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Class Rep Teamwork

Fri 18 Nov 2016

Five weeks into the semester and five weeks into my first experience as a Class Representative, I am happy to be collating feedback for the two courses that I am representing based on the courses thus far.

I wanted to blog sharing the experience of having another representative to work and collaborate with as I feel that this has helped me fulfil my role as a Representative in my other course.

It is definitely reassuring to have someone else to share the role with and, most importantly, share ideas with on how to best approach collecting feedback. Discussing possibilities for collecting feedback from handing out notecards in class to using a short time in the lecture to receive verbal feedback, it was interesting to explore the drawbacks and positives of different methods.

If I had not had another representative to work with, I realise that I would have not been as successful in coming up with ideas for collecting feedback that encouraged all students to comment on what is going well in the course as well as any concerns. I am sure that having someone else to work with made sure that I was more proactive and innovative in encouraging all students in the course to provide feedback. In addition, I believe that between the two reps we managed to ensure that students felt they could provide feedback not only if they are concerned but if they are content and enjoying the course.

Overall, sharing responsibility and sharing ideas has meant that I am not only more comfortable in my role, but between us we have managed to obtain a substantial amount of constructive feedback on the course. Together we are collating the comments and plan to send generic feedback to the Course Organiser in due course.

 

 
Project/Event Organising Badge

Fri 18 Nov 2016

With the support of the other student class reps, I have been organizing a bowling night out for our program. There are usually a few smaller groups going out once or twice a week, but never the entire group together. Therefore, I thought this will be a great opportunity to mix up people, and create opportunities to talk to the ones that you haven't before.

Bowling is a very social activity and leaves enough time to encourage conversations. The idea was well received and with the help of a doodle-date finding program, we decided on a date, where 29/35 people were able to join. In addition we made sure we got a student discount as a group, making it affordable for everyone. 

And it turned out to be a great success! Everyone enjoyed themselves and I had a lot of people coming to afterwards thanking me for such a great night. For me it is really important that everyone feels included and welcome in our program

 
Experience of Teamwork - 2nd year Class Rep

Fri 18 Nov 2016

Semester 1 of 2o16 has been quite challenging for students due to external factors like the measles outbreak,  classes have been emptier than usual and students have been falling heavily behind in their coursework. I have seen this within my courses as well. Students have been stressed about being sick, missing class and falling behind.

 

Three weeks ago, I was standing outside the lecture hall, collecting some feedback on the course when one of the students said that he was feeling overwhelmed by the course because, due to an illness, he had missed a month of classes. I proposed that we start a study group, based on past experience, this was an extremely effective study tool. We could sit together and make our way through the coursework and figure out the work together. At first it was just the two of us but he started telling his friends and whenever I spoke to someone in the class, I'd tell them about this idea of sitting together and solving the problems together. by our third get together, we were 8 students discussing the work. This is how we started the study group for Business Economics. We have a facebook messenger group chat in which we can ask specific questions and  arrange meeting times. Although it's not a massive group of people, it has shown positive results. The group members are up to date on the work we've been doing in class, it has also helped me to stay up to date with the coursework and we are planning a massive study session for the December exam diet. We are all confident about the work and less overwhelmed by the work (at least in this subject). This is a basic concept that works wonders.

 

This study group is a good way to, not only improve the academic results of the participating students but also to meet people with shared interests.

 
Experience of Problem-Solving - 3rd year Class Rep

Tue 15 Dec 2015

As my role as a class rep, I have tried to gain feedback from my fellow students as much as possible by making my own questions on an online survey website and have received some feedbacks. There are some comments from the survey particular about the issue of having a group project assignment at an honours level, as they may unfortunately end up with members with a very poor standard of contribution. Also, there is a further point from the comment stating that students may already have quite a lot of group projects at pre-honours level as well. Therefore, my action after seeing these comments was sending these feedbacks to the course organiser. The response from the course organiser was that the group project is part of the objectives of the course. The aim of the assignment requires participants to analyse and critically evaluate an international business, including a submission of a comprehensive report to Executives (not an essay). Therefore, group projects are the most suitable for this aim, which is also supported by the diversity of the class participants. Therefore, I then transferred this message from the course organiser to other students in the course.

 
Experience of Student-Staff Liaison Committee - Accountancy 1

Mon 14 Dec 2015

It was with a lot of enthusiasm that I rallied the troops and started getting feedback for the upcoming SSLC. I contacted the students via email and also by asking them before and after our classes, I find that talking to them directly proves to give better results than emailing them. The feedback that I received from my class was all centered around three problems: the pace of the lectures, the structure of the lectures and the lighting. The issue of the lighting, however, was resolved before the SSLC when it was made clear to the lecturer that students found the lighting a problem, she gladly sorted it out immediately.

 

The problems that the students pin pointed with the pace and the structure of the lectures were addressed in the meeting. I described that the students feel that the content jumps from one topic then to another topic and then without warning back to the previous topic and that they found that they are falling behind with their work. The lecturer explained that this was the standard pace and that this is how the students should expect the lectures to be run, and that we have an accredited course and thus the content is set up according to guidelines that are in line with the Accounting Board's content. She also emphasised that there are many ways for students to get help, for example Lecturer-led workshops, the Accountancy help desk and the Peers Assisted Learning Scheme. I personally contacted the select few student who have been having these problems in class and I explained to them where they could get help and also sent them the timetables and additional information with regards to the sessions that they could find helpful. I have also sent out an email to the class detailing the same information and openly inviting them to inform me in the case that they have another question.

 
Experience of an SSLC - Business School Class Rep

Mon 02 Nov 2015

Walking into my first SSLC meeting, I was a tad nervous but my nerves were quickly relaxed as the faculty members warmly welcomed myself and fellow colleagues by encouraging us to get a cup of coffee or tea and a biscuit or two! The meeting proceeded in a smooth manner thanks to the printed agenda; the program chair started us off with an introduction to all of the members of the committee, as well as, a background description of what we all hoped to achieve. This was followed by a thorough description of various positive and needs improvement aspects of the courses in our program.

It was very positive to see each of the instructors writing down our suggestions and feedback as we were announcing them and asking for our possible solutions and suggestions. Lastly, once all of the discussions regarding the feedback had been exhausted, the program chair summed up the meeting, while mentioning a few points of information (More international concepts will be covered in later lectures and in second semester, but first we all have a duty to teach a base of knowledge for the course) that we could take back to our fellow students. Therefore, I planned to (and have likewise already done so) inform my fellow students that all of their suggestions were warmly received and that if they have anymore feedback (positive or negative) to let me know asap via email or in-person.

 
Experience of Implementing Change - 2nd Year Business School Class Rep

Mon 05 Oct 2015

As a class representative of a course called International Business Multinational Enterprise, I was responsible for maintaining an effective communication between the course organiser and students, passing on the opinions of students as well as the issues they faced during the lectures or even tutorials. So as to gather their feedbacks, other class reps of the course and I handed out forms before the lecture, and carried out an online survey. After compiling the records, we were able to identify several major issues that were:
 

 1) More detailed essay and exam feedbacks to be provided; for example, including a model answer(s) to a question in the feedback or explaining the difference in the essay structure that makes it a grade A, B or C     answer.
 

2) More supplies of the lecture handouts that can be picked up at Undergraduate Office, Business School
 

3) Go through some exam questions during tutorial(s) before the exam leave
 

Such issues along with other minor suggestions were noted down and later discussed with the course organiser and staffs of the Business School during the SSLC meetings. After discussing with the course organiser, we have created a discussion forum on the IBMNE page for easier communication between the tutors, lecturers and students regarding any issues with the course. As for the issues raised by the students, the staffs have told us that they will be working on these issues and will be implementing changes in the next academic year.

 
 

Welcome to the Business School 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 the Business School, the Undergraduate School Representative is Connor Bok and the Postgraduate School Representative will be elected in the October By-Election. Feel free to get in touch with them if you feel that you have something important to say to the School! Your School also contains Cluster Representatives, who represent each of the Cluster Programmes in the School, and Class Representatives, who represent a tutorial group or course. All these reps work very closely with the School Representatives, EUSA and the staff to ensure you make the most out of your courses. Potential areas Cluster and Course Reps may engage with are issues with feedback, course content, and student life at the Business School. In Week 4, there is a Town Hall Meeting specifically for Postgraduate Taught students. In this, student feedback is sought in order for Reps to learn about the key issues affecting these situations and to improve the postgraduate student experience.

 

The 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 talk 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 Council focused in particular upon improving and supporting interaction between Undergrads and Postgrads.
 

Another important thing to look out for in your School is Peer Learning. The Peer Learning programmes are student-led initiatives that offer academic guidance for newer students by more experienced students. In the Business School, students are offered BizPALS (Business Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme) which is associated with two first year courses - Accountancy 1A and Study Skills for Business.  BizPALS provide an additional means of study support for students, enabling them to consolidate their knowledge and learning gained from lectures and tutorials in an informal, student-focused environment.  BizPALS have regular contact with the course organisers and feedback any issues arising from the course. These sessions are run by trained Student Leaders and are a great chance to improve academic performance, get support and create lasting friendships.
 

Another important thing to look out for in your School is BizPALS (Business Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme), where more experienced students offer academic support and advice to first year students. This Scheme is associated with the two first year courses: Accountancy 1A and Study Skills for Business. BizPALS provide an additional means of study support for students, enabling them to consolidate their knowledge and learning gained from lectures and tutorials in an informal, student-focused environment.  BizPALS have regular contact with the course organisers and feedback any issues arising from the course. These sessions are run by trained Student Leaders and are a great chance to improve academic performance, get support and create lasting friendships.  Find out more here:

 

https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/support_and_advice/peer_learning_and_support/get_peer_support/find_a_project/organisation/bizPALS/.

 

In addition to Peer Support opportunities, you can make use of School-specific 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 Business you can find the Business Society (also known as Biz Soc). This is a great society for those looking for like-minded fellow students who are passionate about business. They hold regular careers events, talks, workshops, and networking forums, check them out to make the best out of what they have to offer!

 

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

Undergraduate School Representative