Thu, August 16, 2018 - 19:22

Course Rep Impact

Have you made a difference as a Course Rep? Maybe you changed the content of module handbooks, managed to alter assessment dates, ran your own survey or got involved with helping your School?

Let us know and you will get recognition in the Course Rep newsletter and a chance to win Course Rep of the Month!

Just complete the course rep impact form here: 

Course Rep Newsletters 2017/18

Edition 1:

Edition 2:

Edition 3:

Wins 2017/18

December Wins:

Loria-Mae Heywood (PhD Law): Loria-Mae requested feedback from PhD Law and Politics students, who said they want law/politics seminars, student-led seminars, 24-hour access to Wilberforce for PhD students and more course specific material. These issues were raised at the course rep forum and communicated to staff in the faculty. Loria-Mae is also arranging a meeting with students over the next month to discuss and provide responses to the issues previously raised. This is excellent work Loria-Mae!

November Wins:

Stacey Glossop and Jodie Burton (Midwifery): Stacey and Jodie are uniting the students on their course by arranging a course meal where people can share their thoughts and experiences about placement. Their course will be on placement until February, with only one lecture a week so this is a great chance for students to keep in touch and discuss issues. Fantastic idea!


Molly Abdo (Psychology): Molly raised the issue of assignment feedback in the Student Experience Enhancement Review (SEER) meeting. Many students were unaware that canvas allowed in-depth detailed feedback for assessed work. To resolve this, an email was sent out which guided students on how to access feedback, this can help improve on future work. Good job Molly!


Saalo Sparkes (Psychology): The unavailability of textbooks was an issue brought to attention at the student staff forum and Student Experience Enhancement Review (SEER) meeting. Saalo Sparkes initiated a student poll which was heavily weighted towards students preferring textbooks to e-books. Despite this the library have said no additional textbooks will be purchased if there is an e-book available. This is an ongoing issue which has been put down to be raised in the next meeting. Well done Saalo!  


Chloe Crooks (Law): Chloe’s course was being set work for their seminars without enough time to complete it, causing stress to students. She emailed the lecturer to raise the issue and since then it has been resolved, lecturers are now setting seminar work a week prior to the class so there is enough time to meet the deadline. Good work Chloe!


Kathryn Sharman (Law): Kathryn has received a number of comments from students detailing issues specific to the Hub. This raised concern, therefore Kathryn took this issue to her Faculty Rep, Michael Howe, who took this issue to the relevant person. Together, they arranged a meeting with the Hub who assured them that they were going to make changes to the Hub including staff training as an example. The changes implemented are expected to be seen in January semester 2. Well done, Kathryn!


Ebony-Jane Mawer (PGCE Primary): This course was dealing with communication issues which meant they were unsure about what tasks to complete during their placement. By contacting various tutors and students Ebony-Jane was able to clarify what was needed to be done and communicate this to students on the course. Great work Ebony-Jane!


Valentina Yasmin Rosetta Scarborough (Social Work): Students on Valentina’s course felt that lecturers were not interacting enough with students during the lectures. By emailing the appropriate staff and talking about the issues, the problem has been resolved and students now find the lectures much more engaging. Fantastic job!


Isobel Hall (English): The issue of reading lists not being released earlier enough was raised at Isobel’s student staff forum. As students only have access to the canvas site once they have registered, it meant a lot of students struggled to get copies of set textbooks and then had inadequate time to read the extensive list. Through discussion with staff and the forum, lecturers have agreed to email students prior to the start of the module so that they have enough time to prepare. Well done Isobel!

October Wins:

Ryan Ward (Theoretical Physics): Ryan contacted lecturers and admin staff to help resolve issues on canvas. One of the modules for theoretical physics had not been created on canvas which meant student were not able to prepare for lectures or review it afterwards. Students on the course now have access to the module and start working. Great work Ryan!


Isobel Hall (English): Isobel has shown great enthusiasm by engaging with students in English through newsletters and surveys. The newsletter and surveys were sent out to all students studying English to help gauge people’s feelings and opinions about their course. The results were collated and summarised in a report which was sent to the Head of Subject, the Director of English and the Director of Combined Honours. Feedback from students is very important, Isobel is now working with the department to improve the issues raised by students in this survey. Great initiative Isobel!


