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Experience Digital Literacy - 2nd year Class Rep

Fri 18 Nov 2016

Being Anatomy and Pathology 2 class rep has meant not only representing my fellow peers, but building a academic community. By representing my fellow peers views i have used various tools specifically email (to contact course organiser and administrator) and facebook messenger (contact with class peers), through this also gathering their feedback, which will be collated to help with improving the course.

 

We used this as a point to also communicate and make class peers well aware of the role we have in listening to all their course related concerns. And that they should openly approach us anytime in person or especially through the group chat that way other people who have the same problem and can get the same solution and answer saving time and being efficient but really effective.

 

We used the group chat  as a means to gain comments, feedback on the course as a whole and in specific areas which will be fed to our liason-meeting which will be crucial in improving the course for future years.

 

I would recommend other class reps to use facebook group chat for big classes and for small classes a group chat would be suffice as it will mean easier managing of messaging between students and reps for course related matters and can be monitored and help others too keeping ti a professional and safe environment for all.

 
Experience of Community Development- Biomedical Sciences School Convenor

Mon 14 Nov 2016

I have been a class rep for many courses during my studies at the university and have had the opportunity to represent over 400 students for many courses. I have now become a school convenor after taking on the undergraduate vice convenor role in the 15-16 academic year. I was able to communicate with the staff of the course via email or through the learn discussion board for the course and was also able to communicate to the class through the mailing list that was provided to the class reps by the course administrator and we were able to send information to students through email. Staff were also asked if they didn't mind sending emails to the class about feedback from course meetings or other year related information or links to facebook groups. I also have created facebook groups for many courses and again was advertised through email, learn and word of mouth in lectures and mentioned to friends. I was admin of these groups along with other students. Students would ask questions and other students would answer and agree/disagree or even discuss problems about the course which has been problem free for all my course, the course reps were aware of posts and also contributed to it such as creating polls or answering queries about the course and the exam if need be. This allowed me to become more accessible to my peers as i had stated that is was easy to get in contact with me and also i would be alerted if any questions came up about the course. It allowed me to answer questions and clear up understanding quickly. This has allowed us to come together to work on problems that we all faced on the course and also enabled us to learn new things and getting to meet other people through it that are on our course.

 

As School Convenor, I run the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences Facebook forum. This is a group for all students within biomedical sciences keeping upto date with what is happening in our school and what changes we are bringing over the academic year. The group is 400 members strong and we use this as a platform to communicate with all students. This allows us to form a sense of community within our school as students are kept up to date with what is going on and how they can easily contact us throughout the academic year on social media. However I also ensure that other platforms such as emails are also used widely so that students do not feel that information is being missed and we convenors ensure that social media is not our only platform of communication but however email is the best way to go.

 
Experience of Student-Staff Liaison Committee - 1st year Biomedical Sciences Class Rep

Mon 14 Dec 2015

On Thursday 5 November 2015, three other BMS1 class reps and I had our first SSLC meeting. To prepare for this meeting we, together with the Vice Convenor for the school of Biomedical Sciences, made a survey asking for students' feedback about the course. We did this, due to some unfortunate planning, on Wednesday.

Nonetheless, after 5 hours we already had 50+ responses and useful comments. The next morning we got together and discussed the students' concerns. We came up with ideas on how to improve the course and with good spirits we had our SSLC meeting. The atmosphere was informal and the staff really listened to our ideas and concerns. The BMS1 course is a new course and therefore there were a couple of problems with the course and many dissatisfied students. I found it difficult to deliver this (bad) news sitting in front of the course organiser who put a lot of effort in the curriculum. Luckily, she was very supportive and that definitely helped to keep going on with the conversation.

I really enjoyed our first SSLC meeting. It helped to develop my public speaking skills, my negotiation skills and my confidence. A tip for next time would be to do a survey earlier so that we do not have to rush everything and have more time to come up with solutions to the problems.

 
Experience of Implementing Change - MSc Class Rep

Mon 14 Dec 2015

I think success or impact of a class rep can be demonstrated through actions and conveying the process by which those actions were completed. The first thing I did, even before I was a class rep, was to create a Facebook page for our class, so that we had a non-official space to get to know each other, express ideas, ask questions, make plans, voice concerns, etc. I now use that space to demonstrate what actions I am doing or plan to do as their class rep.   For instance in our first semester, my class did not receive readings in advance and as according to policy.  This proved extremely problematic when we started a new module right as we were working on back-to-back assessments for our first two models. I was able to show impact by using the Facebook page to document the steps I had taken to rectify this issue: 1) attended a EUSA “working through postgrad issues” training, 2) posted a Facebook survey asking the class if they thought it was an issue they would like to have addressed 3) contacted my school rep who them brought it up at an academic council meeting 3) speak to the professor on the first day of class and 4) I will also address the issue at the Biomedical Sciences Dean meeting. Lastly, I also used the Facebook page to share the EUSA Class Rep video, so that my coursemates know how I am able to represent them.   I also measure impact by response. My coursemates were shown, through clear documentation, what I was doing to try and rectify this situation. I wasn’t just listening to their concerns. I took action. This showed them that I do care about fulfilling my obligations as a class rep. In turn, I now have coursemates beginning to approach me with other suggestions or concerns for and about the course.

 
 

Welcome to the School of Biomedical Sciences Representation page.
 

Here you will find useful information about your School’s student representation system.
 

First of all, let us introduce you to your School Representatives. Each School has two School Reps whose role is to listen to you and bring any issues you raise to the relevant staff and committee meetings, such as the Student-Staff Liaison Committee or your School Council. In Biomedical Sciences, the Undergraduate School Representative is Lauren Strickland. Feel free to get in touch with Lauren if you feel that you have something important to say to the School! Your School also contains Class Representatives who work very closely with the School Representatives, EUSA and the staff to ensure you make the most out of your courses. Potential areas Class Reps may engage with are issues with feedback, course content, and suitability of assessment.

 

The Biomedical Sciences School Council is a democratic structure and forum that enables you to take a proactive approach to your student life. It is a way for you and your coursemates to voice your opinions about what is going on in your School, and you are entitled to bring up issues and ideas that you consider relevant to the student experience in these meetings. You can ask your School Representatives to talk on behalf of you, or you can speak for yourself and count on their help to bring these issues forward and support you. They take place at least once a semester, so keep an eye out for updates from your Reps and don’t forget to attend – the more students that show up, the better! Last year, the School Representatives held an active and regular School Council, and were working on improving the spacing out of deadlines for exams and essays. If this is an issue you think is still relevant today, let your School and Class Reps know!
 

Within your School, you can also make use of Academic Societies. Whether you are looking for support in your studies, meeting like-minded students, networking, or keeping up-to-date with your field of study’s latest news, they are the place to be! In the School of Biomedical Sciences you can find the Biomedical Society. They are a peer support based society that encourages students to take part in academic events whilst also advising more generally on making the most of your time in the Biomedical School.

 

Another important thing to look out for in your School is the  Biomedical Sciences Academic Families. All first year students are allocated in a group with trained student leaders from later year groups. These group meet at regular intervals to provide students with support in areas as diverse as course selection, transition to university, and finding part-time jobs. Student Attendees are also encouraged to suggest themes for their sessions.

 

Find out more here: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/support_and_advice/peer_learning_and_support/get_peer_support/find_a_project/organisation/biomedAF/.

 

If you believe something is missing from this page, please contact schools@eusa.ed.ac.uk

Undergraduate School Representative