Improving the Efficiency of SSLCs
Several Schools have taken steps to make SSLCs more productive, in order that complex issues can be brought to the meeting for discussion.
- The School of Veterinary Medicine contacts class reps at least two weeks prior to the SSLC meeting, asking them to send any items requiring support, or any questions students might wish to be addressed at the meeting. By doing this they can very often have answers in time for the meeting. Each item is still tabled at the meeting with the responses and solutions. Students do not have to wait until after the meeting for actions to be taken. The School find that the meetings take less time and run more efficiently.
- The School of Geographical and Earth Sciences has a “pre-meeting” with each class to decide who will attend and what is discussed at the meeting with any unresolved issues going to the main SSLC meeting and being added to the agenda.
- In the School of Engineering, support staff will solicit issues from reps and assemble “minutes” ahead of each meeting for discussion between both. These are then sent to other staff for comment to see if any can be resolved. Anything outstanding from these pre-discussions are covered plus any additional cases.
- Within Culture and Creative Arts, Theatre Studies also take similar steps. The meeting organiser will contact class representatives for points to raise at the meeting for clarification, or to try and solve before the SSLC takes place, particularly on staff specific issues. History of Art will circulate action points from undergraduate meetings prior to the next meeting and will discuss at the start to provide updates.
- In the School of Psychology, class representatives will meet one another in year groups from Year 1 to Postgraduate Research students so that they can share key issues across the year group which proves useful as the School sits across different colleges within the university
Additional Meetings with Class Reps
Many schools have added additional meetings beyond SSLCs to ensure regular feedback is given and to reinforce the importance of class representatives giving feedback.
The School of Psychology’s course leads for Year 1 and Year 2 students meet with class representatives on a weekly or fortnightly basis to collect informal feedback and the Adam Smith Business School have these informal regular meeting across different year groups.
For Honours students, the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences run fortnightly small meetings for students with the class head to gather feedback and to encourage students to participate in the National Student Survey.
Using Class Representatives Beyond SSLCs
As well as engaging class representatives with Student Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs), Culture and Creative Arts also use these students to help improve the School in other ways. Class representatives help staff to engage with students better by giving guidance or reaching out to students on staff’s behalf. Class representatives also help the school run competitions that help to improve the idea of a learning community within in the school as a way to improve the School’s rating in this section of the National Student Survey.
The School of Psychology uses class representatives beyond SSLC’s by involving them when the School is within an accreditation year by giving feedback and helping get other students involved. Psychology also involves class reps in improving policies and procedures.
Additional Opportunities for Class Reps
Although the class representative role provides students with new skills and the opportunity to feed back and improve learning and teaching for fellow students, some schools have provided additional opportunities for students to either develop or learn from each other.
The School of Engineering gives their class reps the chance to chair SSLC meetings in order to give them chairing experience. The school has noted this is usually taken up more by undergraduate students despite this also being offered at postgraduate taught meetings.
Within the Adam Smith Business School, they ran a welcome event for reps that had key staff in attendance to give overview of the role and the expectations the school had for representatives completing their role. They also had more experienced class representatives share tips to new representatives and the SRC School Representative in attendance to build strong links between reps and the SRC. The school also planned to have a meeting with class reps in March to collect feedback on their experience.