“Something I was particularly proud of achieving was creating pharmacology revision podcasts along with a group of other students to provide better resources for a module that had been reported as being poorly resourced. I was really happy to do something practical and help fill in a demand that had been fed back at multiple meetings, but which the department leads did not have the time to create.”
– A Medical School Rep
“Some students on my course mentioned that the math and coding level on one module was too high based on students’ previous academic background. We raised this at an SSCC meeting and the module tutor added extra learning material and Q&A sessions which was very helpful.”
– BASc Rep
“One of our priorities was reducing course costs for equipment, books, facilities etc. There are now changes in the works for next year, for example a system of higher year students giving their books from completed modules to lower years thereby eliminating costs for students.”
– SELCS Rep
“We noticed that most of our colleagues struggled to find a research project so we are working with our course director to make animated videos providing students with a variety of suggestions/advice on how to secure a research project coming from both former students and supervisors.”
– Institute of Neurology Rep
“As a rep, I really enjoyed organising student-led tutoring sessions. They meant we could take advantage of our classmates’ strengths and learn together to grasp difficult concepts.”
– Institute of Neurology Rep
“Together with another student, I founded the Political Cognition seminar series, which connects staff and students through open seminars on politics and cognitive science.”
– Brain Sciences Rep
“We designed and created accessible spaces on Moodle where students can discuss and share thoughts on specific journals and papers, as well as arrange opportunities to meet up face-to-face and talk about interpretations and central themes.”
– Brain Sciences Rep
“After discussions with the Course Director and the Bartlett Library, we have increased the number of books available for core modules. This will allow more students to access the necessary material for sufficient time over busy periods.”
– Bartlett School of Planning Rep
“I have worked in partnership with the Life Sciences society to formulate a document about what to expect from different research supervisors. Many students have asked for this over the years, as choosing a supervisor from a list of names - not really knowing what they are like, is extremely daunting and may affect your grade if your learning style doesn’t ‘mesh well’ with your supervisors teaching style. We decided to conduct an anonymous survey of students and created a list using their responses”
– Life Sciences Rep
"The biggest issue that I was able to solve was the disruption caused to my language class by strikes in both terms. The students were worried that they did not understand the content and due to a lack of coherent lessons, there seemed to be gaps in what students retained from covered material. There was also a discrepancy in resources that seminar leaders provided to their seminar groups. I brought both of these issues up in the SSCC. The latter issue was easily solvable through the uploading of all extra material from seminars to Moodle. The former problem was more challenging as it any extra lessons would have defeated the point of teachers' strikes. However, our professor has kindly provided extra sessions for any students to come to practise covered material and uploaded these resources onto Moodle, for those who couldn't make it to the extra sessions.
During the pandemic, several students in the 1st year were not sure if they were still allowed to submit their assignments and whether they could be mentioned in the official scripts. I raised this issue prior to SSCC via an email. The response I received was very clear in that it clarified that the 1st year students do still have the option to submit their assignments, however the inclusion of this assignment in the official script will not be possible."
– Greek and Latin Rep
"Some students had issues accessing the online search library, which was a great problem at the moment since all library were closed due to COVID-19 and the essay deadlines were approaching. In order to solve the issue I contacted the IT team per e-mail, and got the issue fixed the same day. I also helped students that were not used to accessing online/tech services. For example, I called them or sent a detailed email in case they had difficulties using the online search library system and helped them navigate through it, by giving step to step indications on how to search books or papers, on how to access them and on how to find the proper citation style."
– CMII Rep
"I raised some widely felt issues about the way lectures are delivered for a module, and proposed using reviewed and updated lecture notes and powerpoint slides with visuals and diagrams to aid students' understanding. I also pointed out that it would be helpful if problem sheets were released earlier because some students have jobs and therefore sometimes do not have enough time to tackle the problems."
– Physics and Astronomy Rep
"As my course spans across multiple departments, there were issues with certain students being left out of communications for a long time due to their absence on departmental email newsletters. I took this up at an SSCC with Earth Science and we were able to make a list of all external students in the modules in question and have since had them added to departmental email lists. This has allowed students not only to receive important academic updates but also to learn of social and volunteering occasions within the host department."
– Natural Sciences Rep
"At the beginning of term 1, students from my course complained about the lecture slides not being uploaded on Moodle before the lecture (or uploaded one day or a couple of hours before). This was successfully explained to the Degree Tutor and other members of staff who talked to the lecturers and the problem was solved without any further complaints."
– Biosciences Rep
"The biggest problem on the course has been a lack of clarity, as it is a new course. This has lead to confusion and anxiety amongst the students. We proposed a Mock exam to gain clarity on the level of assessment, which happened before Christmas."
– Surgery and Interventional Science Rep
"I was successful in raising student concerns about a particular module. Students were overwhelmed by the reading given to them in this module and the fact that powerpoint slides were not uploaded before-hand. I emailed the module convenor and arranged a meeting to discuss these student concerns and while the convenor was adamant about the list of readings in the module, I convinced her to upload powerpoint slides before the class commenced so that students can better understand what would be taught to them in class. I also recommended that Lecturecast be introduced in LLM modules and through bringing up this issue constantly at SSCC and FTC meetings, one of the module convenors did implement Lecturecast in term-2."
