College protocol on class student representation
Author: Dr Anna Cowan, Deputy Dean Education
Last updated: 2022
Class Student Representation is an important component of the teaching and learning quality assurance and quality improvement processes within the ANU College of Health & Medicine, and the ANU College of Science. Class representatives are appointed to work collaboratively and constructively with the Course Conveners. They provide feedback that represents the issues affecting the entire student cohort, or a subset of the student cohort within the class to Course Conveners and to Associate Directors (Education) for continuous improvements to the class; this will assist Conveners to address any important issues as they arise and have more information about the students’ experience of the class than is provided by the end of semester surveys.
Note - This protocol should be read in conjunction with the ANU Policy and Procedures for Class Representatives
Selection of Student Representatives
- There should be at least one Class Representative for each class in CHM/COS with an enrolment of <20 students; for classes with enrolment >20 students the minimum number of representatives is two.
- The requirement for Class Representatives should be advertised in the Introductory Lecture and nominations sought: one method is to call for Expressions of Interest and then hold an election on Wattle using the “Choice” activity.
- Where there are more than the required number of nominations, the Course Convener should consider the diversity of the student cohort when selecting the class representatives (gender, international/domestic students etc.).
- If an undergraduate and postgraduate class is co-taught then at least one Class Representative should be elected from each cohort.
- The Representatives must be appointed by the end of the second week of the teaching period and their contact details added to the Class Wattle site.
- The Course Convener should meet with the Class Representatives in the third week of the teaching period to discuss the expectations of the role.
- The Course Convener should introduce the Class Representatives to the rest of the student cohort in the third week of the teaching session.
- The relevant Students’ Association may offer training to Class Representatives on the relevant skills required in this role as well as the referral networks available to them.
- Class Representatives should be provided with opportunities during scheduled lectures or other class activities to seek feedback from the students (in the absence of the lecturer/convener).
- Students can also provide feedback via email to the Class Representative email address for the class (advertised on the Class Wattle site).
- If the Class Representatives wish to survey the student cohort during the class, the survey and draft questions should be endorsed by the Convener to ensure the questions are constructive and objective.
- Class Representatives should be given the opportunity to meet at least twice with the Course Convener to communicate summarised feedback, however no meeting is required if in the opinion of the Class Representative a meeting is not required.
- Class Representatives provide feedback that represents the views of the students within the class; where the views expressed represent a subset of students, or the Class Representative’s personal view alone this is identified when providing feedback.
- Class Representatives for all classes run by a School should meet with the Associate Director (Education) or their delegate at least once per semester.
Responding to Feedback
- Course Conveners should respond to the current student cohort regarding any significant issues raised in the feedback and any changes to the class that will occur. This response can be communicated directly during a teaching session and/or via a Wattle post. It is the Course Convener’s decision what changes are appropriate.
- The Protocol for Class Student Representation should be included in all CHM/COS Course Wattle sites.
- Class Representatives cease to function in their roles should they withdraw from a course, and Class Representatives communicate this to their relevant Course Conveners.
- If the relationship between the Convener and a Class Representative is not constructive, then the Associate Director Education, Associate Dean Education and/or ANUSA President may be contacted to mediate. In cases where the relationship is not improved after mediation, the Course Convener in consultation with the Associate Director Education may replace a Class Representative at the Course Convener’s discretion.