Student representative systems work well when there is a good relationship and ongoing dialogue between students and staff. The relationship between Course Reps and Course Leaders is particularly crucial.
Staff-student meetings are important, but these often only take place once a semester, so dialogue between meetings is important to:
- Build positive, productive and trusting relationships between staff and student reps
- Raise and address any urgent issues
- Deal with problems in a timely way
- Gather feedback from students at different points in their course
- Feed back to students on the outcomes of meetings and actions taken
- Discuss sensitive issues which it may not be appropriate to raise, or which student reps may not feel comfortable raising, in a meeting (e.g. student feedback about individual staff members)
At the start of the year
If you are a Course Leader or other staff member who works with Student Reps:
- Introduce yourself to Student Reps
- Let Student Reps know how to contact you
- Encourage Reps to contact you
- Be proactive in contacting reps to gather feedback, get their input into current issues or projects, or update them on progress
Student Rep Engagement
It is important to keep the course reps engaged now that they have been recruited and attended the first training session. To do this we recommend regular catch ups with reps. Ideas to consider:
- Send regular emails, including the date of the next meeting and some suggestions of questions to which Student Reps could seek feedback from their peers.
- Offer hot drinks vouchers to Student Reps who come along to informal catch ups.
- Use mid-module reviews to enable Reps to raise issues of concern which it may be possible to resolve quickly/ easily.
Student Reps can be contacted by other students in their cohort via the Find My Rep online tool. Students who are logged onto the Hallam Union website can use this to identify their Course Rep is, and make contact with them. Further information is available from Alison Worsley in Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union, with links available on the Students’ Union website.