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.


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.

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.


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.


No Reps were in attendance.


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.


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*


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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