Overview

Background

The University has a clear commitment to excellence in learning and teaching and enhancing the student experience. To ensure that the University maintains a high quality student experience it is essential that all students have an opportunity throughout their study to reflect on and evaluate their experience of academic life and the wider service offering. To this end the University engages with its students through a variety of mechanisms with a view to learning from and responding to the student voice from students individually, collectively or through their representatives.

The University's  commitment to working in partnership with students is articulated at the highest level in the University’s Strategic Plan and the University Learning and Teaching Strategy. Staff at the University of Edinburgh currently work in partnership with Edinburgh University Students’ Association to:

  • ensure that students are central to governance and decision making,
  • ensure that students are central to quality assurance and enhancement,
  • provide opportunities for students to become active participants,
  • foster collaboration between students and staff.

The Student Voice Policy was approved in November 2017 and its purpose is to outline the University's approach to gathering, learning from and responding to the student voice.  It has been recognised however that the current method for facilitating communications between students and their representatives is variable across the University and that the student experience could be greatly enhanced to provide easier, systematic feedback for escalation and resolution.

This project is primarily an options analysis focused on investigating the process of student feedback through class and programme reps. It, therefore, aims to look for ways to improve the student experience by analysing the current methods, gathering requirements from staff and student representatives, exploring alternative methods and finally to provide an options appraisal with a recommended way forward. 

In Scope

The project will identify the requirements for a solution that will provide a feedback channel between student and student programme representatives. It will assess these requirements against the existing Learn solution and other 3rd party student voice platforms e.g including Unitu. Based on these assessments the project will make a recommendation on the best solution to meet the requirements.

The following is in scope for this project:

  • Review the currently used feedback methods and document the as-is processes for class representatives
  • Work with stakeholders to produce the 'future state' for the two key users; Students and Programme Representatives.
  • Produce set of requirements that meet the needs of the different user groups
  • Assess suitability of Learn to meet these requirements
  • Assess suitability of Unitu to meet these requirements
  • Research the market and other universities to assess any other 3rd party options
  • Production of options appraisal and recommendation report detailing:
    • Suitability of solution to meet requirements
    • Estimated costs to implement and support
    • Estimated timescales for implementation
    • Estimated resource requirements

Out of Scope

  • Development/procurement or implementation of recommended solution
  • Production of any tender documentation.
  • Vendor demonstrations
  • Production of DPIA
  • Analysis of other modes of Student Representation ie  activities reps, section group reps etc

Objectives and Deliverables

The overarching Student Voice goals are:

  • To maintain a high quality student experience
  • To provide a route for students to raise issues and concerns and to communicate with others on their programme and their formal representatives

The overall aims for the full implementation project are:

  • When needed, students can easily identify who their programme representative is
  • When needed, students can easily provide feedback to their programme representative
  • Close the feedback loop by ensuring that students can view progress on the feedback they have provided to their programme representative and see what the University has done with the feedback provided

With these goals and aims in mind the following objectives have been identified for this analysis project:

O1

To understand the various communication channels currently used by the class representatives and students

Priority

Owner

D1.1 Process maps (if appropriate) and detailed notes and evaluation of the various tools used (and any administration tasks associated) MUST Senior User
O2 To agree the ideal 'future state' that will give students the best feedback experience    

D2.1

Set of prioritised user stories/ requirements that depict the future state for all stakeholders

MUST

Senior User

O3

To evaluate the options available that could deliver the 'future state' and make recommendation

 

 

D3.1

Options paper that considers both internal and external solutions and presents the findings in terms of requirements fitness, cost and timescales for implementation.

MUST

 IS Applications

Benefits

 

The following benefits reflect the anticipated benefits of a future implementation project and not this options analysis.

Benefit Category

Benefit

Productivity Gain

The new solution will remove the need for the administrative support in each school having to manually maintain and issue m-lists and email lists

Productivity Gain The new solution will help to eliminate many of the manual and semi-manual methods used in the various schools for managing the feedback process
Increased Quality The new solution will help student representatives be more effective in their role

Increased Quality

The new solution will provide an enhanced feedback experience for students by allowing them to find information quickly such as who their representative is, minutes from SSLC meetings etc.

Increased Quality
The new solution will help the student representatives to target feedback areas, which can then contribute to University improvement initiatives.

Increased Compliance

The new solution will meet with data protection best practice

Process Improvements

The new solution will help to implement a consistent feedback process between students and the programme representatives which can used across all colleges

Process Improvements The new solution will be able to provide more management information than is currently possible such as overall engagement, number of issues, response times etc. This will help management decision making and help the University identify areas for improvement.

Contributes to the Organisational Strategy

“Facilitating effective dialogue with students and representation of student views at all levels of the University and across all modes of study”

Improved Competitive Advantage The University will join the ranks of other competitors that already provide a similar effective student voice solution
Improved Customer Satisfaction

 The new solution will provide a mechanism for students to raise issues and concerns and communicate with others on their programme and their representatives. In addition to facilitate a mechanism for representatives to report back on how the University has responded to the feedback.  This will help to improve students satisfaction of the University.

 

Success Criteria

Criteria

Description

Measure

Schedule   

Project completed to schedule

Project Closure milestone date reached within agreed project schedule tolerances (10 days)       

Scope

All ‘Must Have’ deliverables  produced

Project deliverables accepted by customer

Budget

Project delivered within agreed budget     

Project Closure milestone reached within agreed project budget tolerances (10 %)

Project Milestones

 

Target Datesort descending Previous Date Title Stage Complete
06-Jul-2018 29-Jun-2018 Planning Completed Plan No
10-Aug-2018 06-Aug-2018 Requirements Signed off Analyse No
28-Aug-2018 22-Aug-2018 Analysis Phase Completed Analyse No
24-Sep-2018 14-Sep-2018 Options Paper Signed-Off and Deliver Phase Completed Deliver No
05-Oct-2018 28-Sep-2018 Project Closure Completed Close No

Project Info

Project
Student Voice
Code
HSS023
Programme
CAHSS Portfolio Projects
Management Office
ISG PMO
Project Manager
Ken Miller
Project Sponsor
Fraser Muir
Current Stage
Close
Status
Closed
Project Classification
Run
Start Date
14-May-2018
Planning Date
06-Jul-2018
Delivery Date
14-Feb-2019
Close Date
29-Mar-2019
Overall Priority
Normal
Category
Discretionary