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Experience of Student-Staff Liaison Committee - Chinese 2A

Mon 14 Dec 2015

At the first SSLC meeting of the year for Chinese 2A, the feedback that we received from our classmates in the forms they filled out were organized so that we had comments for each of the individual teachers and lessons. The issues which were raised about our Oral tutorials were that: '1. We are not speaking enough Mandarin in the lessons 2. The teacher does not speak enough Mandarin 3. The teacher's behaviour and humour is not inappropriate 4. The lesson time is not used productively, partly because the class is too big and because the .' Some of the solutions that were offered by students included 1. Splitting the class into smaller groups in order to allow more time for students to speak more Mandarin within the time given. 2.The addressing of the teachers approach to the lesson, and 3. before each lesson we are given the lesson structure so we know what vocabulary to prepare.

For the grammar lessons one of the main issues brought up was that the lesson was not very engaging and was rather monotonous. Another issue was that the grammar points are not explained well enough. The staff at the committee said that they would discuss with the teacher over how we could address these problems.

Finally, for the NPCR lessons the comments were generally positive, however one of the comments that we brought up, was that not enough time was being taken to ensure that students had a concrete understanding of the new content, and another comment was that it was not clear what preparation we have to do for the next lessons. The teacher for the NPCR lessons is looking to address these issues, and will try to make things clearer when setting out the preparation that we have to do and when going through new material.

 For the overall course a big issue brought up is that the spectrum of abilities amongst students is too varied. The staff understand that this is a big problem and are trying to address this, but they say that it will be hard to make major changes immediately. As a class rep I will try to make sure that each of the issues that we brought up are properly addressed, and once I receive a response from the heads about what changes will be made, I will inform this back to my fellow classmates.

 
Experience of Meeting the Deans - 1st Year Scottish Studies Class Rep

Mon 05 Oct 2015

I attended Meet the Dean event on 24 October. I was overwhelmed by the amount of class representatives there were.  I knew there would be a few but there was a good turnout.  It was good to find out that students have a voice and that there was a forum to be heard.  The pizza was welcomed too since to attend we had to skip our lunch after our workshop.
 

This was an introduction as this is my first year of University.  There were so many deans/heads of departments - names/ faces to remember it would have been nice to have had some reference materials to help.  I would have asked if it was possible for the next one.  First years do not have a clue about who is who - it would help.  As a result I missed half the names and the information they were trying give - trying to remember who said what.  I gave up in the end, applauding appropriately which was why the experience was over whelming.  Next year I will be more organised!

 
Experience of Staff-Student Liaison Committees (SSLCs) - 4th Year Scandinavian Studies Class Rep

Mon 05 Oct 2015

I have attended all Staff-Student Liaison Committees for my department.
 

During the first one, I personally raised six problems concerning various courses for Final Year students.
 

1. Old Norse Studies course. Me and my classmates would like to have more grammar exercise in class rather than translating all the time. The lecturer agreed to revise the schedule and add more grammar hours.
 

2. Translation course. 75% of the students taking the course (including me) are non-English native speakers, so we were a bit concerned about grading final exam for this course, as we cannot use Scandinavian dictionaries during it. The lecturer advised us on bringing a dictionary.
 

3. Deadlines in first semester. Final Year students had three essays due on the same day plus one due in a week after it. I asked the staff to reconsider the deadlines. I offered to move the deadline for the literature essay for the earlier date, as me and my classmates agreed that literature essays are easier to write.
 

4. Printing credit. Students at Scandinavian Studies department have to print a lot, so I asked if it is possible for us to get a 100 pages credit rather than 5 GBP. The staff agreed to negotiate with the Finance service on this.
 

5. Changing the curriculum and introducing courses on history and politics of Scandinavian countries. The staff said that there are no lecturers certified for teaching it. I replied that we could look into inviting PhD students with relevant degree. The staff said that they will think about this problem and see what they can do.
 

The problems discussed under the meeting were communicated to the students in a form of written report.
 

During the second SSLC, I raised three problems.
 

1. Close deadlines. The deadline for the literature essay was too close to the dissertation deadline (3 days between them). I suggested moving it for 4 days earlier, so that would be a week between the deadlines. The staff agreed to consider this issue.
 

2. History of the Scandinavian Novel course. I suggested to make the variety of texts we are studying during the course more diverse by adding a horror novel instead of one of the nationalistic or crime novels. The staff agreed to work on course syllabus for the next academic year.
 

3. Finally, I again raised the question about adding courses on history and politics and asked if there are any news on it. And apparently, the staff decided to redesign one of the courses and make it more focused on history and politics. This course now will be run for the whole year instead of one semester, and will be launched in academic year 2016/17.
 

The problems discussed under the meeting were communicated to the students in a form of written report, as previously.

