Staff Student Rep Meeting – 31/02/2021

Staff Student Rep Meeting – 31/02/2021

Present: Neil Heatley (Head of Student Services), Björn Franke (Director of Teaching), Lisa Branney (SST), Laura Ambrose (ITO).

UG1
The INF1B CW2 feedback was better than the CW1 feedback; it was more detailed.
Feedback for INF1B CW2 was very delayed. The students were meant to have the feedback in time for their tutorials on Friday to discuss with their tutors and the group, but not all the coursework had been marked properly. This meant that people did not get feedback in the tutorial group, so tutorials felt pointless for half the students. The rest of the students got their marks on Sunday after the tutorial. There were the further complications: some coursework had been overlooked and not marked at all. The rep reporting these issues received their CW2 mark yesterday evening (Tuesday 30/03/21). Furthermore, as there is already a topic planned for the coming tutorial, the students who received marks late will not have the opportunity to discuss these marks in their tutorial groups.
It was suggested that INF1B have tutors being the ones to also mark their students’ work. This is because some tutors do not have insight into the marking process and therefore don’t understand why a certain mark has been given. If the tutors marked the work then it would give a more meaningful interaction with tutors as they would have more in-depth knowledge of marking and could help more.
InfConnect semester 2 topics were better than semester 1. Semester 2 was more useful and provided more interaction, but in general Fiona done an amazing job with InfConnect and reps are pleased to hear it will continue for the incoming cohort.

UG2
Reps commented on the news that the university is considering keeping the SeatED app for exam season so people can make sure they have space in the library. It was asked whether students could we have something similar in Appleton tower so people can book and know they have space there too. Neil commented that we already have a service that shows machine availability but wouldn’t give you a specific desk. Neil further commented that we could look into providing a booking service but that it would not be monitored by the ITO so would need to be self-managed by the cohort.
There was also a discussing regarding the fact that other schools have begun preparation for next year and have had focus groups with students. It was asked whether Informatics students will be involved in similar conversations. Neil commented that they were hesitant to ask people to commit time when we ourselves are unsure what we can do or what is manageable at this stage.
The rep commented that they wanted to see a conversation with students to see if the schools’ priorities are in line with the students’ priorities. Björn commented that some of these things are down to the Scottish Government and the University, rather than the School of Informatics. Things are given to us then we implement it, and it is therefore pointless to discuss some things, like one metre or two metre distancing, as we do not decide.

UG3
SDP is very stressful and is the main focus of comments received by reps.
Positive comments have been made about Computer Security coursework; it was fun to work on.

UG4
The DME Class Test had a 44% average grade; there is much concern over the low average. Students thought test was dissimilar to other years and didn’t cover main teaching points. They also suggest that 44% doesn’t fit the CMS. Björn asked if class had feedback from test from the Cos, but the rep did not know.
Students in general have been saying the year has been very difficult due to lack of tutorials and lack of contact.

MSc
Reps asked for an update on IRR non anonymous marking – is the marking anonymous or not? Björn commented that IRR was not designed to be anonymous; this is because tutors would recognise students’ topics from tutorial discussion. The anonymous marking was therefore a miscommunication. The rep commented that tutorials not mandatory so tutors/markers wouldn’t know some students’ topics so it would be anonymous for those students. Moreover, since they were told it was anonymous it should have been. Björn commented that students should have not been told it was anonymous because it was not designed to be.

Other:
There is no meeting next week due to Easter Holiday. Weekly meetings will continue after this but as this is the last week of teaching, this is the last official meeting and meetings going forward are expected to be smaller.

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Student Staff Rep Meeting – 24/03/2021

Present: Neil Heatley (Head of Student Services), Sophie Mills (Student Support Officer), Laura Ambrose (ITO), Alex Burford (Learning Technologist), Lisa Branney (Student Support Officer).

UG1:

  • INF1B CW3 has now been released, but, due to the delay, the submission date is now in the Easter holidays. In future, students want to know the dates in advance for coursework release and due dates and for these dates to be fixed.  
  • INF1B Labs and Tutorials can be intimidating during partner work if your partner is more advanced that you. Some students want to be placed with a partner that is at a similar skill level as themselves. This was addressed by Fiona as the beginning of the semester, but students now are feeling concerned about the difference in skill level.
  • The exam timetable was discussed – some students believe time differences are not adequately accommodated. 
  • There has been positive feedback about Fiona McNeill. Students say that she listens to the students and cares about their mental health. 
  • InfPals had an amazing session on interview prep that many found extremely helpful.
  • Calculus lectures are not interactive enough and are not constant or cohesive in style. Students want more cohesion. 
  • Students are happy the INF1B CW1 was regraded and want the same relaxing of boundaries for CW2 and CW3.

