Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 31st October 2018

In attendance: Stuart Anderson Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley, Head of Student Services, Kendal Reid ITO, Sarah Taylor Communications and Recruitment, Karen Davidson, Student Support Officer, Senior Computing Support Officer

It has been reported that the students are now happy with INF1-CL tutorials are now shorter and more manageable, Stuart asked for feedback next week on this.  There are now videos available on-line which is good and the comments on Piazza are really helpful. The lectures have also slowed down and are more clearer, although the students are finding the programs too complex and are struggling to understand (but the Inf-CL lecturer should be making it clear that he is using parts of Haskell that students have not reached in their course).  Also could revision tutorials be set up before the exams and a specimen paper be supplied?  Stuart is meeting with all the lecturers for INF1.  There will also be a transition from CL to OP before Semester 1 finishes.

INF2A there is not a good explanation on the Code, the students need more content and asked if Tophat could be used in the lectures, so the lecturer knows what the students are understanding and also if Tophat could be used in the DMMR lectures.

The students are happy with the format of IAML and IVR.
ILP coursework one should be returned by Friday, this is one week late.

There was a discussion over the grades for MLPR and CT and whether they will be scaled.  This led to a wider discussion on the approach to marking and the common marking scale.
The School is looking to have a more consistent marking guideline across all of the courses and is developing guidance on the use of the University Common Marking Scale.  School of Informatics rarely scales marks at the moment but mathematics do this more commonly. Stuart is talking with Maths about their approach to guidelines and the use of scaling.

All good, nothing to report, students are just busy with coursework deadlines.

Nothing to report.

Neil Heatley asked if anyone would be willing to volunteer to attend the Recruitment Committee, discussing things like Scholarships and promotional material etc, this would be mean attending 3 times a year.

He also mentioned that there is a Travel Fund available that can be made available for students who would like to attend events, competitions or workshops.  Funding would be based on merit but he would like input from the students about supplying this fund.

The Reps asked Neil if he was able to book rooms for them .

ITO will put up a sign on the door of the South Lab indicating it will be a Quiet Lab.

Neil asked the Reps if they feel like the UG Mailing list should be moderated to stop unsolicited email going through, but the students don’t think this is necessary.  Neil may send round an email indicating what is appropriate and what is not to post.

All levels have now been supplied with drying racks for dishes.

There are still ongoing issues with the door or Level 9, Neil is aware if this.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 24th October 2018

In attendance: Neil Heatley Head of ISS, Kendal Reid ITO, Sarah Taylor Communications and Recruitment, Jennifer Oxley, Computing Support Officer

Apologies: Stuart Anderson, Director of Teaching

There are issues with the components in CL.  The lectures have been better but they need more structure in the tutorials.  The Reps suggestions were it may be helpful to have more tutors available in the tutorials but one of the tutors said that he felt that there is enough tutors but some students are just not asking for help.  The students also feel that the tutorial content could slow down a bit as a couple of weeks ago they were to work on Graphs and this had not yet been taught in the lecture and some students didn’t know what Graphs was.
The lecturer has covered in the last lecture on what could be examinable which the students felt this was useful.  It was suggested that the students could make more use of the facilities like INFBase and INFPals but the students said they just don’t have the time to go to these things due to the high volume of work expected from them.  Also maybe mixing up the tables at the tutorials so students can help one another.

Students are busy with the INF2C-CS MIPS coursework due 22/10.  The students feel that the coursework has taken a lot longer to do than expected, and they weren’t given clear guidelines as to how long they should be spending on each question, and they would like a definition of the marking guideline on how much of a grade distribution each question is worth.

PI students feel that the tutorials are misleading, they also feel that the criteria in the coursework is not the same as the course description.  Neil suggested they should contact Stuart directly.

IAML the marking criteria is not clear, it states that to gain plus 80% to show depth and knowledge but the Piazza page says to be brief and precise.  Coursework one was due a week ago and they don’t know how you are meant to gain an A or a B (Neil maybe this needs adjusting a bit).

