The Course Rep Guide De Montfort Studentsâ€&#x; Union 13/14
Contents – 3 - Key Contacts 6 - What’s the Role of a Course Rep? 9 – Where do I fit in to the system? 10 – Meetings you attend. 12 – Being the Best! 15 – What about Faculty Reps? 17 – Faculty Guides 19 – Art, Design and Humanities 21 – Business and Law 23 - Health and Life Sciences 25 – Technology
27 – DMU Staff 29 – Training Dates 30 - Accreditation 2
Key Contacts – Some of the key people to know who support you as Course reps will be:Caitlin Bloom – Caitlin is your Deputy President Education. She leads the union in all things academic. If you ever need some support or advice drop her an email or come in to the Students‟ Union to see her. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Atkins – Ben is the Student Engagement Coordinator at DSU. It is his role to help administer and support the course reps. He will also be running training and be the one who sends you useful information and guidance. If you keep a look out for emails from Ben, you won‟t go far wrong. Benjamin.email@example.com
Depending on your faculty you will receive meeting reminders, minutes and paperwork from a set contact. These can be found below, and more information is in the „Faculty Guides‟ towards the end! Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities Annmarie Mann (Amann@dmu.ac.uk) School of Nursing and Midwifery, Jacque Day or Wendy Norton
(Jday1@dmu.ac.uk or WNorton@dmu.ac.uk) Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Kally Blow (firstname.lastname@example.org) Faculty of Business and Law Maggie Coultas (Mcoultas@dmu.ac.uk) Faculty of Technology Marisa Haynes (email@example.com) For any issues that you don‟t feel comfortable dealing with, you should signpost them to contact the Students‟ Union Welfare Centre
themselves, the details are below. DSU, First Floor, Campus Centre Building, Tel: 01162 576307 Mon - Wed: 09.30 - 15.45 Thurs: 09.30 - 16.30 Fri: 13.00 - 15.45
Reps are strong advocates for the advancement of a quality learning experience at DMU.â€? Professor Andy Downton Pro vice Chancellor On Course Reps
So, you have stuck your neck out, put yourself forward and shouted out
„Fear not, I shall be your Course Rep‟ But what does it actually involve? Well, here is where our story begins.... “Okay then, what is a Course Rep?” A Course Rep is you, an extraordinary student who wants to be involved and at the front of making positive change to their course and their university experience. The Course Rep system exists to give all students at De Montfort University the means to voice their opinion - good or bad - on the standards and quality of the education they receive. It ensures that the University seek your views to help determine the future direction of your education. The system is split up into a few different roles, Course Reps, Faculty Reps and Student Reps. For now we will just talk about Course Reps. “So as a Course Rep, what‟s my Job?” An excellent question, in its simplest terms, your job is to speak to your course mates, all of them, not just ones you sit with and find out what they think about the course and university life. By doing this you can get find out about the good, the bad and the ugly of your course.
“That‟s all well and good, but what do I do with this knowledge” Another fantastic question, this is where you get to don your Course Rep cape and head to one of your termly meetings. As a Course Rep you have responsibility to attend your Programme Management Board (PMB) meetings and also Student Staff Consultative Committees (SSCC). They are not as scary as the sound I assure you. These are meetings where you get to sit down with key decision makers in your course along side other Course Reps and tell them what‟s what about your course. This might sound abit scary, but remember, no one in the world knows what its like to study your course but you and the students you represent. So use all that knowledge you have to make it the best course it can be. “Well, that sounds really interesting, but what kind of things will I have to talk about?” 3 exceptional questions! Are you actually a DMU student?! Of course I kid, but it‟s a great point. There are certain types of issues which are perfect for Course Reps and other which you can defer to other people. Here is a very basic way to understand what is within you role and what is not within your role.
Any issue which is academically based affects a large group of people and isn‟t involving sensitive data can be discussed at your SSCC meetings it is your job. It is your job to give this information to DSU so we can track these and make sure they get solved.
This role is vital and holds great importance in keeping your education quality Caitlin Bloom, Deputy President Education On Course Reps
If an issue involves a personal problem or is of a sensitive nature, you should signpost the student to Students‟ Union, this is not your job to solve.
If you are even unsure just let someone know and they will be able to help you. “Okay, I think I understand that. But where do I fit in?” As a Course Rep you are the coal in the steam engine that is Student Representation. You are speaking to real students and talking about real experiences. You bring this insight to SSCC and PMB meetings and help to shape the educational experience for your course. So issues that you raise might affect more than just your course, in this case, you would feed it up to the Faculty Reps. It‟s their role to take this information to similar types of meetings as you, but at a Faculty level. Still with us? Good. There will be some issues which will be too big for just the Faculty, these are university wide. That is why you have an Academic Board Rep and your Deputy President Education, Caitlin. It‟s their job to represent these issues at a university level. Academic Board is the highest level of academic decision making and can shape the institution as a whole. „Is there a role description then? That way I know what‟s expected of me?‟ Absolutely there is, but in a nutshell DSU expects you to...
