Week 1 Meeting Report

The first meeting of semester two had student reps from fourth and fifth years, as well as Director and Deputy Director of teaching, with Kendal Reid from the ITO.

Email change to Office 365
Reps commented that while most people had no trouble using the new system, there had been a number of surprises in the handover. In particular, all forwarding information was lost so many students were not receiving their email at the addresses they expected, and might not find out what the problem was for some time. In addition, some students had experienced limitations in using the new system from Linux.
Innovative Learning Week
Michael presented information about the events planned by Informatics for Innovative Learning Week (ILW). There will also be a central university calendar of events across all schools. He also solicited help from the reps to coordinate a possible activity: a shared testing event for project students who need feedback from users on software, groups to try out experiments, or anything else needing people to help test their project work (“guinea pig Tuesday”). James Hulme agreed to lead this.
Coursework and Feedback
The third-year large projects from last semester, CSLP, SELP and AILP, are still being assessed. Some students reported that they had not yet had their work returned from the Human-Computer Interaction assignment: Ian will follow this up with the lecturer.
Michael reported on discussions by the working group set up after the last meeting. He described three possible changes to how Informatics presents teaching information on the web, to canvass opinions and preferences.

  • Year Guide focus. More substantial and discrete year guides — distinct PDF or even printed documents rather than web pages — could contain large amounts of information specific to each year. This might help people feel confident about where to go to look things up, but would also involve significant duplication with each year guide repeating information.
  • Flat array of content pages with many views through trees built for different audiences. This would require considerable effort to build, and possibly to maintain, but might satisfy multiple different kinds of user.
  • FAQ: Augment any existing scheme with a very large FAQ, as with Informatics computing support. This was apparently popular with students, and perhaps not so much effort to set up; although maintenance might be a struggle, ensuring all answers were always correct.

Reps confirmed that the web sites for individual courses, while very varied, are generally found straightforward to navigate: they have a readily-understood and limited focus.

Window Blinds
Students have complained about the poor condition of some of the window blinds on floors 5 and 3. Kendal will take this up with Gillian Bell, who has already been working on similar facilities issues.
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