UG2:

  • Students are pleased that Mary Cryan reached out to students that were not engaging and offered help and suggestions to these students.

UG3:

  • No comments.

UG4: 

  • Students are displeased with the email that went out mistakenly recently and want to ensure that it will not happen again. Reps were pleased to hear that the student whose information was involved was spoken to privately by staff after the incident. 

MSc:

  • Following up on the email incident, anonymous marking was discussed. Neil commented that this instance was being looked into by Björn.
  • This semester is going more smoothly than the previous semester. 
  • The IPP deadline being pushed back was received very positively. 
  • Appleton Tower access was discussed – Neil commented that they are awaiting further updates from the Scottish government. 
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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 17th March 2021

 

Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 17th March 2021

In attendance: Bjoern Franke Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley Head of Student Services, Sophie Mills Student Support Officer, Karen Davidson Student Support Officer, Gordon Reid Computing Support Officer, Kendal Reid ITO

UG1

INF1B CW 3 has not yet been released and it is worth 40% of part of the course, it should have been released a week ago and the deadline is at the end of the semester, the lecturer has contacted the students and a 2 week blanket extension has been given which is appreciated.  The coursework is expected to be released today.

CW1 the feedback was very vague and general but some students got more feedback than other due to their tutors also being markers.  Bjoern explained that that this can be the case and some tutors and markers are volunteering PhD students, this can be taken to the lecturer to raise awareness for next year.

INF1-OP it was asked if sample solutions could be given as some students are beginners and are unsure how to approach the coursework or could they be discussed in tutorials, as the students feel that they are not learning much apart from their own work.

*Action Bjoern/Neil to talk to the lecturer*

INF1-CG there are 2 coursework’s both worth 50% each the last coursework was released this week but there is only one lab to support this, the first coursework had 3 or 4 labs, although they are not hugely attended, more would be good.  Bjoern asked the Reps to ask the year group, if more labs were made available would they attend?

UG2

INF2-SEPP CW2 feedback was returned and similar to CW1 the feedback was very vague and confusing and the students don’t know where they are going wrong.  The feedback for CW2 was 4 days late and CW3 was 2 days late in being released, although an extension has been given for this.

You can receive feedback in the labs which is useful whilst talking to the demonstrators, the students also feel that the coursework is overlapping one another, although they do feel that the lectures are good for testing your knowledge.

INF2-IADS the students are really enjoying the course and the enthusiasm of the lecturers.

INF2D the lectures are very good.

UG3

CS is very interesting but there was a delay in the coursework being released an no announcement was made and some lectures are not being uploaded until the day after.

COMN moves really quickly, not giving enough time to work on other things.

OS coursework there is not enough lecturer interaction, and especially with the memory management coursework, although the Piazza page is helpful and active.

Honours Project the students only have eleven days to go over all the projects, could this be extended by a week?  The School of Physics don’t release their project selection until August, and some students feel they pick an Informatics one in March, like Maths and then they could potentially see another project they would like to do.  Could it be made clear how many projects a student can select, although 5 is generally the option.

*Action Neil and Bjoern*

SDP some students have complained that they find it difficult to work on different systems.

UG4

ST is very good and is helpful to learn material.

ADBS could the coursework and lectures be released earlier?

NLU lab sessions could the coursework be covered at the moment instead of being based on the exam?

MSc

No issues to report.

 

 

 

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – March 10, 2021

Student Staff Rep Meeting – 10/03/2021

Present: Bjoern Franke (Director of Teaching), Neil Heatley (Head of Student Services), Sophie Mills (Student Support Officer), Laura Ambrose (ITO), Alex Burford (Learning Technologist), Karen Davidson (Student Support Officer). 

