Category 2 ~ College Impact

An initiative delivered by a students’ association, or led by a students’ association in partnership with their college, which has had a significant impact on enhancing the student learning experience

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Winner:
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Student Partnership Agreement: A Dynamic Approach Using an Online Ideas System
~ City of Glasgow College Students’ Association and City of Glasgow College

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Runners-up:
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Enhancing Class Representation to Improve Quality and the Learner Experience
~ Glasgow Clyde College Students’ Association and Glasgow Clyde College

Make our College SPARKLE (Support, Partnership, Alliance, Representation, Knowledge, Learning and Evaluation): Students as Partners in Evaluation and Improvement
~ West Lothian College and West Lothian College Students’ Association

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Read more about all three submissions...

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Student Partnership Agreement: A Dynamic Approach Using an Online Ideas System
~ City of Glasgow College Students’ Association and City of Glasgow College

The implementation of City of Glasgow College’s Student Partnership Agreement (SPA) has been part of their transformative and evidence based approach to achieving positive change for students. Their SPA has been designed to empower students to achieve meaningful change through the development of partnership projects based on ideas submitted by students via an online platform called My Voice. Through this platform, students can post ideas and rate and comment on the ideas of other students. To date students have contributed 400 ideas with 19857 ratings and 1,290 replies and comments which have fed into the college SPA.

Inspired by the My Voice platform, they moved away from a static SPA that agreed actions once every year or two and instead implement a more dynamic approach with partnership commitments developed throughout the year. Ideas from the My Voice platform were prioritised by the Student Representative Council and taken forward to a newly formed group, the City Partnership Forum. The Forum is comprised of the students who have submitted ideas, the Student President, Staff from the Students’ Association and four members of the College’s Senior Management Team. This creates true partnership working and ensures sufficient buy in and support from the Senior Management Team.

Utilising this, the Presidential Team have been able to achieve successes in the college. From having toast served in the catering outlets and free hot water provided through to tangible benefits to the learning experience such as having the library opening hours extended. In addition, utilising ideas passed through the various platforms, their SPA has been able to pick up some challenging topics and drive positive change. For example, the use of open plan classrooms, a topic which was originally an area of frustration is now an agreed partnership project. Other projects include implementing their first student-led teaching awards, further building the foundation for relationships between future student cohorts and the college.
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Enhancing Class Representation to Improve Quality and the Learner Experience
~ Glasgow Clyde College Students’ Association and Glasgow Clyde College

Due to challenges around identification of and engagement of reps, GCCSA recognised that to have meaningful engagement with the College and curriculum in particular, a new system needed to be implemented. A new online registration system was purpose built to enable an easier registration process. This ensured that all details were immediately logged for each class rep. Session 2018/19 saw an increase of over 90% of class representation from session 2017/18. This enabled an efficient and effective communication plan to be implemented by GCCSA to engage with reps and quickly identified where class reps did not exist, which presented the opportunity to open a dialogue with curricular areas regarding the importance of class representation. Another major development was the engagement of class reps for pupils on their Schools Link programmes through discussions with Schools Liaison teams and Local authority.

Through engagement with sparqs, GCCSA also trained in house staff and students to deliver contextualised class rep training. Contextualised delivery was also offered for English for Speakers of Other Languages reps, Schools link student and Additional Support for Learning students, ensuring the diversity of their student voice was able to be heard. Over 300 reps have been trained with 99% of reps stating that they felt able to participate fully and 100% of reps stating they had an improved understanding of their role and that they would recommend the training to others.

Engagement with class reps has been further reinforced during cross campus meetings. With a focus on the student experience during pre-entry, enrolment and induction stages, class reps have been able to concentrate on their cohorts’ learning and teaching experience and their feedback is passed directly to the relevant curricular areas. GCCSA have worked closely with curricular staff to position the class rep system within the quality improvement agenda and the implementation of a new class rep system has put students at the centre of a quality improvement culture. 
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Make our College SPARKLE (Support, Partnership, Alliance, Representation, Knowledge, Learning and Evaluation): Students as Partners in Evaluation and Improvement
~ West Lothian College and West Lothian College Students’ Association

The Student Association researched ways that institutions collated Learning and Teaching evaluation through their Class Ambassador (Rep) systems and their effectiveness. It was concluded that: a robust system should be integrated which would collect feedback from all courses and all students, courses that didn't have a Class Ambassador were represented and relationships with the College Principal, Senior Management and staff were essential to recognise students as partners.

The Student Association developed a document for Class Ambassadors to complete with their classes on a monthly basis called SPARKLE- Support, Partnership, Alliance, Representation, Knowledge, Learning and Teaching. To combat challenges with capacity and the huge amounts of data produced through SPARKLE, the process was transferred online, with condensed questions and Centre Ambassadors were implemented to cover unrepresented classes. Feedback was then taken to a Quality and Compliance committee where it was minuted, actioned and available, closing the feedback loop and creating a robust system. Therefore, Students can see how they are influencing positive change, which in turn will improve student attainment, retention and the overall student experience.

SPARKLE has enabled Students in ALL classes the ability to provide feedback on their learning and teaching and overall College experience. The information is collated across all classes in the same format providing a standardised way of collecting and reporting information. Some changes which have already resulted in SPARKLE include; free soup at lunch time due to student poverty; revision of student timetables to support students with employment and childcare responsibilities; improvement of college Wi-Fi and computers; new format taken for induction; Student Policies displayed on College and SA website; and new learning equipment has been purchased.

Student Engagement Framework
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