Complete the basic training session and/or attend the annual Course Rep Conference. Attend at least 3 meetings a year. A SSCC, a PMB and a Better University Forum. To have conversations with your course mates to find out their experience and also feedback your experiences and outcomes from meetings you attend. To keep DSU in the loop with what you‟re doing, you can do this by filling in an online report form on the website once a month.
There is plenty of opportunity to be more involved with DSU and the Rep system, but those are the basic we expect in order to be a certified Course Rep. But you can find the job description online @ www.demontfortstudents.co.uk/getinvolved/reps „You Mentioned SSCCs and PMB meetings then... What are they?‟ SSCC‟s are meetings on your course and in your department. These are the key places you get to speak up and have your voice heard. You will get an email from your Faculty contact (who can be found at the front or in the Faculty Guides) letting you know when your meeting is and asking for any items for the agenda. The agenda is just the order in which issues are discussed. All you need to do is let them know what you want to talk about and turn up and talk. University staff really appreciate you feeding back like this, so the better quality the feedback, the more they can understand and develop the course.
The PMB is another type of meeting where you get to hear more about the running of your course and programme, ask questions are raise issues and also get feedback on changes which are being made. The key things to do for these meetings are:
Be prepared with evidence and discussion points but submitting them early. Speak up in the meetings; University staffs want to hear the thoughts of your course mates. Report issues that have been raised via the online feedback form to DSU. Report back to your class what you have discussed and any outcomes.
By attending these meetings and following those steps you will become a certified Course Rep at the end of the year, „Certified? So I get a certificate?‟ Absolutely! Here at DSU rewarding and recognising the effort you put is in crucial to us. This year it is possible to be a certified Course Rep just by doing the things we discussed earlier, however you have an opportunity to attend a series of other Course Rep related training sessions and events to become an even better course rep. These sessions will set you up with loads of skills to be a brilliant Course Rep but also transferable skills to make you an incredible graduate. So make sure you get involved.
We also host an end of year celebration which every course rep will be invited to, so keep your eyes open for that! „That all sounds brilliant, how do I make sure I am the best Rep I can be?‟ It‟s good to hear such enthusiasm from a new Rep! The best thing you can do is follow our... „Course Rep Super Star Check List‟ 1. Once you have registered as a Rep ask your tutor if you can introduce yourself to your class mates. Either by standing up and waving all crazy like or sending out an email. 2. Attend the DSU Course Rep Conference. This is an introduction to Repping, a chance to meet other Reps, quiz some university big wigs and elect your Faculty Reps. Sign up online! 3. Put your key dates in your calendar. By adding your meeting dates and other exciting events and sessions your calendar you won‟t rely on reminder emails and can be better prepared. 4. Speak to your students. This is the only way you will be a successful Course Rep. If your having trouble with this, check out our „Ways to be Amazing Guide‟ online. 5. “Always be prepared”. The scouts had this one down but you need to as well. By being prepared and
proactive for meetings you can really help to validate the points you are making, if you ever need help evidencing and issue just give us at DSU a shout. 6. Attend as much stuff as you have time for, because you can gain some great experience, meet loads of interesting people and can make an even bigger impact at DMU. 7. Every time you work on an issue, let DSU know. This only takes a minute and it‟s all done online. All you need to do is fill in the form online. That way we can help to support you. „So if I do all that, I‟ll be making De Montfort University a better place to be?‟ That‟s the general idea. By putting yourself forward to speak on behalf of students and giving up a few hours a term you will be making the experience for students here at DMU be better than ever. Your work is appreciated from everyone here at DSU and DMU from the timid 1st year getting excellent feedback on their coursework to the Vice Chancellor who‟s university is flying up the leagues tables due to its excellent academic experience you help create. „What if I want to be more involved in making positive change at DMU?‟ Well if you have the taste for improving the world then we have loads more ways for you to get involved. All you need to do is keep on reading...
