Course Rep Development Administrator

In a series: Westfield Fund 2016
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Westfield 2016 project to enhance and develop training for student course representatives

Brad Coales, Queen Mary Students’ Union

QMSU runs the Course Rep system at QMUL on behalf of the University. This currently involves recruiting, training and providing ongoing support to circa 300 Reps (out of a possible 400). Over the past two years the Union has worked to further develop the effectiveness of the Course Rep system in the following ways:

  • Introduction of roll-over of positions, whereby undergraduate Reps are elected for the duration of their course, providing continuity and more experienced (Senior) Reps who can better undertake more complex tasks.
  • Introduction of Senior Course Reps in HSS and SE Faculties.
  • Introduction of School Reps in HSS and SE Faculties to provide a direct link between Course Reps and the two part-time Faculty Reps in each Faculty.
  • Promoting the introduction of Student Co-Chairs for SSLCs in accordance with agreed University guidance on SSLCs.

These developments required increased training provision. Additionally, the Union is keen to encourage Course Rep’s participation in the QM Skills Award. This again required additional training provision which has been piloted via a dedicated personal development planning session supported by a series of skills-based ‘Lunch ‘n Learn’ sessions.

Project outcomes:

The creation of a six-month fixed-term Administrator position will free-up sufficient time for the ERP Coordinator to develop and implement the following on a one-off basis:

  • Creation of dedicated materials and a bespoke election process to recruit Postgraduate Reps
  • Resume working with the University’s Academic Registry to align SSLC Agendas to NSS headings with the intention of developing a coding system for identified issues under these headings. This will enable systematic analysis of SSLC minutes, providing an insight into the QMUL NSS data at course level, thereby enabling better briefing of Reps and ‘real time’ identification of issues from SSLC minutes.
  • Establish a regular cycle of Faculty Forums (1 per semester) bringing together Faculty Reps, School Reps, SSLC staff and senior Faculty Management.
  • Production of an updated Course Rep Handbook combined with a Skills Handbook for recording training, SSLC attendance and critical reflection which will integrate into the Skills Award and Course Rep Awards.
  • Development of online training resources to supplement face-to-face training enabling more interactive face-to-face sessions.

Click to view larger version of the conference poster below:

rsz_tl_conference_poster_coales