This Union Notes:
1.1 That students are co-producers and co-creators of the knowledge circulating at SOAS - and that peer/group learning is an integral part of this journey. Students learn not simply through individualised feedback and reflecting on their own personal journey, but also much from each other.
1.2 Currently peer/group learning is fostered and sustained with department and class socials, the work of student reps and the Students' Union, and it happens organically. There is a lot of potential here to develop further mechanisms of support and information sharing, however the onus should not solely be on students themselves to do this year upon year.
1.3 That students do not necessarily have opportunities beyond/between to learn from each others' perspectives, reasoning, accomplishments and mistakes - and that this constitutes gaps in the student learning experience. Where such support exists, these are models for improving peer/group learning.
1.4 That this suggestion comes from UG politics reps; however seems to be endorsed by students across year groups and departments.
This Union Believes:
2.1 There should be more structures to support peer/group learning through means of all-class feedback on assignments, and through note-sharing systems - and these structures should be rolled out across the School, and supported by the Students' Union (designated contacts Co-President Democracy & Education and student reps) and departments (designated contacts to be confirmed).
2.2 Two notable structures are: all-class feedback - which entails markers briefing the entire class with a summary of facts and evaluations (e.g. which questions were most/least popular, which sources were most/least used, whether there were any common mistakes, etc), and would be useful for students to know in order to develop their work, besides encouraging dialogue between classmates. The second is encouraging, and supporting, the usage and maintenance of class-wide/programme-wide note-sharing systems.
2.3 That all-class feedback could take the form of some verbal updates, and a more formal type of document circulated over email, or on Moodle. This would take place after grades have been released. The process would recur with each round of marking. Note-sharing systems could be hosted on Google Drive, Facebook Group or other means, besides of course BLE/Moodle, which is a natural facility for class discussion, though with its limitations.
2.4 Equally, departments and teaching staff could better develop best practices, as well as understand issues and trends common to students, through undertaking such exercises.
This Union Resolves:
3.1 The Students' Union and student reps will consult and work with students and staff, across year groups and the departments, to advocate for and advise on the implementation of these support structures.
3.2 The designated contacts for following up for the time being, will be the Co-President Democracy & Education and the reps who raised this issue.