University of York Students' Union (YUSU)

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Academic Update - Featuring College Mentors

Posted by Thomas Ron, 27/07/2015

Hello everyone

Well the last two weeks have been incredibly busy for me.  Those of you who have been reading Vision will know that I have worked with the library to bring in a lending laptop scheme as well as upgrade the link with the internet from eduroam.  Therefore, the library will be providing ever more (including the one in King's Manor) and the Internet should be faster and cope with whatever strains the student body is willing to put on it.  These should help students study and for the whole story please read http://www.yorkvision.co.uk/news/laptop-lending-and-faster-internet-introduced/24/07/2015

I have also been meeting with the university to discuss lecture capture and how the system works.  I will be meeting with faculty heads and pushing for a wider rollout with the university.  Hopefully we should see a wider takeup and over the next year I intend to help students campaign for lecture capture within their own departments.

I have also met with the Attendence Monitoring Sub-Group which is going to set up a unified attendence policy for the university.  There will be a consultation on this in Week 4 where we will ensure that the changes we are making are benefiting you, the students, by hearing your voice and taking your reccomendations on board.  

I have also secured a department rep position for the Centre for Medieval Studies.

Over the next week, before I go on my vacation to France I will be meeting with John Robinson to discuss the new York pedagogy.  I intend to push for a commitment for more support on the VLE, in line with the survey I recently put out (link here if you wish to fill it out https://docs.google.com/a/york.ac.uk/forms/d/1-8XATvDiEwbumOzC1iqjy5G222FCquHX6wikrNLDEf0/edit) as well as pushing for a solid set of commitments for the quality of feedback students will receive on their academic work.  I am also meeting with Richard Walker of the E-Learning Development Team to discuss how we can get more examples of past papers on the VLE from the archives.

I also intend to meet with deans of faculties, heads of departments, and chairs of the board of studies over this week and in the run up to the start of term to discuss how we can work together and find out which ones are willing to adopt the policies that students have elected me on.  In the run-up to Freshers I will publish a blog detailing which departments have done what, so students can know what to campaign on in each department.

I will also be meeting with the univeristy about creating a feedback hub on the VLE where students can see the feedback that was given about different courses, so they know what people have said about the courses that they are going into.  Several candidates for Academic Officer suggested this and I think it is an excellent idea.

Finally, I want to talk about a great scheme that Langwith College are piloting about College Mentoring.   Langwith and several other colleges are launching an initiative where second and third year students will act as mentors for freshers to help them adjust to university life and be a guide to them on a course-basis, helping them do well and ensure that university is not the scary place that it can sometimes be.  If you are interested in being a student mentor please contact your college staff and they can work to put you on this scheme and ensure that you are getting the most out of it.

If you want to get in touch, please do not hesitate to do so, I welcome any form of communication