Academic Rep Round-up

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Academic Rep Round-up – Term 2

Despite the continued need to work largely online during term 2, Academic Reps across all departments have continued to adapt their roles and work hard to help make sure your education is the best it can be. By gathering feedback and attending SSCCs online this year; Academic Reps have still been able to raise your feedback and help to get your issues resolved where possible!

Student Staff Consultative Committees (SSCCs) are the biggest opportunity for Academic Reps to raise your feedback. These meetings are important because the feedback you pass onto your Rep is then raised, discussed, noted and actioned, along with any other departmental matters or developments.

Across Semester 2 SSCCs, a total of 301 individual pieces of feedback were raised by your Academic Reps.

Feedback

Themes

Feedback Numbers

Feedback

Percentage

Assignments

35

11.63%

Wellbeing and Support

40

13.29%

Careers/Employability

2

0.66%

Exams

11

3.65%

Facilities

10

3.32%

Library / IS

15

4.98%

Module Feedback

61

20.27%

Postgrad Issues

6

1.99%

Teaching

33

10.96%

Online Resources and Technology

33

10.96%

Timetabling

3

1.00%

Joint Honours Issues

5

1.66%

Other

47

15.61%

 

 

Having read through all of the department SSCCs, we’ve been able to identify key feedback that students across numerous departments have raised. Notable feedback included:

  • Positive feedback for the library services, especially the click and collect service
  • Students would appreciate more regular check-ins from personal tutors
  • Students would like to start getting access to facilities
  • Some students still not feeling there is enough mental health support and resources
  • Positive feedback about those lecturers who are incorporating interactive elements within their teaching and providing space for students to interact in breakrooms or smaller groups and/or attend drop-in sessions.
  • Mixed feedback relating to live-lecturing. Some students find it motivating and it helps to build a routine, whilst others still preferred working through pre-recorded lectures.
  • ‘Other’ feedback included things that didn’t clearly fit under key themes and tended to be department specific.

 

Thank you to all Academic Reps for your efforts this year. It’s now possible for this collated feedback to be raised at Faculty and University level meetings by Chloe (SU Academic Affairs Officer).

The feedback raised at the FASS SSCC by your Faculty Officer, Adam Burlingham included:

  • Emphasising the wellbeing feedback, and the personal tutor comments also, emphasising that PTs need reminding to maintain regular (at least fortnightly-monthly) contact with their tutees.
  • Highlighted the positive reactions to more live-lecturing and interactive learning methods such as Mentimeter and said this should be continued.
  • Following our early Term 2 suggestions, more Wellbeing/Motivation efforts were made by departments.
  • Discussion was made about Student Support Services, and the issues around students feeling more comfortable talking to PTs and Academic Staff about problems than the support services. This will be brought up at Academic Board following our discussions.  

The feedback raised at the FELS SSCC by your PG Faculty Officer. Ellen Hjort included:

  • PhD student funding levels leading to financial insecurity and feeling it necessary to work while studying.
  • High workloads and feeling undervalued as postgraduate members of staff.
  • Department with publication fees for journals. This feedback will be brought forward to the Associate Dean, Research for FELS and then moving from there. 

 

Finally, it’s important the recognise the changes that Academic Reps have helped to resolve as a result of raising feedback. Whether it’s a big or small change, it’s a change for the better and it’s the collaboration between Academic Reps and staff that continues to help ensure student have a positive learning experience here at Aberystwyth! This year they included:

  • Learning and Teaching Unit have now introduced departmental templates for Blackboard menu, so that there is a consistency across modules in departments.
  • Created Blackboard Required Minimum Presence which outlines what needs to be included in a module and where it should be placed.
  • Created the Supporting your Learning module which includes a section on E-learning tools and the E-learning Induction video (which explains how to navigate in Blackboard).
  • Motivation, time management and wellbeing sessions put on across departments
  • Deadline clashes resolved across numerous modules
  • Page limit for ongoing assessments and exams increased to help with accessibility (Physics)
  • Teams’ groups, drop-ins and Q&A sessions created across modules where needed to help students work together, make connections and have informal opportunities to ask lecturers questions.

Thank you to reps, officers and staff for your collaborative efforts this year!

 

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