Te Puka Tautoko i te Māngai Karaehe 2019 - Squarespace

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Te Puka Tautoko i te Māngai Karaehe 2019 - Squarespace
Class Representative Handbook
    Te Puka Tautoko i te Māngai Karaehe


Te Puka Tautoko i te Māngai Karaehe 2019 - Squarespace
Welcome / Nau mai haere mai – 3
Importance of Class Representatives – 5
What happens now? – 5

Your role / O mahi – 6
How to be an effective class rep – 7
Being approachable – 7
Tips for working with Facebook – 8
Your focus – 9
Course workload – 10
Teaching methods – 11
Assessment and feedback – 12
Teaching facilities and academic support – 13
Student Privacy – 13
Problem solving – 14

Events, meetings, opportunities /
Ngā Huihuinga me ngā āhuatanga angitu – 15
Staff/student liaison meetings – 16
Formal reviews and consultations – 16
Being a class rep has its benefits – 17
Professional development and personal growth – 17
Other opportunities for representation – 17

VUWSA – 18
VUWSA Education Team – 19
Ngāi Tauira, Pasifika Students’ Council & Post Graduate Students’ Association - 20
VUWSA Advocacy Service – 21
Just five of the many things VUWSA does for you – 22
Relevant Victoria services – 23
Student Charter – 24

Te Puka Tautoko i te Māngai Karaehe 2019 - Squarespace

Te Puka Tautoko i te Māngai Karaehe 2019 - Squarespace
Haere mai!
Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna               How to use this Handbook
te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai ana i te
mātauranga, nōna te ao.                            This Handbook seeks to help you learn
                                                   about your role as a Class Representative.
The bird that consumes the miro berries,           It explains how to be an effective
navigates the forest. The bird that                representative and where to receive
consumes knowledge, navigates the world.           support. Class Representative. We’ve also
                                                   made a copy available online at vuwsa.org.
Kia ora, thank you for putting your hand up        nz.
to be a Class Representative this year!
                                                   All Class Representatives are required to
Your role has the immense privilege of             complete an online training session, and
effecting change in the quality of learning        attend mixer events throughout the
and teaching for you and your class. As            trimester. You also have access to the
a vital link between your class lecturer,          VUWSA Student Representation
VUWSA, and the University, you can                 Coordinator (SRC) to help you throughout
contribute to immediate improvements in            the semester. To contact the SRC, send an
learning opportunities. As well as this, you       email to src@vuwsa.org.nz or phone (04)
will personally benefit from the training          463 6987.
and experience of being an advocate and a
spokesperson on behalf of your peers.              Our student members on the Education
                                                   Team can also be contacted at
Victoria University of Wellington Students’        academic@vuwsa.org.nz (Geo, Academic
Association (VUWSA) and Victoria                   Vice President) or
University of Wellington (VUW) both                education@vuwsa.org.nz (Rinaldo,
share a strong commitment to improving             Education Officer).
the quality of education at Victoria. Class
Representatives are at the heart of making         On behalf of the Education Team, we are
that commitment a reality. We value                excited to help you make the University
students like you who have the opportunity         experience even better!
to work collaboratively with staff improving
learning experiences by expressing the             Ngā mihi nui,
concerns and ideas of your peers. When you
listen to the members of your class, pass on
their feedback, and connect students with
each other, you’re not only impacting the
quality of education at Victoria, but also
the student-experience. Your effort is
always valued.
Te Puka Tautoko i te Māngai Karaehe 2019 - Squarespace
Haere mai

Importance of                                        What happens
Class Reps                                           now?
TE KAUPAPA NUI O TE MĀNGAI                           ME AHA ?

