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Student Success Partnership and the Faculty of Computing. Peter Chalk Associate Dean (Student Experience) Faculty of Computing and ex-AL UG Centre TB2 (2004-08) for PAA away day 16.6.10. Stories and Glories. FoC now has four 0.3 PAAs, since change in 2009, for 1,200 ug students in FoC

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student success partnership and the faculty of computing

Student Success Partnership and the Faculty of Computing

Peter Chalk

Associate Dean (Student Experience)

Faculty of Computing


ex-AL UG Centre TB2 (2004-08)

for PAA away day 16.6.10

stories and glories
Stories and Glories
  • FoC now has four 0.3 PAAs, since change in 2009, for 1,200 ug students in FoC
  • Before that, approx 12 or more at 0.1, tried to avoid smaller fractions
  • All four have been PAAs since 2004, mostly 0.2
  • Stability,
  • Accumulation of (transferrable) knowledge and experience,
  • Relationship with course administrator(s),
  • Research, or at least data-led.
changes in 2009
Changes in 2009
  • PAAs had a wide spread of courses
  • FoC asked course leaders to provide advice on course-specific issues, eg
    • equivalent modules
    • professional accreditation issues (CISCO)
    • default programmes, etc
  • Issues of Modules of Concern and Completion became very important to FoC in 2009/10
student success partnership was very timely
Student Success Partnership was very timely
  • “Feeling unhappy with just one of the three modules a first year student takes is often sufficient for some to drop out” (Draper 2008)
  • Draper, S. (2008) Tinto's model of student retention, web site, accessible at:
  • Tinto,V. (1975) ‘Dropout from Higher Education: A Theoretical Synthesis of Recent Research’, Review of Educational Research,45: 89-125.
ssp tb2 and foc
SSP – TB2 and FoC
  • Two meetings
  • Nov 2009 and March 2010 – issue of timing
  • Short intro then groups, by
    • course administrator
    • PAA
    • course leaders
  • Identify students who can be rescued, discuss issues (eg MoCs) etc – regularly – how?
example of course focussed meeting
Example of course-focussed meeting
  • “Student Success Partnerships: As the PAA for BIT/FDSc/Multimedia courses, I had a meeting with few course leaders within the Faculty of Computing on Wednesday 12 March 2010. The minutes of the meeting is attached herewith. I will enter the details of the meeting in the template you provided and send it to you next week.” (Email from PAA to PAA Co-ordinator)
extracts from minutes
Extracts from minutes

In this meeting, the course leaders ... have agreed to work alongside the PAA’s and CA’s on the following:

a) Be acquainted with the PAA and the CA of their respected courses

b) Publicise their office hours during the academic year

c) Help prepare the course handbook for the UG office and send the course structure to their PAA and CA at the beginning of the academic year and communicate any last minute changes

d) Organise and meet their students during Welcome week for a course introductory meeting and any other course related issues

extract 2
Extract 2

e) Liaise with the departmental timetabling person ... 

f) Modules that are obsolete or replaced are communicated immediately to their PAA and CA 

g) Notify the PAA and the CA of the students who are not attending by teaching week 3.

h) CL’s to request the list of academic probation students from their CA.

i) Notify the progress of the academic probation students work to the PAA and the CAA

final extract
Final extract

j) Deal with student pastoral issues ... channel to the relevant personnel/department ...

k) Advise students their module programmeplan for the following year (core, designate & elective choices)

l) Assist the PAA and CA on programme planning for complicated/ difficult cases

m) Liaise with module leaders for the problematic and non-attending students

n) Deal with student academic and non-academic issues at the course committee meeting.

another paa to cl email copied to paac ca and me
Another PAA to CL email (copied to PAAC/CA and me)
  • “Thank you  very much for participating in yesterday’s PAAs/CLs meeting. I found yesterday’s meeting quite fruitful. I would like you to thank you both for agreeing to see students who are  identified as academic failure by the university. As [the CL] suggested he will allocate a specific time to see these students and explain to them the seriousness of not fully engaging with their modules. You also suggested that students in need of further advice will be referred to me.”
issues raised by cls faculty
Issues raised by CLs & Faculty
  • Access to data
  • Push not pull
  • Course lists – role of UG office – regular updates to Mod Ldrs & Course Ldrs
  • Frequency of CL/PAA/CA meeting – how/ who organise?
  • New Dean met PAAs, discussed issues
  • PAA reports to TPC (or C Ldr meeting)
who is the key person missing
Who is the key person missing?
  • Module leader, perhaps, is key to the success of the SSP?
    • FoC away day 18 June, focus on completion and learning, teaching and assessment
    • ‘engagement’, including on-line
    • not just attendance in eVision
    • how address issue of absent students?
    • WD or engage? How?
concluding thoughts
Concluding thoughts
  • Tinto talks about ‘course cohesion’
  • Working as a team/ community
  • Involving all staff and students
  • Course experience crucial - holistically
  • How can SSP feedback into periodic review/ PEMs/ course and module logs...?
  • ‘Transition Teams’ – gear up for welcome week!