Staff Student Liaison Committee - Meeting Notes
Notes from School of Civil Engineering Student Staff Liaison Committee Meeting Thursday 6 September 2007 1 pm
Dr Abbas El-zein
A/Prof David Airey
Dr Tim Wilkinson
Dr Li Liu
Prof Kim Ramussen
1. Welcome: The Pro-Head (Undergraduate), David Airey, welcomed all members.
2. Matters arising from last meeting in 2007
*Cheating/Academic Dishonesty: Students who had been involved in the incidents last time have been interviewed and appropriate penalties imposed. On the staff side, lecturers are aware of the need for appropriate rooms and procedures to reduce possibility of issues in future quizzes.
* Prac experience: David Airey advised that Stuart Reid had updated the information about work experience for students.
* Feedback: David Airey mentioned that Engineering gets poor student SCEQ ratings which affect money to the faculty (which then makes it hard to improve). Students should be aware that poor student survey results affect the ability to improve teaching, and the stature of the university - which in the longer term affects the students - as alumni. The uni was not asking students to give good survey results just for the sake of it - if we deserve criticism please give it! But we want to receive it now, and try to act on it, then to hear nothing, and have the students rate us poorly after graduation.
David mentioned the anonymous feedback page. Were students aware of it? Only 3 or 4 submissions have been received this semester. Also it is hard to act specifically on some issues when they are anonymous.
2. Student-raised issues
The issue was raised that some tutorials were being held in CELR1 & CELR3 which arent the most appropriate for tutorials.
Similarly, some lecture rooms, such as CELR1 are over crowded in some lectures (eg Steel 1).
The uni does have some logistical issues trying to accommodate all the increasingly growing engineering classes and we are working on it. TW referred to the Drawing Office - a new projector screen halfway down the room will be installed to mirror the main projector image, plus a visualiser will be installed. The date is currently unknown. This will improve the suitability of the CEDO to host lectures.
It was brought up that in some classes there were some small groups of students who were particularly disruptive - eg excessive talking. There were some lecturers who were assertive and stopped it, but there were some others who perhaps were not able to control the class as well. A key issue that came up was how this showed disrespect, both for the lecturers, and for the fellow classmates. Various options were discussed - as uni lecturers we were not too keen to follow school type rules and get people to separate; US unis sometime had "honour codes" that students enforced; perhaps online taped lectures might provide an option for the disruptive students to study at home and avoid disruption in class.
David Airey will speak with the specific lecturers involved.
With transfer of Thesis from Dong Jeng to Stuart Reid, the online webCT course seems to have disappeared and the students are not aware of important dates and requirements for the poster and oral presentation.
Individual course issues
Concrete Structures 1: Assignments and feedback were very slow to come back to the students.
Intro to Structural Concepts: IT was thought that the lecturer has excessively high standard expectations of the students, but there was some disagreement on this.
Civil Engineering Design: The workload this year has increased due to the inclusion of an exam. TW noted that this was added this year as a result of feedback from previous years that some students were getting "free rides" in group assignments.
Groupwork: There was discussion on the increasing amount of groupwork. David Airey mentioned that the both the uni and Engineers Australia have been making significant changes to what they expect in assessment, and groupwork is part of this.
IT: WebCT appeared to be quite slow for off campus access.
The new Hawkins lab set up got a big "thumbs-up".
Meeting closed at 2 pm