Minutes of Meeting 8, 29th January 2014

Matters arising

Alex explained that Michael was away and would provide a definitive update on issues from the previous meeting next week. However, according to Alex’s understanding, the situation was as follows.

* The issue from last wee’ks meeting with the 2 hour Computer Communications and Networks lectures cannot be changed for this Semester but has been noted and can be looked into for next year.

* 7 Bristo Square Lecture Theatre 4 was an issue last week with the heat and the noise. Michael has looked into this and it is to late in the Semester to find another room, but a note of this will be kept for  next session.

Course-related issues

A 1st year Rep said that there was some concern about the INF1 Cognitive Science Coursework assignment being issued in week 2, it is a 3000 word essay in which the students said it would have been better being issued in week 1 to give them more time. The 1st coursework is also worth more than the other 2 assignments (cw1 20%, cw2 10%, cw3 10%), and students thought it odd to have a higher weighted coursework right at the beginning of the course.

Update: The lecturers have extended the deadline for the first assignment by 1 week (this was done independently of the SSR meeting). They will reconsider the timing and weighting of coursework for next year. (As a result of the SSR meeting it was noticed that this year’s coursework weightings were misrecorded on Theon. This has now been corrected.)

INF2B students said that KK had failed to turn up up the INF2B lecture on Tuesday. There was a planned strike which ran from 2pm – 4pm, and the students wondered if it had been due to that. Alex said that he thought it highly unlikely that this was due to the strike since the lecture was due to start at 4.10.

Update: KK has now emailed the class with an apology and an explanation as to what happened (there was a mix-up in the scheduling).

It is the MSc Project choice deadline today and some of the MSc students asked if they had to go with the 4 choices of projects, could they just go with 2? It was advised to try and pick four so you don’t end up doing some random project that you don’t want.  It is also advisable to try and meet up with all the project supervisors, which would help a great deal in making choices.  If a student has a particular area they would like to work in, they could meet with a lecturer who also has a combined interest and possibly work on a self proposed project, in which a handful of students do successfully. Both MSc and UG students felt that it would be helpful if they were given more time to choose projects. (This year, MSc students had just 9 days to make their choice.)

Update: The MSc and UG4 project organisers have both been contacted about the amount of time given to students to choose projects. The MSc project organiser will look into this for next year. The UG4 project organiser is aiming to give 3rd-year students at least 2 weeks to select projects this year.

Other business

Alex asked the Reps if they felt that the planned strikes had much of an effect on them, the general feeling was that it hadn’t.  They said that the strikes last year had more of an effect as some coursework feedback deadlines were set on the strike days which led to the feedback being late.  Alex informed the students that the deadline dates were set before the strike days were planned.

The National Student Survey is now up and running and Alex discussed the issue of trying to get the final year students to complete this.  If the School gets less than 50% of responses we will not be included in any of the league tables dependent on the survey  Alex also asked if the reps were aware of any major issues that might result in negative feedback. The Reps said that feedback is still perceived as an issue by some, although it is much better than before, and than in other Schools in the University. Allan Clark was mentioned as being one of the best lecturers in the School for returning very informative feedback.

About Alex Simpson

Informatics Deputy Director of Teaching 2013-14, 2014-15
This entry was posted in Meetings. Bookmark the permalink.