Our Introductory Course Rep Training (CRT) is aimed at newly elected course reps who have not attended training before. It can also be used as a refresher course for returning reps. It aims to develop confidence in their role, as being a course rep for the first time can be a daunting prospect. This is the basic, recommended package for training reps in Scotland.
Regardless of the delivery method of the college or university, reps should access the training via their institution or students' association, rather than directly via sparqs.
There are various delivery options open to institutions for introductory CRT:
- sparqs' AT Scheme – training delivered to an institution's reps by sparqs' Associate Trainers (ATs).
- An IAT Scheme – training delivered by Institutional Associate Trainers (IATs) who have been trained by sparqs.
- In-house delivery by institutions (using their own rep training package, possibly based on sparqs' materials).
Online Introductory CRT for 2021-22
In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, sparqs’ introductory CRT for Scottish institutions will continue in an online format for the academic year 2021-22.
The training is in two parts:
Introductory CRT - part one
The self-directed study module has been developed in Rise 360 and will be hosted on institutions' own learning platforms for reps to complete before attending part two. The module should take between 1-2 hours to complete and is designed to help new course reps in these ways:
- To gain an understanding of the course rep role and the work involved.
- To identify skills and methodologies that will help them perform the course rep role effectively.
- To identify strategies for communication with students, in order to listen to the views of classmates about their learning experience.
- To learn techniques for good communication with staff, in order to enhance the quality of the learning experience for the whole class.
Introductory CRT - part two
This bookable part of the training will be delivered by sparqs ATs or institutional IATs via Zoom, to 10-30 delegates and lasts 2 hours. Ideally, sessions run best when there are between 15-25 delegates, but they can be run with a minimum of 10, and up to a maximum of 30. Even if delivered by sparqs, reps should book onto the training via their institution or students' association, who will have arranged sessions with sparqs.
Part two of the training designed to help reps in these ways:
- To refresh understanding of the course rep role and the work involved.
- To discuss the Student Learning Experience and explore how reps can use the Student Learning Experience model in their role as reps.
- To practice some of the skills that will help reps work effectively.
- To understand the support and resources that are available to reps.
The 2021-22 training materials are currently being finalised and will be available to relevant Scottish institutions soon.
Institutions updating their own in-house rep training materials are welcome to request to see copies of the sparqs' materials if it would be helpful. For example, recent updates to the sparqs’ materials help to prepare reps for their role by helping them understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the learning experience of students.
As in 2020-21, we will again be keen to hear from any institutions delivering their own training, who might be willing to share their evaluation data in order to contribute to the overall national picture of Course Rep Training. If you are interested in contributing your evaluation data during 2021-22, please get in touch.
Any non-Scotland institutions wishing to access the sparqs' training materials, please contact Eve Lewis, Director of sparqs, at email@example.com.
How to book your 'part two' training sessions via the sparqs' AT scheme
We are now taking booking requests from institutions for part-two training! Institutions will then advertise booked dates to their reps for sign-ups.
Please read our updated guidance on booking sparqs Course Rep Training, which we request that all institutions read before making bookings. We ask that institutions follow our guidance in order to ensure the sessions are run efficiently and securely. This includes the requirement for reps to register for sessions in advance, and a requirement for a minimum of ten registered reps per session.
- The booking process for 2021-22 is open as of Wednesday 18th August 2021.
- Training delivery is available from week beginning Monday 20th September 2021.
- Sessions should have a minimum of 10 participants and a maximum of 30 participants. Ideally, sessions run best when there are between 15-25 participants, but they can be run with a minimum of 10, and up to a maximum of 30.
- Each session lasts approximately 2 hours and will be delivered via Zoom by two sparqs Associate Trainers.
- Institutions will have installed the part-one self-study module on their VLE and made it available to reps to complete in advance of attending a part-two session.
- Booking forms for part-two sessions should be completed by Course Rep Training organisers and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3 weeks in advance of requested training dates.
- Reps will book onto part-two sessions via their institution or students' association (as opposed to directly via sparqs).
If you are a students' association or institution and have any questions about the sparqs' CRT booking process, please contact us at email@example.com, or if you would like to discuss how we can support you to deliver training within your institution, please get in touch with Justin Walker, Development Consultant - firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a course rep and have any queries about registering for training, please contact your students' association or institution. If your institution uses sparqs to deliver their training, or if they are part of the IAT scheme, they will invite you to complete the part-one module and co-ordinate your registration to attend a part-two training session (regardless of whether it is delivered by sparqs' ATs or their own team of IATs).