Isobel Hall (English): Isobel addressed the lack of support for first year students and helped create a peer mentoring scheme. By arranging meetings with the head of school and student engagement officer, the scheme has now been established. Isobel has helped create posters, handbooks, put on training and welcome events to encourage people to get involved. This is a fantastic idea and will help new students settle in to their course. Brilliant work Isobel! 

Wins 2016/17

April Wins:

Victoria Clark (Chemistry) – Victoria worked with Biochemistry students to ensure that they had the appropriate material to revise from and to raise issues regarding assessments. She contacted the course director who worked with staff to make them aware of the issues raised and to try and resolve them as quickly as possible. Well done, Victoria!

Florence Miller (Modern Languages) – Florence has been working with staff and the FACE Faculty Rep to provide students with support whilst on their year abroad. She has worked to start the discussion around this issue especially regarding mental health.  Along with staff members, Florence has been working to develop a project where 4th year students who have returned from their year abroad support 2nd years that are yet to go on their year abroad. Great project, Florence!

Alicia Calladine (Psychology) – Alicia has been working with staff to ensure that students have access to ICT for group work. This was raised at the SSC meeting. Psychology staff will be working to ensure students are taught about the software available and how to use this software ensuring all students have the same level of ICT knowledge. Great initiative, Alicia!

Alicia Calladine (Psychology) – Alicia has been working with staff to ensure that students have received the appropriate lecture material to complete an essay. She raised this issue and as such students were given the information. The deadline for the essay was extended and students who had already submitted it were given the opportunity to resubmit the piece of work. Well done, Alicia!

March Wins:

Lauren Barkas (Chemistry) – Lauren has worked with a module coordinator to ensure that in a mid-semester test the questions asked are fair and indicative of what lectures have taught. This was not the case as a question appeared in the test that students were told was not going to appear. Lauren worked with staff to ensure that the marks would reflect this and not leave students at a disadvantage. Great work, Lauren!

Sofia Qadir (Operating Department Practice) – Sofia has been working with staff in her school to produce a You Said, We did poster. This displayed to students how the school of Health & Social Care acted on student feedback. Great initiative, Sofia!

Carla Moden (Psychology) – Carla has worked with staff to resolve teaching issues regarding a member of staff leaving. Carla has worked to ensure that students have provisions in place due to changing of lecture material. Well done, Carla!

Lauren Barkas (Chemistry) – Lauren has worked with her fellow students to arrange peer revision sessions to review a past module and exam. She has also linked with staff to run similar sessions for other second year modules. Great initiative, Lauren!

Lauren Barkas (Chemistry) – Lauren has worked with staff to get late feedback for herself and her fellow students and to try and ensure that the 4 week feedback time is met in the future. Great work, Lauren!

Lauren Barkas (Chemistry) - Lauren has worked to ensure that the sanitary provision for the women’s toilets in the chemistry building was adequate. After raising this issue at her SSC she took it upon herself to ensure that there was a provision in one of the cubicles and made a sign to show this. Well done, Lauren!

Victoria Clark (Chemistry) – Victoria has worked with staff and the faculty rep to give first year students revision resources and access to relevant past papers. Well done, Victoria!

Claire Beardshall (Criminology) – Claire has been working with her academic support tutor to address the concerns that students have brought to her about modules. She has worked as a link between her tutor and students to ensure that the appropriate information is passed on. Well done, Claire!

Carla Moden (Psychology with Criminology) - Carla has worked with staff to support the level of participation in students’ experiments. She has worked with students and staff to make sure students keep to commitments when participating in each other’s research. Carla is working with the module coordinator to encourage more participation. Great work, Carla!

Alicia Calladine (Psychology) – Alicia has worked with staff providing them with feedback about a workshop and how the teacher could improve at giving this workshop. Alicia has worked with staff to arrange a catch-up session and to improve the workshop for her fellow students. Well done, Alicia!

Sian Williams (Chemistry) – Sian has been working to improve the IT facilities for her fellow students. She has worked with the IT department to get the magnifying tool un-blocked or made visible for all computers improving the experience for students who have sight problems. Great work, Sian!