MSc:

  • IRR marks are still not available to the whole class and everyone receives marks at different times. Bjoern has emailed the CO about this and has received the following feedback from Stuart: IRR marks which have been released are unmoderated (and subject to change). All the marks should be out by tomorrow.
  • IPP CW1 marks are also inconsistent – some students received marks yesterday, some students still have no marks. 
  • IPP has also had issues with supervisors being unfamiliar with the process. Bjoern has emailed the COs to send out a clarification email to supervisors. Bjoern has also suggested that “any students who can’t make contact with their supervisor, or where supervisors’ advice is contrary to what’s been said in the course, to get in touch with the course organisers, i.e., Stuart and Aurora! Two emails have been sent out to staff, and it appears not everyone has read the emails.” 
  • There have been issues with the delays in Student Counselling. A student reported having registered in the 2nd week of January and being given a 7 week wait. After 7 weeks, the student received no update and had to reach out to the Counselling team themselves and was given a further wait time. The student does not feel supported. Neil asked whether the student had had their screening appointment, but the rep was unable to confirm, and Neil asked whether the student would contact him privately to discuss. Sophie, from the SST, also provided some links for The Listening Service (a support service from the Chaplaincy) and self-help tools. The reps commented that some of the recommended self-help applications come with a cost and asked whether this was something the university could help pay for. Neil will look into this. 

UG4:

  • ADBS coursework is so vague with zero preparation or support (e.g., labs or exercises).
  • ADBS quiz component is artificially capped at 75/100 meaning it is not even theoretically possible to achieve full marks from coursework component.
  • One Rep commented that: “I’m extremely tired of having 0 contact hours this semester. None of my courses provides any live lectures or live tutorials. Only recordings from last year. This semester has been extremely de-motivating.”
  • COMN has a lot of content to cover for the quizzes. They also haven’t released CW1 marks yet.
  • Ajitha (software engineering) has improved her pacing and is good at explaining.
  • ST is really great, useful lectures and tutorials. Replies to Piazza are fast.

UG3:

  • Generally positive comments about courses – further detail and information to be provided next week from InfPals data. 

UG2:

  • Students are struggling with the coursework/course load. Extensions are not helping much as there is still too much work. Students report falling behind with lectures and tutorials. 
  • The students are happy that the UG2 exams are spread out on the timetable. 
  • Students are not aware of how Special Circumstances work and would like some more explanation in simpler terms. Sophie commented that the SST were thinking about providing a session on Special Circumstances and the new system. The Reps agreed this would be useful. 
  • Online year abroad possibilities were also discussed – students were advised to speak to Hiroshi Shimodaira who is the Coordinator of Internships & Exchanges for the school. 

UG1:

  • There is an issue with INF1B – CW1 marks have still not been returned to students. CW2 has now been completed without any feedback from CW1. CW1 is two weeks late and the CO has shared with the class that she is having trouble with P-Mark which is the cause of the delay. The Reps suggested a review of the P-Mark software as marks have been postponed twice. Students are due to begin work on CW3, the last piece of CW, without any feedback from CW1 or CW2. 
  • Alex Burford commented that she was not aware of the issue with P-Mark and that the delay in marks was also caused by the 200+ extensions that were granted. Alex will reach out to Fiona regarding P-Mark. 
  • Resources for societies were also discussed – there was interested in gather.town. Gather.town is free for up to 25 persons at one time but comes with a fee for larger capacities. Using gather.town for smaller societies was suggested and Neil commented that he was happy to look into it and consider investing. 
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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 3rd March 2021

Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 3rd March 2021

In attendance: Bjoern Franke Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley Head of Student Services, Sophie Mills Student Support Officer, Lisa Branney Student Support Officer, Carol Dow Computing Support Officer, Kendal Reid ITO

UG1

It was asked if the information on applying for extensions and special circumstances could be made optional to not allow the students PT to see the information.  Neil explained that there is a lot going on in the back ground re the launch of the new system, and things are being looked into.

INF1-CG some tutors are taking too long to reply, Bjoern explained that allowing up to 24 hours to respond is reasonable, unless there is a deadline approaching, then they should reply sooner.

Quizzes for INF1B and Proofs and Problem Solving are over worded and the students are having to ask the Course Organiser for help.

UG2

There are lots of deadlines coming up and the students are finding it difficult to keep up!  Bjoern explained if the students are feeling overwhelmed then to make the use of the extensions, but to do it wisely so it doesn’t cause students to feel more overwhelmed by pushing their deadlines further back.  Students can also contact the Student Support Team inf-sst@inf.ed.ac.uk, the criteria for apply for extensions and special circumstances can be found here:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-administration/extensions-special-circumstances/students/special-circumstances-explained

INF2-IADS the students are enjoying the course.

INF2-FDS the students are enjoying the project they have been tasked with and they feel it is a nice ending to the course.  There was not enough feedback given from the last coursework there was lot of time spent on it, the lecturer has sent out an email to the class and will follow it up with another one about trying to set up a class meeting.

