Loop allows you to search a college and find out what it’s like at the college. Loop will come in and train students on how to do peer to peer reviewing. Roughly £2000 for access to this tool but can get discounts. But the negative is that the college can choose the question and bias the results for instance “what is your favourite thing about the college”. So can basically vet negative feedback to prevent it entering the public environment. The site is also moderated to ensure there is no abuse. There is also a reply function so that the college can comment back.
Unitu is an internal platform for capturing student feedback. Different from loop because it’s designed to be internal. Mainly used in universities at the minute, but some FE colleges are using it. Allows representative feedback to get back to staff. Each department can have a private area where students and staff can discuss, share files and ask questions in private with course reps. Feedback can also be given anonymously. Students can then vote on each others issues and once it receives enough votes the staff and students in the department will be made aware of the problem and this shows how many voted for and against it. Students then get made aware that the issue is in progress and shows it is being worked on. Once it is resolved the issue gets moved to resolved. Students can ask reps and staff questions throughout the process, allowing for a proper feedback loop. Would need to enquire about the cost, but approx £2 per student quoted
Finding out people’s stories and using digital means to share them. Looking at ways to uncover what life is actually like for the students. Can be through video or audio and still images. It gives the opportunity to get people together to talk and reflect on how it made them feel and what the impact was for instance success and failure and the environment sharing those stories in a trusted environment. Making it digital gives the project a purpose but then also gives you something to share for others to engage with (if the student is comfortable with it). JISC can help a lot on this sort of thing and can come in and run workshops on this product offer consultancy and advice on these sorts of things including advice on digital skills to be able to do it.
Phase 1: consultation with student officers, staff, small an big students unions and national executive committee. They are now drawing strategy together from the conversations. Comes out on Monday and there is a webinar every week so look at the strategy and give feedback (WEBINAR LINK HERE). Reports look at how NUS currently functions to ensure strategy is on a level playing field and section 2 of this looks at these as discussion themes and some proposed principles of democracy which will underpin what democratic decisions making bodies will look like. Used theory of change to map this out. Such as how we will work together as a strong effective movement.
Trying to engage local communities, health, transport and access etc within area reviews. NUS have issued a number of stories about the effect of area reviews particularly with transport etc. Need to have conversations about these things and the effect this is going to have on jobs. NUS have been working with BIS and DfE to discuss the policy issues in round table discussions for instance who learner voice should look like, what outcomes should there be for students, learner needs to access education, what makes quality education? Transport and access are receiving good support and might help gain local government reports. Everything is on FE unplugged site.
Try and get students onto a round table event (SEE BELOW) , also interested in what we need to ensure learners are part of this conversation. Can we also explain what area reviews are to students in social media? Students are worried that they will be going to the other colleges in case they are bullied etc so don’t want to go to the other colleges in the area for different courses. Students should be involved in area review discussions. Will effect students choosing courses because they will pick the course nearby rather than travel elsewhere. Might not be local authority funding to support travel to other areas either.
Conference voted to campaign to remain in the EU. This issue effects students as students so we can campaign not just on the register to vote but also on the taking sides. NUS will not produce documentation on the leave campaign. We as students unions can decide to campaign therefore for a certain side. NUS will produce a resource on how this will effect non British passport holders studying over here. We will need to produce our own info on the leave campaign because we are not a registered charity and therefore we will not be allowed to campaign for a particular side unless we are able to confidently say we as a students union are doing it by themselves. Might want to hold a debate on this with students and see what stance comes out. NUS will promote debates like this. Speak to Katie Shaw for advice on this. Fullfact.org is very helpful for the EU referendum. Active Citizens FE is also good for this.
Homework: tell Alan Roberts what would be an issue you are definitely going to be working on next year (not necessarily a service based issue) and NUS will support it. Perhaps bring up supporting trans students in FE particularly in relation to the legalities such as name changes and facilities use etc.
LGBT inclusion in the further education sector.
Stonewall have the circles task with sex, gender and sexual orientation. They also asked us to tell each other what we did at the weekend without using any gendered terms. Hard to have a conversation without using gendered words and these are the conversations that trans people will have everyday. They can often sound depersonalised and make people look cold.
We should have gender identify champions in the college.
All staff should get trained on LGBT awareness to be sure that all students get the same experience for instance catering staff, security staff and estates staff as well as administrator, support staff and tutors. Maybe ask for an online training module to be produced on this to be completed as part of mandatory training.
Run-through no bystanders campaign at Newcastle College. It’s not LGBT specific so it will be a good way to work on a cross college campaign. Also ensure we deliver sexual orientation and gender identity as part of the curriculum- maybe we could do a students online information session on this that tutors could play out in classes.
Run a campaign with pictures of staff saying how they support the LGBT community (see photos).
Find out who is my contact at stonewall for tailored support. Stonewall are also looking at doing a train the trainer programme for further education .
Law on gender reassignment is not going far enough, stonewall say that it is dependent on exam boards about changing names on certificates etc and is a system thing and not a legal thing. Go on gendered intelligence website for advice on how to handle facilities use questions in relation to trans.
There is a ticketing module on Union Cloud where you can sell tickets to events and society occasions. There is an electronic voting system (can be set up as alternative voting and first past the post). Also have a your say functionality that allows students to give feedback and then students can vote on the feedback (such as like and dislike). And you can then pull off statistics reports. Allows you to populate manifestos on it and nominate yourself as well. But elections module needs access to student data.
Maybe create a voluntary “social media officer” post- great for the experience of students.
IT can access it with permissions so there is no conflict on that score. Could provide lessons plans on the site on different topics such as healthy eating and sustainability. Can also have a you said we did section.
NUS are also looking at providing an online shop that would provide college specific merchandise and the unions would then get 20% of the profits made on sales related to their specific institution. We send the artwork and then NUS make it and distribute it and there are no minimum orders. This shop will be independent of union cloud (Epona is the company it’s being run-through). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Union cloud costs: Need to discuss with NUS. Basic package is free but the more you add the more is costs. Every module costs money and can work out quite expensive (such as Nottingham Trent SU pay £15k). Contact email@example.com to find out about union cloud.