mentioned that there had been problems in mid-term exams where permission to leave early was given to students who finished early- this had caused a disturbance and prevented remaining students from finishing their papers. TO suggested that as a solution, students should not be permitted to leave an examination hall in the final half of the exam. Students should not be allowed to leave the room in the last half of the exam, and invidulators should be more vigilant about disturbances.
Management Studies Year 3 3rd year: HJ felt that the content was repetitive; PJ added that she and her course mates noticed that the lecturer read from the slides too much, which she believed resulted in lower attendance as sessions were not as engaging. GK encouraged her to raise the issue with her lecture, though members of staff could also assist if students ever felt uncomfortable Member of staff approached and strategies to improve engagement discussed.
Management Studies Year 3 3rd year: HJ felt forced to submit a dissertation, even though she does not believe it to be beneficial to her career aspirations once leaving University.  CT understood her frustration and said it was too late for the current third years’ programme to be changed. However, she said that the department were already discussing the idea.  Alternative dissertations are now planned, with agreement from the college, but current students won't be able to. However, they're encouraging supervisors to help their students this year by accepting a variety of things as a dissertation.
Management Studies Year 2 2nd year: JT noticed that some of her lecturers displayed the lecture slides after the lecture though she believed that the majority preferred to view the content before. CT said that lecturers all work differently but recommended that JT discuss her concerns with the specific lecturer.  Staff have been encouraged to upload slides before the lecture.
Management Studies Year 2 2nd year: AOI found that GK delivered the Strategy lecture too quickly, which resulted in herself and course mates missing verbal information as they were too busy trying to copy down the slides. GK apologised and made note to slow down the delivery of the lecture.  GK has attempted to slow down delivery of lectures.
Management Studies Year 2 2nd year: LC was concerned that her course mates were finding the reading lists in different places and so, were coming to sessions unprepared.  AD assured LC that electronic reading lists are available for ever module and agreed that they needed to be in one place. Discussion with all module leaders to make sure reading lists are available.
Accounting and Finance   Final years are struggling to get in contact with their disseration tutors. Will be looked into, but individual students should contact admin. Email sent to module leader, and reps asked to remind students to contact the office if this is still an issue.
Economics Final year Advanced microeconomics has changed from last year, so students are unsure. Staff will provide a mock exam for the students. Mock exam provided, students found it helpful.
Economics Final year Staff aren't using microphones. They will be reminded to use lapel mics. Addressed.
Economics Year 2 Micro mid term was very difficult. Staff will look at the distribution of marks. Looked at, doesn't seem to be any concern.
Economics Year 1 BC1005 - split between people who have done A-Level maths and those who haven't as there's no recording of calculations.  Guidance will be made available. Staff have offered to have an open door policy to support students, and have also agreed to adjust the pacing of lectures.

October Briefing
 

Accounting and Finance

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Digital copies of all core texts now available in the library
  • Breaks scheduled during two hour lectures, following complaints from multiple students
  • Maths Help Centre heavily advertised to students
  • Blackboard issues rectified (e.g. students unable to access feedback/handed-in assignments)
  • Improvement in the way feedback was received, with students being notified that feedback was available on Turnitin
  • Entire School of Business, including professional services, now based at Brookfield Campus

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • 21 day turnaround on returning coursework is not being adhered to; department give students a return date which is then not adhered to; this has been raised multiple times – don’t be afraid to argue for this
  • Students have very few hours per day, but teaching hours are spread across the week
  • Lecture slides are not uploaded more than 24 hours before the lecture, which leaves students no time to review; please raise if this happens again
  • InfoHub sends constant updates, which causes students to disengage
  • Feedback is vague and unhelpful; students would like more specifics

Positives:

  • Lecture content and teaching is generally good, especially when explaining difficult concepts
  • Good resources which support learning, including library, IT and online content
  • Friendly, supportive and inclusive community in the department

Negatives:

  • Assessment Feedback is late, vague and could be improved
  • Communication from staff is slow, especially via email
  • Smaller class sizes would be appreciated
  • Better graduate opportunities, and application of course content to the real world