INF2-SEPP the self-assessment task, although they have to look back on what they have done so far, the students are not seeing why this is useful!

 INF2D the students would like more labs on Haskell, currently there is only one a week, the coursework is Haskell based and some students haven’t done this since Semester one in 1st year.

*Action Neil to talk to the lecturer*

UG3

No Reps were in attendance.

UG4/5

TTDS it is reported that there is no contact hours, and no support beyond Piazza.

COMN  there is 6 by-weekly exercises and coursework due, coursework 2 is taking a long time and there is a lot of contact hours and could the course be made more condensed and concise.  Neil suggested to bring this to the Staff Student Liaison Meeting.

 ST the lectures are running over time and the examples are too long.

It was reported that some tutors don’t use the camera function and don’t explain why and some lecturers do not pay any attention to the raised hands function.

CiC the lecturer is very good.

CCN both lecturers are very good the course is very interesting and enjoyable.

NLU the ethics lectures are very good.

ST the lecturer is very helpful and good.

THF the pre-recorded lectures and live lectures are good, also the given a choice of lecture topics to watch is also good.

Neil mentioned that if anyone thinks someone is doing an exceptional job then to put their name forward in the EUSA Teaching Awards.

PDIoT is a Semester 1 course with a deadline in Semester 2, Bjoern explained that sometimes this can happen to relieve pressure of deadlines and exams before the Christmas break.

 MSc

AGTA the students felt the feedback was vague and the coursework was challenging for a 10 credit course.

IRR the coursework was due back to the students on the 5th January, and then it was moved to the 12th and some students received their marks, then it was moved again to the 26th and again some students got marks back and some didn’t and some students who had extensions also got their marks back before the others.

*Action Neil to talk to the lecturer*

How long should a Dissertation Supervisor to respond?  Bjoern says this could take up to a week but anything longer than that then the students should let Bjoern and Neil know.  Neil will send out a reminder email to the Supervisors to respond to their students.

*Action Neil*

A student reported that they had applied for an extension but hadn’t completed the form properly, so it wasn’t granted, could an email be sent out after completion to say ESC have received it?

General

 Is there any way to find out if Academics are looking for help in research over the Summer?  Currently there is no central resources and most academics hire PhD and MSc students.

The Induction Team are not allowing current students to join the Facebook Groups, Neil explained that this is an Admissions thing, although we have our own groups to talk to our students they would like to be able to talk to students that are starting this year.  The applicant deadline is the 31st March and offers will go out in April.

Informatics branded merchandise should be available soon the web page is being put together by the Finance Team, once it is live Neil will send out an email, but any orders will be for collection in either Appleton Tower or the Informatics Forum, there will be not posting made available.  Neil suggested maybe waiting until the new term, where hopefully most students will be back on Campus.

Neil is looking into arranging a networking event within the School.

*Action Neil*

Weekly on a Thursday Bjoern and the Head of School Jane Hillston will be holding a open office hour at 5pm which students are invited to attend, this will be to discuss any issues directly with the Head of School who is also a Deputy Vice Principal in the University.

 

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 24th February 2020

 

Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 24th February 2020

In attendance: Bjoern Franke Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley Head of Student Services, Alex Burford Learning Technologist, Sophie Mills Student Support Officer, Karen Davidson Student Support Officer, Jennifer Oxley Computing Support Officer, Jade Gilhooly Deputy Teaching Organisation Manager, Kendal Reid ITO

Update from last week, Neil requested a lab session for IoTSSC was given and it did.

Neil has requested to Maths that more Stack book are required in Calculus.

UG1

The students are happy and the course material is released early which is good.  Communication is also very good and there is lots of help in the labs, tutorials, Piazza and the Q&A sessions.  It was reported that one student felt that their tutor was not engaging, Neil said that if there are any issues the students can let him know.  They do feel that the course content has reduced since Semester one, and the assignment was quite difficult.  Perdita’s lecture videos are very good.

UG2

INF2-FDS the students have received their coursework marks back but there is some unhappiness with the grading.  The students are feeling that they are on course of receiving a good grade and then they can make one error which drops their grades down.  There are different components that are worth different percentages, which could be the problem.  The CO is aware of the student’s concerns.  The lectures are off good quality, good notes and good content.

