Fri, August 23, 2019 - 17:16

Course Rep Handbook




Firstly, a note from Isobel, your President of Education.

“We want you to enjoy your time as a Course Representative! We are committed to providing a scheme that gives you the opportunities to join in, speak up and be more.

This guide takes you through all you need to know; time commitments, responsibilities and key duties that you’ll undertake as well as explaining what we, as a Students’ Union, will do for you.

To make sure you are fully enrolled into the Course Representative scheme you’ll need to:


  1.     Select a date to kick-start your welcome training! Meet the people you’ll be working with for the next year and get the lowdown on what it’s like being a Course Rep by hearing from some of our past and present reps. Get introduced to key people you need to know for the upcoming year, including myself (President of Education), our Student Voice Manager, our Education Co-ordinators and Faculty Staff.

    We’ll take you through the ‘101’ of being a Course Rep and provide you with the itinerary for the event along with a welcome pack.

  1.     Join our online community! Our Facebook community for enrolled Course Reps is where you can find out the latest news including training dates, key events and our tips and tricks for success. It will also be handy for posting yourself - whether it’s to look for advice, sharing what has worked well for you, or simply connecting with other Course Reps.

Facebook not your thing? We’ll send you monthly round-ups directly to your inbox.

All that’s left to say is thank you for your courage in stepping up to represent your fellow students - it is massively rewarding and really is a role like no other. I look forward to meeting you at Welcome Training!”


Social media and email links

Isobels Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/isobel.hall.712
Isobels Twitter - https://twitter.com/HUUEducation
Email address - HUU Education <[email protected]>

The Course Representative scheme is a leadership programme for dedicated students that teaches and encourages the importance of representation, feedback and communication between students and the University.


One of the ways that this is facilitated is through key meetings each trimester - putting you in the same room as the people who make the big decisions. Dates of these can be found below:


Please see the ‘Meeting’ section below for more information about meetings.


The Student Voice Team are also there to support and coach you through your role. Each Faculty is assigned to an Education Coordinator - you will be informed who is aligned to your faculty at welcome training.

Your journey as a Course Rep starts here, where you will develop the skills and learn the tools required to represent students effectively. You must complete your Welcome Training, delivered by Hull University Union, before you are confirmed as a Course Rep.


Training will cover the following topics:


- Gathering feedback effectively

- Student-Staff Forums and participation

- Guidance on chairing a SSF

- Course Rep Forums and participation

- Dates of all the events you need to attend in 2018-19

- Events to network with key members of staff

The compulsory meetings are your time to speak up and be the voice of students.


If you cannot attend a scheduled meeting you must send your apologies, along with details of anything you wish to be discussed, to the relevant contact. For Student-Staff Forums this will be the secretary, and for Course Rep Forums you can email: [email protected].


Student-Staff Forums (SSFs)


SSFs take place twice per trimester, unless stated otherwise. They allow you to pass the views of students to University staff and fellow students. The forum will be minuted by a member of university administrative staff, acting as secretary, and any topic that requires further action will be discussed and added to the Action Register. The register is a transcript of issues brought to attention and details the person responsible, the deadline and the action taken.


The date, time and location will be confirmed by email prior to your Student-Staff Forum, and the agenda will be sent to you in advance.


The five core topics for discussion at Student-Staff Forums are:


- Teaching and learning opportunities

- Learning resources

- Organisation and management

- Academic support and academic support tuition

- Assessment and feedback


Course Rep Forums


Lead by the President of Education, this is a chance to learn and develop in your role as a Course Rep. It will offer support and networking opportunities as well as open discussion, both positive and negative, about academic issues.


There will be five Course Rep Forums taking place in: November, December, February, March and April/May.


In each of these months there will be three sessions available: two face-to-face forums, one daytime and one evening, plus an evening online forum for those unable to attend in person.


Refreshments will be provided so come along to meet other reps over tea, coffee and cake.


There may also be guest speakers invited to talk to you about a specific topic that has regularly been highlighted by students or provide updates on relevant projects.



To assist you in your role, here are a few pointers for the various stages of your role, as identified in the Communication Cycle below.


In brief, how does it work?


Before an SSF: (Check box graphics to be added)


- Gather feedback from your cohort of students - this can be done in the way that best suits you and the structure of your course.

- Review the feedback - is it all relevant and how will you present it? Think about potential solutions and check if students have suggestions when you gather feedback.

- Review the previous SSF’s minutes – you should have received these beforehand.

