Being a class rep for Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mathematics first year students has placed me in a good position to improve the student experience of most especially those I represent as well as myself in different areas. Before I even became a class rep, I was fond of hearing students raise issues mostly with respect Engineering Mathematics which is compulsory for all engineering students. As a class rep, I knew it was my duty to see that real problems that impede the learning process should be fixed.
I sourced for student's opinion with respect to Engineering Mathematics and most came up with issues which were mostly:
• The worked examples – level of explanation is not good enough. They are gone through tooquickly.
• The students struggle to grasp the stages as quickly as lecturers.
• The subject material can sometimes need more explanation. Tutors need to cover the syllabus.
• Less focus on slides – more tricky examples. This weeks slides were less clear and had bad explanations.
• Why there are no tutorial solutions provided. • What calculators can be used in the exams?
• It was pointed out that the computers sometimes crash during mymathlab tests.
• There can also be problems with the quiz and the answers can be marked wrong even when correctly entered.
I informed the course instructor about the developments and he told me to raise them up at the SSLC meeting of which I did. On the 21st of October 2015, I attended the Student Staff Liaison Committee for Mathematics. The teachers provided answers for some "problems" which may be difficult or better not to "resolve". For example: The Math teachers replied that the School of Maths have a policy of not providing the tutorial answers. They said, there are several ways to solve problems and they don’t want students to memorise the answers.
They also spoke about copyright issues with Pearsons. The Engineering Math organizer added that there is the same policy with exams and only some solutions will be provided.
Most of the opinions we got from students was through social media (the Facebook group we created) and email. We(class reps) messaged students with the required feedback and a good chuck loved it.