Management and Economics

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Students were notified who their personal tutors were, and meetings were organised for those students who had initially had no contact with their tutors
  • 3rd Yr. students granted access to 2nd Yr. assignment feedback, to aid them with their dissertations
  • Timetable released earlier so that students could effectively plan their terms
  • Assessment feedback turnaround time improved to 21 days for Management and Economics
  • One centralised timetable is now available, which students can customise. This is University-wide but was originally raised by Management students
  • Maths help centre available to students and more widely advertised
  • Entire School of Business, including professional services, now based at Brookfield Campus

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Student concerns that seminars are intimidating and non-interactive (Economics)
  • Breaks scheduled during 2 hour lectures and students given extra time to travel between back-to-back lectures
  • Students have very few hours per day, but teaching hours are spread across the week
  • Students want to be able to book library spaces more than a week in advance
  • Please raise any continuing issues regarding the School of Business move to Brookfield
  • InfoHub sends constant updates, which causes students to disengage

Positives:

  • Lecture content and teaching is generally good, especially when explaining difficult concepts
  • Good resources which support learning, including library, IT and online content
  • Friendly, supportive and inclusive community in the department
  • Good graduate opportunities

Negatives:

  • Assessment Feedback is late, vague and could be improved
  • Communication from staff is slow, especially via email
  • GTA Teaching can be inconsistent
  • More opportunities to apply teaching to real life scenarios would be welcomed
Mathematics
Completed Matters
Matter Raised Action Details
Two deadlines on the same day, during dissertation period. Can students have details early? One convenor has agreed, another (MA3418) has not. JL to raise with module convenor, to tell students why this can't be moved. information has been given to students about when the assignment will be announced, and why this could not be done sooner.
October Briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Careers Service organised a number of sessions on student request
  • Reading week dates confirmed earlier on student request
  • Lecture theatre changed due to ongoing technical issues
  • New whiteboards ordered for students
  • Staff have been notified that they should write on slides which are then displayed during lectures so these a clearer on Panapto recordings
  • Improved personal tutor sessions

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • No department breakout spaces, which means little sense of community in the department. The department should be looking into this so please follow-up to check progress
  • Issues with lecture slide/recordings being uploaded in certain modules. Please raise if this continues
  • Computer classes are poorly organised, with no direction being given by staff. Students are expected to do their own work during these sessions, although it would be appreciated if staff explained this and also let students know they are able to provide extra support.
  • Issue with certain staff members being intimidating and hard to approach
  • More collaboration necessary between lecturers who share modules
  • Students partaking in peer mentoring schemes requested access to 1st Yr. Blackboard areas

Positives:

  • Good learning resources, such as module notes, library resources are readily available and of good quality
  • Staff were supportive, knowledgeable and tried to make the course interesting

Negatives:

  • More emphasis could be placed on connecting learnt skills to future employability options; course does not seem to be transferable
  • Community feeling among staff and students could be improved, comments regarding 'us vs them' attitude
  • Student knowledge is assumed to be at a certain standard - suggestion to offer refresher or overview sessions
Media, Communication and Sociology
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
PGT Students don't feel like they have enough time to go over the readings before class. Encourage the creation of study groups. Study groups created.
Year 2 Sociology Can there be research methods in first year? Has already been done. Was done before it was raised.

October Briefing
 

Contact from the department to the Students’ Union is poor and minutes are often not received. This means that the following information may not be a comprehensive representation of what is happening in the department.

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Deadlines staggered so that there are fewer conflicting coursework deadlines
  • PowerPoint slides uploaded earlier to give students the chance to read over material before lectures
  • Key reading lists made available on blackboard, and more core texts made available online
  • Personal tutor meetings changed from group meetings to one-on-one
  • Issues with Panopto improved (recordings uploaded, volume/speech level improved)

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Timetable clashes between joint degree and major/minor students
  • Students suggest that seminar readings are cut down and seminars are made more interactive (broader discussion, videos, quizzes)
  • Students would like essay question workshops, potentially during reading week (sociology session during welcome week was positively received)
  • No sense of community in department; students would like personal emails/more catch-ups with tutors; notice board for society events

Media and Communications

Positives:

  • Supportive staff, including module leaders and wider departmental staff
  • Wide variety in module choices, especially if you enjoy theoretical media and communications learning

Negatives:

