-- Main.soa - 29 Oct 2007

Notes from Meeting of 29 Oct 2007

Things to do:

  • The Student Management Committee shall arrange their first meeting to discuss the management of the 3rd floor open area what items need to be bought to make the area more usable.
  • Stuart Anderson shall find conduct some research into how we can acquire artwork for the walls.
  • One member for both the Assessment Working Group and the Support Working Group remain to be be recruited.
  • A "My Favourite VLE" Wiki page shall be created to record people's experience with VLEs. The goal is to begin to collect student views on their experience of VLEs and how they can be used effectively.
  • The ITO shall take a proposal to Teaching Committee on the release of statistics on students assignments.
  • Stuart Anderson and the ITO will prepare and circulate a short discussion paper for teaching staff on the results of the National Student Survey.
  • The ITO shall look into creating an Informatics calendar for Informatics events: assignment deadlines, tutorials and lectures. VCal and Google Calendar.


  • The members of the Management Committee will be: Ciaran Hearne, Chatchavan Wacharamanotham, Sarah Lowman, Matthew Bielby, John Roger and Wilson-Kanamori.
  • After basic items have been bought we will look at getting a fridge.
  • More lockers have been bought.
  • There is a delay on moving the lockers on the 5th floor of Appleton Tower because the lockers need to have roofs due to fire safety regulations.
  • Gregor, Vasilis or Graham plus one other will form the student representation on Assesment Working Group.
  • John Roger and Chatchavan Wacharamanotham plus one other will form the student respresntation on the Student Support Working Group.



Many people have a problem with WebCT because it's not used effectively by lectures. Do lecturers have adequate training to use WebCT ? A good VLE should eliminate the requirement that each course should have its own website; lecturers shouldn't have to concern themselves with creating websites. It should be easy for lecturers to keep the course information up-to-date.

Simple software training on how to use VLEs is not that useful; lecturers need training on how to make best use of the new system, not just how to upload documents and edit pages. They should be advised on how to keep a structured and useful VLE section for their course. Recommendations on how to effectively use a VLE can be added to the VLE page on the Wiki. Lecturers attitudes need to be changed about VLEs. There is evidence that suggests some lecturers are discouraged from using the system because of audit logs.

An expanding bibliography would be useful addition to a course VLE section. If something comes up in the class that wasn't in the original manifest, someone should put it up preferably either a PDF.

Unfortunately, we don't know what VLE we are going to use yet. Is it really worth training people how to use a VLE when we may be using a different VLE in a few years?

Recommendations on improving feedback:

We discussed what mechanisms might be useful in improving feedback on practical work. These included:
  • A feedback session.
  • Adequate explanations should be given as to why a student lost marks in an assignment.
  • Announce when feedback will be released and stick to it.
  • Statistics should be released to students: average mark, maximum mark, minimum mark.
  • Have a weekly set of 10 voluntary multiple choice questions for each course.
  • There should an exact specification for how feedback should be written so the students know exactly where they have gone wrong.
  • More personal contact after assignments: a tutorial to discuss what people have done wrong in the assignment.
  • After the assignment deadline has passed, there should be a forum for questions and answers about the assignment.


Lecturers should be encouraged to have scanned handwritten notes online.

Enforcing plagiarism policy makes students reluctant to discuss things amongst themselves which hiders their learning. There is far too much emphasis on preventing plagiarism and not enough on students learning.

Topic revision: r4 - 29 Oct 2007 - 15:18:12 - Main.soa
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