NC lab is reported not to be covering the materials in the assessment the students have not been told what they should be covered.

Has there been any updated on how long coursework should be published before the deadline? Stuart was going to look into the Regulations.

MLP it was reported that the students had 10 days to submit the coursework and they felt they needed more time as they are finding it challenging, Neil suggested they should talk to the lecturer.

It was asked if drying racks for dishes on could be supplied in the kitchen areas of levels 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9.  Action Kendal

The heating in Appleton Tower is switched off at 7pm.

Students thanked Neil for supplying a fridge on Level 9.

There is still an on-going issue with the door to Level 9, Neil is aware if this and dealing with it.  It was also asked if there could be a whiteboard supplied on level 9 and a wall that you are able to write on and more lockers could be supplied.

ATFresh in the basement of AT will no longer be a café and other uses are being explored.

Any AT building issues that arise the following email address can be used

DICE machines are apparently freezing around 1am, Jennifer said to put in a Computing Support ticket to report any DICE or other Computing issues

The students are finding it difficult to connect to the XRDP Server remotely, Jennifer said it has a high volume of users for one server.
Running memory intensive jobs instead on the student compute server machine.  Action on Jennifer to compile notes to be sent out to the students.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 17th October 2018

In attendance: Stuart Anderson, Director of Teaching, Kendal Reid ITO, Katey Lee, Student Support Officer, Carol Dow, Computing Support Officer

Stuart has spoken with the lecturers regarding the INF1-CL and INF1-FP issues brought up last week about the effectiveness of the tutorials and the length of the tutorial sheets and how the questions should be prioritised by level of difficulty.

MSc students  have all received their print credit.

Hoppers regarding the use of rooms that have a live stream available, most of the time they are fully booked, and it would be useful to be able to see the room booking page.  Stuart suggested talking to Alex Burford about setting up Hoppers on Learn and talk to ITO about Timetabling rooms with appropriate equipment.

BDL the contact on the Piazza page by the lecturer and the TA has improved.

The FP part of the course the students feel the tutorials are useful but they are not beginner friendly for Programming, 2 out of the 5 tutorials are labelled as beginner friendly.  FP teaches Haskell,  the CL lecturer is attempting to link to the FP course by using Haskell to illustrate some CL concepts.  However the Haskell used in CL often uses parts of Haskell that have not yet been covered in the FP part of the course.

Stuart asked if the students are using INFBase and if it could be made more INF1 specific?   There are prioritised Inf1 helpers in InfBase but that may not be clear.  The INFBase timings are a bit scattered and Stuart will talk to them about having a more standard time slots.
Students asked for: A specimen exam paper, and if rooms could be provided to enable students to self help one another.  Stuart will look into this

INF2A is not well organised, the lecturer keeps referring to the slides but going back and forward and pausing.  They feel the lecturer needs to make more time to organise the lecture and preparing some questions.
The reading material and sources are good but they feel they should be supplied with a good source of text book or some useful links to be made available on the course web page or a on-line pdf to read.  The lectures are also being overun and also if the lecturer could wear a clip on microphone, would make it easier for the students to hear.

DMMR reading guides, the students would like a list of questions on what they should do, on what is essential and use different examples rather than from the book.

INF2C-SE the lecturer is now more interactive in the lecture with the students.

DBS: coursework was not released in the afternoon, it was released at 1.30am next again day and some students were angry, as they were prepared to start it on original release time.
IAML: the lectures are being cancelled at the last minute and some of the videos on-line the sound isn’t clear.

HCI: students feel one of the lecturers can come across as slightly aggressive.
EXC: it was asked if the lecturer could use a visualiser instead of a whiteboard.
UG4 Project: Some students have not received any written feedback yet from their first project meeting.

