Staff Student Liaison Committee - Meeting Notes
Notes from Department of Civil Engineering Student Staff Liaison Committee Meeting Tuesday 9 May 2006 1 pm
Peter Jia-Hui Xie
Qiao Nan Han
Wen Hao Eric Wu
Mrs Cynthia Papangelis
Prof Kim Rasmussen
Dr Abbas El-zein
A/Prof David Airey
Dr Tim Wilkinson
Dr Li Liu
Dr Graeme Wood
1. Welcome: The Pro-HOD (Undergraduate), David Airey, welcomed all members. He explained that two main things that had happened recently with respect to student affairs:
* New student advisor system (same advisor for all 4 or 5 years of uni)
* New course menu document to help students with course choices
2. Matters arising from last meeting in 2005
The notes from the last meeting were not available, however the main issue from the last meeting was discussed. Students wanted to know more about thesis earlier, and be able to make thesis selection choices earlier. Some of this has been implemented by Dong Jeng already.
3. New SSLC format/Role of members
David Airey mentioned that we had moved from 2 to 5 year reps to ensure that we always had a reasonable representation of 2 or 3 students from each year.
This is an important formal committee within the School to get feeback from students and be a conduit for information. The contents of these meetings are potentially discussed with the Dean or Engineers Australia as part of accreditation and quality assurance. Very specific details or complaints about individual courses are better dealt with separately either directly with the course co-ordinator, or the year advisor or the Head of School.
5. Student surveys (CEQ, SCEQ, USE). What are they? What do they tell the staff? What does it mean to the University/Faculty/School? How do we act on them?
David Airey explained the surveys that students fill in:
* USE - Unit of study evaluation that most students fill in at the end of each semester about most courses. This is specifically aimed at an individual unit of study.
* CEQ - Course evaluation questionnaire: This is done by the Federal Government a few months after graduation and is sent to a random selection of students. It asks questions of a broad nature about your entire 4 years.
* SCEQ - Student course evaluation questionnaire: This is done by the university and is sent to a random selection of students during their time at uni. The questions are similar to the CEQ. It is designed to help the uni pre-empt what students might eventually say in the CEQ - so we can address issues early.
Part of the school's funding is connected to our performance in these surveys. Engineering has low scores compared to the rest of the uni and is trying to improve, but we need constructive feedback from students to identify what the issues are.
The results of these surveys are acted upon. If a lecturer gets a low rating in any of the questions in the USE, he/she has to write a report o the Dean identifying the issues and stating what changes can be made to improve things.
6. Graduation dinner
Kim Rasmussen mentioned the prospect of replacing the graduation breakfast/morning tea with a more substantial dinner held after the graduation. It would require significant input from the students. Students would need to pay, but there might be some subsidy from the school, given that the breakfast was currently paid for by the School.
It was suggested that the current 4th year reps attend this years graduation breakfast (26 May 9am) to see the format - and a decision on whether to have the formal dinner in 2007 would be made at the staff-student liaison meeting in Sem 2.
7. Electronic Bulletin Board
Tim Wilkinson displayed the electronic noticeboard and asked if students were aware of it. There are different methods to communicate, direct email, webCT, etc.
For specific communication from a lecturer about a unit of study email or webct seemed to be the preferred option. Students mentioned "email overload" and TW said that the bulletinboard was designed to avoid that. TW would look into some of the features of WebCT.
8. Student issues
4th year Engineering design and construction: Lack of tutors & lecturer sometimes arriving late. The School was caught a little off guard by the large enrolment this year - and it is difficult to find suitably knowledgeable tutors for 4th year.
2nd year materials: Lack of past exams. Tim Wilkinson mentioned that the materials course had changed name/number a few times, so students might not be aware of exactly what to look for for past exams. Past exams were available on the library website.
1st year Intro to Engg Disciplines: Lack of past exams. Being a relatively new subject, not many past exams were available anyway. It was sugegsted students ask the lecturer.
3rd year concrete: Lack of past exams, web content, resources such as text book/notes, vague content.
Electives: Students asked about electives in 3rd/4th year and wanted more choice or opportunity not to do certain subjects. The School is obliged to have students do a certain amount in each discipline by Engineers Australia. This gives graduates depth and breadth and makes them more employable. The current range of electivity was expanded in 2004, and is in line with accepted practice worldwide.
7. Next meeting
Two proposed meetings for Sem 2.
Semester 2 - Week 3?
Semester 2 - Week 11?
Meeting closed at 2 pm