A Guide to Faculty
Being a Faculty Rep involves a lot of the similar stuff as before, however with responsibility for an entire Faculty, with different meetings to attend and different roles to fulfil. „Well this sounds really interesting, how do I become a Faculty Rep?‟ In order to become a Faculty Rep you must attend the annual Course Rep Conference. This is an afternoon event held on the 23rd October. This is where we give every Course Rep an introduction to being a Rep and offer a day of networking, training and discussion about the year ahead. This is also where we hold the Faculty Rep elections. What you need to do is decide you want to put yourself forward to be a Faculty Rep, stand up and say why you would make a good Faculty Rep and then the students at the conference will vote for you, if they think you would be a good rep. „Okay, I can do that, what makes me different from a Course Rep?‟ Well, firstly you would be one of the key representatives for your Faculty; in total we elect 6 Faculty Reps per Faculty. Your job is to speak and support your Course Reps, gather their feedback and issues and when they are relevant take them to 3 types of meeting. These are FACs, FLTCs and Student Councils. FAC stand for Faculty Academic Committee. This is where Faculty wide issues are discussed with senior members of
Faculty staff such as the Dean. You would attend this meeting with a member of the DSU Executive. You can find out which in the Faculty Guide at the back of the booklet. They will help you prepare for the meeting and support you in raising any issues or topics you wish. Near the time of the meeting they will contact you and meet you for a coffee and a chat about the meeting so you‟re happy to attend. FLTCs are Faculty Learning and Teaching Committees, its main focus is to set and discuss the Faculty‟s strategy for learning, teaching and assessment. So quite a big deal, again you will be support by a member of the DSU Exec to make sure you can have meaningful impact on the meeting. Student Council is a level of decision making and prioritising committee within DSU. It decides how the Students‟ Union uses its resources and chooses what projects and campaigns to run. At these meetings you get to discuss ideas and plans with other students and ultimate decide what and how the Union does what it does. This is really exciting as not only are you making big exciting things happen, you are also making sure your elected Executive Officers are doing their job. As this meeting you can ask question about the Union, about work plans or projects and find out what‟s going on. The thing to remember is your Executive Officers work for you, so you get to make sure they are doing a good job. „That sounds pretty high level stuff! Is there any extra training sessions for me?‟ We wouldn‟t leave you high and dry! Have you not realised that yet? We‟ll offer an extra training session for all Reps
after the conference. We will also arrange for you to have a conversation with the Dean of your Faculty and the Pro Vice Chancellor on a termly basis. You will be fully supported throughout this process by your Deputy President Education, the Student Engagement Coordinator and a host of Executive Officers, DMU & DSU staff and Course Reps. This is a fantastic opportunity to input into high level decision making in your Faculty and shape the academic future for students.
Fancy leading De Montfort Studentsâ€&#x; Union? Ask your Executive Officers about how 16 they did it.
The Course Rep system exists to give all students at De Montfort University the means to
Voice their opinions
Welcome to the Faculty Guides These are for information about your Faculty, so key contacts a who‟s who of support and anything else which is useful. Let‟s begin with you Creative types then shall we?
Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities This is for all you cool and creative types, your lead Executive Officer is the Incredible Sarah Lister; she is your Vice President Welfare. As the Executive Officer for your Faculty it‟s her job to support the Faculty Reps in all their meetings and make sure that everything is working as it should. This is Barbara Matthews, She is Dean of your Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and the key decision maker, you will hopefully see her about and she will be the one with her ear to the ground listening to all your feedback to help develop the Faculty and the student experience for you. She will chair some of the meetings you may be involved in. You will also receive emails from Annmarie Mann (Amann@dmu.ac.uk). Her role is to be the Faculty Course Rep Coordinator. She will keep you up to date on your meeting dates and any papers you may require. So if you see an email from her, you know it‟s important.
Faculty of Business and Law If you‟re an aspiring Lawyer, Wall Street Banker or Manager in the making, you have the pleasure of working with Ian Warrington as your lead Officer. Ian is El Presidente and the leader of the Students‟ Union. He will be on hand to assist in making the student voice as loud and clear as possible.
This is Professor David Wilson; this outstanding gentleman is the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law and also the Deputy Vice Chancellor. He handles all of the business and academic side of your Faculty and is keen to keep the Faculty at the cutting edge. To do this he needs your feedback to help shape the future for DMU and Business and Law. You will also receive emails from Maggie Coultas (Mcoultas@dmu.ac.uk ). Her role is to be the Faculty Course Rep Coordinator. She will keep you up to date on your meeting dates and any papers you may require. So if you see an email from her, you know it‟s important.
