Student engagement overview
1. This policy covers the University of Nottingham’s arrangements to ensure that students are fully involved and represented in all aspects of their learning experience, and have a range of opportunities to engage in the University’s quality assurance systems, at University level, at programme and academic level.
Definition of Student Engagement
2. The University of Nottingham’s definition of student engagement is communicated via relevant policies in the Quality Manual, and the Student Charter which sets out the University’s responsibilities to provide a suitable learning environment and a comprehensive range of support services for its students, and to involve students in decision making processes. The University’s expectations of its students are also contained within the Agreement.
Collection of Feedback from Students
3. The University obtains regular feedback from students by a number of different methods, including questionnaires, (for example the National Student Survey), course and module evaluation mechanisms, individual and group feedback meetings, representation on committees at all levels of the institution, and participation in the periodic Educational Enhancement and Assurance Review procedure.
4. Students are represented on all of the University’s main committees, including student representatives from the overseas campuses where appropriate. In addition, schools are consulted on proposals from Education and Student Experience Board and Quality and Standards Committees via Faculty Teaching Committees, and these have student representation.
5. Feedback on modules and programmes is collected from students by means of the University’s Student Evaluation of Modules (SEM) and Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET). They also have an opportunity to raise issues via their School’s Learning Community Forum (see below). This feedback is considered by Schools as part of the annual monitoring process, which is overseen by the Quality and Standards Committee.
6. The University’s Educational Enhancement and Assurance Review process provides an opportunity for student involvement in three ways: by means of including a student representative on the School Review Panel; by including student feedback (for example, data from the National Student Survey, Nottingham Student Experience Survey, or Postgraduate Taught or Research Experience Surveys) as part of the documentation provided to the Panel in the School Information Pack; and by including meetings with undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) student representatives as part of the Review schedule.
Learning Community Fora
7.1. There must be at least one Learning Community Forum (LCF) in each School, Department or Division; all students (including research students) must have an opportunity to contribute to its discussions.
7.2. The purposes of the LCF are to ensure that the views of students are given proper weight in the processes of course and module review, and to ensure that the concerns of students about their courses of study are represented to the academic staff throughout the academic year.
7.3. The LCF must meet at least three times per Session, with at least one meeting each Autumn Semester.
7.4 Students select their representatives and they are responsible for effectively collecting feedback from their fellow students, representing their views at meetings, and disseminating feedback from the meetings. Schools, Departments and Divisions should facilitate this by providing a mechanism for students to email/contact their fellow students.
7.5 The relevant representatives of the teaching staff must attend every meeting. Senior Tutors should be members of LCFs. Consideration should be given to inviting, where appropriate, relevant representatives from Information Services (IS), Student Services, Learning Technology of Libraries, Research and Learning Resources. All Course Representatives should be invited to attend the LCF meetings.
7.6 The School, Department or Division should display clearly on an appropriate forum readily available to students (such as Moodle) the names and contact details of the representatives on the LCF, minutes of LCF meetings, external examiner reports and School responses to those reports. Meetings must be minuted, clearly indicating agreed action points and who is responsible for carrying them out.
7.7 Each agenda must include a report on actions taken on such action points.
7.8 There should be a simple mechanism for both staff and students to have items placed on the agenda for discussion.
7.9 LCF minutes must be taken into consideration in the School's annual monitoring processes.
7.10 Each School, Department or Division should decide on the number and composition of its LCFs, appropriate to its size, range of courses, and student mix.
7.11 Students are encouraged to undertake such duties as preparing agendas, chairing meetings, and minuting them.
7.12 It is not expected that every action requested by student representatives will be implemented, but it is expected that they should be given proper consideration, and if they are not implemented the grounds should be explained.
7.13 Training and developmental activities for student representatives are managed by the Students’ Union.
Student Representation on Teaching Committees
8.1 As part of the University’s commitment to enabling students to give effective feedback on the student experience, Schools, Departments and Divisions must ensure that they have student representation on their Teaching Committees or equivalent; for undergraduates this should include the Education Rep. These meetings shall, wherever possible, be scheduled for times and dates when students are able to attend. A mechanism shall be put in place to ensure that student representatives are able to feed back discussions from the Teaching Committee or equivalent; this may involve the Learning Community Forum.
8.2 Each Faculty must ensure that they have student representation at their Teaching and Learning Boards and Student Experience Committees (or equivalent, on each campus); in the UK for undergraduate this should include the Faculty Representative and for postgraduates this should include the relevant Postgraduate Sounding Board member.
Induction and Support Arrangements
9. The Students’ Union shall be responsible for delivering effective training for student representatives at all levels, including initial induction training and ongoing development opportunities. The Students’ Union will engage with the University to review and monitor training on an annual basis.
10. The Students’ Union and the University shall be jointly responsible for delivering an induction programme and ongoing support for staff responsible for Learning Community Fora.
11. Student representatives should be given effective support in demonstrating employability skills developed through their duties and responsibilities.
Monitoring and review of effectiveness of student engagement in the University’s quality systems
12. The University regularly monitors all quality systems, for example, via the annual monitoring and Educational Enhancement and Assurance Review procedures, to ensure they are working effectively. This includes monitoring the effectiveness of student engagement within these systems by means of seeking views from student representatives on University committees and the Students’ Union Education Network.
13. Staff responsible for Learning Community Fora in Schools, Departments and Divisions shall be responsible for reporting on LCF activity to the Students’ Union, who will actively monitor the impact of engagement opportunities. This shall involve the LCF Workspace.
Engagement of Students with Assessment
14. The satisfactory operation of the assessment system relies to a large extent on the co-operation of the student body. The responsibilities of the individual student in this regard are as follows:
• to read carefully and comply with academic regulations which can be found online
• to submit coursework on time and to keep all returned coursework throughout the duration of your University career. If, in exceptional circumstances, you need a third party to submit work on your behalf, you must ensure that the work given to that third party for submission is the work intended and that any submission deadline is complied with
• to complete in a timely manner the necessary forms to ensure examination entries are correct ie, module entry form (Autumn); module confirmation form (Spring); and individual examination timetable (both semesters)).
• if, in exceptional circumstances, an extension is needed in order to complete a piece of coursework, students must follow the Policy on Circumstances Affecting Students' Ability to Study and Complete Assessments
• to attend the required examinations
• to inform your School immediately (using an Extenuating Circumstances form) if there are any personal or medical circumstances which may have affected your performance, and to provide documentary evidence
• to inform your School immediately (using an Extenuating Circumstances form) if for any reason you are absent from an examination
• to inform your School if you are, or believe yourself to be, dyslexic, or have any other disability which may affect your examination performance. If you wish to request alternative arrangements on the grounds of dyslexia, disability or long-term medical condition, you should approach Academic Support by the published deadlines
• where appropriate, to complete a Religious Observance form by the published deadlines.
Student Evaluation of Teaching/Modules
Educational Enhancement and Assurance Review (EEAR)
Last amended 15 September 2015