INF2-SEPP the coursework has been returned and the students feel the feedback given was very vague and confusing.  The lab session that was held was found to be very useful.  The lecturer is found to be very good at responding to Piazza and email, but they feel that there is too many emails being sent out.  The coursework is to wordy and could it be written in a more easier way?

*Action Neil to talk to the lecturer*

INF2-IADS there is inconsistency of when the lectures are released i.e. the students got an email to say the lecture notes would be released this morning, followed up by another email saying it would now be tonight.

*Action Neil to talk to the lecturer*

Would it be possible to advertise the link to the Blog more, it was suggested by the UG1 Rep that what they do is they send out an email to their year group and add the minutes of the Blog into the email, so the students can see what is discussed in the email.

The coursework load is still an issue they students have one deadline a week for the next 6 weeks and the students feel that they are constantly working to deadlines and not being able to digest what they are learning and things are taking 2 or 3 times longer than they should.  Bjoern explained that if the students are struggling to make the use of Special Circumstances and Extensions process.

UG3

No issues to report.

UG4/5

No issues to report.

 MSc

IoTSSC the lab session was held and it was appreciated by the students and the feedback was good from those who attended, although it was very close to the coursework deadline.

General

On a Thursday starting from tomorrow Thursday 25th February Bjoern and the Head of School Jane Hillston will be holding a open office hour at 5pm which students are invited to attend, this will be to discuss any issues directly with the Head of School who is also a Deputy Vice Principal in the University, and they will talk about things like their careers and how they got to where they are today and any other general stuff the students would like to ask.

Graduation Neil has invited the students to put forward any ideas that they may have now that the in-person Graduations are cancelled for this year, what would the students suggest they could do instead?

The new Extensions web site has been launched and under the new system PT’s can now access the students information as before they couldn’t, and Neil wasn’t sure of the students knew about this?  There is also no option to opt out of the PT’s to see the information.  If any students are concerned about their information being made available to let the Student Support Officer’s know.  The email sent out by the ESC team was not made clear.  One student reported that he had completed the ESC form and he felt it was good, although when an application is submitted there is no notification that it has been received or completed, you have to log back in and see what the outcome was.  Sophie explained that if you start to make an application it only stays open for 2 weeks and then it automatically have to start again.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 17th February 2020

Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 17th February 2020

In attendance: Bjoern Franke Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley Head of Student Services, Alex Burford Learning Technologist, Sophie Mills Student Support Officer, Mitchell Hunter Computing Support Officer, Jade Gilhooly Deputy Teaching Organisation Manager, Kendal Reid ITO

UG1

INF1-CG the students feel the quantity of the course material is too much, could the reading be more condensed to relevant pages and chapters, not the entire book!

INF1B the students feel the coursework is taking much longer to complete, it states that the coursework shouldn’t take any longer than 10 hours but some students are finding they are spending a lot longer to complete it and some areas of the assignment is new and they don’t have previous knowledge from the past few weeks.  Coursework one was marked although it was only for feedback purposes.

Not to mix two new concepts together in the first assignment. For many students who are new to Java, understanding how to complete the assignment using a software design pattern ( MVC ) they have no experience with can be twice as challenging.

In former years, assignment 1 used to be optional, another suggestion was to still keep it as optional (doesn’t count towards the final grade) but provide feedback for the ones who submit it so that everyone is up to speed with the course expectations, this may be particularly useful for beginners.

Could the tutorials be cut to just one hour, they find the hour and half in the tutorials are not productive.

The Piazza posts are being answered but are mainly student endorsed answers and not from an official source, could more questions be answered?

In general the course is running at a good pace, the slides and example slides and the text book is good for learning.

The email from the UG1 Rep Yuto to the class on Monday made everyone smile.

The Proofs and Problem Solving course is not following the University 7 day extension policy, could this be raised?

*Action Neil*

Engineering Design course is reported to be disorganised and any discussions are not replied to.

Calculus and Applications is well organised but the students would like to see more Stack books.

UG2

No issues to report this week.

UG3

No issues to report this week

CS the coursework was released early which was appreciated by the students.

UG4/5

Exam scripts the students have been told that the exam scripts do not contain feedback only a mark, a breakdown of the marks can be viewed.  Bjoern explained that even if an exam script was written like previous years they still would not contain feedback, the only thing that can be addressed is it the student feels a question has not been marked, the exam is the final assessment at the end of each course.

NLU is to work in a team and sometimes this doesn’t work, maybe for next year it could be helpful if this could be done individually and be supported on a non-DICE machine.

