SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES L & T
MINUTES of the MEETING held in in Room 207, 9 University Gardens on Tuesday 15 November 2011, 10am
PRESENT: Stuart Airlie (Chair); Ian Anderson (HATII); Costas Panayotakis (Classics); Nyree Finlay
(Archaeology); Bronagh NiChonaill (Celtic & Gaelic); David Ralston (SRC); Matthew
Creasy (School of Critical Studies); Steven Reid (History, from 10.30am); Michael Murray
(Head of School Administration); Jane Neil (School of Humanities, and Clerk)
APOLOGIES Christopher Lindsay (Philosophy)
This meeting is essentially a continuation of the meeting held on 5 October to discuss items noted under AOCB from the original agenda.
SRA introduced Matthew Creasy from the school of Critical Studies, in his capacity as Mobility co-ordinator, to discuss the changes that are being implemented for students opting to take a junior year abroad. Matthew informed the meeting that he has asked RIO to change his title to “International officer for undergraduate studies in the College of Arts” in order to avoid confusion re his position to staff and students. MC had emailed relevant information to SA prior to this meeting.
1. JYA a) New arrangements for applying to Study Abroad :
MC outlined the main changes in the application process for Glasgow students applying to take a JYA. The biggest change is that interviews will no longer be carried out to discern who should be given a place. A new application form has been produced and students will now be assessed by a selection criteria from the following; Academic Performance; Personal Statement; Honours’ Subject Co-ordinator/Advisor
Reference Report; Financial Commitment and Readiness to Participate in International Exchange .
Each college will have a fixed number of places (approx 50 for the college of Arts) Seonaid Dodds will read all the applications and rank them. All applications need approval from the subject study abroad adviser so this will need a bit more involvement from them.
Subject study abroad advisers b) Arrangements for translating grades for returning students:
MC informed the meeting that a working party was set up two years ago to look at how marks were translated and discovered that each subject area did different things. They were not keen to set rules but principles. But it was clear that work should not be remarked. The marking practices of other institutions should be respected and if we are not confident with their marking we should not send students to that institution.
For clarity SA asked what then does translation mean if we can’t remark. MC advised that students should be asked to bring back all their written work so that this was available to our external examiners if required.
Mapping results onto the Glasgow scale can lead to arbitrary judgments. MC informed the meeting that
Edinburgh use a pass/fail system. In the past it has been difficult to get reports from academics which showed a student’s placing within the class. It was agreed this is a helpful indicator and MC agreed that the tutor should be encouraged to provide this information. It was certainly agreed that procedures will need to be In place in order that students are aware of what it means to them.
It is understood and accepted that all assessment has to pass ; is this written or unwritten. MC will check
MC c) Mycampus
Please email MC with any problems with students who are currently abroad. There is ongoing discussion about inputting dummy courses. MC meeting with Alice Jenkins, Steve Marritt & Dawn MacKenzie to discuss.
Check with School administrators if there are any issues with incoming JYA students. SA asked subject areas to think about the best way to translate grades. SR suggested that if Edinburgh can run a pass/fail system can
Glasgow not adopt this. SA said it is certainly an option we could consider.
SA informed the meeting that Alice Jenkins was pleased with the NSS result and thanked everyone
involved in pushing it last year. The NSS is taken very seriously and it is very important to continue to push it.
One of the Issues to come out of the NSS results that need improvement for all subject areas is feedback. Discussion followed about how best to address this - find out what students want (just a mark or feedback to help them improve) item 7 against 8 & 9:
Subject L & T conveners were asked to discuss the importance of the survey, and of completing it, at staff/student meetings and to inform the students of what lies behind the questions & to use it as a way to get their feedback.
CP very concerned by 68% for item 21for Classics and will tackle this by helping students to be more self aware & help them to understand that essay writing skills & seminar presentations are communication skills and should give them confidence.
SA said that given the pressure everyone is under these are very good results.
The Careers office are moving to a more proactive stance & Ann Duff is keen to come to a L & T
Meeting and to liaise with Staff & students.
It is also important to advertise the courses that are now running for Arts students run by Alice
There are now plans to map career choice and degree choice and we need to be aware of the perceived calibre internal & external of the pattern of Arts graduates. Job snapshot is taken 6 months after graduation which is a problem for Arts students who normally take longer to gain employment from their degree.
SA drew attention to list of graduate attributes and suggested that one of the ways we could promote employability is by using the budget allocated to L & T for speakers who are gurus of employability or to use alumni or to bring in a happy employed ex student.
Other ways could be activities in Classes however it was noted that some tutors see employability as using up academic time.
BN Informed the meeting that Stephen Woodruff has taken over PDP from Alice Jenkins and that he hosts employability workshops. There is a lot going on for students - SA to speak to SW on activities within the school. BN suggested that subjects put a paragraph on PDP into Honours documents.
Possible suggestions include, integrate into teaching; use induction classes for honours; get students to help other students to pass on knowledge
SA thanked IA for putting together the school AMR, it is very clear and lucid. IA mentioned that common issues across all subjects was the GTA budget, Admin support & room allocation. IA will circulate info at school level & give a summary of the AMR it was noted how committed staff remain to the quality of their teaching in what has been a very difficult year.
Response rates were low for student feedback forms & there is concern that we need to make it work. There are standard questions but there is flexibility within it to add extra questions. CP asked if feedback on rooms go back to CRB. IA informed that the school report gets merged with college. SA confirmed that the college report was full & eloquent on rooms
As a School we need to think about our practices and encourage flexibility & innovation. Essays only are not the way forward - look to diversify teaching practice.
We are being encouraged to combine teaching and to look at ways we can put this into practice. It was noted that we do already have some collaboration within our courses where at honours level courses in other subject areas are offered as part of the degree. Alice Jenkins identified that perhaps a school level 3 course on critical thinking could be introduced combining the genuine strength of our school structure . SA will gather info on what subjects offer at level 3. SR an issue with this would be FTE’s this will need to be clarified
5. Open /Applicant visit days
SA is meeting Heather Calder from RIO on Friday. Population changes mean prospect of fall in pool of applicants & we want to attract quality. Keen to attract students from England & further afield. Mycampus not giving the students flexibility & we need to show them the diversity within Arts & what smaller subjects can offer. This can be organised within the school but sell it a subject level give mini lectures/ presentations no more than 20 mins
SA advised that we need to take Open day seriously think about who would give a good 10-20 min presentation
Info will be needed Dec/early Jan agreed student help very important
6. New Courses
The role of this committee in relation to new courses is Academic scrutiny. All new courses should go to
staff/student meetings and externals. Anything to go through B of S to be in the hands of this committee by 5
December. Committee happy for anything to be circulated by email but SA will meet with IA to give any feedback on proposals
Date of next meeting will be circulated