The Teaching and Learning Unit within the College of Law and Management Studies (CLMS) hosted an online induction workshop for 27 class representatives.
The aim of the workshop was to prepare the College’s class representatives who were elected at the beginning of this semester for their important duty as they serve as an important link between students and academics.
Professor Msizi Mkhize, CLMS Dean: Teaching and Learning, urged the class representatives to always remember that their key responsibility is to bridge the communication gap between academic staff and students, and should therefore ensure that they are proactive and diligent in raising and dealing with issues impacting teaching and learning.
‘As class representative, you are expected to gather negative or positive feedback from students and escalate it to appropriate module lecturers, discipline and academic leaders of teaching and learning and the Dean and Head of School,’ he said.
Speaking from a Quality Promotion and Assurance (QPA) perspective – which plays a role in ensuring quality and improvement in the core functions of teaching and learning – consultant, Dr Thabile Mthombeni highlighted the importance of class representatives participating in the end-of-semester reflections. The reflections are conducted by gathering feedback from students on programmes through experience surveys and module evaluations at the end of each semester.
‘We administer these evaluations, process and analyse responses received and compile them into reports. This benefits students as it gives them a platform to express their views and learning experiences. Lecturers also benefit because it helps with improving the design and development of a programme,’ said Mthombeni.
In her address, Student Support Services Acting Manager, Ms Ishara Maharaj explained the services offered by the Department and the important role it plays not only in the students’ academic success, but their personal development and mental wellbeing.
‘In terms of our services, we provide counselling, coaching and psychotherapy. We provide a safe space for students to talk about their challenges and look at how they can cope better. We know students tend to adopt dysfunctional coping mechanisms and as psychologists, we guide them with healthy coping mechanisms,’ she said.
In closing, Mkhize concluded with an announcement that the College will issue class representatives with certificates recognising their service at the end-of-semester reflection workshop.
Words: Samukelisiwe Cele