On Tuesday 30th January 2018, WGSU held its first ever Course Rep Conference in the Students’ Lounge. The event was attended by over 40 course reps and the day proved to be a big success! Conference kicked off with opening remarks from WGSU President Travis Davies who thanked the reps for their dedication to the role and identified positive changes that happened in the first semester as a result of course reps working in partnership with WGU.
Vice President Angus Hamill – Stewart then took to the floor to discuss the importance of using the mechanisms to feedback such as the online tool Tell Glyn and the signposting tool Ask Glyn. He reminded students of how to utilise Tell Glyn to its full potential and encourage those who were unsure of how to use it to contact Representation and Democracy Co-ordinator, Marc Caldecott.
Conference then welcomed Ruth Hodgkinson and Rachel from the University’s Inclusion team who informed course reps of the new Student Services structure and where reps could signpost students depending on the issue. Emphasis was placed on the new ASK desk, similar to a one stop shop where students can go to if they are unsure where to turn.
Before lunch WGU’s Ben Kibble-Smith and WGSU’s Codie Wright highlighted the ‘what’s New WGU?’ campaign and stressed the importance of course reps utilising this campaign to inform students of all the positive changes that have been made as a result of student feedback. They then moved on to the National Student Survey and encouraged reps to promote this amongst the student body.
After lunch (free may we add!), the focus was on group activities and was an opportunity for students to meet their elected WGSU officers and their School Reps. Students were asked to design a course from scratch and identify what their expectations were when they arrived at WGU? They were then asked to identify any aspect of their expectations that were missing. This proved valuable, especially for the School Reps who are able to feed this into School Boards.
Feedback from course reps was provided throughout the day as they were encouraged to leave post it notes on flipcharts at the back of the room which fell into categories such as Learning & Teaching and Assessment & Feedback to name a few. This feedback has been passed on to the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Associate Heads of School and the relevant operational departments.
The final session of the day was an address from WGU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Claire Taylor who inspired course reps with her talk of a new vision for WGU and the campus 2025 strategy. Professor Taylor took a number of questions from course reps which ranged from transport for students to Sustainability on campus.
Travis Davies, WGSU President said “the day was a huge success. The participation from course reps in the activities was incredible. I was delighted with the amount of feedback and suggestions that came through. With the Deputy Vice Chancellor in attendance, and the open dialogue between her and students only demonstrated that students are truly partners at this institution. Feedback from course reps suggested that they gained valuable knowledge from the conference. One course rep even asked for one to be held monthly. We certainly need to be doing these more than once a year but in terms of doing it monthly, I’m not sure the organiser Marc Caldecott would agree!”
Check out the presentation from the day here.