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Student Academic Representative (StARs) Scheme Training 2013-14

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Student Academic Representative (StARs) Scheme Training 2013-14. Please sign the register and take a seat. What today’s session will cover. StARs scheme at London Met Welcome & Ice-breaker Quality Assurance Role of a StAR? Advice and support Make yourself known Feedback

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student academic representative stars scheme training 2013 14

Student Academic Representative (StARs) Scheme Training 2013-14

Please sign the register and take a seat

what today s session will cover
What today’s session will cover

StARs scheme at London Met

  • Welcome & Ice-breaker
  • Quality Assurance
  • Role of a StAR?
  • Advice and support
  • Make yourself known
  • Feedback
  • Identifying & dealing with issues
  • Course Committee meetings
  • Campaigning and taking action
  • Communication hints and tips
  • Evaluation Form
ice breaker
  • Form a circle in alphabetical order of the town or city you were born in
  • Introduce yourself to the group and state name, course and town/city
  • State why you decided to become a StAR?
stars getting started
StARs: Getting Started
  • University expects faculties to have StARs for each year of each course
  • StARs to attend Course Committee meetings and liaise with Course Leaders and other academics throughout the year
  • 4-7 Faculty StARs per faculty elected to the Student Council
  • StARs are there to represent students on academic based issues effecting the course, cluster or faculty
quality assurance agency
Quality Assurance Agency
  • The QAA is a quality ‘Watchdog’ which ensures that courses delivered in UK Universities were of an appropriate standard and that a good quality education was being offered
  • The Quality Enhancement Unit at London Met is there to keep the Universities Quality Framework and work to make sure the high quality of teaching
  • The Quality Enhancement Unit are VERY keen to work with StARs from all faculties of London Met. StARs provide some of the most useful feedback
  • Catherine Connor, Head of Quality Enhancement Unit
  • Habib Rahman, Deputy Head of QEU,
stars advice and support
StARs: Advice and support
  • StARs Handbook
  • StARs Weblern organisation (one per faculty)
  • Students’ Union website:

  • NUS Connect Course Rep website:

  • QAA/NUS Quality Matters website (includes on-line training)

  • London Met Metranet (for faculty and University information)

stars officer staff contacts
StARs: Officer & staff contacts
  • SU Education & Academic Affairs Officer:
    • Md Monir Hossain
  • Students’ Union faculty attached Sabbatical officers:
    • FSSH: Mohammad Obaidullah <>
    • CASS: Adnan Pavel <>
    • FLB: Md Monir Hossain <>
    • FLSC: Raju Ali <>
  • Students’ Union staff:
    • Eddie Rowley, Liaison & Quality Coordinator
  • Faculty StAR staff contact points:
    • FBL - Andrew Halford
    • CASS - Cecile Tschirhart
    • FLSC - Peter Chalk
    • FSSH - Sheila Lodge
1 what is the role of a star
1. What is the role of a StAR?

Understand the role of a StAR

Group Activity 1

role of a star
Role of a StAR

To represent students views and opinions on all matters relating to teaching and learning in an effort to continuously improve the student learning experience in partnership with the institution and Students’ Union.

  • Identify issues on the ground
  • Raise issues and concerns with Faculty
  • Notify course mates or developments and opportunities
  • Provide feedback (positive and negative) to faculty
  • Build strong working-relationship with Course Leader etc
  • Be consulted by faculty on relevant issues and contribute to development and strategy of faculty.
making yourself known
Making yourself known

How can you make yourself known as a StAR?

making yourself known1
Making yourself known

Introduce yourself to your class mates and make regular announcements in class ‘lecture shout-outs’

Collect the names and emails of the student on your course and email them

Work with the Sabbatical officers and Faculty StARs

Join StARs AT LONDON MET face-book group

Use the Weblearn organisation and discussion group

Carry out a survey or questionnaire to find out what students think

Ask in your Faculty if you can use a notice board or part of a notice board to publicise yourself

Communicate information your receive from the Students’ Union, University, National Union of Students (NUS) and other external student focused organisations

Make friends and work in partnership with other StARs in your faculty

Communicate with the StARs doing the same course as you but in different years, work together!


What areas could you feedback on?