 
Experience of Student-Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs) - 1st Year Scottish Studies Class Rep

Mon 05 Oct 2015

I have just begun University. In semester one, I volunteered to become a class rep in two out of three classes one in each school.  In semester two I added the other subject as no one volunteered and I was the only representative to appear at the class rep meeting for my whole year!  I need to work on my colleagues.  I think it is important that first years begin to voice their opinions right away as they have the longest time to see the changes and the difference that they make in the University. I was able to raise several areas of concern regarding my course.  Providing feedback to the head of department on my peers’ thoughts on the course, eg structure, how it was going and how it could be changed for next year.  For example, the 3 hour workshop was too long and much time was spent off task or having breaks.  A more focused shorter workshop of 2 hour would be more productive.  Another example was that school placement parent permission slips should be available from the beginning of placements. Placements should begin earlier in the course and finish sooner to free up time at end of the semesters for essays and exam. Another was that the layout for the school placement booklet of tasks caused problems as primary literacies were not able to be completed alongside the course.   I learned that the course directors/lecturers are interested in what pupils say but that the 'system/department/higher authorities are to blame as they take so long to make changes.
 

In my experience with subject Scottish Studies, I also was the only rep that attended for my year - a common theme. Here the course was also discussed.  It was suggested that the first part of semester two was filled with too much technical new terminology reducing understanding, fast moving lectures with over 100 pictorial slides that would be of little use for reflecting on or preparing for exams.  It felt more like there was a need for an archaeology qualification requirement for this part of the course.  I discovered that originally there was!  They agreed to look at the content and re think them for next year.  I also suggested that there were not enough workshops to assist learning and that they were a valuable tool.    The feedback was received well and this forum I felt would look to addressing the issues faced by the first year.
 

I guess overall I learned that each school has its own way of receiving feedback - negotiating will have to be navigated -a skill that I am quickly learning.
 

I negotiated time from lecturers to discuss with class issues for raising at these meetings, and invited emails from those who would prefer that method, I spent time looking at and summarising the points. I also repeated the process to provide feedback about how it all went.  Our lecturers were more than happy to assist in giving me some time to do this.

 
Experience of Student-Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs) - 1st Year German Class Rep

Mon 05 Oct 2015

Like many other students this was my first time acting as a Class rep at university. Thus, I was of course quite nervous about a meeting the university staff and forwarding the opinions of my fellow classmates. However, there was absolutely no need to worry and I found that it was a very relaxed atmosphere during the meeting, where people quickly felt comfortable and could present various opinions in a proficient manner. 
 

Fortunately for me, the two groups that I have been a class rep for were both quite small. Hence, it was easy to simply hand out a form in class and then compile the resulting records. Some examples of issues and suggestions that were brought up were:
 

- Keep the small group size

- More interactive teaching with more emphasis on listening activities and speaking – keeping up a conversation

- Have more preparatory homework in order to make it easier to follow the lectures

- Offer chapter summaries and an outlining of key elements learnt in every chapter
 

 The response to this feedback was very positive and notes were taken on these suggestions to be discussed further by the university staff members. As for the chapter summaries, these were already available online so for that it was simply a matter of making all students aware of this additional course material. For other suggestions such as changing the course format and putting more emphasis on interaction, it had to be discussed and considered further before being implemented so for that there was no immediate solution.
 

After having attended the meeting, I naturally did a follow up during a lesson, where I told all concerned students about the things discussed in the meeting and any possible changes or solutions that might be put in place in the future.

 
 

Welcome to the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures 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 LLC, the Undergraduate School Representative is Georgie Harris 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 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 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! In 2014/15 the School Representatives held an active and regular School Council, working on setting the agenda for the Teaching and Learning Forum. They also organised events for students returning from or planning their year abroad, in order for them to exchange their experience and gather opinions on how to improve the student experiences of studying abroad.
 

Another important thing to look out for in your School is Peer Support. The Peer Support programmes are student-led initiatives that offer guidance and advice for newer students by more experienced students. LLC has a variety of different schemes on offer:
 

CHINESE STUDIES:

The Chinese Studies Peer Support Group is for any student taking a Chinese single or joint honours degree. This group takes the lead in organising events and initiatives that support the social and academic life of these students. They run study sessions, pot-luck events and year abroad information sessions. Find out more about them here: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/support_and_advice/peer_learning_and_support/get_peer_support/find_a_project/organisation/chinesePS/.

 

THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

LLC Masters Workshops are available to all Masters students studying in LLC. These multidisciplinary workshops aim to support students in key areas of academic study, such as essay planning and writing, proofreading, engaging with secondary criticism, and approaching dissertations. Peer-led by Masters students, where possible they invite PhD students along to share their advice and knowledge.

 

DELC PALS is available to all students within the Department of European Languages and Cultures. This scheme is run by higher year students who deliver focused study sessions for 1st and 2nd year students.

Further information here: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/support_and_advice/peer_learning_and_support/get_peer_support/find_a_project/organisation/DELCPALS/.

 

If you would like further information on any of these schemes please contact: peer.support@eusa.ed.ac.uk.

 

In addition to Peer Support opportunities, you can make use of a number of Academic Societies implemented in your School. 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 Literatures, Languages and Cultures you can find LitSoc. This society offers weekly meet-ups on Thursday evenings with a variety of different events to take part in. These include author readings, pub quizzes and poetry slams. Last year, the society introduced Wordy Thursdays, a series of fortnightly poetry events comprised of three slam poetry workshops and three poetry slams each semester. In the past years, LitSoc has welcomed many eminent speakers including Will Self, A.L. Kennedy, Don Paterson, and Owen Jones. 
 

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

Undergraduate School Representative