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Campaigns

A campaign is an action, or series of actions, designed to bring about some form of change.

Your Union campaigns to improve the student experience and lives of our students on issues of concern to students locally, nationally and internationally.

Our campaigns are led by you, our members, so if you feel there is an issue that we should be working on get in touch with one of the Union's Executive Officers.
 
Current Campaigns

Should We Scrap Exams? - (diversifying assessment)

Each year the Students' Union hosts the Student Experience Seminar. This is an event where the Union gets to present to a group of the University's Senior Managers on an issue of concern to QM students. The issue is agreed by the members of the Education Zone and is then becomes the subject of the annual Student Experience Survey, the results of which inform the content of the Student Experience Seminar.

This year the issue chosen was assessment at QM. The survey set out to discover:

  • the range of assessment methods used at QM
  • students' opinions on assessments in general
  • students' opinions on assessments at QM
  • whether students understand the intended learning outcomes of their course
  • whether students feel the methods of assessment used and the feedback provided help them meet those learning outcomes
  • whether the methods of assessment used help with the development of employability skills 

The survey was run under the provocative title of 'Should We Scrap Exams' and produced 646 responses (the second best response for a Union survey ever).

We then held three Focus Groups to help us explore some of the findings in greater detail.

The results of our findings were presented to the University at the annual Student Experience Seminar on 12 March 2014. 

A report with recommendations was then produced and submitted to the Vice President Teaching and Learning's Advisory Group (VPTLAG) on 14 May 2014.

Recommendations

  1. Not to ‘scrap exams’ but aim to diversify assessment

·         Encourage elements of marking to be decided by students (say 5-15%) - ‘students             as partners’.

·         More scrutiny at Taught Programme Board on the rationale for assessments and                 their relevance to learning outcomes (constructive alignment) - need to give clear               direction that diverse assessment is encouraged.

·         CAPD to develop/promote content on the topic of assessment.

 

  1. Promote the practice of giving  students explicit rationales for assessment

·         Module handbooks to contain assessment rationales.

·         TBP module approval guidelines to add this point to formal procedure.

 

  1. Encourage a review of exam weightings

·         Diverse assessment requires a review of exam and other assessment weightings.

·         The weightings also need to be aligned with learning objectives and assessment                 aims.

·         Bring the question: why do we weight exams so heavily? to the forefront of the                     assessment debate.

 

  1. Improve upon feedback quality and alignment to marking schemes and learning outcomes

·         Use data from both the NSS and this survey to work on improving feedback by                     aligning it to marking schemes and learning outcomes.

·         Work with departments and their feedback sheets to make improvements.

·         Continue to work towards providing meaningful examination feedback to all students

 

      5.   Better prepare students for learning and assessment

·         Raise awareness with International Students as to exactly what is expected of them             in terms of examinations early on their course.

·         Work on helping students to identify their preferred learning styles and develop                   appropriate coping strategies.

·         Ensure that students are aware of the intended learning outcomes for their course             and how each module delivers these (in conjunction with the assessment rationale               and weightings).

 

       6. Address issues raised concerning exam room conditions

(The following points were raised in the free text box at the end of the survey)

·         Work internally to ensure that standards are set and met when assigning                             examination rooms.

·         Pay particular attention to ensuring that external examination venues are quiet and             comfortable. 

Space Audit

During the first semester of the 2013-14 academic Year, the Students' Union conducted an audit of the teaching space within the University with the intention of making a case for increasing the amount of space students can use for private study. As well as supporting this case, the data from the audit raised a number of other issues connected with the efficient use of teaching space. The findings from the audit were presented in a report to the University's Student Experience Advisory Board on 20 February 2014.

The recommendations contained in this report were as follows:

1. That the University should introduce a policy whereby students are allowed to access unused space, followed by the introduction of availibility screens in buildings.

 
2. That the University should create a Space Management Group which would include, or draw from, 
the Timetabling Working Group, ARCS, Planning, and current plans to carry out a quality of teaching 
space audit; all the work carried out by these groups should be aligned. 
 
3. That this new group should lead on the development of policy that resulting from the following 
recommendations: 
 
a) Create and implement a policy, or guidelines by which departments are held to account for 
their use and misuse of space. 
 
b) Create stricter guidelines on the proper use of the full timetable – pressure on Tuesdays and 
Thursdays, and more recently Wednesdays, should be counterbalanced and alleviated by 
using Monday mornings and Fridays more effectively. We believe this will enable a knock-on 
reduction in the amount of teaching being carried on a Wednesday afternoons. 
  
c) Since the data shows that there is an endemic misuse of one-off bookings, systems such as 
spot checks and fines should be introduced in order to counterbalance bad practice in this 
area. 
 
4. The introduction of a planning policy which would increase the ratio of flexible teaching in new 
buildings. We feel that the lack of policy in this area has meant that buildings such as Arts 2 are 
under-resourced in terms of teaching space. 
 
5. That rooms within the Students’ Union which are currently being used for teaching should be 
returned to the full use of the Union. The data shows that if timetabling was done effectively there 
would be no need for these rooms to be used as teaching space. 
 

 

 

 

Your Executive Officers
Dola Osilaja
President
president@qmsu.org
020 7882 8039
 
Carolina Mantzalos
Vice President Education
vpeducation@qmsu.org
020 7882 8039
 
Mashalle Asim
Vice President Welfare
vpwelfare@qmsu.org
020 7882 8039
 
Sam Rowles
Vice President
Barts and The London
vpassociation@qmsu.org
020 7882 8045
 
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