7 Jan 2020

SPOTLIGHT ON... Edinburgh Napier University's development of the course rep role

This ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ features a new approach to generating school-specific ideas from course reps about the nature of their role in subject contexts, piloted through a workshop in November 2019 in the university’s School of Art and Creative Industries (SACI).

The approach, developed with input from sparqs, builds on and complements existing tools of feedback from course reps, such as Student-Staff Liaison Committees and Boards of Studies, and Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association (ENSA) meetings.

The aim of the workshop was to get specific feedback from SACI students about what it is like to be a course rep in their school – where, for instance, there might be different learning and teaching processes, resources, cohort sizes or internal quality processes from other schools. This would then allow staff, who also participated in the workshop, to reflect on how they could better support course reps in enacting their role.

Activities included a set of dialogue sheets created by Bryden Stillie, SACI’s Head of Learning and Teaching, which explored questions around reps’ perception of their role before, during and after course meetings, and how well supported they felt by activities and processes within the school.

Discussions generated useful points about the challenges and successes of gathering feedback from fellow students, and the different ways in which staff informally supported and listened to reps.

Bryden commented that the workshop was “a great opportunity to find out about rep role from a student perspective, what is working well for them and the barriers they face when gathering, discussing and disseminating feedback on the student learning experience. It is the first time we have run a school-specific workshop like this and it was great to see staff and students working collaboratively to develop effective solutions that will enhance the impact of the rep role.”

The school are now working with reps to develop new and enhanced processes and support based on the feedback gathered at the event. This will inform similar activities in other schools across the university.

Further information

For further information, please contact Bryden Stillie, Head of Learning and Teaching at Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Arts and Creative Industries (0131 455 6103 or b.stillie@napier.ac.uk) or Simon Varwell, Senior Development Consultant at sparqs (07815 938966 or simon.varwell@sparqs.ac.uk).

You can find the dialogue sheets used in the workshop in our Resource Library

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