– Law Rep
"Some lecturers didn't or forgot to post lecture power points on moodle, so I asked if it was possible for staff to do so a week or so in advance of the lecture so that students could have an idea of what the next lecture is going to be about or prepare notes that they could annotate during the lecture. Fortunately, this problem was resolved and some modules even posted power points for the whole term."
– Biosciences Rep
"Arranging a study group. Students gave feedback that they would like to discuss the lectures after class in a tutorial setting to further enhance their understanding. I was able to organize weekly tutorials that were led by students. Additionally, to prepare for the exam, the module leader has agreed to participate in the exam revision session. We were also successful in providing the students with an additional course-specific lecture for our dissertations."
– Built Environment Rep
"I was able to make some progress on the issue of online accessibility of course information. For example, I recommended uploading a student handbook specific to the course requirements of Spanish level 3 on Moodle as students experienced difficulty with finding the right information. During the staff/student consultative meeting, it was discussed how the explanation of course requirements could be clearer next year, and I was also advised we could actively ask our tutor for an information sheet if needed."
– CLIE Rep
"We organised a few trips and tours to conservation labs and talks as a group to enhance the science bit of our course"
- Arts and Humanities Rep
"Raising concerns about access to Atlas.ti software during Lockdown resulted in the faculty agreeing to reimburse costs for student licences."
- Psychological Sciences Rep
"I found that when the students reached a disagreement or wanted to put forward suggestions for the course, creating polls was extremely effective for both the students and the course tutors. Example: the students wanted an extracurricular course during the pandemic, and I designed a poll with my course coordinator for everyone to choose a MATLAB course or a science podcast discussion. The MATLAB course was favoured, and the class went ahead with a great turnout. Many of us learned skills that we needed in our projects later on."
- Neuroscience Rep
"There was an issue with lectures not being recorded/not available to access on Moodle. This was looked into to ensure that the technical equipment was working in said lecture theatres, and where possible, recordings from previous years were uploaded to aid our learning."
- Neurology Rep
"We were successful in getting module organisers to provide more support material for laboratory practicals."
- Biomedical Sciences Rep
"I talked to students on the design route and they raised issues with not being prepared for any of the modules as they all studied Chemistry at undergraduate level. There were complaints about the lack of resources available online from previous years to help understand the current material being covered. I suggested that lecturers should suggest reading material for MSc students who are transferring from a non-engineering degree. The university should grant access to e-books to students with unconditional offers and have paid their deposit. Lectures should provide extra homework/tutorial sessions in order to get to grips with what is going on. The outcome of this was that we were offered extra support through training sessions."
- Chemical Engineering Rep
"I saw a demand for out of class learning material for Japanese from students so I compiled a list of useful resources (eg. YouTube videos, channels, useful websites) and posted them on a shared YouTube page a fellow student rep and I created for the class."
- CLIE Rep
"For example, it was a little bit difficult to find the proposal form, draft form and relevant requirements on Moodle for the Non-European language project. But after raising the question in the meeting, it was solved afterwards."
- CLIE Rep
"There was a course where the lecturer didn’t provide any solutions to the exercises. By the strong demand of students taking that course, I brought the issue to an SSCC meeting. I thought it was a reasonable request to have solutions so that students could have a better understanding of the course material. After communicating with staffs, this issue was happily resolved."
- Mathematics Rep
"We were able to make progress on having more online resources (even before Covid-19 outbreak). We managed to get more videoed lectures, past exam questions and online notes for First Year Maths in the second term. "
- Mathematics Rep
"Making sure that access to specific online resources that were available from one module could be made available by many modules on the course so that students have plenty of revision resources. Incentives were awarded for fair use of these resources (i.e. an additional 2% on the upcoming exams). This suggestion was made known at the SSCC meetings to the course organisers so they could relay it to the module organisers. Moreover, we highlighted the fact that there needed to be more copies of specific textbooks in the library. Since all modules are mandatory for first years no the biomedical science course, these books are very sort after. In response to our concern at the first SSCC meeting, we were informed by the second meeting by our library liaison officer that more books had been purchase and more digital copies had been made available."
- Biomedical Sciences Rep
"An issue we faced was the lack of lecture cast provision for our module. Students relayed their concern on to us and we brought this forward at the SSCC meeting. Although amendments could not be made for our year, it was something they said could be considered for following years despite some of the challenges regarding copyright material. Lectures from previous years have been uploaded as revision material which has proven to be very helpful."
- Biosciences Rep
"An early complaint that was raised by students was difficulty accessing reading material for certain modules, either because there were broken links on moodle or because hard copies of texts were difficult to get hold of. This was escalated by the faculty to the module tutors and in my personal experience seemed much improved in later modules, and I did not hear ongoing complaints from other students."
- Medical School Rep
"Challenges faced included the uploading of lecture slides late/lecture recordings. We were able to communicate this at meetings to programme leads who then sorted this issue out. As a group we recorded the lecture slides on a laptop and then shared them once the lecture finished."
