You Shape UCL
Exam preparation, delivery and results
You said: Some of you were concerned about 24 hour exams in 2020/21.
We did: Where possible (if departmentally managed) we have amended these to run as three-week ‘open book’ exams.
You said: There were requests that exam feedback to be shared with students directly, rather than having to ask each individual module organiser.
We did: This will be implemented for the 2020-21 academic year, while we have essay based exams which are marked offline. We are also responding to requests for more information on how exams will be structured and access to example/past exam papers.
Revamped degree programmes
You said: You asked for computer practical groups and debate groups be made smaller, as well as more practical hours to allow more personal interaction.
We did: The UCL Biosciences undergraduate programmes have been reviewed and revamped. The undergraduate programmes remain challenging but with a broadened approach to learning. There are fewer compulsory lectures and more opportunities to take on practical challenges throughout the degree programme, including more lab-based modules, smaller debate groups and more practicals. The effort to improve the programmes is a continuous process which takes ongoing student feedback into consideration.
Development of core skills
You said: you asked for an increased focus on learning and developing core skills.
We did: We have introduced an increased focus on sharpening core skills including computational and presentation skills. We are putting in place time management sessions to help manage workload and smaller computer practical groups allowing for more interaction.
Learning environment, department culture and support
You said: You asked for more support and to assign personal tutors by student area of interest.
We did: Transitions mentors have been appointed in response to your requests for support. This has been well received and students have commented that they are great at responding to questions and helping with concerns. Personal tutors are now also being assigned by student area of interest to further support.
You said: You wanted the department to feel more integrated.
We did: We have responded to requests to feel more integrated as a department.
For example, finalists are now invited to all GEE seminars, and all students are invited to termly social events with staff and students. Also, we have amended the SSCC to invite all students to attend the meetings, instead of just the SSCC reps.