  • More social opportunities as a department requested
  • Students would like more support, especially in second year
  • Assessment criteria is unclear and inconsistent; low marks should be better justified
  • Students would like more practical aspects, hands on work and placement work to directly apply theory

 

Sociology

Positives:

  • Course content is good, with varied modules
  • Staff are supportive and friendly
  • Small group teaching is positively received
  • Library resources support learning well

Negatives:

  • Poor course organisation, including timetabling, communication and high staff turnover
  • Feedback on assignments can be late and unhelpful
  • Marking criteria is unclear
Medical School
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
  Intercalating students aren't allowed Wednesday off for sports. RH will speak with DJ and get his view and feedback at the next meeting Ansew is no, as this is mainly because of hospitals.
Year 1 1st Year students request more quizzes for modules as exam prep. Rep to find out more and email responses to staff.  
Year 2 Unit reps aren't known to most staff members and students. This should be looked into, so they can be shared with students.  
  Students struggling with the cost of travel. Additional Costs to be advertised, and this issue to be discussed further. Constantly raising how much money they provide for bursaries.

October briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • New iPads purchased for 1st year students with more memory
  • Licence for ExamSoft extended
  • Lecture slides and prep-work uploaded to Blackboard before lectures for students to review
  • Timetable and My UoL issues rectified
  • Course Reps now have access to room bookings
  • Students can use any GDC room as a study space, providing it is not in use
  • Students have access to taps and microwaves within the department
  • Department notice board put up to advertise societies and events

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Timetables are released only a few weeks in advance
  • Extra sessions requested for students beginning or returning from placements. Please check whether this has been implemented
  • Students have requested careers days/sessions, as opposed to guest lectures
  • Please notify the department if you have any issues involving placements
  • Students would like exam feedback sessions where they can troubleshoot/complete problem questions with staff

Positives:

  • Pastoral support, and staff support in general
  • Sense that the medical school is making steps to improve student staff community, listening to student comments and acting upon them
  • Much better communication between staff and students

Negatives:

  • Communication could have been improved during transition between the old and new curriculum
  • Some comments regarding support for students with mental health conditions/who are struggling with the course. Some feel that they are actively discouraged from coming forward
  • Assessment guidelines are unclear, and access to papers and exam resources is poor
  • Feedback could be improved
Museum Studies
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Timetabling issues and confusion resolved
  • Earlier briefings for coursework and assignments
  • One-time issues with various field trips quickly resolved
  • Referencing guide improved to include unique sources, such as exhibition flyers
  • PhD printer now also available to PGT students
  • Referencing styles clarified (Harvard referencing as well as footnotes)
  • Research prep questions scheduled later in the term, to give time to take in material

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Students would like alternating timetables between MS/AGAMS, so that it isn’t the same group with long gaps in their timetabled day each week
  • Students would prefer more seminars/practical sessions, as opposed to lectures
  • Insufficient copies of core texts
  • Students would like access to WordPress earlier
  • Students requested more time between feedback and next submission dates, to implement tutor suggestions – has this been looked into for the 2018/19 academic year?
  • Can PHD and MA students have a different type of membership for Museum Society
Natural Studies
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
Year 4 Grading system is much harsher in Europe than Leicester, meaning students are stressed about their year abroad grades. Meeting organised between programme admin and students to discuss the differences between grades. Resolved for current year, will now be pass/fail.
Year 4 Reps not on the SU system, because of the different system used by the final year. IP to add course reps to the records.  
Year 4 Natural Sciences and Life Sciences Society isn't surviving well. Taken to activities and discussed.  
Year 1 Marks returned for NT1006, but no feedback on what is correct/incorrect. SG to feedback to Cheryl Hurkett. Now working.

