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8th March 2013

Education Officer: Rosie Dammers

Rosie Dammers tells us why we should vote for her for Education Officer

Hey, my names Rosie and I’m a third year history student. I am really active around the university in societies. I have been considering this role for a long time, and after speaking to lots of students and societies, I have come up with a manifesto that I think is both highly achievable and representative of your needs.

If I was elected I would set up a mobile app from which students can access personalised timetables that show lectures, seminars, course deadlines and society events. I will also scrap Blackboard and bring in a better designed system that will make online learning easier and more accessible. After researching alternative software, I propose that the university changes to Moodle. Moodle is already used by other universities in the UK such as UCL and the University of Nottingham. It is designed to create an online learning environment that provides a sociable and lively experience by allowing users to create their own personalised areas and profiles, in much the same way social spaces such as Facebook do. I also think this system would help distance learners to feel more part of university life, and would help students to network with a larger group of people on their course by making it easier for students to have online group discussions. Moodle would thus create more integration between students, and allow students to easily offer each other support – something I feel is particularly important on courses with few contact hours. As well creating an online community of students and lecturers, Moodle would enhance online learning by giving lecturers the freedom to design the layout of their course in a way that reflects the structure of the course and directs students with ease to online materials.

I also pledge to increase the amount of study space available for students to work individually and in groups, particularly during exam periods. I want to do this by opening the computer clusters across campus that are currently closed during exam time. I also want to make the library computers timeout after two hours to stop people unfairly leaving themselves logged in for long periods of time. If elected, I would also ensure that lecturers and seminar leaders are meeting a high standard by setting up a feedback system that allows students to frequently comment on the quality of their courses and the standard of the feedback they are receiving. I will then make those reports available online so that students can refer to them when choosing what future courses to take. I would encourage lecturers to comment back on the report to show how they have considered the feedback and subsequently improved the course. I will also increase the number of careers events and work experience opportunities advertised departmentally and by the careers service. I realise how important it is in this economic climate that the university equips students with the skills and experience they need to feel confident when entering the job market.

I also think it is important the university recognises the hard work of students who dedicated themselves to societies and campaigns. To make this happen, I will introduce a UoM Societies and Campaigns award. This will be an official university award that deserving students receive at the end of their degree, which reflects the commitment they have shown to a particular cause or group. There would be an interview and selection process in place to ensure that only worthy students receive the award.

Finally, if I was elected I would put my time into making the university into an international hub of learning that celebrates a range of cultures and forms links of solidarity with other universities and student union bodies worldwide. To create this climate, I want to promote language courses to all students and set up student-led conversation clubs so that students can help each other to learn other languages and make cultural exchanges.

So if you would like to see the university revolutionise their online learning, gain recognition for the hard work you put in to societies, see exactly how your courses are being improved, and learn a language from a fellow student then vote for me for Education Officer.

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