Today, Leicester offered an information session to returning third year Criminology students. As well as being informative about opportunities throughout the year, it was really refreshing to hear about the changes being made to the course as a result of student feedback.
With recent news that the University of Leicester has made the top 1% of the world for universities, it’s super exciting to hear more about how Criminology at Leicester is developing. The staff have combined student feedback with results data to introduce essay feedback clinics which means students will be able to discuss how to improve their essays on a one-to-one basis. This sounds great as it means the process will be more proactive and not so easy to simply read the comments online and then forget about it all when it comes to the next assignment. Additionally, for the first time this year, all lectures will be recorded so we can go back over content as much as we need (and catch up more easily if we miss anything for any reason…).
In addition to the course rep system, where two nominated students from each year can represent students and their concerns at student/staff committees, the uni is also introducing focus groups this year where students will have even more of a chance to make their concerns heard.
The department has also made things just that little bit easier with the use of Facebook and Twitter for posting important updates and opportunities including volunteering placements and internships. The new UoL app has also put all the key parts of student life in one quick and easy place with instant access to your timetable and other useful things like when your library books are due and a campus map. I learnt today that the app has been selected as the best uni app in the country(!) and there’s the added bonus of getting a free charger when you download the app?!
There’s great news specifically for third year students, too. Using student feedback, Blackboard has added new content for the dissertation module including example dissertations, guided reading, and more information about different types of dissertations. This year will also introduce the first ever Dissertation Away Day where a full day will be dedicated to tracking progress and coaching on the various stages of your dissertation. Workshops and checkpoints will provide a little bit more structure to dissertation progress whilst maintaining independence. In line with this, a response to dissertation feedback has also relaxed the idea of intermediate dissertation deadlines whilst maintaining and improving the opportunity for feedback before the final submission.
Overall, I got a great impression from today that the Criminology department have a really good sense of real student needs and are continuously willing to improve and make sure the degree’s design is tailored as much as possible to current and incoming students. And these new improvements and opportunities I’ve mentioned are all in addition to some really great ones already in place, so I’m really looking forward to Leicester’s continuous improvement.