FNLP MLPR:  There are some issues arising from interaction on the setup for these two courses.  Paul Anderson said this was a complex issues because the software used in the two courses required different versions of software to be available in the environment.  Stuart will contact the RATS team to see if this can be ameliorated.

There has been some issues with some MSc students not knowing how to use Linux or DICE, there is one DICE session at the start of Semester, Carol Dow will look into providing some additional support on this.

Level 9 at the weekends doesn’t have a supply of paper towels or soap. The building is not cleaned at the weekend and the bins are over flowing. It was asked for an extra black bin to be installed in the kitchen area of Level 6.

When will the Course Statistics be released? Action on Gregor Hall ITO.

Stuart is arranging a meeting regarding Learn.

There is still an on-going issue with students using the DICE machines, and no-one is occupying the seat.  You can log people of by using Control Alt Backspace or use the machines to run remotely.  It was asked if there could be somewhere you can take people’s belongings of the desk and place them somewhere so if they come back and their stuff is gone then they know where it will be, like trays for example.  One student had seen this work well in Singapore.  In addition there is a need for more training on running work in the background.  Neil will investigate.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 10th October 2018

In attendance: Neil Heatley ISS Manager, Kendal Reid ITO, Katey Lee Student Support Officer, Sarah Taylor, Communications and Recruitment Officer

Apologies: Stuart Anderson

No Reps in attendance but Qais Patanker said he had been asked to bring up a couple of issues.  There is no INF1-FP Drop-in labs now and the students feel they are not gaining anything from attending the tutorials.  INF1-CL there doesn’t appear to be any changes to the slides from previous years and they still have errors in them, and they are only being released the night before the lecture.

Stuart is still talking to the INF2A lecturer about allowing the students the use of their mobile phones in the lectures.  The tutorial sheets on Learn are linked to the Informatics homepage and there is no link available for the 2nd tutorial, the students think everything should be in sync and have to spend a lot of navigating between Learn and the home pages.

Tutorials for INF2A and DMMR have too much material to cover in the hour tutorial, they feel workshops would be much better suited to this.
INF2C-SE students feel there is no interaction between the students and the lecturer and the slides on the Learn folder is empty.
INF2C-CS source file is not working properly.

It was asked if a Quiet lab could be set up, Neil said there is no specific quiet space as all the space we have is used for teaching but South Lab on Level 5 could be a quiet lab, a sign will be put on the door.

No Reps in attendance.

MSc students were to receive £15 free print credit, but this hasn’t been received yet.
NC, MLP and CCS don’t have a live stream, this could be because it isn’t installed in the room or the lecturer doesn’t know how to work it.
NC has one lab session and the students don’t feel this is enough, the students also feel that the questions that they are given don’t appear to have specific answers, they find the questions and answers misleading and confusing.
Design Informatics can’t open any attachments on the a tablet for the ECA course, Neil suggested talking to the lecturer.  Could information be made more accessible on courses that run in the University for things like Latex and Presentation workshops etc.
It was asked if a web page could be created on expectations of Project Supervisors on what to do if students are experiencing problems of who to go if there are unable to contact their Supervisors, Neil suggested Don Sannella would be the first port of call and then himself or Stuart.

The ITO has now purchased a small fridge to be installed on Level 9.
Hoppers was asking if there was a way to see could see what rooms are available to book that can supply a Live Stream, Neil says this can only be down through Timetabling.  They also asked if there could be a way that anyone who enrols on the Hoppers mailing list can be sent a auto reply, Katey Lee says she will help out with this.


  • We have followed up on the Inf1 and 2 issues and hope to report back on this at the next meeting.
  • We have requested that print credit be updated.
  • On live-streaming issues – all video equipped rooms are capable of supporting livestreams but the streams will have a 5 minute delay.
  • On the other issues, I need a bit more context and will see this at the next meeting.
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Followup on October 3 Meeting

I’ve followed up on the issues raised and will report back to the 17th October meeting.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 3rd October 2018

In attendance: Stuart Anderson Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley ISS Manager, Kendal Reid ITO, Katey Lee Student Support Officer, Sarah Taylor, Communications and Recruitment Officer

Stuart welcomed all the new Reps for 2018/19 and explained that this weekly meeting is to resolve any problems that may occur, short and long term.  He also mentioned that twice a year the School holds a Staff Student Liaison Meeting with the Year Reps and the Year organiser that is at the end of each Semester to go over Year issues, i.e UG1, UG2 and any issues that could be resolved for the following term.

