I write this blog after being at Quality Matters 2012, an event ran by the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) and it opened my eyes to student engagement and the quality of higher education.
One of the questions asked was who is responsible for the quality of a student’s education? There were a variety of answers including the institution, staff, students’ union, lecturers and the students themselves. This made me think because as a previous student I would have never challenged my course…. not properly. Yes I would have the odd moan or joke about if it was worth the money but never properly challenge whether or not what I was receiving was quality.
This leads me on nicely to something that will or should be happening within your sessions now and that is the election of course reps. I sent out the course rep information to staff a few weeks ago now and I trust this has been passed down and that the elections will be taking place in your classes/groups/cohorts over the next couple of weeks. Remember to be mindful when electing course reps and choose someone who will represent all views and actually take an active role in passing on any issues and also the good bits! Then feed back to you what is or has happened to solve any problems. I’ve worked very hard in creating the course rep induction and hope that this helps new and returning course reps to represent all students effectively.
When thinking of quality it is also important to recognise what is good practice and what is happening on your course which is quality and that recognises the hard work of tutors. So much time is spent on asking what’s wrong, what needs improving that the good parts are often left for afterthought. I strongly believe this needs voicing and if you have a good experience let me know! I would love to open my emails to see lots of positive experiences outweighing the negatives. Of course do not suffer in silence and if there are issues let either your course reps, tutors, programme leaders or myself know so we can address these. Constructive criticism is always helpful so if there is something not quite right how do you think it should be solved?
As I finish this I just want to leave you with the freedom to contact me with your thoughts on what is quality and look forward to meeting all new and returning course reps as well as any student who needs help.