Groups of student reps give better feedback

Kingston scheme encourages feedback from all types of undergraduates

June 27, 2013

Appointing up to five student representatives per course improves the quality of feedback by giving a voice to different types of undergraduates, a study suggests.

Instead of electing a single course representative at the start of the year, students at Kingston University’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing were this year invited to put themselves forward to work in a group to represent their classmates’ views.

The change has vastly increased student representation within the faculty as many less-confident students and more from minority groups have stepped forward to get involved in the student feedback process, staff claim.

“If you’ve only been at university a few weeks, it takes someone really brave to stand up in front of a class and say, ‘I want to be your student rep,’ ” said Lucy Jones, the faculty’s associate dean. “You can now see a real mix in the type of student doing this, rather than the typical type of student who tended to take part.”

The scheme also helped to improve students’ presentation skills and self-confidence: five student representatives from the study’s first year won sabbatical officer roles next year.

Among them is Denza Gonsalves, who was recently elected Kingston’s first female students’ union president in 12 years.

Producing future student leaders is a welcome but unintended outcome, said Michelle Morgan, a learning and teaching coordinator who set up the scheme originally to improve academic feedback.

Many students with high workloads were previously put off by the extra work involved in being a student rep, and many did not consider themselves to be leaders.

“Being a course rep is not necessarily about being a leader, but developing skills in lots of different areas,” said Ms Morgan, who will present findings from the pilot study at the Higher Education Academy’s annual conference at the University of Warwick on 3-4 July.

“Some very unassuming students might become excellent course representatives,” she said.

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Microlight pilot flies with flock of cranes

Reports of UK-based researchers already thinking of moving overseas after Brexit vote

Portrait montage of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

From Donald Trump to Brexit, John Morgan considers the challenges of a new international political climate