Vassili Crispi (HYMS) - Vassili has been working with the Phase 1 subcurriculum and Student-Staff Committees to improve the teaching of Anatomy sessions. After reporting this to the committees he has been working with students to arrange extra revision sessions.  Well done, Vassili!


Feburary Wins:

Lauren Barkas (Chemistry) – Lauren has campaigned for an equivalent of the PASS scheme in Chemistry so that student are afforded mentoring by their peers. After realising there was no such scheme, she is working with her SEO to develop a peer mentoring scheme with the view of a trail for foundation students next year. Keep us updated on your progress Lauren!

Heather Veysey (Midwifery) - Heather met the students she represents over a coffee and via social media for the purpose of acquiring feedback. She then wrote a report and requested students double check it to ensure accuracy. Staff welcomed the feedback she presented and explained why some decisions had been taken, while other aspects of the course will be changed owing to Heather's actions. Well done!

Dawda Adams (Accounting & Finance) – School Rep Dawda realised that he and other Muslims on his course had a lecture scheduled during Friday prayers. This meant Muslim students would have to choose between attending lectures and forgo prayers or the other way round. Dawda had the initiative to e-mail HUBS student support on behalf of the students affected. This was passed onto timetabling and an announcement was made on Canvas notifying students of the rescheduled lecture. In Dawda’s words: “Hence, the outcome impacts positively on both the students’ academic performance and faith as well as and the university’s image as a whole.” Well done Dawda!

Hannah Scorer (Geography) – Due to multiple assignments centring on group presentations, group learning space in the library was hard to come by for Geography students. Hannah took this to her SSC, and staff notified course reps that students were free to book rooms in the Cohen building to use for group work. Students had not been aware of this, and a message was sent to all geographers to remedy this. This has not only provided extra learning space, but places students in proximity to the lecturers and the support they may require. Great work Hannah!

Victoria Clark (Chemistry) – Victoria has once again acted on student feedback. Lecture slides were not being uploaded to Canvas until the hour before a lecture, making it difficult for students to print the notes in preparation for the lecture. After contacting staff, Victoria received a message from the staff to say that slides and notes will be uploaded earlier.

Alicia Calladine (Psychology) – When semester 2 started, a module on Canvas for semester 1 had disappeared, meaning students were missing key materials for a new module which built on feedback and work from the semester 1 module. Alicia contacted the head of year so she was aware of the problem and explained why this module should be accessible. Consequently, all past modules have been made available to students thanks to Alicia acting on the feedback she received!


Vassili Crispi (HYMS) – Vassili reported to HYMS staff that end of block feedback was too long. He has acted on student feedback and suggested changing to a shorter survey with the opportunities for students to give open feedback. The staff acted on this and implemented a shorter survey that had an increased rate of submission. Great initiative, Vassili!


January Wins:

Zhuolin Wang (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) – Zhuolin gathered feedback from students on a number of issues, such as: the format of lecture slides; the clash of staff office hours; and students being unable to find a group for team work. Zhuolin then attended the SSC and reported these concerns to staff, feeding back to students the response of staff to the student Facebook group, including a change to staff office hours and the format of lecture slides, in addition to staff agreeing to assign all students to a group. Well done Zhuolin!

Florence Miller (Modern Languages) – School Rep Florence has managed the worries of students in languages over the transfer of the Language Learning Centre to the library. She has clarified information and dispelled rumours through meeting students in person and on social media. Florence has also met with the Faculty Rep and staff to set up a forum in which students could voice their concerns over the transfer. We are grateful for your role mediating between students and the University Florence!

Chelsea Morgan (Nursing): Chelsea has made steps to ensure students are represented in nursing by hosting drop-in sessions, complete with posters to advertise the session. She has been working with her SEO to achieve this. Chelsea has also created a survey using SurveyMonkey to identify the main positives and concerns nurses are experiencing on their course. So far she has had 50 responses in 2 days - excellent work Chelsea, and make sure you show the Faculty the data!`

Alicia Calladine (Psychology) – Alicia recognised that some students were not receiving the same quality of supervision as other students. Consequently, she liaised with staff at her SSC and explained how AST advice contradicted an assignment brief for a particular module. Since the meeting, staff have ensured ASTs have been provided with standardised guidance, and recent feedback from students has been positive, with clearer instructions for assignment briefs. Well done Alicia!

