Expertise, Collaboration, Results
Great things can be achieved!
Our staff have a vast range of expertise and experience. Imagine what can happen when a group comes together - especially when the group's members are from diverse areas across the University!
Great things can be achieved and this is evident in the recent roll-out of a number of projects endorsed and funded by the Student Experience and Engagement Working Party (SEEWP), Chaired by Professor Bill Hogarth Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic).
In response to student feedback, Divisions, Faculties, ELFS, Wollotuka and UoN Services together with SEEWP have been busily working to enhance the student experience in terms of teaching/learning and University life. A series of projects were rolled out in 2011 - some of these have already been completed.
Bill Hogarth has commented that the success of these 2011 projects and the benefits for students are a direct result of collegiality, cross-unit collaboration and team work across the organisation. The University has provided additional funding to support the activities of the Faculties and Divisions to help ensure successful outcomes.
"The members of the Student Experience and Engagement Working Party have really worked hard this year to implement twenty-five different improvement projects across the University. I would personally like to commend all staff involved for their efforts. We really have started making a difference for our students."
Bill has said the SEEWP will continue working together over the next two years to keep improving the student experience. Some of the 2011 improvements are listed below. You can also have a look at the dynamic way we are telling our students that these improvements are a result of their past feedback.
Projects recently completed
Lecture Theatre News
This initiative in lecture theatres provides an innovative way to communicate a variety of messages about services and activities throughout the academic year. The combination static imagery and YouTube video means that important information can be communicated to our students in an engaging way.
Foundation Studies Information Hub
This Hub is for students enrolled in Open Foundation and can be found in the McMullin Building. The digital signage and self-serve computer access provides students with timely information relating to enrolment, student support, careers information and more!
The implementation of a student communication plan and related marketing campaign called 'You Asked, We Did' has meant the University is now regularly communicating with current students. The inclusion of Facebook and Twitter as marketing channels has been a positive outcome. The University will now be able to facilitate two-way communication with students about key campaign messages in real-time.
ASK UoN, the University's centralised enquiry management tool, has also been enhanced making it possible for students, staff and the community to submit suggestions, compliments or concerns in a quick and easy way.
Interactive Campus Maps
Now available on the UoN website: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/maps/. There has been a progressive increase in the number of photographs of key buildings that pop-up on the digital interactive map when double-clicked. This has allowed students, staff and visitors to find their desired location with greater ease.
O-Week Parking Assistance
During Orientation in semester one, Facilities Management organised for security officers to assist students with finding a park and provide direction to particular buildings. They also offered students change for parking meters. This initiative was very well received and reduced parking frustration for commencing students.
Print and Scanning Facilities
Students identified the need for additional print and scanning facilities in student learning environments. As a result, 30 additional scanners have been installed in the student HUB spaces at Callaghan, Ourimbah, the City and Sydney campuses.
Projects Near Completion
Faculty/ELFS/CTL Teaching Champions
SEEWP provided funding to each Faculty, CTL, and ELFS for a high level academic to review student feedback on courses. Courses with an overall low score are being considered in an effort to improve teaching and learning outcomes across the University.
Degree Program BlackBoard sites
Faculties have been working together with students to set-up Program BlackBoard sites in an effort to give students a holistic approach to their degree program and disseminate information relating specifically to each program. Students can now find information in one space regarding announcements; events; introduction to their program; staff contacts; graduate skills and attributes; careers; program feedback; help with your studies; services and support; academic integrity; FAQs; discussion board.
Review of Course Materials
In an effort to improve teaching and learning outcomes across the University, all Faculties have been involved in reviewing all teaching materials for core and compulsory courses in both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.
Staying Connected with Students
This has been a simple exercise in public relations. Faculties and ELFS have simply been making phone calls to all their first year students enquiring as to how well they are settling into University life and whether they need any assistance. The feedback from students to date has been extremely positive.
Wireless Expansion and Hotspots
Expansion of wireless coverage at Callaghan campus will provide students with a greater ability to connect their personal devices to the University's network. Hotspot signage is also being installed across the campus so that students can easily identify the best available spots to connect. This project will be considered for Ourimbah in 2012.
Chill Out Spaces
Social learning spaces have been created across Callaghan campus to provide students with a place for informal learning, or just to chill out with friends both indoors and outdoors. This has been a coordinated effort of Faculties, ELFS, Wollotuka, Facilities Management, IT Services, UoN Services and the University Gallery. Roll-out to other campuses is under consideration for 2012.
Digital signage is currently being installed across Callaghan campus. This will allow for targeted and real-time communications in high traffic areas for both students and staff. Roll-out to other campuses and the purchase of additional screens is under consideration for 2012.
New street signs have been installed across the Callaghan campus. Pedestrian signage is being progressively installed, which is improving way-finding for our students.