We caught up with Paul Greening, Associate Head of School for EEC, who gave us an insight to plans in your faculty for the rest of the academic year. See what he had to say below.
What are the short and long term goals for the faculty?
“Educating students is what we do, the primary objective is to achieve that goal in the most exciting and engaging way possible. There are a number of different programmes under review at the moment, currently we are looking at moving towards a more course-based approach, so that when you join a course it’s been curated around you and not just a bunch of modules that have been put together for the sake of it.
Implementing core assessments, which is very similar to a driving theory test whereby students must be able to demonstrate a certain level of knowledge in order to progress further, this will be rolling in throughout the next few years. Additionally the new academic year will impact all students, with the new model now including a 13 week semester with assessments filtered in throughout, compared to the previous system where it was a block of lectures and seminars, then a gap and when students returned they were then met with a number of different exams and assessments, this new system looks to integrate everything together.
We believe that personalising support is vital for student success, so we are emphasising that tutors recognise the students as individuals and taking the time to tailor their feedback specifically to them. For instance we recommend that once or twice a semester they look at their student’s attendance, and if there’s any issues then asking why this is happening and if there’s anything they can do to help. We’re trying best to understand students and as analytics improve this will become a staple in helping us achieve this. We’re also looking at the possibility of student’s mentoring each other, we ran a pilot a couple years ago which proved to be successful. We’re aiming to have 3rd year students mentoring 1st year students and looking at helping them with academic skills, however we need to be careful with the information that is accessible to each student. Furthermore we look heavily into NEQ’s, students may not realise how heavily we look into this, but if there’s a low score we instantly look into how we can rectify this.
Looking into how else we can improve the student experience we have recently introduced a laptop loan system, whereby students can rent laptops directly from us if they require the software and other facilities are busy, this will be particularly useful around exam time when common areas become increasingly busy.
What events/activities are being held in the faculty during the second semester?
The employability team run a number of events (EEC Futures), whereby they help students either obtain placements, or provide them with the necessary information in order to make this decision. I think this is a great initiative that is extremely beneficial to our students. While there isn’t a huge amount of events happening in the faculty specific, we are planning to invite all the Presidents of societies in the University and seeing what they’re doing and what we can do to help.
We will also be looking to hold a focus group to see what it is that students want to see from their faculty, and this can range from all areas not just an academic viewpoint.”
I would like to thank Paul Greening for taking the time to meet with me and allowing himself to be interviewed. I hope this has been helpful and given you an insight into what to expect from your faculty in the coming months. Furthermore I would like to make everyone aware that there will be a number of different events happening throughout the University in January and February, so keep an eye out on CUSU.org and your emails for further details regarding these!