Katharine Hobson (Education) – Katharine has taken the time to chair her SSC, ensuring agendas are sent out on time, and communicating with students on the decisions made. She has also created a booklet designed to recruit education reps for the next academic year. Katharine has been one of our most engaged reps this year, and for this we are truly grateful for all her hard work!

Vassili Crispi (HYMS) – Vassili acted on feedback from students to improve the amount of revision resources. He reported this to the assessment team and they have acted on his feedback and added formative test questions to blackboard. Great success, Vassili!

December Wins:

Julija Šamšina, Jessica Whelan, Mary Jane Hough (Languages) – After meeting students informally in a feedback session, Julija, Jessica and Mary realised that students were dissatisfied with interpreting sessions, which were perceived to be too formal with little opportunity to speak. Students said that there needed to be more feedback in these sessions. The three reps took this feedback to teachers, and now students receive more feedback in a relaxed environment as the classes have been restructured. Well done all!

Rebecca Lancashire (Music) – Students in music were experiencing a 5 hour gap between their lecture and seminar, resulting in poor attendance in the seminar. Students were less likely to be engaged in the later session of the day, which required a greater level of concentration and contributions from students. Rebecca discussed swapping the lecture to the later session with the seminar to the morning, meaning more students attended both sessions.

Leanne Moore (Biology) – Leanne discovered that students were worried about the MCQ tests in Biology, as they were unsure about what to expect and had asked for a practice run. Leanne messaged four lecturers and her programme leader on the possibility of this, and now practice questions have been uploaded on to the Canvas pages. Excellent stuff Leanne!

Ben Howard and Victoria Clark (Chemistry) – Chemistry Reps Victoria and Ben saw that fourth year students had large amounts of reading to do. While students had no objection to this, it was unclear what they had to read, or where the reading material could be accessed. After discussions with the lecturer, 2 days later students received a clear reading list complete with links.

Sian Williams (Chemistry) – Sian is the chair of the Chemistry SSC, ensuring the committee runs on time, while also compiling the agenda and raising action points. This requires good time-management, organisation and attention to detail. Thanks for your hard work Sian!

Vassili Crispi (HYMS) – Vassili has been working with the Phase 1 subcurriculum committee for pharmacology which led to improved teaching for students during year 1 and 2. Well done, Vassili!

November Wins:

Victoria Clark (School Rep, Chemistry): Some students were having trouble reading notes on PowerPoint due to very dark backgrounds being used. When students wanted to print the material, they had to use lots of printer ink, and could not annotate the notes. Victoria used her initiative to speak to the Head of Teaching, and now all lecture material uploaded to Canvas has a white background, or there is a separate printer-friendly version. Well done Victoria!

Katharine Hobson (BA Education Studies): Katharine has thrown herself into Course Representation by instructing students to write down the pros and cons of their course on a post-it note after the lecture. She has also created an introductory questionnaire on Survey Monkey, receiving responses from a third of students on her course. She plans to send these short questionnaires periodically throughout the year so she can acquire quality feedback for her SSC. Great work Katharine!

George Moverley (BSc Geology): Students on Geology have been experiencing timetabling issues. George has used Canvas to communicate with staff when this happens, ensuring that problems are noted while also developing a working partnership with staff to provide solutions to issues. Keep up the good work George!

Claire Beardshall (Foundation Criminology): Students told Claire that they were having problems understanding the handbook, including the outline of assessments and hand-in dates, which were mixed up. Claire talked to her AST and then contacted the programme director, raising the issue. In return, she received a clear e-mail explaining the format of assignments which Claire then communicated to the students she represents. In addition, students received handouts in the next lecture with additional information to complement the handbook. Thanks to Claire’s work, students understand how their assignments work!

Lisa George (LLB Law): Students told Lisa about the distractions caused by other students in lecture halls, particularly late arrivals, with some students arriving 20 minutes late and others talking throughout the session. Lisa arranged a meeting with the lecturers concerned and they worked on a solution to the problem. The following working day a message was sent via Canvas to all students warning them that such behaviour would not be tolerated. Keep us posted on the outcome Lisa and thank you for all your hard work!

Vassili Crispi (HYMS): Vassili has been working to increase awareness of medical school course reps by creating posters and making students aware of their representatives. Great initiative, Vassili!

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