What have reps done for me?
Here are just a few examples in the last year of reps making a difference to your student experience. Staff respect and listen to reps, so you should make use of them if you have a problem or an idea:
After meeting with lecturers and senior members of my School, I designed an email service which the 6 members of the team (2nd and 3rd years) could access, and other students could email to ask any questions they may have about life as a SOCSI student or about Cardiff in general, or if they needed academic help. The email address has received around 200 emails since last September, with ones ranging from advice on module choice to which textbooks are the most relevant; to even which takeaways give the best deals!
The system was advertised through small leaflets that I designed and were distributed within lectures and the School, via the email service, and also through the work we did in enrolment week. During enrolment week the team were present, wearing bright T-shirts (again designed by us) and offering workshops on life in SOCSI and how the School works, tours around the campus, helping out with the School’s introductory talks, and to just be a general help to new students.
Coursework and exam weightings
I managed to get the long running SHARE tradition of weighting exams and assignments at 60% to 40% respectively overturned. The students voiced various complaints about the system so I got a general level of discontent through lecture ‘shouts’ and then paper confirmation of this. I then compiled the response and took it to the Panel and then the Open Board of Studies, arguing that the system favoured students which excel in examinations and disadvantaged students who prefer paper assignments and coursework. It took a little persuasion of the individual module convenors until there was enough support to alter the standard weighting, but it succeeded and the weighting was altered to 50:50. This means that all students have the same chance to excel irrelevant of which type of assessment they prefer, thus enhancing the student experience by allowing all students to succeed fairly.
Quality of Exams
I compiled a document on the exam system in Cardiff Medical School. Having spoken to senior students I realised that nobody was willing to speak up on what was obviously a cause of dissatisfaction. I presented a file with GMC guidelines and nearly 200 student letters. This was considered by the staff and they have made big changes. Although I ‘kick-started’ this new exam scheme it could not have taken place without the students taking the time and effort to send their opinion in to me.
Lectures on Learning Central
Early on this year I was spending an hour a day dealing with missing lectures. Officially lectures should be on Learning Central before the lecture in our course. We had staff in authority that agreed with the guideline and some that did not. I suggested that last year’s lecture notes be made available in full with the disclaimer that the later ones may be slightly different. This solved the problem immediately.
Resources for postgraduate students
After discussion with PG tutors I designed a website to allow PG tutors to download resources for teaching (http://psychpgts.pbworks.com). I collected documents, materials and links from tutors over a period of two months and subsequently assigned logins to each user. The site is populated with a variety of resources and sees a high volume of users.