Student Voice Successes

In the academic year 19/20 we have had a record number of programme reps register with the Union. Programme reps and part time officers have been representing you through:

  • Programme committee meetings
  • College quality enhancement committees
  • Student forum events
  • Rep conference – providing feedback to senior members of University staff
  • Surveys
  • Social media

This series of articles showcase all the amazing work that the programme reps and part time officers have achieved over the entire academic year.

Change is at the heart of everything we do, and you are at the heart of every change we make.


Assessments and Deadlines

Assessments

  • Little guidance was being given so it was raised with lecturers and clearer guidelines were posted and more opportunities for in class questions resulting in students feeling more supported – Derby Business School
  • There was a late change to the submission type for the assignment (e.g. essay to report). Lateness was raised with the lecturers and is now being considered for future assessments to have changes made earlier – Joint Honours
  • It was raised that mock exams would be useful for practical exams and formative (feedback assessment with no marks contributing to grade) assessments have now been timetabled – Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism
  • Resources (such as reading lists and assignment guidelines) for upcoming assessments/exams were incomplete and action was taken by lecturers a week before and extensions were offered to students – College of Life and Natural Sciences

Deadlines

  • Deadlines have been moved to 11:59pm rather than earlier in the day as it gives more flexibility for students to complete the assessment – College of Life and Natural Sciences
  • A deadline for an assessment was on the last teaching day of the module resulting in the assessment being handed in before finishing the module. The lecturers were contacted, and the deadlines were moved to be more appropriate – Business, Law and Social Sciences.
  • Assessment deadlines were during the exam period and lecturers have now spread these out to reduce the stress that students were feelings – Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism

Curriculum Content and Resources

Curriculum Content

  • Content during lectures was being read off powerpoint slides and content was not being finished in time. Lecturers have now changed their strategies and more students are engaging with the sessions – Business, Law and Social Sciences.
  • To enhance subject knowledge, the class was being split into smaller groups and we fed back to the lecturers that this worked and now we can learn about four different eras in History whilst conducted research for one – Arts, Humanities and Education.
  • The content was not consistent across modules which caused confusion for students and now lecturers have the same layout across all modules – College of Health and Social Care

Resources

  • Masters students had issues with accessing course resources and timetables which was resolved due to an internal error and all students have the correct information – College of Life and Natural Sciences
  • The room was not fit for purpose and was impacting students’ learning and was moved to a far more useable room – College of Life and Natural Sciences
  • Union Living Room Buxton has been opened for students to access – Daniella Quill, Union President 19/20

Big Wins and Going Above & Beyond

Big Wins

  • A pilot was conducted of longer opening hours at One Friar Gate Square’s Blends for students who attended lectures in the evening – Rep Conference
  • Post Graduate Research fun has been increased to a total of £20,000 for the academic year 19/20 and eligibility has been extended to include a wider range of students – Post Graduate Research
  • Introduced coffee and tea for students at 20p per cup which students appreciate as drinks can be expensive in town – Arts, Humanities and Education

Going Above and Beyond

  • A report was written and delivered in a rep meeting to discuss how lectures and workshops have been running and it has been reviewed and implemented to help structure future classes for that module - Arts, Humanities and Education
  • Several discussion groups were held with students who were having similar issues, information was sought was lecturers and fed back to students to help ease their minds – Business, Law and Social Sciences
  • During the current pandemic, extra meetings were arranged to support students with up to date changes and provided information when needed – College of Health and Social Care

Placements and Extra Curricular Activities

Placements

  • Students were experiencing a range of mental health problems in regards to placement opportunities. It was sent to senior staff members to push for more efficient communication to take place – College of Health and Social Care
  • Students were concerned with the level of information they were being provided with so more information was gathered and posted on Teams and course resources – Arts, Humanities and Education
  • Students were worried that they would not have placements allocated until the last minutes and lecturers were able to place students in January ready for May – College of Health and Social Care
  • Miscommunications were occurring between placement sites and university staff members in which the university staff then liaised with placement opportunities and got clarification – College of Health and Social Care

Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Extra-curricular activities were not being sent out to foundation students and this has now been changed and offered to all years – Engineering and Technology
  • Students raised that they wanted more CPD (continuous professional development) opportunities to grow and develop so working alongside the Occupational Therapy Society, students had the chance to grow and learn – College of Health and Social Care
  • A noticeboard was put up in the sports hall to help students who participate in activities know the schedules and timetabling of their activities – Faye Davies, VP Activities 19/20
  • The Union launched a brand new volunteering platform to help students gain experience and skills – Daniella Quill, President 19/20
  • Inclusivity training was established for societies and sports clubs committee members – Faye Davies, VP Activities 19/20

Timetabling

Timetabling

  • Some lecturers were timetabled too close together causing issues for students who were commuting, and a review of the timetable is being considered – Arts, Humanities and Education
  • Online timetables do not always show the correct schedule and lecturers have been acting immediately and resolving the issues (resolved, but repeating issue)– Derby Business School
  • Timing of certain modules were discussed (not enough time between them), and lecturers acted immediately and changed the start times – Arts, Humanities and Education

Student Support

Student Support

  • Students felt stressed and overwhelmed during the placement allocation period so extra drop-in sessions were hosted for students to voice their concerns and support from lecturers – College of Health and Social Care
  • Students felt a formative (e.g. informal, guiding assessment) report before the final submissions would be beneficial and changes have been made for future students – College of Life and Natural Sciences
  • Frequently asked questions section to be added to the module handbook and assessment briefs for any students asking the same questions during lectures – College of Life and Natural Sciences
  • Students raised concerns that they were not receiving enough information to help with their personal learning and lecturers are now giving personal and extra support – Arts, Humanities and Education
  • There were not enough bookable slots in the library and the course leader raised this with staff and was informed to report any issues and to book slots in advance to ensure availability – College of Health and Social Care
  • Free sanitary products were provided to students across all sites – Samira Mensah, VP Welfare 19/20
  • Feedback guides were created and handed out to lots of students helping them to distinguish between formative and summative assessments and lots of useful tools that they can use – Mel Welaratne, VP Education 19/20