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Email from Directors of Student Experience | Wednesday 11 November 2020

Subject: GSD Survey

Hi everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to complete the short survey we undertook in October. There were 95 responses from across the three years (38 first year: 12 and 26 single honours and joint honours, 33 second year: 16 and 17 single and joint honours and 24 third year: 13 and 11 single and joint honours submissions). We want to reiterate that we really do value your feedback and it was reassuring to get so much positive feedback and that you recognise we are also working under very challenging circumstances.

First of all, we would like to thank you for your wonderful feedback. Please find below a selection of excerpts from the survey:

  • Participation and engagement in the online seminars and workshops via Teams has so far proven to be far more successful than I had anticipated going into this academic year
  • I have been really happy with the way online seminars have worked
  • Pre-recorded lectures are very good and are of high quality and tutors are offering a lot of support
  • I feel that my personal tutor and lecturers have been very supportive and are ready to provide assistance whenever necessary
  • Everyone is understanding the situation we are in and considerate about the circumstances
  • I have always felt that the department has had my back as a student
  • Thanks for working so hard to make this very strange year a success :)

 

Please find below our responses to the key themes that emerged from the survey and a note about what we have already done or what we propose to do.

 

  1. “I have found it very difficult to keep on top of all my work as everything is highly ragmented due to the reading, scheduling time to watch lectures, seminars, group projects etc.”

    We are here to support you. The directors of student experience are available every day 1-1:30pm in the Virtual Common Room to answer any question you might have. Your personal tutor is also available in their office hours to offer academic support. Please reach out to us 😊.

 

  1. “I think everything should just be put online”

    Some of you have expressed their preference for online teaching, while others have really enjoyed the f2f seminars. As you will remember, between September 2020 (when the Late arrival form was circulated) and Week 5, we have considered requests by students who wanted to attend online only due to their personal circumstances.

    Following lockdown, we circulated a form so that students can express their preferences. Please submit it as soon as possible if you still wish to amend your mode of attendance.

 

  1. “The number of emails could be reduced.”

    Following previous conversations with the SSLC, we have implemented a weekly newsletter, which is sent every Friday and includes all communication. All other emails that you will receive are either related to specific modules, to your specific cohort, or are urgent communication. If you believe this can be further improved, please get in touch with your Director of Student Experience.

 

  1. First-year Single Hons students wanted clearer guidance on module choices in term 1

    For the 2021 intake we will produce a new ‘Guide to Module Choices’ ready for Welcome Week 2021. For Students and Tutors we will also collate a ‘contacts page’ containing undergraduate office emails, names of people and phone numbers to help you and Tutors quickly find out any relevant module information to help you make your choice. Be reassured that for your second-year module choices we already have a “Guidance on GSD optional modules selection” page on the Handbook, available here, with information to help guide you. You will be asked to make your choices towards the end of term 2 in 2021 and we will send out more information later on.

 

  1. You asked for your peers to be encouraged to turn on cameras to create a more inclusive learning environment

    In our weekly Communications message in week 4 we highlighted the benefits of this and we also inserted them in the House Rules. Following a request from the GSD SSLC, we have also explained how to save your data if using your phone for live online seminars (see House rules page).

 

  1. Inconsistency when Tutors upload material to Moodle

    We will remind Tutors that material needs to be uploaded ideally 48 hours prior to the scheduled session.

  2. You like shorter, recorded, lectures

    We will remind Tutors that the maximum recording should be 50 minutes in total, with a preference for shorter recordings (for example, 2 shorter recordings instead of 1 long recording).

  3. You would like assessment information given much earlier

    We will discuss this with Tutors and make sure that this is done more consistently in Term 2.

  4. You noted that group work can be challenging under the current circumstances e.g. how to deal with peers who don’t respond.

    For first-year students, we will put some guidance and an exercise about group work on the Principles and Praxis Moodle in week 6 to help you manage this. Be reminded that module tutors are here to support you, so please reach out to them if you need any support.

  5. You noted that it’s challenging going from one seminar straight to another in real-time or on-line.

    We will remind Tutors of the ‘Warwick hour’, which means that we start at 5 past and end at 5 to the hour in both face-to-face and live online sessions.

  6. You would like a break in long seminars over 1 and ½ hours

    We will remind Tutors to include a 5-minute break in longer seminar sessions.

  7. You would like more community events to help you bond with your peers

    We will look into holding a ‘getting to know you’ event before the end of term.

    We will ask student societies linked to or run by GSD students to post their events on the Virtual Common Room page on Teams; we also post a wide variety of events in our weekly communications update.

 

Once again, thank you for your feedback. We might not have addressed some of the points that single students have made and unfortunately, we cannot contact you directly as the form was anonymous, but please contact us if you have any further concerns.

Peter and Gioia