Course Units 2008‐2009  Teaching Committee Meeting - Minutes

Course Units 2008‐2009 Teaching Committee Meeting - Minutes
1. Wednesday 05 November 2008 12:15‐14:00 Bedford Way, room G06a Staff present: Luay Hasan Yoko Aldous Dr. Christine Hoffmann (CH) Marie‐Laure Aris Sara Bragadina Fabrice Lamotte Anja Boeing Li‐yun Liao Roberto D’ Onofrio Mireille Michel Juan Fernandez Marc‐Georges Nowicki Diego Flores‐Jaime Catherine Plant Petra Garcia‐Rodriguez Carmen Requena Claudia Geithner Jenny Rodgers Fernando Gracia‐Garcia Apologies: Maria‐Teresa Forteza‐Rey, Dr. So Hiranuma, Shaomin Lee and Antonella Veccia. LANGUAGE CENTRE/COLLEGE DEVELOPMENTS Karine Roumetz Adam Salisbury (AS) Fabio Sastre‐Alonso Pierre Scordia Chizuko Seki‐Zdrzalka James Sinclair‐Knopp Cristina Testi Anne‐Sophie Vandamme Selina Zheng. 1.1 Common Timetable: the aim of the common timetable is to allow more inter‐disciplinary module choices for students, better use of rooms and to economise (less small classes with very few students); UCL will use this timetable structure from 2009/2010 – most Departments will teach in the set blocks (09:00‐13:00 and 14:00‐18:00), which means we will have to re‐think our Evening courses as rooms will not be as freely available from 17:00. However fortunately, we will not be forced to teach our 0.5 course units over one term, unlike other Departments, therefore we will have to reinforce this to students when they register. 1.2 UCL Audit: there will be a general Audit taking place for the whole of UCL in February/March 2009; The auditors could choose any Department to take a closer look at – if the Language Centre is chosen we will be informed of this in the New Year. A key point of this audit is that Departmental websites are up to date, so we have nothing to be concerned about; as a result, search engines will be much improved. 1.3 Financial situation of UCL: all staff to receive a 5% pay increase which will cost college a huge amount as only 4.5% had been calculated for this; College will find out in March if it is to receive some government research funding. 1.4 We were informed by Human Resources yesterday (04/11/08) that we are no longer allowed to teach on more than 1.0 contract. If you already have a full, 1.0 contract then you cannot teach extra classes Course Units Teaching Committee Meeting 2008‐11‐05 – Minutes 2. 3. 4. (medics, Evening classes). This rule will apply to all Departments, college‐wide. If you have, for example a 0.6 contract then it is fine to teach extra. We have been told this, despite H.R informing us very recently that the sealing contract that we can offer is a 1.3. This will take effect from next year as classes have begun, although there is one exception – one of our tutors will be required to stop teaching two of the medics classes for the remainder of this year as they already have too many hours. COURSE UNITS (Registration, numbers, change of course requests, Intercollegiate students, Exams) 2.1 Thanks to all for work during the registration period – student numbers are higher than ever, we currently have 1350 students with 218 classes each week (CH read out student numbers for each language/level, both for course units and for medics and also, for course units which Departments students have come from). It certainly felt a lot busier for the administration office. Hopefully students/Departments now realise the importance of language learning. 2.2 For TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) there are half the number of students that we would normally have – we are not sure why. Although some Departments do not allow their students to take TEFL, as it is a completely different skill for them, we should always recommend our course (or other languages) to students when we assess them and they cannot take their first language course choice for whatever reason. 2.3 Late Registrations and level changes: we cannot now allow any late‐comers to join a course if they are a beginner, even if they know a little – they have missed too much class time (8 or 16 hours). If students now come to register who are an intermediate or advanced level then it is at the relevant tutors’ discretion to accept them into the class. We should not allow any more registrations at all after the end of next week (14th November), unless they really have a specific reason for not being able to register until now. Please do not encourage students to change level at this stage in the term – of course if it is necessary for them to do so, then we can. They must complete a Change of Level form first; every change then gets sent to Registry as we are no longer able to amend Portico records. 2.4 Intercollegiate students: all SOAS students will receive an email form the office next week giving them instructions on where to collect their UCL I.D card; once they have this they will be ale to go Information Systems to get a UCL email account and user I.D, also giving them access to the library. 2.5 Coursework: Project Guidelines will be available on the website next week; coversheets for the December Grammar & Vocabulary assessment will also be available on the website, in the staff section. 2.6 Reading & Writing Exams: Coordinators will meet this week to go through and process the first drafts of exam papers, in order for us to have papers ready by Christmas; we will distribute the examination template during the summer next year; a reminder that this year students will use separate answer booklets for the final exam, so bear this in mind when you are writing the exams. We must emphasise to returning students and to all students when they look as past exam papers that the format will change this year, although most Departments at UCL use separate answer books so students will generally be used to this. We will ask Registry whether students are allowed to separate the exam texts from the questions. (AS showed an example of a standard answer booklet). For Japanese and Mandarin we can provide separate, boxed paper answer booklets – we may need to provide Registry with a example of exactly what we will need for this. SSCs (Medics) 3.1 Registering the Medics has proved rather difficult this year, with students not adhering to the assessment dates/times offered and/or changing their minds as to which language they wish to study, resulting in a delay in confirming class times/tutors etc. However, the Year 2 and Year 3 classes have already begun and the Year 1 classes start tomorrow. MOODLE / CMS Course Units Teaching Committee Meeting 2008‐11‐05 – Minutes 5. 6. 7. 4.1 On the Moodle homepage we have noticed that the course titles are not consistent: for course units tutors should use the full title and/or coursecode to clarify who the Moodle page is for, e.g. LCSP6006: Spanish for Current Affairs & Culture and to differentiate from Evening course levels. We will look at the titles for UPCH/EAP Moodle material as these do not have coursecodes; 4.2 Information Systems now offer training courses on the UCL Content Management System, Silva, so please feel free to sign up for one if you require some formal training in this area. INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARDS 5.1 As you know there is now an Interactive Whiteboard Focus group, led by Ian Newby and Jon Butt (with two sessions taking place this week); we need someone to represent French and Italian at the group. OBSERVATIONS 6.1 There are no mini observations this year for Course Units (we do these every other year), we will just have Peer Observations. Jane Skirving will give a Staff Development Session on this subject tomorrow. ANY OTHER BUSINESS 7.1 Liyun Liao would like to tidy up the quiet room/ resources room, so please remove any personal items by next week so that we can start from scratch and see exactly what we need in there. Liyun has also asked tutors to give her details of any methodological material that is needed. Meeting closed at 14.00. Course Unit Administrative Assistant +44 (0) 20 7679 5481 11 November 2008 Course Units Teaching Committee Meeting 2008‐11‐05 – Minutes