- Institute of Women's Health Rep
"My first achievement this year was speaking up for a variety of issues at my first SSCC meeting and as a result we received engaging material like quizzes and formative assessments on one of our modules."
- Biosciences Rep
"Due to online learning, I mentioned that materials should all be uploaded in one place via Moodle and not through emails as well so that they will all be in one place. Additionally, word documents or PowerPoint presentations of teaching slides are much preferred to PDFs, so that trainees can make notes directly onto the documents"
- Psychology and Language Sciences Rep
"I have proposed a Changemakers project on academic writing trainings at doctoral level, which has been successful."
- Education, Practice and Society Rep
"I managed to get the SSEES Programme Area Committee to agree to develop my idea to create a number of module introductory videos, which will be available to all SSEES students to help get a better picture of relevant subjects before submitting their final choices."
- SSEES Rep
"The programme director and I submitted a ChangeMakers application and received funding to improve
academic skills provision in Linguistics."
- Linguistics Rep
"As Lead Representative for non-European Languages at CLIE, I sought to improve and provide feedback to the staff on the matter of online learning, one of the foremost issues during my tenure as a representative. I was successfully able to lobby the support of my fellow representatives and push for a centralized moodle page where important information, dates and templates would be uploaded and easily accessible to students, whereas this information was previously trickled into students' mailboxes one at a time."
- CLIE Rep
"An issue we had was that new knowledge could be forgotten easily after finishing one week learning. After a discussion with the module leader, they agreed to upload the lecture recordings as promptly as possible and also to have as much online course material available as early as possible before each module."
- Built Environment Rep
"We have an excellent department generally. The one big issue we had in 2020/21 was that some students (including myself) demanded reimbursement for field modules that got cancelled in 2019/20. After a bit of discomfort between myself and the department when bringing this up, by the end of the year we had been signposted to the appropriate Union complaints procedure and are now on track to be reimbursed (it will happen, it has happened for one person already)."
- Biological Sciences Rep
"Not all course textbooks were available in every country so we managed to get UCL CLIE to make them accessible to teachers who can shared them during class time."
- CLIE Rep
"At the beginning of the first term, there were issues regarding access to reading materials. I raised this in the first programme meeting and suggested that the teacher could upload the PDF version of reading material if appropriate. After the meeting, teachers from our programme adopted my suggestion and uploaded the PDF version."
- Culture, Communication and Media Rep
"Some modules released asynchronous materials at different times weekly so it was not clear when all of the material would be up. Students complained about this so I raised it in the SSCC meeting and compared it to a module where everything was very clear and easy to follow. The outcome was that the second half of the module was better prepared and content was updated at regular times."
- Physics and Astronomy Rep
"I think the most successful solution I gave was when multiple international students wanted me to ask the lecturer to include subtitles in her lecture videos because it was difficult for them to understand. When I emailed the lecturer, she refused and said it was impossible for her to do such a thing and that she already spent hours on a subtitle software but failed to add subtitles to the videos. In response, I suggested hiring a student to add subtitles instead and cc'ed Paul Bown who was the head of the teaching committee in the emails. Through my proactiveness and refusal to give up, in the end subtitles were added to the lecture videos."
- Earth Sciences Rep
"At the beginning of the course, a number of lectures were not recorded appropriately or uploaded in a timely manner and lecture handouts were not given for all of the lessons. After discussing it with the students of my programme and seeing that the majority were concerned by this, I raised the issue to the PGT office and the tutors of the module. What is more, I raised it at the first SSCC meeting. As a result, the modules next term were better organized in these aspects next term and the student group of my programme were satisfied with access to lecture recordings and handouts."
- Institute of Ophthamology Rep
"Due to online learning, I mentioned that materials should all be uploaded in one place via Moodle and not through emails as well so that they will all be in one place. Additionally, word documents or PowerPoint presentations of teaching slides are much preferred to PDFs, so that trainees can make notes directly onto the documents. There have been occasions when teaching handouts have not been available before the session and had to be requested from the speaker during the lecture session itself. Action was taken by tutors to improve this and make materials accessible to us before lectures and in the user-friendly format. I also raised up the fact that not all references on lecture slides are made available so that tutors could rectify this and make sure that their lecture slides are accompanied with the relevant references for students to engage in self-study."
- Educational and Child Psychology Rep
"Students wanted more software tutorials e.g. Rhino, DIALux etc. This has now been planned for the 21-22 academic year. Tutorials will consist of larger groups where more can be covered, rather than smaller groups where there is repetition."
- School of Environment, Energy and Resources Rep
"I was able to gain increased electronic/remote access to resources located outside the largest three libraries, which I am extremely proud of."
- Hebrew and Jewish Studies Rep
"I managed to work with the staff at Whittington hospital after finding out from students that they were not able to access the new clinical notes system. I contacted the staff and tested the system until it was fixed and following this all the students at the Whittington were able to access the new system."
- Medical School Rep
"I raised the issue about course textbooks not being available in some countries so UCL made them available to students. We worked together on pressuring the UCL CLIE team to provide sample exams. They were eventually prepared and made available before the ICCA and finals."
- CLIE Rep