Staff Student Rep Meeting – 31/02/2021
Present: Neil Heatley (Head of Student Services), Björn Franke (Director of Teaching), Lisa Branney (SST), Laura Ambrose (ITO).
The INF1B CW2 feedback was better than the CW1 feedback; it was more detailed.
Feedback for INF1B CW2 was very delayed. The students were meant to have the feedback in time for their tutorials on Friday to discuss with their tutors and the group, but not all the coursework had been marked properly. This meant that people did not get feedback in the tutorial group, so tutorials felt pointless for half the students. The rest of the students got their marks on Sunday after the tutorial. There were the further complications: some coursework had been overlooked and not marked at all. The rep reporting these issues received their CW2 mark yesterday evening (Tuesday 30/03/21). Furthermore, as there is already a topic planned for the coming tutorial, the students who received marks late will not have the opportunity to discuss these marks in their tutorial groups.
It was suggested that INF1B have tutors being the ones to also mark their students’ work. This is because some tutors do not have insight into the marking process and therefore don’t understand why a certain mark has been given. If the tutors marked the work then it would give a more meaningful interaction with tutors as they would have more in-depth knowledge of marking and could help more.
InfConnect semester 2 topics were better than semester 1. Semester 2 was more useful and provided more interaction, but in general Fiona done an amazing job with InfConnect and reps are pleased to hear it will continue for the incoming cohort.
Reps commented on the news that the university is considering keeping the SeatED app for exam season so people can make sure they have space in the library. It was asked whether students could we have something similar in Appleton tower so people can book and know they have space there too. Neil commented that we already have a service that shows machine availability but wouldn’t give you a specific desk. Neil further commented that we could look into providing a booking service but that it would not be monitored by the ITO so would need to be self-managed by the cohort.
There was also a discussing regarding the fact that other schools have begun preparation for next year and have had focus groups with students. It was asked whether Informatics students will be involved in similar conversations. Neil commented that they were hesitant to ask people to commit time when we ourselves are unsure what we can do or what is manageable at this stage.
The rep commented that they wanted to see a conversation with students to see if the schools’ priorities are in line with the students’ priorities. Björn commented that some of these things are down to the Scottish Government and the University, rather than the School of Informatics. Things are given to us then we implement it, and it is therefore pointless to discuss some things, like one metre or two metre distancing, as we do not decide.
SDP is very stressful and is the main focus of comments received by reps.
Positive comments have been made about Computer Security coursework; it was fun to work on.
The DME Class Test had a 44% average grade; there is much concern over the low average. Students thought test was dissimilar to other years and didn’t cover main teaching points. They also suggest that 44% doesn’t fit the CMS. Björn asked if class had feedback from test from the Cos, but the rep did not know.
Students in general have been saying the year has been very difficult due to lack of tutorials and lack of contact.
Reps asked for an update on IRR non anonymous marking – is the marking anonymous or not? Björn commented that IRR was not designed to be anonymous; this is because tutors would recognise students’ topics from tutorial discussion. The anonymous marking was therefore a miscommunication. The rep commented that tutorials not mandatory so tutors/markers wouldn’t know some students’ topics so it would be anonymous for those students. Moreover, since they were told it was anonymous it should have been. Björn commented that students should have not been told it was anonymous because it was not designed to be.
There is no meeting next week due to Easter Holiday. Weekly meetings will continue after this but as this is the last week of teaching, this is the last official meeting and meetings going forward are expected to be smaller.