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Developing effective student staff
Engaging Student Course Representatives
in the collection and feedback to students
and staff of academic and non-academic
Michelle Morgan, Andrew Gibson and Denza Gonsalves
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing
Kingston University
Aims and objectives
• Provide a rationale for change and the structure adopted
• Explain how the scheme has increased student participation in
academic and non-academic feedback, enhanced peer feedback
and improved student morale through the student voice being heard
at a Departmental and Faculty level
• Illustrate how the scheme has enabled students to influence quality
enhancement and institutional governance at a University level
• Highlight the challenges of obtaining cross school and student
support for the new scheme.
Rationale for change
• Differing practice across 8 schools within the Faculty
Pulled together good practice
• Student voice raising concerns
• SSCC membership –staff outweigh students
• Action points not followed up or fed back
• Some meetings cancelled
• Effectively build the student voice into core activities at Faculty level
(e.g. meetings, early module feedback etc)
• Raising the profile and status of the course representative scheme
• Enhancing the �feedback’ cycle- academic and non-academic.
Responses to the feedback
Important for Course Representatives and Staff :
to let the student body know what happened to their academic and nonacademic issues raised at Meetings and in Early Module Feedback
Essential that:
Students see that their voice is being HEARD
Staff engage in continuous development.
Rationale for change
• Differing practice across 8 schools within the Faculty
Pulled together good practice
• Student voice raising concerns
• SSCC membership –staff outweigh students
• Action points not followed up or fed back
• Some meetings cancelled
• Effectively build the student voice into core activities at Faculty level
(e.g. meetings, early module feedback etc)
• Raising the profile and status of the course representative scheme
• Enhancing the �feedback’ process- academic and non-academic
• New Students Union member of staff with remit for course
• Giving �added value’ to students who participate (for PDP).
Added Value
Provide CRs with the opportunity to engage in:
• Faculty Course Representative Certificate
Required to undertake specific activities to support Faculty quality enhancement strategy
• Semester 1 and 2 workshops run by the Engagement Unit
Employability and career sessions
• Student Course Representative and Ambassador Conference (SU led)
• Skill sessions run by the Students Union and Engagement Unit
• Senior Course Representative Scheme run by Students Union.
Added Value
Develop/enhance skills through the CR role
Relationship building
•Important to identify and record skills obtained
through course and extra curricula activities
•Supports and extends employability activities
Report writing
Time management /
Course Representative structure adopted
• 2- 5 course representatives per course per year
• To get diverse and wide coverage of opinions and concerns
• To encourage team work
• Self nomination
• Widen interest
• Encourage positive rather than negative recruitment (e.g. Student feeling forced into the role)
• Provide �open’ opportunities
• No elections
• Encourage inclusivity not exclusivity
• Increase �atypical’ students who would not normally apply
• Encourage existing CRs to continue for continuity and support of new CRs
• Call goes out end of the academic year
• Summer vacation to consider participation and get key dates in the diary
• Course Directors involved in advertising and recruitment of new incoming students as CRs
• Mid Year recruitment opportunity
• Engage and coordinate activities with key university units (e.g. Careers, SU).
Activities to increase student participation
in academic and non-academic �Feedback’
Components of the SEC Course
Representative Certificate
CRs awarded a SEC Certificate showing
participation and successful completion
of all of the following components:
Completion of the formal CR induction run
by the Faculty and Kingston University’s
Students Union (KUSU) (compulsory) **
Participation and feedback in the Student
Staff Consultative Committee (SSCC) or
Board of Study (BoS) (at least one a year)
Participation in the Faculty Forum (FF)
meeting or relevant BoS (at least one a
Support the Early Module Feedback
All activities designed to feed into and influence QE
** If not completed, cannot participate as a CR
Students Union
CR Certificate
• All SEC and Student Union
activities listed on a Students
Union Certificate
• Enables students unable to
complete the SEC CR
Certificate to have their
activities formally recorded
for their PDP or CPD log.
Gathering and providing Feedback
Speak to friends on course
Seek positive and less positive feedback
Consult peers in core lectures/labs/seminars
Post its
Nominal group technique
Study space/Email /Facebook/One community
Module review group meetings.
Gather constructive ideas for improvements
Be professional
Factual not emotional
Feedback to meetings
SSCC (academic issues) and Faculty Forum (non-academic issues)
Gather feedback with other Course Representatives on same course and level issues raised
by fellow course peers
Collect comments on the Pre-SSCC or Pre-FF Meeting Feedback form and take this form to
the meeting (in semester 1 completed form sent to clerk 1 week in advance)
Complete the meeting blog with the collected comments (piloted for FF in semester 2)
All course representatives, who have contributed to the Pre-SSCC or FF Meeting comments,
will jointly present the issues at the meeting if they can attend
Issues will be looked at by Staff /Student Chair in advance to problem solve pre-meeting ***
Provide feedback to course peers within a week of the meeting.
***CRs have the opportunity to chair the meeting
Early-module feedback (EMF)
• Faculty initiative
• Enable feedback to support existing cohort
• Enable specific comments not transferable to another
module cohort
• Continuing Quality Improvement (CQI) in L&T
• Feedback initiative to improve NSS.
Collection of Early Module Feedback
• CRs register their modules via Survey Monkey
• CRs allocated either the main collector or helper
role (aim is to get each CR to do both)
• Final allocations and final instructions
are sent 2 weeks before collection
The Early Module Feedback Process
Module leader uploads link to Early Module Template on front page of the Black
Board Module site
Module Leader communicates with Course Reps and Lecturer who is teaching
the week of collection to confirm collection and process
Feedback collected in lecture at start or middle with lecturer absent
Feedback collected on hard copy template available from the School Offices
Identify 3 good things and up to 3 things (if any) that could be improved
Transfer comments onto the Early Module Feedback template on Black Board for
the module
Module leader responds with 2 weeks of the collection.
Advantages of CRs
collecting EMF
�I think students feel they can be completely honest when they talk to their CR
especially when lecturers aren't present during the feedback. Taking feedback this
year motivated so many students to actually come forward with other problems during
the year whereas previously I'm not sure students actually thought of seeing a CR for
�Students won't be able to voice out their opinion or be completely honest regarding
the module if the module leader is the collector of the feedback’.
�I feel that students are more willing to talk to fellow class mates about their issues
because they too might agree. Where as if the student talked directly to the module
leaders, they may not raise exactly the same points because they may feel intimidated
and awkward. Some students are very proactive and are able to speak to the module
leaders, which they can do on their own accord. However for those students who are
less confident, I feel it is more appropriate for the CRs to continue doing the
Construct solutions to issues
When you raise or are addressing an issue, come prepared
with a solution
Think about:
• What would be the solution?
• What resources do staff have access too?
• How realistic is your solution?
• How creative is your solution?.
• Staff perception of student ability and professionalism
• Student perception that their voice will be ignored
• Accessing affordable resources to enable student participation
• Achieving active student and staff participation
• Utilising and piloting technology to support the scheme
• Site and discipline issues.
• Provide effective training for Student Course
Representatives in collaboration with the Students’ Union
• Trust Student Course Representatives to collect feedback
and to report staff responses to students
• Provide a transparent rapid response to the feedback
collected by Student Course Representatives
• Change what is possible and reasonable
• Explain why immediate changes are not feasible.
• Course Representatives are generally rational
and fair especially if well trained
• Want reasonable improvements
• Ongoing process
• Build year on year
• Communication is key!
Thank you for listening
Any questions for Michelle, Andy or Denza?
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