One of the University’s primary strategies           1. Register
is to ‘provide a holistic learning, teaching         Fill out the online registration form with
and student experience that is second to             your correct contact details. It's also a good
none.’ As a Class Representative, your role is       idea to arrange for your email address to be
important in a number of ways, including:            put up on myTools so that you can easily be
                                                     contacted by your class. Your lecturer can
Support – Class Representatives provide              help with this.
the first point of contact for other students
                                                     2. Meet with your Course Coordinator
in their class. They help resolve basic              Discuss the ways in which you can work
problems, offer guidance and provide                 together, including how to best
support.                                             communicate class feedback; and deal with
                                                     any issues that might arise during the
Consultation – Class Representatives help            course. This is an important relationship as
provide feedback about teaching quality              they are the first point of referral for the
and assessments, course content and                  majority of issues.
facilities to academic staff and student
                                                     3. Complete Class Representative
                                                     There are two levels of training: Basic
Voice – Class Representatives are, most
                                                     (for first time Class Representatives)
importantly, the voice of Victoria students.         and Advanced (for returning Class
They provide an important link between               Representatives). The online training
students, academic staff and the University          modules are designed to inform and
Academic Office.                                     empower you in your role. They show you
                                                     how you can best serve your class.

                                                     4. Attend Mixer events
                                                     Throughout trimesters there will be events
                                                     where you can catch up with other class
                                                     reps and the VUWSA team. You are
                                                     expected to attend at least one per

Te Puka Tautoko i te Māngai Karaehe 2019 - Squarespace
Your Role

Te Puka Tautoko i te Māngai Karaehe 2019 - Squarespace
Your role

How to be an effective Class

Be visible - Me kitea                             Avoid – Me karo

Make sure the students you represent know         • Overloading yourself with Class
you and how to contact you. Through the           Representative work.
duration of the course, stay in contact and
consult with your class. A class Facebook         • Dealing with large-scale or intensive
group is a great and easy way to do this.         advocacy cases - refer these ASAP to the
                                                  VUWSA advocate or the Student
Communicate - Me Kōrero                           Representation Coordinator.

Keep in touch with your Course                    • Counselling students with serious
Coordinator. Keep them informed about             personal problems (refer any students
positive aspects of course delivery and           who need additional support to VUWSA’s
assessment; and any arising issues.               Advocacy Service).

Listen - Me Whakarongo                            Contact VUWSA Advocacy Service:
                                                                  Erica Schouten
Be available to listen and support students
with their concerns.                                              04 463 6984

Engage – Me Whakawarea

Attend Staff/Student Liaison meetings and         Being approachable
any Class Representative meetings called
by your school or the Student                     Your role matters and it’s important that
Representative Coordinator, as well as ones       you’re proactive. You should be known
you organise.                                     by both students and staff in your course
                                                  or programme. Class Representatives
Promote - Me tokona                               rely on making themselves known –
                                                  usually by addressing the class in
Promote your classmates’ participation in         lectures, both at the beginning of the
University-wide reviews and consultations.        course and at regular intervals during
                                                  the course. We recommend that you
                                                  make yourself known to support staff,
                                                  such as course administrators, in
                                                  addition to academic staff.

Your role

Tips for working with Facebook
•   Confirm with your Course Coordinator                - In such cases you might find that a
    that you’re setting up a class page on              simple question could end up
    Facebook.                                           leading to personality attacks or
                                                        destroying the morale of your class.
•   When setting up a Facebook group,
    make sure your class group is ‘private’             - If this happens, ask students to
    to maintain class confidentiality.                  email you so that the discussion
                                                        remains one-on-one.
•   Ask your Course Coordinator to post
    the link on Blackboard so your class
    can easily access it.                         •     Be careful with content. Content
                                                        may not always be 100% accurate.
•   Make sure it’s understood that the                  When mediating posts, check
    Facebook group has been established                 peoples’ sources of information.
    by you and not the Course Coordinator.
    Use the page for general course               •     Remember all discussions on these
    discussion and support. For example,                pages should remain respectful and
    supporting one other through                        constructive.
    assignments, providing clarity on
    aspects within the course outline,
    encouraging one another through               Any questions about Facebook, contact the
    various aspects of the programme. The         Student Representation Coordinator:
    page can also be used to organise             src@vuwsa.org.nz
    study groups and social events.

•   Take care to ensure a positive                    Top tip no.1
    and constructive environment.                     Be visible to students and staff in
                                                      your course or programme.
    - This means telling students,
    from the outset, what is appropriate to
    post and, if needed, moderating

    - This is especially important when
    potentially sensitive course issues

Your role

Your focus

As a class rep, your key role is to provide       Questions to focus on:
feedback to your lecturers, course
coordinators and the University about your        •   Does the course follow the stated
fellow classmates’ experiences.                       course aims and objectives?