ML is great for learning but they felt the grading was harsh.

NAT the grades received were lower than expected.

MLP could project timelines be announced by the tutors, and could they be informed of what is expected weekly?

ADS there has been no tutorials lately.

THF is really well taught, could it be more catered around visualisations next year?  Neil suggested to bring this up at the next UG4 SSLC Meeting at the end of Semester 2.

Some students have reported to have a cluster of deadlines, the School does try and avoid this but sometimes it can’t be helped.

Positive:

IMC course material is excellent.

ST lectures and tutorials are going great.

MLP tutors are really helpful.

NLU ethics lectures are very interesting and it is a fun class.

BDL course is good and the marks and feedback are returned in advance.

COMN 100% coursework is good and is released early.

PA gave good marks and feedback and was returned earlier than expected for a 5 page essay.

MSc

The Project selection was to be announced on Monday, Bjoern explained that there are in the final stages of checking and an email will go out to the Supervisors very soon.

IVC the feedback was due last Friday, and announced it would be one week later, would this be an estimation date?  Bjoern explained that sometimes dates can be altered due to the size of the class and the number of markers.

IRR some students have received their feedback and some haven’t, this can be common if there are various markers.

General

There will be a launch of the new Extensions and Special Circumstances system on Tuesday 23rd February, the School hasn’t seen this yet until it goes live but it could prove to have some challenges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 10th February 2020

Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 10th February 2020

In attendance: Bjoern Franke Director of Teaching, Lisa Branney Student Support Officer, Jade Gilhooly Deputy Teaching Organisation Manager, Kendal Reid ITO

Bjoern reminded the Reps to volunteer if possible for Teaching Hour tomorrow held by Judy Robertson, Thursday 11th February at 11am.

UG1

The Reps circulated a weekly survey and there was very few responses which we can take as everyone’s is happy and busy.

INF1B the survey task was delayed in being released from the Monday to the Thursday but Fiona the lecturer had already informed the class of this.

UG2

There was very few responses to this week’s survey that was circulated.

INF2-IADS they feel the coursework is a lot of work for something that is only worth 10%.

*Action Bjoern to talk to the lectures*

INF2-FDS the students would like more content on Data Science, Bjoern suggested to look at the course descriptor to see what is covered and the Learn pages for the course overview, if there is a mismatch then they can contact the Course Organiser.

http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/20-21/dpt/cxinfr08030.htm

It was asked how students could go about extending their knowledge on learning more on research?  Bjoern explained that there are more research opportunities between 3rd and 4th year and over the summer, which is paid and the studenst should look for any research opportunities that maybe advertised in courses or in emails.

UG3

At the start of the semester some course were not available for 4th year, this year due to the pandemic some courses were removed, next year the School will be running more courses, although the School prefers to have two or more lectures on each course to provide cover incase of any circumstances that may arise, and the School is planning on running more course on Machine Learning.

The DRPS page will go live on the 22nd April.

UG4/5

No Reps were in attendance.

MSc

Projects

http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/teaching/courses/diss/

Is it normal for a PhD student to assist in the Project Supervisor and Bjoern explained that it is, although if a student is only having contact with a PhD who is assisting and not the Supervisor then to let him know, as this shouldn’t happen.

*Action Bjoern*

It is reported that some supervisors are taking their time to reply to emails, Bjoern also explained that some project supervisors that have popular projects can become overloaded with emails, if there is no response to inform Bjoern.  Some supervisors hold a meeting that invites everyone to attend and ask questions, some students find this useful.

General

Extensions:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/students/welcome-back/continuing-your-studies/exams-and-assessment

We have removed barriers from students accessing extra time to complete coursework assessments.

  • Students can apply for a 7-day extension to a deadline for coursework, which will be approved automatically (i.e. they do not need to demonstrate a valid reason);
  • Where an extension of less than 7 days is normally the maximum permitted, this will be approved automatically; some assessments (e.g. for weekly assessments) do not allow extensions;
  • Where students require an extension of longer than 7 days, they can apply through the Special Circumstances process;
  • Some Schools have already amended deadlines for coursework or dissertations, or offered blanket extensions to all students; we have encouraged all Schools to consider where they may be able to do this, while also ensuring students receive timely feedback on assessment.

