Laura, Vice President Education, updates on the work she has done for Roehampton students so far this year and what she plans for the future.
Representing Your Academic Interests – VP Education
As Vice President Education, my role is to work closely with academic reps, colleagues in the University and other stakeholders to lobby, advocate, and represent your academic interests.
Across my first term I’ve been proud to oversee the launch of our new approach to School Reps, with these roles being paid for their time and effort in ensuring your voice is heard within the different schools - while I’ve invested considerable time into making education more accessible at Roehampton.
A new approach to Academic Representation
Academic representation is all about giving a collective voice to the issues that affect you and other students during the academic side of your Roehampton experience. This year we’ve streamlined the system and introduced paid school reps who support individual programme reps and act as the main contact for their individual schools.
We now have 6 school reps in post with all completing training during September and October before hosting their first Student Rep Forums in November. Alongside this, I’ve been working with university services to ensure student reps can quickly and correctly signpost students to relevant services. Expect a series of videos created by the student welfare team in the New Year that will address this.
Supporting our reps in their role is vital to their success and I have set up a regular drop-in for programme reps to come and ask me questions about their role, any challenges they are having and to celebrate any positive impacts they have had.
Accessible Education for All
- Recording lectures, delivering blended learning, and ultimately true hybrid learning is important for all students. For example: a student with any sort of disability or mental health problem may find it difficult to always get to campus and attend in-person sessions.
That’s why I’ve been lobbying the University to commit to recording all lectures and to agree to install hybrid learning technology in every classroom. This would allow students to access lectures from home and in an ideal world, in the classroom in real-time.
The aim is that is we can give these students a way to access their lectures without coming to campus all the time so that they stay engaged with their course and feel part of the Roehampton community, ultimately preventing them from dropping out.
The first stage of this has been fact finding and I’ve been working with university colleagues to understand how many lectures are currently recorded across the University. The result was that no clear metrics existed due to how the original recording system was setup. Following this result, I have been asking the school reps to assist me in finding this information.
A win for my campaign is the University will be trialling a system where lecturers have to opt out of recording their lectures in future – in practice, instead of the lecturer having to manually set up a recording, it would automatically happen.
Looking forward to the New Year, I will be monitoring the progress of the opt out trial and reviewing the outcome of this work to push for all lectures across the university to be recorded or an alternative. I’m also currently writing a report on the state of hybrid learning at Roehampton. To date I’ve gathered data through our Speak Week work, our academic reps, as well as listening to people around the campus.
My long-term goal is for the University to have fully hybrid lectures where students can access their classes from home or in the classroom in real time while still having recordings and alternatives.
If you have any stories for me on how hybrid learning, blended learning and recording lectures would be beneficial to you, email me at email@example.com