Staff Student Liaison Committee - Meeting Notes
Notes from School of Civil Engineering Student Staff Liaison Committee Meeting Thursday 11 September 2008 1 pm
Afida Md Yusof
A/Prof David Airey (Chair)
Dr Abbas El-zein
Dr Tim Wilkinson
Dr Li Liu
Prof Kim Ramussen
1. Welcome: DA welcomed all.
2. Matters arising from last meeting in April 2008
No key issues
2. Library move
DA referred to some of the issues that has been previously brought by student with respect to the new library. He mentioned that the new library had acquired additional furniture to address some of the student concerns. The old space was going to be turned into a combined first year/postgrad/"one stop shop for student queries".
TW outlined some of the things that we in progress:
* New law library to open in 2009 will reduce demand on Science Library.
* Looking at getting a photocopier back in Engineering
* Students can use engineering tutorial rooms for study if they are free - see room bookings schedule
* No individual desks in new library
* Need for a stapler in civil for students
3. Teaching evaluation project
TW outlined the scheme in which Glynis ones and Leo Keegan were sitting in all lecturers' classes for an hour. This was designed to get some professional feedback on teaching style to the staff. It had been well received by the lecturers concerned.
This brought up the broader issue of common standards across different classes. The main theme was on the degree of memorisation required by some courses. Some lecturers had everything open book, while some had a higher expectation of memorisation.
All agreed that memorisation was not what a course should be about. However this did not imply that there was no need to "remember" things.
DA noted that lecturers are heavily influenced by the way they were taught. Most of our lecturers are from outside Australia, from countries where there was a high expectation of theory, derivations, maths and memorisation.
TW noted that while his exams are mostly open book, that if a student did not know how to do a particular problem, then an open book test still wouldnt help too much.
It was also important that there was a degree of variability in styles and methodology of teaching.
3. Hawkins Lab
TW was working on extended opening hours within appropriate limitations of security.
4. Student raised issues
* It would be good for more courses to make use of the WebCT bulletin boards.
* Structural Concepts: students talking in class - the lecturer needs to be a bit more assertive. The lecturer often revises an entire lecture, and the students were unsure when new content would be covered.
* Coastal Engineering was good.
* This initiated a discussion on "inspiration". Lecturers had a responsibility to be inspirational and exciting, but at the same time students needed to be curious, inquisitive and show interest and attend.
* When is information on thesis for next year made available? Action item.
* Project, Scope Time & Cost: Lecturer tended to read the powerpoints too much.
* Contracts: julie Wright very good.
* Wind (Sem 1): Workload very high.
* General software - student wanted more inclusion of specific software. TW noted that while using software waws useful, we wanted to avoid "teaching software" and instead use the theory behind it,
Meeting closed at 2.10 pm