Graduations:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-administration/graduations/2021-ceremonies

It was asked if students could get exam feedback and it was explained that there is no feedback on the exam papers, it is just marks, the exam diet is to mark the end of the study and although feedback is given in the courses throughout the year this does not happen with exams, as the students should by the end show that they have learned the relevant course and the final is the exam.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 3rd February 2021

Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 3rd February 2021

In attendance: Bjoern Franke Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley Head of Student Services, Judy Robertson Chair in Digital Learning, Karen Davidson Student Support Officer, Jade Gilhooly Deputy Teaching Organisation Manager, Kendal Reid ITO

Update from last week:

Neil has still to talk to the School of Maths regarding the volume of reading in Calculus.

INF2-IADS the lecturers will try and release their lecture notes earlier if possible.

Bjoern is hoping to have a meeting with the Reps and Jane Hillston the Head of School around the 25th February to talk about what goes on behind the scenes in the School.

Judy Robertson who runs weekly  Teaching sessions has invited the Reps to volunteer to attend:

Session date 11/2/21 @11am online.

Each volunteer will prepare 5 minutes informal talk with the following prompts:

  1. What 3 words would you use to describe studying online during the pandemic?
  2. What features of online courses work well for you and why?
  3. What features of online course don’t work for you and why?
  4. What has been the best moment for you during an online class this year?
  5. If you had to teach an online course, what is the most important thing you would do?

Be respectful in your answers, and do not criticize individual courses or staff members. The staff who attend the meetings genuinely want to learn how to become better at online teaching and have been working very hard at it.

UG1

INF1B is going really well and the students are happy, the lecturer is very good and sends weekly surveys to students to see how things are going.

INF1-CG the labs are very helpful, and the tutors are good.

Calculus screen cast was released this week but there was trouble is trying to understand what the tutor was saying.

Stack books did not happen this week, and they didn’t receive any practical questions that they would normally receive which was previously useful.

The new mitigation policy that was sent out has was well received.

https://www.ed.ac.uk/students/welcome-back/continuing-your-studies/exams-and-assessment

We have removed barriers from students accessing extra time to complete coursework assessments.

  • Students can apply for a 7-day extension to a deadline for coursework, which will be approved automatically (i.e. they do not need to demonstrate a valid reason);
  • Where an extension of less than 7 days is normally the maximum permitted, this will be approved automatically; some assessments (e.g. for weekly assessments) do not allow extensions;
  • Where students require an extension of longer than 7 days, they can apply through the Special Circumstances process;
  • Some Schools have already amended deadlines for coursework or dissertations, or offered blanket extensions to all students; we have encouraged all Schools to consider where they may be able to do this, while also ensuring students receive timely feedback on assessment.

UG2

The Reps sent out a questionnaire to the UG2 students asking about their workloads and 50% of the students that replied said they feel the workloads is very intense and the cluster of deadlines especially in the last 2 weeks was hard.  It was suggested that the lecturers modify their deadlines in the future.

INF2-SEPP could the reading content be more specific on reading sections rather than chapters?

INF2-FDS there was a guest lecture from the Business School last week but the students have not received any new content this week and they have not been given any practical programming it is all writing work and they are finding the live sessions very helpful.

INF2D the students are finding the lectures easy to follow.

INF2-IADS the students are really enjoying the lectures, especially John’s lectures.

UG3

No Reps were in attendance.

UG4

ADS there is a lack of tutorials, and the students are not understanding the material.

NLU some students are finding it difficult to do the programming using virtual DICE, Neil asked if the Reps could find out more information on this.

The School has agreed to extend the submission deadline for the Hons Project to the 12th April, extending it by 11 days.  Some students are not happy with this but Neil explained that extending the deadline any longer will have a knock on effect to other things, the University has deadlines set for work to be marked, moderated and returned.

MLP is going really well in Semester 2.

IMC the weekly updates, reminders and drop in labs are well received.

Some Project Supervisors are very good, Neil reminded the Reps that this kind of feedback could be done via the EUSA Teaching Awards to nominate someone who has been very good at what they do.

MSc

There has been no issues reported this week.

After a meeting with their Project Director they seemed to be surprised that these weekly meetings go ahead.  Bjoern explained that Project Directors are new and they are there to help with any challenges that occur.

IoTSSC it was requested by the students to the lecturer to have a machine learning lab, as some students don’t have a computer science background and the request was denied.

*Action Neil*

General

Will there be another Rep Training session provided by EUSA?

*Action Neil*

EUSA the Academic Sabbatical officer Fizzy worked hard on the safety net policies and involved a lot of reps from all over the University.