No Reps allocated yet.  INF1-FP now has tutors working in INFBase.  One tutor mentioned that maybe the INFBase and INFPals wasn’t too well communicated as the attendance was quite low.

INF2A the students are not permitted to use their mobile phones in the lecture or interact with the people sitting next to one another.  They feel they should be able to have their phones if they need to take photos of slides or discuss topics with their fellow students.  Action: Stuart will discuss with the lecturer.

INFSC-SE there is quite a lot of noise amongst the students in the lectures, they feel a bit more discipline needs to be enforced by the lecturer and there is no Piazza page set up.

DMMR there is no Piazza page set up.  There also appears to be no synchronisation between what is being taught in the lectures and tutorials, and queries in lectures are only being dealt with in the tutorials.

IAML the flip classes are not well attended as the students don’t think they are useful.

NC doesn’t appear to be well structured.
BDL there has been no responses on Piazza from the lecturer or the TA.

Level 9 is cold at night, Neil said that the heating is switched of at 7pm.  It was also asked if a fridge could be installed on Level 9, Neil will look into this, also there is an on-going issue about the entry door not working Neil is also communicating with Estates and Buildings.

Level 5 is to remain as a quiet study place when classes are not timetabled.

Students are not finding it easy to navigate their way around Learn, Stuart will try and arrange a meeting with the School’s new Learning Technologist Alex Burford and the Reps.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 28th March 2018

In attendance: Neil Heatley ISS Manager, Ian Durkacz Computing Support, Kendal Reid ITO, Katey Lee Student Support Officer

No Reps in attendance.

No Reps in attendance.

It was reported that the lecturer for SP is planning to teach all missed lectures from the Strike in weeks 10 and 11, as the exam will  included material that has not been taught in the last few weeks. Action for Stuart to talk to the lecturer.

CS there are still no lecture recordings available from Myrto’s part of the course, although teaching has finished for it.  Action for Stuart to talk the lecturer.
SAPM and OS deadlines are the 29th March and the students have still not received feedback from the 1st assignment.
AILP had an oral assessment recently and the lecturer was very late in showing up and no feedback has been received from Semester 1.
SDP the deadlines were unmoveable and some students felt uncomfortable crossing the picket lines during the strike but they had to because they had to be in the building to take part.  It is being considered that the course may be moved to being worth more credit next year.  The students also feel that the feedback from the course organiser was inconsistent.

The time for the Summer Graduation Reception on 2nd July has yet to be confirmed.

There is issues with the shuttle bus times, some students are finding it difficult to get to and from lecturers in time between Central area and KB.  EUSA are apparently looking into re-scheduling the timetable.
The School has students taking 517 independent courses and sometimes timetable clashes can happen.

The lifts in AT have not been working properly lately, Neil has reported this to Building Issues.

The School is looking into the giving different years different coloured wrist bands so they can be identified by Security as being an Informatics student, due to recent Security issues.

Heating on level 9 is still being looked into, currently the heating is being automatically turned off at 7pm, Neil can maybe look into it being switched off a bit later. Some radiators on the floors have temperature valves and some don’t, so there is no way of regulating the heating as this is done centrally.

There is plans to hold a fire safety training meeting on Tuesday 3rd April at 11am, and forms must be signed by the MSc students to gain access to Level 9.

Students that are graduating in July will have access to Level 9 from the 30th June to the 3rd July, to allow them to show friends and family visiting for Graduation.

It was asked if new courses are obliged to supply sample exam papers, and the answer is yes.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 21st March 2018

In attendance: Stuart Anderson Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley ISS Manager, Richard Bell Computing Support, Kendal Reid ITO, Karen Davidson Student Support Officer

No reported issues, some students have set up their own study groups to support one another during the Strike.  Stuart said that he didn’t think the Strike had to much of an impact on Non Honours courses, but Neil is in the process of gathering information of what courses have been badly affected and what has and hasn’t been taught.

INF2B lecturer has put material on-line to cover the 2nd coursework, although he is has been on Strike, but they are no lecture recordings available, Stuart will look into this.

CS Myrto’s lecture recordings are not available on-line, even though they have been recorded.
AILP and CSLP are being taught by the same lecturer and the coursework for each course are practically the same in content, there has not been any coursework returned either.

BDL this is the first time this course has ran and the students would like some idea of what to expect in the exam.
It has been reported that some UG4 project supervisors are not being responsive to the the students they are meant to be be supervising, the students who have not had any response are wary of complaining as they know the supervisor is also the marker of their projects.  Stuart said to contact either himself or Neil if there are any issues and they will talk to the people involved.  Also it maybe a good idea to send out guidance to the Supervisors to explain what is expected of them. Students can also contact the Student Support Officers for advice on

RL has been restructured, so the students would like a specimen exam paper, so they know what to expect in the exam.  Stuart will look into this.

SP has 2 coursework submissions and the 2nd one is due this Friday 23rd March, but it hasn’t been released yet, the lecturer has been on Strike, so there has been no lectures either.  Stuart will look into this.


Updates from last weeks meeting:
Neil is still looking to get all the correct information for the International Scholarship Programmes.
The School is looking into the privacy of returning coursework, due to the Data Protection Act, at the moment some coursework is returned to the ITO and is available for other students to see.
Students would also like coursework to be submitted electronically rather than manually.
Any upcoming exams will be looked at to see if any questions have not been taught.

Level 9 is still either too hot or too cold, the School will look into Thermometers to see if we can get readings of how hot and cold it does get, but this is an ongoing issue and we are aware of it.

The cameras on level 9 are now going to be recording on a 2 second frame shot, so privacy to logging on etc, should not be captured.

Neil has sent out the information on Travel Fund Applications, and he will make the web page live with the deadline probably being around the end of April.

MSc students will gain access to Level 9 soon, but they will have to complete and sign a form, no signature, no entry.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting – Wednesday 14th February 2018

In attendance: Stuart Anderson Director of Teaching, Lindsay Brown
Computing Support, Kendal Reid ITO, Katey Lee Student Support Officer,
Karen Davidson Student Support Officer, Valerie McIntosh Volunteering
Cordinator EUSA

The meeting was joined today by Valerie McIntosh from the Volunteering
Service at EUSA, she came to explain the the Volunteering Service exists to connect our students with the local community as well as UK based volunteering opportunities with Third Sector organisations, primarily byengaging students in rewarding volunteering opportunities.  It offers a volunteering brokerage (replacing that of the Careers Service’s for UK based volunteering), student-led volunteering societies, organises events, as well as advice, resources and funding to students who volunteer.  In addition, it also offers awards and recognition to students.  These include the Edinburgh Award for Volunteering – running 3 times a year – and our annual celebration event: the Activities Awards, in March.   To find out more and get in touch with the Volunteering Team:

Stuart has spoken to the INF1-OP lecturer and he has put up the
solutions.  The solutions are here:

The first coursework for INF2B ADS coursework has been released but
there is no Piazza forum available.  Stuart has raised this with the course lecturers and will copy a response here.

No Reps were in attendance.

The Human Factor Working with Users is having to be taught in two
sessions on a Tuesday 11am – 1pm and a Wednesday 1pm – 3pm due it being
taught in Room 6.06 Appleton Tower, the space is not big enough to cope
with the class size, the ITO is aware of this and are hopeful a larger
space will be available after the Flexible Learning week.

Regarding the timeline of MSc project allocation:

There has been a slight delay in allocation, due to issues about
calculating the load of supervisors.  This has now been resolved after
discussion with the DoT.

The allocation will now be made, and a draft allocation will be
distributed to supervisors within the next 1-2 days but there will be a delay before students are informed while the allocations are finalised.

Computing Support has put 4 machines into level 9 at the back of the
room but due to lack of power points, more will be installed throughout
the floor.

Level 4 appears to have power issues.  This may be due to personal devices causing the power to trip but this has not been confirmed.   The School is aware of the issue and is looking into it.  Any issues should be reported to Computing Support as soon as possible via the support form so the issue can be rectified quickly.

There appear to be Spam messages being sent out concerning University Services, these can be reported to Information Services:

University policy is that where possible courses are examined in the semester they are taught.  It seems that the short exam diet in Semester 1 and the constraints and dependencies between exams mean it is difficult to schedule more examinations that are currently examined in Semester 1.  We will review the situation and discuss the situation with College of Science and Engineering.

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Staff Student Rep Meeting 07/02/2018

In attendance: Stuart Anderson Director of Teaching, Neil Heatley ISS Manager, Lindsay Brown Computing Support, Kendal Reid ITO, Katey Lee Student Support Officer, Karen Davidson Student Support Officer, Sarah Taylor, Communications and Recruitment Officer, Segolene Gallus, Web and Social Media Co-Ordinator

INF1-OP still haven’t distributed the solutions.

Stuart has contacted the lecturer.

The issues with the INF2D lecture theatre being too small has been looked into, they only other alternative is that the lecture be moved to 9am in another location or wait until after Festival of Creative Learning, when some lecture finish and other rooms will be made available, Neil will keep an eye on this.  It was also reported that the INF2D lecturer appears to be cutting the lectures short, Stuart will talk to him.  The lectures have now been scheduled for recording.

Stuart has contacted the lecturer.

PI for next year they will look into minimalising the paper work required.

OS will look into more support i.e. tutorials

SELP has still not received any feedback.

SDP it was reported that some of the teams are not working very well, it was suggested if there are any team issues, then they should firstly talk to their Mentor who will try and resolve the situation, as the groups have to work well to enable good grades.  Stuart will also feed this back the lectures.

DS and ITCS are not being recorded, again this is up the lecturer, next year the University will make it policy to record all lectures and they will have an opt out option but it will have to be a very good reason to opt out.  Guest lectures will be optional to the Guest.

MLP coursework 3 is suggested to be group work, this was not announced at the start of the class, although it is suggested it isn’t enforced, so a student can still work on this alone.

UG4 Projects some students are not receiving as much support from their supervisors as other students, there is a lack of communication from some and some supervisors did not realise that the Intern Report was due, Stuart will email the Supervisors.

RL has a new lecturer this year and he is taking on a revision of the lecture material. Stuart  has discussed this with him and he will reduce the amount of revision to help manage the workload.

Segolene has asked the students on their views on navigating the Informatics web pages, most students said that the quickest way to find things are via Google, she has asked the students if they could maybe give her some opinions on any ideas they may have to make this better. She will also email the Reps and maybe put together a Survey.

Stuart introduced Katey and Karen as the new Student Support Officers, who will be supporting students and Personal Tutors.

It was mentioned about the UCU Strike action, again anyone taking part in any strike action is not obliged to inform the School, the School may look at setting up a web page for any updates on this.  If there is significant disruption caused to teaching then this will be reviewed at the Scrutiny meetings if anything is not taught then they will try and ensure that it will not be examined.

Level 9 appears to be a bit warmer than last week.

Neil has emailed the students regarding if they use the Virtual Learning Environments, this is part of the School’s involvement in the VLE standards pilot that is aiming to define standard templates in the VLE.

The kitchen lights on level 6 have been reported.

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