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Keeping up with SRUCSA November 2021

November went by so quickly!

White text on a background that looks like lasers at a space disco. Text reads "Keeping up with SRUCSA Nov 2021"
White text on a background that looks like lasers at a space disco. Text reads “Keeping up with SRUCSA Nov 2021”

Face-to-Face time

Online has its place, but being face-to-face is something else. Being in the same room as someone allows for informal chats, updates, and opportunities to support students directly. As we had been held back from seeing students in person up until now, we decided to prioritise spending time on campus in November. All three of us got to visit our campuses and see students and staff in real life, which was amazing.

We had a big upgrade to our space at Elmwood Campus. Our office moved downstairs to a bigger, better space next to the canteen on the ground floor. Cara will be opening the space for students to drop in next year. We have two kettles! So come for a cuppy and biscuit β˜•.

Getting Smarter

We continued our programme of bringing in experts to tell us about their work. We got information on how to motivate volunteers from the SRUC Alumni team. SRUC’s Student Journey Officer, Lisa, told us about her amazing thesis work on how the words and phrases we say can make mental health stigma worse. We will certainly be acting on that and trying to make our words better thought out and more inclusive.

Speak Week

Thanks to everyone who took part in Speak Week. We gathered a truck-load of student feedback, and we are now going through the responses and writing up a report summarising your thoughts. We were surprised to receive many more responses on out online form then out physical cards and boxes on campus. Listen out, as we will be putting out more information in January.

600 Hat surprise

We have been planning a project to keep our students warm while the windows need to be open for ventilation. We have had conversation with the SRUC Estates teams and individuals responsible for student welfare. After a conversation about this with an SRUC board member, we got sent 600 hand-knitted hats. We are so excited to give them out.

Safety on Campus

We have been talking to students about places on campus where they feel less safe. We sent out a survey to gather information. Following this up by taking the SRUC Estates teams on walks around our campuses. So far, we have visited Barony and King Buildings, indicating areas that could be better lit or places that are isolated. Craibstone was on schedule but had to be pushed back due to restrictions. All other campuses will be done next year.

Is the Future Blended?

When Coronavirus hit, a blended learning experience (some online activities mixed with important face-to-face teaching time) was in the planning stages for SRUC. Coronavirus led to emergency teaching over distance, and SRUC staff made a great leap forward and have adapted lots of activities. Now SRUC have begun the journey to a permanent blended approach. We want to ensure this is done in a way that benefits students.

We took time with the Student Liaison Committee meetings, that we lead with the SRUC Board, to talk to our students about blended learning. Asking students,

  • In 5 years’ time, what do you see students at SRUC learning like?
  • How does blended learning feature in this?
  • How would this compare to how you learn right now?
  • What are the pros and cons?
  • How would you resolve the negatives or make blended learning better?”

We are still keen to hear what our students think about these question, so please get in touch with your thoughts. We had a good turn out and engagement was meaningful. It helped us build a picture of where students enjoy the flexibility online teaching brings. And the places where it is not a good fit.