Minutes of Meeting 1, 25th September 2013, AT 5.02

Present: Michael Rovatsos, Alex Simpson, Paul Anderson (Year 1 Organiser), Kendal Reid (ITO), all Class Reps and the two School Reps.

1. SSR members introduction

After a quick round of introductions, Michael announced that future meetings will start at 1:10pm. Action: ITO will announce which room the meetings will be held in in the future, as 5.02 is too small to accommodate all participants.

2. Administrative issues

Reps noted that printer credit does not seem to have been updated over the summer.Update: ITO have investigated this, and printing credit for this session
was sorted on Wednesday.  If students have any further problems re.
printing credit they should contact Computing Support.

It was also noted that some course mailing lists do not seem to include all students registered on the courses. Update: ITO have investigated this and there seems to be no indication of erroneous mailing list membership configurations.

There was quite some discussion about online information students available to students, with many students finding it hard to identify and combine various information sources usefully. Online Year Guides seem to be little known as a central information source for student-facing information. Michael pointed out that this has been under scrutiny for a while, and that the issue will be revisited in future meetings. Action: Reps were asked to look at Year Guides online and provide feedback.

Reps pointed out that some of the Informatics courses do not appear on Learn. Paul, Alex, and Michael explained that Informatics have created “standard” Learn pages which link to the Informatics-internal course web pages. Update: The ITO have confirmed that as very few Informatics use Learn, it is normal that some courses will not appear there.

2. Facilities & computing

Students raised serious issues regarding very disruptive noise levels in Forest Hill, and partially also in Appleton Tower (due to toilet renovations). Update: We are in contact with University Estates & Buildings to identify the reasons for this and whether this noise can be avoided, and ITO have also contacted all lecturers teaching in Forest Hill to ask them if they want to ask for alternative accommodation for their courses.

There is also an issue with student numbers on Algorithms and Data Structure, where the current room is too small to accommodate increased numbers. Update: We have been able to identify alternative, more spacious accommodation.

There are problems with the projector in Human-Computer Interaction lectures, which has failed repeatedly, causing the lecturer to hold lecturers without the help of visual aids. Update: Michael has been in touch with the lecturer, who had, in turn contacted technicians about this, and the problem seems to have been resolved since.

3. Course-specific issues

Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Reasoning: Reps reported that there are too many slides for each lecture so that the lecturer has to rush through them. Students who took the course last year felt that too much content was packed into the last few lectures unnecessarily which was covered again later in Probability with Applications and Informatics 2B. Update: Michael has raised this issue with the course team.

Informatics 1 – Computation and Logic: Reps reported that the lecturer speaks rather fast and is sometimes hard to follow. Update: Michael has raised this issue with the lecturer.

Informatics 2A – Processing Formal and Natural Languages: Reps were unhappy about lecture slides not having been uploaded before lectures. Alex, as course lecturer, explained that final changes and updates often had to be made until after the lecture, but that draft slides are made available prior to the actual lecture slot.

The MSc reps, and, to some extent, other year reps, raised concerns regarding the balance of courses offered across both semesters. Further discussion yielded a mixed picture, which shows that the perceived balance largely depends on students degree programmes and interests, but overall, this warrants further investigation. Action: Michael to liaise with Year Organisers to obtain more data about courses available across semesters and their popularity.

4. Remaining items

The remaining agenda items on Improving Informatics Feedback and Peer Support were carried forward to the next meeting for lack of time.

5. Next meeting

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 2nd October, 1:10pm-2pm, venue tbd.



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