- If you are unsure of anything, have you checked with staff, your Subject Rep or Hull University Union?

- Keep your Subject Rep updated on any issues you are dealing with and progress made at the catch up meetings arranged by them.

On the day of your SSF:

- Arrive in good time at the prearranged time and place. Remember, this is an official meeting. Unsure of the location? Check the map here.

- Take all of your prepared notes along with you.

- Introduce yourself to others prior to the start of the meeting to make yourself more comfortable.

- During discussion, refer to the relevant module or programme and not an individual staff member.

- Be positive, constructive, assertive, respectful and honest.

After your SSF:


- Once you have received the completed minutes of the SSF, share the outcomes with your peers. By doing this they can understand the role of SSFs in their university experience and know that their voice is being heard.

- Continue to gather feedback and be aware of the task progress that were added to the Action Register, where necessary.

- Talk to your Subject Rep or Education Coordinator at Hull University Union if you have any questions regarding the procedure of SSFs or gathering feedback.

How to Gather Feedback:


The main part of your role is to speak and listen to students on your course and make note of the feedback they have. This should be done in a way that suits both you and your course.

Ways you could do this:


- Send emails to your cohort, but be aware that students already receive plenty.

- Create surveys or polls using tools such as Survey Monkey.

- Shout-out to students in a lecture or leave post-it notes on desks, but make sure that you have asked your lecturer first.

- Social media e.g. a Facebook group for your cohort.

- Arrange meetings and catch ups with students or have a drop-in session

- Leave a comments box in a communal area.


Things to note...


You are not limited to the meetings organised. If you have issues that you want to raise, you can contact staff members outside of meeting times. Remember, you are part of one of the largest and most highly respected communities on campus - you have influence and are able to campaign on the issues that matter most to you.


Get in touch with your Subject Rep, Faculty Rep or the President of Education if you need any help, advice, support or want to start a campaign. Find their details on the Other Reps section.


All necessary materials and dates for meetings will be added to the Course Rep Canvas module, which you will have access to.

To find a list of your fellow Course Representatives, click here to login and access a full list.


Here is what some Course Representatives had to say about their experiences:


Education Coordinators


The Education Coordinators are part of the Student Voice Team and are your main contacts at Hull University Union, there to support and coach you through your role.


Each Education Coordinator is aligned with a faculty.


Benedict Greenwood - Education Coordinator for the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education (FACE), and the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE). Contact via [email protected].


Fran Murray, Education Coordinator for the Faculty of Business, Law and Politics (FBLP), and the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). [email protected] .  


Subject Representatives


Subject Representatives are effectively Course Rep leaders - there to support you in your role and work with you to ensure that your feedback is heard. There will be at least one Subject Rep per subject whose responsibility it is to chair your SSFs, training will be given to you to do this in the absence of your Subject Rep. They’ll give you opportunities to keep updated with issues and progress in your subject area, through regular catch ups or a social media group.


Faculty Representatives


Your Faculty Representatives have been appointed through application and interview process, and represent you and the student voice at faculty level by attending faculty board meetings as well as union council and all education zone meetings. They provide the university and the union with crucial feedback that has been gathered through regular meetings with Subject Reps.


They are there to support and inform you, offer guidance and leadership and to build strong relationships with all academic representatives, faculty staff and union staff.

You are not trained to offer advice on how to deal with issues such as finance, housing or health. However, there are qualified university and Hull University Union staff who are accessible to all students and ready to help.


This doesn’t mean that you should turn a student away, you can reassure them that you know where they can receive the best possible support.


Support can be given at the following services:


- Hull University Union Advice Centre, for Housing, Financial and Academic support

http://hullstudent.com/support/advice

- The University of Hull Student Wellbeing Service:

https://www.hull.ac.uk/choose-hull/student-life/student-support/looking-after-yourself/health-and-wellbeing.aspx

- The University of Hull Legal Advice drop in centre: https://www.hull.ac.uk/faculties/fblp/slp/more/legal-advice-centre.aspx


If you are not sure where a student can best be supported, please chat to your Education Coordinator.

Upon completion of the core requirements for your role, you will receive a certificate of achievement in recognition of the hard work you have done to make the student experience the best it can be.


These core requirements are:


- Completing your training


- Attending your SSFs


- Attending Course Rep Forums


Your attendance will be recorded and monitored throughout the year, but don’t worry, if you ever have any concerns you can email the President of Education  or the Student Voice Team .

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