  • Teaching on the course
  • Style and delivery skills of academics
  • Assessments (exams and coursework)
  • Academic feedback from lecturers
  • Academic support
  • Learning resources (such as the Library, Weblearn)
  • Organisation and management of your course / University experience
  • Personal development
  • Mitigating circumstances / appeals
  • General University Services
  • University estate, IT and other services
2 identifying issues
2. Identifying Issues


Group Activity 2 instruction sheet

Scenario Cards

Flowchart (next slide)

Group Activity 2

ways to tackle issues
Ways to tackle issues
  • Judge if the issue is one for a StAR or not to deal with
  • Discuss with other StARs, Faculty StARs, Sabbatical Officers
  • See if other students feel it is an issue?
  • Is the issue widely felt, deeply felt and winnable?
  • Informal chat with relevant staff member (informal resolution of issue is usually preferable
  • Ask for a formal meeting if required
  • Raise at course committee meetings
  • Raise with staff StARs contacts (see slide number 7)
  • Ask Faculty StARs to raise them Raise at Faculty Academic Board and UGPG Committee
  • Email or write a letter, ask others to put their name to it.
  • If no satisfactory response consider starting a campaign
course committee structure
Course Committee Structure
  • Course Committees usually meet x2 a semester
  • 2 or 3 StARs usually attend
  • Course Leader is the chair
  • Consider teaching and administrative issues surrounding the course
  • Should consider student issues and concerns
  • Library and others external to the dept may be present
  • Quality coordinator may attend
  • Minutes are included in Course Logs and should be reviewed by Faculty managers
course committee preparation
Course Committee Preparation

What should you do before, during and after a course committee meeting?

Use group activity 2 hand out

10 minutes

Group Activity 2

before the course committee meeting
Before the Course Committee meeting:
  • Meet Course Leader beforehand so they can let you know what to expect
  • Read the agenda, be aware what is and is not on it.
  • Make sure you have identified the issues you wish to raised and have feedback from your class mates to back it up
  • If you have an complicated issue to raise or and have research/evidence to produce e.g. survey, emails from course mates send them to the Course Leader before the committee meeting so they have a chance to digest the issue.
  • Liaise with other StARs who may attend (ask you Course Leader to put you in touch or look on the SU website)
  • Speak to your Faculty Sabbatical Officer, ask them to come along with you
  • Makes sure you know where the meeting is and be on time. Being late will not help your cause!
during the course committee meeting
During the Course Committee meeting:
  • Listen
  • Raise hand to speak
  • Raise you issues clearly and concisely
  • Present any evidence you have
  • Don’t be confrontational, work in partnership
  • Take notes, ask for clarification if you are not sure what is being said
  • Remembers to note down action points
  • If you don’t understand a term used, ask!
  • At the end of the meeting clarify the decisions taken and when they are to be actioned (this prevents drift)
  • Confirm the date of the next meeting. Request a follow-up meeting to deal with a specific issues if required.
  • Make sure the Secretary has your email
after the course committee meeting
After the Course Committee meeting:
  • If other StARs present have a debrief straight away
  • Write up you notes and action points right away
  • Feedback to your course mates and the Students’ Union ASAP
  • If you are not happy with the conduct of the meeting then speak to another academic in your faculty and express your concern
  • Provide any constructive criticism you have of the committee to the Faculty
campaigning taking action
Campaigning & taking action

Sometimes you may have a widely felt, deeply felt and winnable issue which you can’t make any real progress on. In this situation you may decide to launch a campaign and take some action.

In this situation you should discuss with the Students’ Union officers. They, along with Students’ Union staff can assist you in launching the campaign.

campaigning taking action1
Campaigning & taking action

Contact and work with the Students’ Union, who have the resources to run an effective campaign. Running campaigns and taking action is a whole topic in its own right, but here are a few hints:

  • Use SMART targets!
  • Gather data. Learn the reasoning for the decision, always remain open-minded.
  • Ask Student Reps on board of Governors, Academic Board etc to formally raise the issue
  • Read and critique the rationale for the decision you are campaigning against. Can you successfully challenge the (business) case
  • Organise meetings
  • Email campaign
  • Use social networking: facebook, twitter etc
  • Work with allies: Other StARs, academics, NUS, Students, other Students’ Unions, Local MPs, Staff Unions (UNISON, UCU - is there common ground?)
  • Press and Media
  • Lobbies and protests
any questions
Any questions?

Contact details: