Procedure: Class Representatives
To establish the process for appointing student class representatives by Colleges and Schools and ensure Course Convenors engage with and respond to student feedback.
Course Convenor is a course Convenor is responsible for the administration of the course, including the finalisation of marks and the submission of marks and grades to the Chair of Examiners; ensuring that the class summary and other course materials comply with University policy and college and school requirements; and student issues relating to the Discipline Rules and Academic Misconduct Rules. A course Convenor may or may not teach part or all of the course.
Class Representative is a student who is enrolled in a class and who is responsible for representing the cohort of that class.
- Course Convenors promote the Class Representative Roles via any ANU approved Learning Management System (LMS) used by a class (such as Wattle) and in the first lecture or teaching event(s) of the teaching period that is accessible to the entire cohort and outline the responsibilities of the position. By applying for the position of Class Representative, a student necessarily agrees to have their contact details made available to all students in the class. This requirement is communicated in relevant training, as well as by Course Convenors when advertising the Class Representative positions.
- Class Representatives are appointed by the Course Convenor through either an expression of interest or a vote of the Class student cohort, by the end of the first 25% of teaching (for example, week 3 of a 12-week course). Course Convenors may choose to allow students to nominate other students to be Class Representatives, subject to the nominated student’s consent. A Course Convenor, if selecting through an expression of interest, should consider the diversity of the student cohort when selecting the Class Representative (gender, international/domestic students etc.) as well as the overall strength of the application and possible previous performance in similar role(s). Further details can be found in the below subpoints on how to effectively conduct an election or expression of interest selection process. Course Convenors have discretion as to how they wish to conduct these processes, but the below gives an example of best practice for conducting selection through either method.
- Expression of interest process. Using a simple form submission service (e.g., Microsoft Office 365, Qualtrics or Wattle’s submission systems), Course Convenors can advertise this form on any ANU approved LMS used for the class (such as Wattle) in Week 1 and ask for submissions for those interested in the role of Class Representative. This should ask for basic details such as name, U-number email, acceptance of the terms of the role if accepted (linking to the Class Representative Policy and Procedure is recommended), and a short manifesto as to why they’d be interested in being a Class Representative (max. 100 words). If there are more than two nominated Class Representatives, then Course Convenors should select based on several factors, including but not limited to: experience, obvious enthusiasm for the course and its content, demonstrated commitment to completing the role, as well as considering diversity and equity to ensure diverse voices are represented. If Course Convenors find themselves unable to differentiate between candidates, then random selection methods (e.g., number randomiser, coin toss) may be used.
- Election process. Using the information gathered from the above submission form, an election process using a simple voting system (Google Forms or an equivalent system such as a Wattle voting system will allow for easy multiple-choice voting), the names and short manifestos can be displayed, and students can be given an amount of time to vote (approximately one week is recommended). The Course Convenor would then count the votes and award the two highest voted-for candidates that position. In the event of a tie, then the Course Convenor can break the tie between candidates using the criteria set out in the expression of interest process.
- Course Convenors make the expectations of being a Class Representative clear to candidates, including the requirement that their personal ANU email address be made available to their cohort on Wattle for ease of contact. This should be available in a “Course Assistance” section on Wattle.
- Course Convenors make a document available in the “Course Assistance” section of the course Wattle page, where available, that provides options to all students for how to escalate their academic concerns. The relevant section will be automatically created by each College’s relevant staff division responsible for Wattle learning systems. This document may be found on the ANUSA and/or PARSA websites. This section may also include further information about complaint resolution per the discretion of the College (see this link here for an example of further options beyond ANUSA/PARSA that could be included). This applies regardless of the presence of Class Representatives in the course, acknowledging some courses will be unable to have Class Representatives due to cohort size, interest in position etc.
- Within two weeks of the appointment(s) of the Class Representative(s), the Course Convenor or relevant teaching staff (who can act on the Course Convenor’s behalf) liaise with all appointed Class Representatives, to outline their expectations, discuss how feedback is collected and communicated to the Course Convenor, and encourage each Class Representative to attend the Class Representative Training. Discussions between convenors and class representatives can be conducted online or in-person. Course Convenors notify the relevant Associate Dean (Education) of all appointed Class Representatives for their course within 1 week of the Class representatives’ appointment.
- Class Representatives are made aware by the Course Convenor of ANUSA or PARSA and the Dean of Students as support resources.
- Relevant Associate Deans, or their delegates, communicate the requirements of this procedure to Course Convenors. Exemptions from requirements of this procedure are approved by the relevant Associate Deans.
- Class Representatives cease to function in their roles should they withdraw from a course. Class Representatives communicate this to the Course Convenor, and the College’s records of Class Representatives are subsequently updated.
- Class Representatives that are no longer able to serve in their roles should be replaced where feasible, particularly if this occurs early in the teaching period. This requirement is at the discretion of the Course Convenor.
- If the relationship between the Course Convenor and a Class Representative is not constructive, then the Associate Dean (Education) or their nominee/s and/or ANUSA/PARSA President may be contacted to mediate. In cases where the relationship is not improved after mediation, the Course Convenor in consultation with the ADE (or their nominee) may replace a Class Representative at the Course Convenor’s discretion and with express communication to ANUSA and/or PARSA.
- Course Convenors make Class Representatives aware of training or resources offered by ANUSA and PARSA and any online resources made available by the University. A Class Representative Handbook that includes an overview of a Class Representative’s role and responsibilities as well as the contact information of relevant referral pathways is available to all students. The ANUSA Vice President and PARSA Vice President, or their delegated representatives, are available for consultation and contact regarding this Handbook and training.
- Training is made available to Class Representatives by ANUSA and PARSA before the end of the fourth teaching week of each semester. Training is open to all Class Representatives and includes an overview of a Class Representative’s role and responsibilities as well as the contact information of relevant referral pathways. ANUSA and/or PARSA may record training and/or provide the Class Representative training booklet on their respective websites throughout the year. These recordings and/or handbooks are used by Class Representatives throughout the year regardless of when their course is occurring.
- The details of any Class Representative trainings that are conducted will be communicated to Colleges by the end of the second teaching week of each semester for the purpose of early and easy communication to Class Representatives. Each College’s Associate Dean (Education) or their nominee/s are responsible for communicating these training opportunities to Course Convenors and Class Representatives. ADE’s liaise with ANUSA (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or PARSA (email@example.com) to resolve issues or questions.
- Course Convenors actively engage with Class Representatives and provide them with mechanisms and space to provide feedback. Feedback is collated online or obtained in person at the discretion of the Class Representatives.
- Class Representatives have the discretion to make feedback mechanisms anonymous.
- By the end of week 8 of a standard 12 week course, Associate Deans (Education) (or their delegates) provide at least one opportunity throughout the semester to meet with all the Class Representatives within their college and Class Representatives for intensive courses will be invited to the next scheduled meeting for the equivalent 12 week course. Relevant ANUSA and PARSA College Representatives are made aware of these meetings by the Associate Dean (Education).