It was asked if it was possible to change your Degree title  and the answer was no creating new degree titles can take up to two years as a new programme would need to be put together.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 20th January 2020

Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 20th January 2020

In attendance: Bjoern Franke Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley Head of Student Services, Karen Davidson Student Support Officer, Lisa Branney Student Support Officer, Carol Dow Computing Support, Kendal Reid ITO

Update from last week’s meeting, the School of Maths and the Business School do not put any course feedback on-line.

Neil has spoken to the lecturer regarding the workload for IoTSSC originally the course was designed to be done in pairs and then it changed to being done individually, the lecturer has stated that the course has the correct amount of work for a 20 credit course, and the course was approved by the School in advance.

Neil has also spoken with the lecturer for INF2-SEPP regarding the Learn pages.

UG1

INF1-CG appears to be having audio issues in live lectures, timetabling and reading issues and some students feel that they are self-teaching.

There has been 6 lectures and only one was live, there is no Q&A sessions.

INF1A is students fail the course will there be a no detriment policy in place like last year, Bjoern explained that the School is trying to support any challenges students may have.

INF1B the lecturer is reported to have bad wi-fi connection, as the screen keeps freezing.  There is weekly lab exercises that are really well explained and the course is well taught, the Java content is interesting.

UG2

INF2-SEPP the students find the live Q & A sessions proactive.

The students would like the lectures to be available when they are scheduled to be, as they work around a schedule of the lectures to be available when they should be.  Some readings are not available in the resource list!

INF2FDS the students are really enjoying the course and the activity on Piazza.  The students have asked why there is so much lecture material to cover around 2.5 hours a week, and they wondered if it was too much for a 20 credit course.

*Action Bjoern to look at the BoS approval*

Fundamentals of Pure Maths have Q&A sessions which are very helpful and questions prepared in advance are very good, the students are also enjoying the live sessions for Calculus.  The coursework that was released in week 0, was to get the students up and running.  Students are not happy that the Maths week runs from a Thursday to a Thursday they receive the reading on a Thursday with the first tutorial being held on a Monday.

*Action Neil to talk to the DoT of Maths*

UG3

No issues there has been a smooth transition into Semester 2.  CS has very good scheduling.

UG4

OS on Path it says it states every week there are 2 live lectures, 2 for PA and 1 for IoTSSC (with the only exception being weeks 7 and 11 for OS)

It was reported that there have been no live lectures for OS, people asked on Piazza and the lecturer clarified that after week 3 there may be live lectures.

PA live sessions seem to only happen once a week on either Tuesday or Friday; the schedule on the Learn page is the only place that says when live sessions will actually take place.

IoTSSC has had no live sessions so far; someone asked on Piazza and the lecturer said he will advertise some live slots in advance and that there are no live slots planned for the first few weeks.

PA is reported to be the best because the lecturer makes it clear in at least one way when live sessions actually happen, but it is annoying that Path says there are sessions when there are not.

Is there an update about the project deadline being extended, Bjoern is still talking with the Project Organiser.  There has also not been any information regarding the week 2 and 3 group presentations.   If no one has not heard from their supervisors then they should contact Barbara Web.

MSc

IPP CW1 has not been released yet.  It was asked if this course could be considered as a Pass/Fail course rather than being graded, it is a University Regulation Rule that this course, hence it being a marked course.  The Instrutors on the course are not very active on the Piazza page.

MSc Projects have still to be announced, they are meant to be available by the end of the day, if they aren’t contact Neil.

 General

 Publication date for the Non-Honours exam diet is the 15th February.  Students should only apply for an special circumstances if they feel they have been affected, and these should be applied for before the Board of Examiners meetings, students should not apply just because they have failed.  Progression decisions will be released  in August.

 Should Flexible Learning Week be classed as a holiday or should students be working?  Bjoern explained that the week has no scheduled teaching and the students can either have a break or use it to catch up with their work.

It is possible to set the exams for longer than 2 hours some students have reported that the 2 hours to do the exam and one the one hour format isn’t adequate for timezones, personal circumstances, etc.  Bjoern explained that if the exam was being take on campus then there would only be 2 hours to do it in, and we have to stick to this rule.

Neil asked the Reps if they could promote the EUSA Teaching Awards, as this is a good way to promote anyone who has done a particularly good job.

https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/yourvoice/ourwork/teachingawards/nominate/

The coursework planner for Semester 2 is still not up to date.

Some timetables are wrong, some lectures are showing as pre-recorded and then they turn out to be live and can be missed.

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