From time to time, students may come to           •   Are the course aims and objectives
you with a variety of issues. Don’t take on           easily understood?
an issue alone, the University and VUWSA
are available to help you create a great          •   Have students been consulted when
student experience in the classroom.                  major changes have been made to the

Your role

Course workload

Questions to focus on:                          individual students have issues around
                                                balancing the course load with their
•     How manageable is the course              personal lives, don’t take their issues upon
      workload?                                 yourself to resolve. Instead, refer them to
                                                the range of resources, programmes and
Think about the number of words required        workshops offered by Victoria Student
in an assessment, number of assignments         Services and Support, and VUWSA’s
and amount of class preparation. Does this      Advocacy Service.
match what’s in the course outline and is
it realistic? Each point in a course should     Victoria also has a Student Workload Policy
correspond to 10 hours of work.                 regarding the clustering of assessments,
                                                and requires that workload distribution is
•     Are assessments placed well               clear for students to understand. Refer to
      throughout the course to help students    the Student Workload Policy and talk to
      balance their workload?                   the VUWSA Education Team about queries
                                                that you may have!
Workloads have an impact upon your
wellbeing and your ability to study. If

    Top tip no.2
    Don’t take any serious issues on by yourself. You can refer students to VUWSA’s
    Advocacy Service, and the Student Representation Coordinator.

Your role

Teaching methods

Issues about any staff should be taken              Teaching methods can be personal. Make
directly to the Course Coordinator. Don’t           sure your feedback acknowledges the
bring any staff-type issues to Staff/Student        strengths of individual lecturers and
Liaison Meetings; and please do not discuss         includes encouraging aspects.
staff-type issues on social media.
                                                    If an issue with teaching methods; or
Questions to focus on:                              frequent clashes with tutors arises,
                                                    it should be talked about with the
•   Is lecture content clearly                      Course Coordinator quickly. If you don't feel
    communicated?                                   confident doing so, contact
                                                    src@vuwsa.org.nz for extra support. As a
•   How effectively are support materials           Class Representative, it’s also helpful to
    and other media employed during                 include a number of suggestions, such as:
    teaching time?                                  providing PowerPoint handouts, including
                                                    multimedia in the lecture, recording the
•   Does the course provide students
                                                    lecture or repeating key points.
    with the necessary discipline skills
    to continue their study and work

Your role

Assessment and feedback

Questions to focus on:                              • In the case of exams, all students are
                                                      expected to attend and sit these
•   Are specific assessment items                     unless they are seriously ill or
    appropriate to the course content?                experience a bereavement of an
                                                      immediate member of the family.
•   Are the assessment criteria and                 • If this is the case, advise the
    guidelines clearly communicated to                student to talk to Student
    students?                                         Health or Counselling, 24 hours
                                                      either side of the exam, as they
•   Have students received sufficient
                                                      may be able to apply for an
                                                      aegrotat pass.
All course assessments should relate to
specific learning objectives in the course
outline. Assessment should be weighted            If a student is having issues related
fairly and spread evenly (this gets               to plagiarism, refer them to VUWSA’s
reviewed regularly so if there are issues,        Student Advocate. The Course Coordinator
raise them with the VUWSA Education               will determine whether the work in
Team). Deadlines for items of assessment          question is plagiarised; and follow the
should not fall within the exam period or         correct procedures assisting the student
trimester break; and all assessment               through the process.
criteria needs to be clear and accessible to
                                                  If students are unclear about deadlines,
                                                  criteria or feedback look
Returned work must have sufficient                at all documentation provided about the
feedback from the marker. It should be            assessment, including the course outline.
returned in time for students to use the          Then talk to the Course Coordinator and
feedback for their next piece of assessable       ask them to clarify any confusion with the
work.                                             class.

Student ID numbers should be used in              If it appears that students are
any publication of assessment or exam             disadvantaged in any way, talk to the
results. You may find students approach           Student Representation Coordinator about
you with a variety of personal issues.            your options.

