6 Jul 2020

How are you going to train your course reps for 2020-21?

How to train course reps for the coming year is one of the questions that has occupied the mind of students’ association officers and staff since the COVID-19 lockdown began. At sparqs, we have been working on a set of solutions to help those institutions which are yet to establish a clear way forward.

We are developing a two-part set of online resources for the training of course reps. These will include:

  • Self-directed study material with core content for course reps. This has been designed as an Articulate module that can be hosted within a VLE.
  • A group webinar (videoconference) session for discussion and application of the core content (approx 90 minutes). These are a set of slides and interactive resources designed to be used in a live videoconference session (in Zoom or Teams or similar).

The materials are based on sparqs’ online Course Rep Training piloted in four institutions during 2019-20. We appreciate that students’ associations and institutions will benefit from receiving these resources as soon as possible, and we will publish them in mid-August 2020.

These materials are for our general introductory Course Rep Training. Institutions may offer or wish to develop their training for particular groups of students. Our materials for apprentices, students with supported education needs, school pupils at college, postgraduate students and ESOL students have not been adapted for online use but your can access all the existing materials via our Course Rep Training webpage. If you need specific support in training course reps for these groups of students in an online environment, please contact Nicola McIntosh, Business Manager - nicola.mcintosh@sparqs.ac.uk.

Training your course reps

We are developing resources for the online training of Associate Trainers (ATs) and Institutional Associate Trainer (IATs). The usual AT/IAT training event will go ahead in the final week of August, from Tuesday 25th to Thursday 27th August 2020. Booking information will be released in due course.

This event will follow an online blended model, including:

  • Self-directed study to be completed in advance.
  • Live webinar discussion in small tutor groups.
  • Online group work.
  • Breaks during each day, including some independent study activities.

In some cases, the COVID-19 emergency has had an impact on the plans that institutions had in place related to the training of course reps. If your needs have changed, and you have not yet discussed this with us, please tell us about your new circumstances so we are best able to support you.

Therefore, please contact Nicola McIntosh in either of these cases:

  1. If you normally use your IATs to train reps but this year you might need the support of sparqs’ ATs.
  2. If you will have IATs that require training later than August, for example if IATs will be recruited once the academic year has started.

Bookings for training delivered by sparqs’ ATs will open on Monday 17th August 2020, for sessions deliverable from mid-September onwards.

Preparing your course rep system during the COVID-19 pandemic

We are also developing a series of resources designed to support those who oversee course rep systems, offering advice for adapting to the changing environment of COVID-19. See our news article launching the first briefing note around preparing course rep systems and recruiting reps.

Further information

For queries on anything CRT-related, please contact Nicola McIntosh, Business Manager – nicola.mcintosh@sparqs.ac.uk – or Justin Walker, Development Consultant – justin.walker@sparqs.ac.uk

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