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Student Engaged Subject Committee Meetings

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by

Dan Bishop

on 26 June 2013

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Transcript of Student Engaged Subject Committee Meetings

Workshop: Changing Practice to Enhance Student and Staff Engagement in Quality Processes
Project 2 -Engaging academics and students within subject committee meetings
Research Questions
Can a workshop-style approach enhance meaningful student engagement in Subject Committee meetings?
Does a workshop style approach to Subject Committee meetings enhance the dialogue and discussion between lecturers and students, producing tangible outcomes and developments for all parties?
“There was much more discussion. This was by far the most proactive meeting I’ve seen across the three years, having the ability to do it all workshop style.”
Nursing Student (Nursing Student Rep FG)

“I feel we’ve had more action points from this than any other subject committee meeting we’ve had…..because it’s been discussed people feel they have to take responsibility for it.”
Nursing Student (Nursing Student Rep FG)

“You see definitely a different side to them, don’t you, than the formal either teaching or in the other meeting style it was very formal, everybody was in their place. This is a lot more casual and a bit more conversational.”
Sports Student (Sports student Rep FG)
What's a subject committee meeting?

For course representatives, academic and support staff to engage in discussion and resolution of academic issues.
Project 1 -Evaluation of student participation within faculty quality processes
Research Questions
What is the extent and nature of student participation in subject committees and programme modifications?
Are there ways in which the active and meaningful participation of undergraduate students in these quality and curriculum development processes could be furthered?
What's a programme modification?
What did we do?
Key Messages
Its important to know the students and target group
who wants to participate? And how we access the views of students who don’t want to be involved?

Meetings do not enable effective discussion

Evidence of a power struggle or imbalance between staff and students

Student reps are critical to effective partnership with academics
How do they understand and learn their role and responsibilities? Is the training relevant and supportive?
How can we support students to engage when we also want them to prioritise their studies?

Identify different ways to engage and develop different modes of communication between all parties.

Ensure the ‘feedback loop’ is completed, i.e. that students are informed about how their comments have made a difference.
Gathered perspectives from both academics and students across the Faculty.

Quantitative data obtained via an online questionnaire.
Survey responses totalled 485 students from across all School’s within the former HL&SS Faculty.

Qualitative data drawn from interviews with Faculty, School and Programme representatives.
Agenda streamlined, removing non essential items.

Wiki set-up to collate agenda items and corresponding actions.

Chair/Co-Chair established the format of the meeting and priority of items raised.

In the meeting small groups were formed and assigned agenda items to discuss via a workshop style format.

Groups feedback and share points identified and discuss the findings with all groups in the committee, prompting agreed actions and updating of the wiki.
New Subject Committee Process
Student Comments
Staff Comments
“It is strength of the system to collate individual responses or agenda points and also how prepared they are to tell us individually what they’re thinking.”
Nursing Staff (Nursing Staff FG, )

“Students just inputted when they felt they could and there was much more fluid discussion about ‘What are the issues?’ Students would contribute suggestions about how to perhaps solve some of those problems as well.
Sports Staff (Sports staff FG.)

“This format meant that I felt more confident to have an opinion. It was more of a conversation rather than being talked at.”
Nursing Admin (Nursing staff FG.)
Comments
A small change to a module (i.e. changes to learning outcomes, syllabus content or assessment strategy).
Or the inclusion and or deletion of modules to update the currency and relevance of a programme.
Better use of time to discuss items raised in a format that assisted discussion.

The discourse generated good ideas and action.

Evidence of a shift in power in the dynamics between staff and students.

Clear evidence of communication, dialogue and discussion between all members of the committees.

Increased student engagement, with students leading discussions and involved in setting actions / outcomes and leading feedback.

Further info on our work can be found at http://sescm.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/
Overall Findings
Phase 1 - Training/consultation event with student reps, lecturers and support staff to discuss options and support the development of the pilot subject committees;

Phase 2 – Piloted an innovative approach to subject committee meetings in two different subject areas.

Phase 3 – Evaluation of pilots using a qualitative research approach designed to obtain data from both students and academics across the two schools
Process
a. Introduce selves, institutions and roles within institutions

b. Describe/outline the ways in which undergraduate and postgraduate students are currently engaged in quality enhancement and assurance processes in your institutions.

c. Are there some innovative, exciting and embedded ideas that you are trying to develop, or aspirations that you have in this area?
Small group discussion
Dan Bishop & Karin Crawford -University of Lincoln
a. Having listened to the information about the subject committee work at Lincoln, are there ways in which you could or would want to take something similar forward in your own institutions? Or are there other aspects of student and staff participation that you are interested to develop and take forward?

b. How would you go about this?

c. What might be the contsraints and enablers to developing approaches of this type? What support will you need and how will you get it?
Developing & planning activity
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