For most individual matters:
  • Encourage students to talk with their
     lecturer ASAP; and offer to sit in as a
     support person.                         12
Your role

Teaching facilities & academic support

Questions to focus on:                          Student privacy

•     Do students have access to                All NZ Universities are bound by the
      Victoria Library and information          New Zealand Privacy Act.
      communication technology (ICT)
      facilities and resources?                 What this means is:

•     Is there adequate support in place        •   Any disclosure of personal information
      for students on placement or work             must be by informed consent
                                                •   Students cannot be pressured to
•     Are Victoria staff responding to email        provide consent
      or phone messages in a timely manner
      from students?                            •   A student can withdraw their
                                                    consent to any disclosure of personal
                                                    information at any time, even if they
    Top tip no. 3                                   signed the agreement on the enrolment
    All New Zealand Universities are                form that allows disclosure. Any issues
    bound by the New Zealand                        involving student privacy and informed
    Privacy Act.                                    consent should be taken to the lecturer
                                                    involved and/or the head of school.

Your role

Problem solving

If you need help contact the VUWSA Student          2. Resolution
Representation Coordinator or the VUWSA
Student Advocate.                                   Request a meeting with your Course
                                                    Coordinator and work together with
Three steps to resolving issues                     them in tackling the issue. Briefly state
                                                    the information you have, advise them
1. Clarification                                    of the students’ views on the matter, and
                                                    any proposed solution you may have. In
Discuss and clarify specific details with           such meetings, be sure to use diplomacy
students who raise them, and determine              in finding a solution, and take notes so you
precisely how their learning has been               have a written record. Once a mutually-
affected. Consider whether the issue is             agreeable solution is reached, report the
personal or affects the class as a whole. If        outcome together to the class.
the issue is personal, refer them to VUWSA’s
Student Advocacy Service.                           3. Referral

If the issue affects other students in the          If no solution is found, contact the Student
class, ask the whole class for feedback. You        Representation Coordinator who can make
can approach your classmates directly or            sure the issue is raised to a higher level.
ask them to email you through Blackboard
or Facebook.

Events, Meeting,

Events, meetings, opportunities

Staff and student liaison meetings

Staff/student liaison meetings are an                Formal reviews and consultations
important opportunity for sharing
communication between Schools and Class              •   As a Class Representative you might
Representatives. They’re typically called                ask the lecturer at the beginning of
and facilitated by the Head of School,                   your course to briefly comment on the
Programme Director or School Manager.                    last evaluation, and any subsequent
When these meetings occur, Class                         changes – you can also do this online.
Representatives are required to attend.                  Every lecturer is required to publish
                                                         changes to their courses online.
How to approach the meeting
                                                     •   Course evaluations are facilitated by
What to do before a meeting:                             the Centre of Academic Development
                                                         (CAD) and are distributed to all
•     Read the agenda that is emailed to you.            students usually on the last day of
•     Consult with your class about any
      relevant information on the agenda.            •   The University takes evaluations
                                                         seriously. All Schools and Programmes
What usually happens during staff/student                are required to address areas of
meetings?                                                concern highlighted by students.

•     Schools might inform Class                     •   All Programmes in the University
      Representatives about what’s                       must undergo a Programme Review
      happening in the School and Faculty.               once every seven years.

•     Discussions should focus on the                •   The VUWSA Education Team
      School and its students as a whole, not            facilitates participation in Programme
      individual staff.                                  Reviews through online surveys.

    Top tip no. 4
    Take notes of any actions you need to take; and any information you need
    to report back to your class.

Events, meetings, opportunities

Being a Class Rep has its benefits

Victoria Plus Award Points                           Personal growth

The Victoria Plus award, administered by             Class Representative grow in their
Vic Careers, recognises students’ volunteer          confidence, networking skills and ability
contributions and support work. Attending            to empathise with others. You’ll have the
training and representing your class is a            opportunity to make a positive difference;
major component to completing this Award.            and these opportunities will help you learn
                                                     more about yourself, how you operate and
Class Representative Certificates                    your leadership strengths.