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences For all the life savers, societal researchers and brain boxes you have the dashing Chris Mutton as your Faculty lead. He is your Vice President Student Activities. As the key office contact for your Faculty he will support your Faculty Reps and make sure that your voices get heard by the right people. This is Professor Mandy Ashton, she is the Dean of Health and Life Sciences. As your Dean she is responsible for all the business going on and will be waiting for all your thoughts, ideas and excitement to be past up to her by your Reps, Faculty Reps and Executive Officers. You will hopefully see her about and have a chance to ask her some questions at the Course Rep Conference. You will also receive emails from Kally Blow (firstname.lastname@example.org ). Her role is to be the Faculty Course Rep Coordinator. She will keep you up to date on your meeting dates and any papers you may require. So if you see an email from her, you know itâ€&#x;s important. If you are in the school of Nursing and Midwifery, you will have a slightly different approach. This is because we realise that you will be out and about all over the place saving lives and doing what you do best, so you will be contacted by Jacqui Day or Wendy Norton (Jday1@dmu.ac.uk or WNorton@dmu.ac.uk)
Faculty of Technology Now for all you techno heads, building your holograms and designing clever computer programmes to outsource your Rep jobs! I think not! Your Studentsâ€&#x; Union Executive Officer is Alice Wilson; she is the wonderful Vice President Media and Communication. It is her job to support the Faculty Rep in all there meetings and make sure that everything is working as it should.
This is Professor Andy Collop, He is the Dean of the Faculty of Technology you will hopefully see him about and he will be popping his head out of the trench to capture all your feedback to help develop the Faculty and the student experience for you. He will also be involved in some of your Faculty meetings. You will also receive emails from Marisa Haynes (email@example.com). Her role is to be the Faculty Course Rep Coordinator. She will keep you up to date on your meeting dates and any papers you may require. So if you see an email from her, you know itâ€&#x;s important.
„So that‟s who‟s out to help me?‟
Exactly, if you also count Professor Dominic Shellard, the Vice Chancellor.
Andy Downton, the Pro Vice Chancellor...
And the entire Students‟ Union.
Last year DSU recruited over 400 Course Representatives across the University.
For support involving the course rep system, help or advice with anything you should contact DSUs Student Engagement Coordinator, Ben Atkins. You can email him Benjamin.firstname.lastname@example.org, ring him 0116 255 5576 or come and see him on the 1st floor of the Campus Centre in room 1.16. Ben is here to help you with anything from the smallest question to the large problem. Everyone is here to support you and make sure your experience as a Course Rep is the best it can be. So if you are ever in doubt just log onto the website, have a look round, come into the Union or drop us an email. Remember your first points of contact should be either Caitlin, Ben or your Faculty Rep „I think I‟m starting to understand... Can you tell me all the dates I need to know then?‟ We can‟t tell you all of them now, as some of the meetings haven‟t been decided yet, these will get sent to your university email inbox, so make sure you check it regularly. However the first and important dates you need to know are... Course Rep Conference – This starts at 13.30pm on Wednesday the 23rd of October on the 2rd floor of the Campus Centre. Make sure you register online; this will encompass your training and some really exciting workshops. Sign up here – https://dsucourserepcon.eventbrite.co.uk/
If you can‟t make it to the conference, make sure you attend one of the catch up sessions between 28th October and 31st October. Ever rep has to complete the training, times and rooms can be found below. There is also two other sessions you can attend to improve your Course Rep Knowledge. Each session is only an hour long. Monday October 28th 10am – 11am – HU.1.49 – Course Rep Catch Up Training 1pm – 2pm – HU 1.49 – Your First Meeting 5pm – 6pm HU 1.49 – Communication 101 Tuesday October 29th 10am – 11am EM 6.11 – Communication 101 1pm – 2pm HU 1.47 – Course Rep Catch Up Training 5pm – 6pm HU 1.47 – Your First Meeting Wednesday October 30th 10am – 11am HU 1.51 – Your First Meeting 5pm – 6pm HU 1.51 – Course Rep Catch Up Training Thursday October 31st 10am – 11am – EM 6.11 – Your First Meeting 1pm – 2pm HU 1.51 – Communication 101 5pm – 6pm HU 1.49 – Course Rep Catch Up Training
If you cannot attend any of these sessions please get in touch with DSU as it is crucial you attend at least the „Course Rep Catch Up Training‟ There will be options for further Training throughout the year, watch your Student emails for more info.
„And finally, how do I go about making sure I get my certificate?‟ As we said early, you are expected to attend meetings. At these meetings you will just need to sign in to show you were there and contributed. We will also need you to prove you have spoken to students across the year... This can be anything! A photo of a notebook with feedback in it, a copy of emails or a screenshot from a facebook group. Just something that tell us you have spoken to students. Finally we need you to write a little 500 word reflective piece on being a Course Rep. This should be completed between February and May. You will be able to upload of all of this onto the DSU website to avoid any annoying paperwork going missing or what have you. “Anything else I need to know before I start my exciting journey into Course and Faculty Representation?” If you keep your eyes on your student email address for reminders, news letters and other exciting information and attend the Course Rep Conference and training you will be fully prepared for starting your adventure. Good luck and we look forward to working with you.
The DSU Team.