October Briefing

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Additional revision sessions organised on student request
  • Extra resources added to Blackboard to help students understand the material (Population Genetics)
  • New marking rubric introduced to make feedback more consistent
  • Missing PowerPoints for statistics uploaded to Blackboard
  • Department led an initiative advertising mental health and support services to students

 

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Students would like computers available for use in the common room
  • Reading Week had too many scheduled sessions for a ‘free week’. Whilst these sessions were optional, students felt as though they had to attend
  • Some workshop tutors are much more engaging than others
  • Students have requested that personal tutor materials are organised by type of study (e.g. BSc, MSci), as these students are at different stages in their careers

Positives:

  • Course content is varied and interesting
  • Core teaching team dedicated, supportive and knowledgeable
  • Good sense of community
  • Broad range of transferable skills gained through varied opportunities

Negatives:

  • Very high workload, multiple coinciding deadlines
  • Workload can impact on extracurricular activities, and applying for jobs/PhDs
  • Timetable is inefficient; multiple clashes
Physics
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
Year 1 MSL emails ending up in junk mailboxes. Will be chased with the SU, to see if anything can be done. Will also be raised with IT.  
Year 3 Lecturers not being able to use viewfinders. Staff reminded that they can access training, and if it's happening with individuals reps should speak to them. Discussed with relevant staff and training offered.
Year 2 Issues of PhD staff marking reports differently. Staff will check this. if there will be  amrk distribution issue than further action will be taken
Year 3 Slides not available with assessments getting closer.   heena adressed the indow issue
  Library café having limited food options. Will be taken to LSP.  
  F29 is too hot. Staff will raise this. Raised with Estates
Year 2 PA2600, submission box not appearing on BB.   was resolved before SSC.
PGT Students are unaware of info about International Project and would like more details. NB to clarify details with students.  
  Will Widening Access Participation scholarship be available next year?   Yes, students to be notified once applications open.

October Briefing

 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Less printouts after students complained that paper was being wasted
  • Lecture slides uploaded at least 48 hours before lectures, to allow students time to review
  • Seminar hand-in deadlines moved back from 12pm to 2pm, to allow students to scan in their work
  • Lecture issues (e.g. quiet lecturers, whiteboard unclear) were quickly resolved by lecturers
  • Derivations added to Blackboard following complaints about the difficulty of reading board-work
  • Extra resources made available online; resources uploaded week by week as opposed to at the module end
  • Room changed to accommodate for more students in Maths seminars

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Students would like mark schemes/marking rubric and clearer assessment criteria for each assignment. This was actioned, but please check it has been completed
  • Seminar questions and work exercises do not reflect the lecture examples and lack application to wider reading
  • Issues with some teaching rooms not being sufficiently set up (lack of whiteboards etc.)
  • Maths revision sessions need improvement; tutors giving these did not work well together
  • Astrophysics module is very content heavy and assumes prior knowledge, making students feel out of their depth

Positives:

  • Open door office hour policy is well received; staff are friendly, approachable
  • Great resources to support learning
  • Quality of teaching is high

Negatives:

  • New modules seem disorganised and content feels rushed through
  • Timetable could be released more promptly, with less changes
  • A small minority of lecturers are not engaging in lectures
Psychology
Completed Matters
Year Matter Raised Action Details
Year 1 Order of lectures in PS1104 doesn't make sense with assessments. Staff agreed to consider this.  
Year 1 Reps not that practicals involve following a set of instructions, instead of learning why they are completing it. Staff remind students to ask questions in their practicals, and to look into why the suggested 3-4 staff aren't at all practicals. More interactive activities in handouts, no feedback yet.
Year 1 Course reps think 1 hour learning how to use Word is too long, and most students know how to use it. Staff will feed this back to course team, but note that some students might not have used Word before. Has been fed back the reasons for this.
Year 1 Mature students are struggling to attend the practicals as they are timetabled at 3. Remind students to email the department so they can swap sessions if they cannot attend.  
Year 1 Questions about how to provide feedback to students from SSCs. Students to give a short presentation at a core lecture once the minutes are released.  
Year 2 Issues with students eating food in parts of the library where they aren't allowed. Food areas added to the main floor plan. the ground floor was removed from eating area
Year 2 PS2108 was advertised as containing forensic psychology, but does not contain any. Feedback will be given to Head of the NPB Department.  
Year 2 Students ask about exam feedback and what they can do to receive it. Students reminded they can ask PTs or Module Coordinators if they're unsure of the feedback they've been given.  
Year 2 Course Reps ask about help during reading week to gain placements. Tessa Webb agrees to contact Paul Fitzgerald (CDS) to see what support can be given. Session 25/2 with the second years.
Year 3 Lecture slides not being uploaded to blackboard. Tessa asks students to email her specific examples so it could be addressed.  
Year 3 Issues with sessions agreeing and disappearing on timetables. Staff agreed to talk to Timetabling to see if this can be dealt with.  
Year 3 Students aren't sure if optional sessions affect their attendance figures. Committee to look into this.  
Year 3 Do students want a session in Dec/Jan about applying to postgrad study. Course Reps agree to create a survey to see if people would like to do this and what they want to be included.  
Year 3 Course reps to put together a powerpoint of SSC outcomes. Once minutes are released, this will be arranged by Carlo Wo.  
Year 3 Some students were unaware of the email sent with the deadlines for the whole year. Staff agree to resend the email to students.  
Year 2 Tutorials about essay questions cancelled. Staff will look at rearranging.  
PG As full time students are getting a pass/fail mark, can part time students as well? Will be done.  
PG Could January deadlines be staggered or pushed back? Will be pushed back to the 20th and all students emailed.  
Year 3 Students don't know what the Feedback charter is. Will be resent in January.  
Year 3 Decolonising the curriculum - what can be done? Contacting BPS and Sana.  
Year 1 EPR error removed credits from students. Some students say this hasn't been restored for them. Liz Malcolm to investigate and report back. Was checked immediately after meeting, and all has been restored. If students think there is an error they should email Liz Malcolm.