If you attend a training session, you can            Other opportunities for representation
request a Class Representative Certificate at
the end of the trimester.                            Faculty Delegates

Class Representative Service Awards and              Faculty Delegates provide an essential
Student Representation Celebration                   student voice within the University decision
                                                     making process. Being a Faculty Delegate is
At the end of each trimester, your                   the next step in University representation.
classmates have the chance to nominate               Delegates are formal members of Faculty
you for a Class Representative Service               Boards and Committees. They can also
Award. These awards recognise Class                  sit and vote on the Student Academic
Representative who have actively                     Committee. If you’re interested in becoming
contributed to their fellow students’                a Faculty Delegate, talk to the Student
learning experiences.                                Representation Coordinator.

At the end of Trimester Two, VUWSA and               VUWSA forums and elections
Victoria host a Student Representation
Celebration to recognise Class                       A democratic body, VUWSA is led and
Representative– all Class Representative             controlled by its members. As a member
are invited to attend!                               you’ll have the opportunity to participate
                                                     in our forums, which focuses on student
Professional development and personal                issues like education, welfare, housing and
growth                                               public transport; and in our elections later
                                                     in the year.
The skills you will gain as a Class
Representative include decision-making,
communication, negotiation, organisation,
delegation and advocacy.



VUWSA Education Team

The class representation system is                 Education Officer
organised and administered by the VUWSA
Education Team in partnership with the
University. The Education Team is headed
by the Academic Vice-President, who is
supported by the Education Officer, and
the Student Representation Coordinator.
                                                   Rinaldo Strydom

Academic Vice President (AVP)                      The Education Officer supports the AVP
                                                   with all academic activities led by VUWSA
                                                   at the University.

                                                   P: 463 7406
                                                   E: education@vuwsa.org.nz

                                                   Student Representation Coordinator
Geo Robrigado

The AVP oversees all student
representation at the University and
ensures that issues raised are taken to the
appropriate VUWSA contact, Victoria staff
member and Victoria services.                      Joseph Habgood

P: 463 7406                                        The Student Representation Coordinator,
E: academic@vuwsa.org.nz                           a staff member of VUWSA, provides policy
                                                   advice to representatives, ensures that
                                                   representation is adequately resourced; and
                                                   is your first point of call for any enquires or

                                                   P: 463 6987
                                                   E: src@vuwsa.org.nz


Ngāi Tauira, Pasifika Students’ Council &
Post Graduate Students’ Association

VUWSA is the primary representative
student body at Victoria University.
However, VUWSA works in close association
with other very important students
representative organisations on campus,
including Ngāi Tauira, Pasifika Students’
Council and Post Graduate Students’
Association. Alongside the VUWSA
President and Academic Vice President,
the Āpiha Matauranga from Ngāi Tauira;
Academic Officer from Pasifika Student’s
Council and the President of the Post
Graduate Students’ Association are also
members of Academic Board.


VUWSA Advocacy Service

VUWSA’s Advocacy Service is available to           •     Directs and refers students’ to other
help Victoria students deal with any of the              services that might be able to help
issues they might be facing. Independent
from the University and confidential, the          •     Just listens.
Service provides free support, advice and
information to all Victoria students.              The Service provides information and
                                                   advice, so students can make a decision
The Service:                                       about their best course of action.

•   Provides students with information             Contact VUWSA’s Advocacy Service
    and advice
                                                   P: (04) 463 6984
•   Explains University regulations and            M: 02 1 045 6214 (best to text)
    processes                                      E: advocate@vuwsa.org.nz

•   Suggests options                               Appointments are available at other
                                                   Campuses by arrangement.
•   Helps prepare and/or attend meetings
    as a support person                                Top tip no. 5
                                                       VUWSA’s Advocacy Service is free,
•   Advocates on students’ behalf                      independent from Victoria and
•   Supports students’ during disputes


What does VUWSA do for you?

