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4.1 Course committees - can we work together to make them better?

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Change Agents' Network conference presentation April 2018 by Rebecca Rock, Stephanie Hargreaves, Dinh Vu

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4.1 Course committees - can we work together to make them better?

  1. 1. Course Committees How to work together to make them better Rebecca Rock & Kiki Vu
  2. 2. 5/11/2018 2 “The course committee is the key forum in which the ongoing health of the course and the quality of the student learning opportunities are monitored.” “All committee members, either students or staff, are treated as equals and have equal say in course committee and decision making.” Course Committee
  3. 3. 5/11/2018 3 Our small inquiry in to Course Committee: Survey Course leader Academic staff member Administration staff member Professional service staff Course rep 96 respondents: Focus groups Observation 10 students 9 staff members 4 course committees from 4 different Schools
  4. 4. Below are some functions that the course committee performs. Please rate them in order of importance, according to your opinion. Please place the most important function on top, followed by the second most important, and so on. Options Rank Student issue resolution 1 Course development and enhancement 2 Course management 3 Quality assurance 4 Discussion 5 5/11/2018 4 “Much of the time is spent dealing with [students’ issues], rather than looking at other items (e.g. EE reports, assessment plans, etc.)”
  5. 5. Did you receive any training regarding the course committee before you joined your first course committee meeting? Staff focus group:  Lack of training, especially for chair “I don’t feel prepared at all” Student focus group:  Informal training  First-time reps feeling unprepared and unconfident  Clear perception of role: feedback issues so they can be fixed “[Our most important role is] to get feedback from the course” STAFF STUDENT Yes No 5/11/2018 5 Training
  6. 6. 5/11/2018 6 Staff Students How students contribute to the meeting Provide valuable input/different perspective Complain/Raise issues to be fixed Well-prepared Students don’t need to attend the meeting Students aren’t interested in discussing course development Not received enough training
  7. 7. 11 May 2018 7 Staff and students work together as a team 47% There are tensions between members/ Members not engaged 53% “They don’t always have to be present for the whole meeting … some items are irrelevant and not of their interest…”
  8. 8. 5/11/2018 8 Some unnecessary information 35% Relevant and important 39% Limited and insufficient 26% Not very/ not at all productive discussion 27% Some productive discussion 51% Very productive discussion 20% Quality of information discussed
  9. 9. STAFF STUDENT The course committee provides room for innovative ideas to develop and enhance the course, alongside dealing with current issues. The course committee mostly deals with issues when they arise, and routine agenda items. As a result, there is not much opportunity for innovation. In terms of course development and enhancement, which of the statements below do you agree more with? 5/11/2018 9 “It is mostly a box ticking exercise.”
  10. 10. 5/11/2018 10 “…in its current format, the meetings are a huge waste of time and resources but could, if redeveloped, have the potential to deliver so much more.” How effective course committee is 42% 44% 8% “The really useful course changes tend to be made as a result of informal discussion and formal discussion with stakeholders outside the meeting structures.” 6%
  11. 11. 5/11/2018 11
  12. 12. 5/11/2018 12 Challenging perception of course committee
  13. 13. 5/11/2018 13 Agenda setting Mission Action Outcome
  14. 14. 5/11/2018 14
  15. 15. 5/11/2018 15 Minute taking & closing the feedback loop “We don’t always know what happens until the next meeting”
  16. 16. 5/11/2018 16
  17. 17. 5/11/2018 17

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