October Briefing
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Coursework framework changes so that less modules are 100% exam-based
  • Exams and Coursework better spaced after complaints of multiple coinciding deadlines
  • Sample exam questions modified to be more reflective of real exam questions
  • Students given access to spreadsheet where they can calculate weighted module grades
  • Departments have made external examiner feedback from the previous year available
  • Clarification of various points involving dissertation, e.g. timelines, length, referencing style
  • Course reps gave a presentation of SSC outcomes and action points in core lectures, to close the feedback loop with their peers

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Multiple issues with students feeling like their dissertation supervisors did not offer sufficient support and with supervisors not getting back to students
  • Lecture slides are often not uploaded to Blackboard
  • Major/Minor and Double-Major students (Psychology and Sociology) feel overlooked by both departments
  • Students have requested timed mock-exams to prepare for assessments
  • 1st Year students feel that tutorials are not engaging

Positives:

  • Kind, supportive and student-oriented staff
  • Interesting and challenging course content
  • Lots of opportunities to ask for help/give feedback to the University
  • Opportunities related to skills development and employability

Negatives:

  • Increased support with regard to entering the workplace/specialising in a field, including adding a placement year and more specialist modules
  • Feedback is often late, and can be vague or inconsistent despite clear marking criteria
STEM
Completed Matters
Matter Raised Action Details
Some students are struggling with the content. Students should be reminded they can talk to staff, and borrow kit to experiment at home, and can also use the programmes at home.  
Students want to see answers to maths exam. Staff will provide these. Sample answers sent to students.
Pass/progression isn't understood, and chemistry isn't on the table. This should be updated. Went over this in PBL session.
Equal opportunities. Details to be sent to the department about SU events.  
Staff handwriting is difficult to read. Students told to talk to staff, but a message will be sent by the office. Students emailed.
Visualizer is difficult to read on recordings. Staff will look into this.  
Students aren't sure where to find feedback on BB. Email will be sent round.  

Completed Matters
 

Here are some of the successes of your department’s course reps in the 2018/9 academic year:

  • Issues with e-textbooks, Panopto and Blackboard resolved
  • Deadline extended where IT issues meant that students could not complete coursework
  • Past coursework solutions, practice questions and extra course materials uploaded to Blackboard
  • Breaks added to two hour lectures
  • Math support classes offered on student request (although attendance was low)
  • Students can now view the average marks for each module

Here are some of the ongoing issues in your department, which you could start to look into:

  • Inconsistent marking for lab work, due to different demonstrators
  • CLEs inconsistent. Changes have been put in place to resolve this, but please raise again if it continues
  • Lecture slides not uploaded to Blackboard quickly
  • Students would like more detailed exam feedback, rather than just a summative grade
  • Students would like a mark scheme or marking rubric, to understand how their grades were calculated

University of Leicester Students' Union
Percy Gee Building
University of Leicester
University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH
Write to Us: Email


Powered by MSL

The University of Leicester Students' Union is a registered charity no. 1137811 and a company limited by guarantee registered in England no. 7303101