Victoria University of Wellington Students’        Wednesdays, all day – visit Tim Beaglehole
Association (VUWSA) is here to help you            Courtyard for our Fruit and Vege Market.
have an awesome student experience while           Bring your own reusable bags.
at Victoria. VUWSA is independent from
                                                   Stress Free Study Week - come get free
the University and free for all Victoria
                                                   breakfast, lunch and coffee all week during
students to join.                                  Study Week.
Here’s just five of the things we do:              3. Provide advocacy

1. Make sure your voice is heard                   We offer free, independent, confidential
                                                   advocacy services to students. Our
Our student executive consists of 10 elected
                                                   advocacy can help with academic issues;
students who are responsible for the
                                                   accommodation problems; employment
strategic direction and governance of
                                                   and other disputes.
                                                   4. Keep you social
We have student representative’s at all
decision-making levels of the University.          We put on great events throughout the year,
There are students representing your               such as OWEEK, Re-Set Week, ArtsWeek
interests in every class and Faculty at            and other market days, including once-a-
Victoria.                                          month food trucks on Kelburn Campus.

2. Support your welfare and well-being             5. Communicate your voice

We have welfare services available to help         We produce Salient, the weekly student
you – when and if you need it.                     magazine of Victoria University. Salient is
                                                   free, and available on Campus each Monday
Monday to Friday – pick up a free
                                                   during term.
Community Pantry food parcel or free
inter-Campus bus pass from 9am to 5pm              Contact us:
(bus passes require that you show your             P: (04) 463 6716
timetable)                                         E: kelburn@vuwsa.org.nz
                                                   A: Level 4, Student Union Building
Free Menstrual Products

If you need pads or tampons to get you
through the day at uni, you can collect a
free pack of menstrual products from the
VUWSA Kelburn or Pipitea office, or from
the Te Aro Library.

Relevant Victoria services

Relevant Victoria services:
•   Accommodation service
•   Counselling service
•   Creche service
•   Financial support and advice
•   Maori Student Support
•   Pacific Student Support
•   Student Health
•   Student Learning Support (SLSS)
•   Vic Careers
•   Disabilities’ Support Services


Student Charter

The Student Charter was developed                        student success and wellbeing in their
by Victoria’s Academic Office and the                    study; and engagement outside the
Victoria University of Wellington Students’              University.
Association (VUWSA). It was adopted by the
University Council on 18 February 2013.            •     Seeking and responding to student
                                                         feedback on the experience of courses,
A commitment between staff and students,                 programmes and student life.
the Student Charter outlines what’s
expected from you and the University               •     Fair and transparent procedures for
to ensure a great student experience.                    dealing with complaints.
A particular focus for class reps from
the Student Charter is: Being an active            •     An environment that fosters overall
member of a scholarly community,                         physical and emotional wellbeing.
committed to enquiry and integrity.
                                                   Communicating concepts, ideas and
The Student Charter includes these                 arguments effectively
                                                   •     Read extensively, purposefully and
•   A system of student representation                   critically.
    that emphasises partnership in making
                                                   •     Develop writing and speaking skills
    decisions that affect the student
                                                         through guidance, practice and
    academic experience and broader
    university experience.
                                                   •     Explore issues and solutions to
•   Respecting individual differences,
                                                         problems through interaction with
    privacy and wellbeing.
•   Enabling access to staff to support the
    quality of learning and the University

•   Valid and fair assessment against
    clearly-stated learning goals.
                                                       Top tip no. 6
•   Integrity in the academic community.               Be an active member of the Victoria
                                                       scholarly community,
•   Providing services that support


Student Charter continued

Broadening social and cultural                   •   Constructive feedback that contributes
engagement                                           to further learning.

•   Develop an international perspective         •   Opportunities to reflect on strategies to
    through disciplinary study.                      achieve high standards of performance.

•   Understand and apply the Treaty of           •   Academic support for setting and
    Waitangi.                                        achieving personal goals.

•   Build awareness of the nature of             •   Resources, services and spaces that
    cultural difference and intercultural            encourage self-directed learning.
                                                 Engaging intellectually with others
•   Apply for study abroad or other
    experience beyond the University.            •   Interact during a programme of study
                                                     with leading scholars at the University.
Developing autonomy in pursing
knowledge and understanding                      •   Develop a strong sense of disciplinary
                                                     relevance in undertaking any enquiry.
•   Clear information for understanding
    expected standards of academic               •   Work collaboratively with staff and
    performance.                                     other students to build skills of

For more info head to:

Kelburn, Level 4, Student Union Building     04 463 6716

     kelburn@vuwsa.org.nz           www.vuwsa.org.nz
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