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How to gain support from your organisation

Ideas on how you can gain support for learner voice within your organisation
by

Dan Baxter

on 17 July 2014

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Transcript of How to gain support from your organisation

How to gain support from your organisation
Making your case
Do your research
A change to your learning organisation's policy
More training for your learner reps
Funding for learner reps to spend on transport to events
Reviewing your case
Something needs to change!
As a learner rep, you get to help make learners' lives better.

Often, you will need to work with your organisation to make important changes. Sometimes you will need support and guidance to be able to clearly explain and campaign for these.
So how can you effectively ask your organisation to develop and support learner voice?
Making your case
Make sure you are clear about how much your plan will cost

Think about what questions you might be asked and prepare your responses beforehand

Have everything prepared before you present your case and check things - like making sure your presentation works - beforehand
Making a decision
You might not get exactly what you ask for.

Your decision maker might try to come up with another offer.

Try to prepare for this and think about what are the most important parts of your case.

Then NEGOTIATE with your decision maker to reach an agreement
Are there any current barriers?
You are not given time to take part in meetings
Training is not offered
There isn't a budget to run campaigns
There isn't an opportunity to work with other organisations
It's too difficult to balance coursework and learner rep commitments
You don't feel that you are listened to
It's all feedback and surveys.
Consider, do you need:
more chances to be involved in decision making about your learning
new ways of listening to the views of learners
money to run campaigns, training or events
support and understanding from tutors about the importance of learner voice
a staff member to support and advise you
a full-time, paid learner rep for the whole organisation (sometimes called a Sabbatical Officer)
Tips for writing your case
There are 5 stages to making your case:
What does your organisation need to do to help learner reps more?

This could be funding, staff support, training, office space...
If successful, work with the decision maker to put a clear plan in place

If you aren't successful, ask for feedback and think about what you could have done differently

Identify the problem
Don't just think about what would be
nice
to have.

Think about the real barriers that stop learner reps making an impact in your organisation?
What are the solutions?
Do some research
What is your organisation's strategy for learner voice?

What have other organisations done?

Who makes the decision in your organisation to give you what you need?
Make your case
Write what you believe should happen.

This could be a written report, a presentation or a meeting with the decision maker(s)
Review your case
Possible solutions
Who makes the decision?
What do other learning organisations do?
Find out the organisations learner engagement strategy
Listen to learners and gather their views on the issue
Prepare you case
Use what you have found out to write a business case
Think about your audience

Remember to say how this will benefit the whole learning organisation

If writing a report for a committee, try to follow the normal structure of their reports (ask for help if needed)
Whether your case was successful or not, you should always look back at how it went.

You can plan out what else would make learner voice better and learn from what you have done this time round.
When you have identified what you would like your organisation to do to support learner voice you need to make a clear case for it.
Full transcript