Welcome to Episode 1 of Our Student Voice.

To view and interact with the introductory video, click on Start Here in the video screen.

Click here to view a larger sized video in a separate tab.

Members of TUDublin Student Union 2022-23 sitting on steps

Congratulations from TU Dublin and your Students’ Union on being elected as a Class Representative this year. This role is essential to TU Dublin and the Students' Union.

(If you have not yet been elected, but are interested in finding out about putting yourself forward for election, see the Find Out More section below.)

It is important to know that you are the voice of your class this year and that you will be expected to do your best to represent the views of your class throughout the year.

The Class Representative position gives your class the opportunity to bring feedback, resolve issues quickly and effectively, and improve everyone's experience in TU Dublin. 

As a Class Representative, you are the essential link between:

  • Your classmates
  • Your programme of Study
  • Your Students’ Union
  • Your University: TU Dublin

As a Class Representative, you will gather feedback from your class and express their views to TU Dublin and the Students' Union. You will then bring feedback back to your class. This flow of information is crucial as it enables TU Dublin and TU Dublin Students' Union to be responsive to the needs of you and your classmates.

As their Class Representative, your classmates need to be aware of who you are and how they can contact you. Be sure to introduce yourself to them.

You should familiarise yourself with the Our Student Voice materials and register for Class Representative training events held throughout the year. Be sure to keep an eye on your email for updates from your Students’ Union on events and meetings coming up to meet - and learn from - other Class Representatives.

Your Student Handbook is an up-to-date source of information about your programme. Become familiar with it and get used to referring to it, and to the many other helpful documents that are available to you (as described in Episode 2: Understanding your University).

Remember that this year you will represent the opinions of your class, not just your own views. As a Class Representative, you must take care to listen to all your class, not just some voices in the class. The sooner you start gathering information from your classmates, the more time you have to hear from everyone and to work on solutions.

The Student Voice is an essential part of meetings that are held throughout the year with your year tutor and members of your programme team. Make sure you are adequately prepared for any meetings to which you are invited and use your voice at these meetings.

Your Student Union officers rely completely on student feedback to be informed on the student experience in TU Dublin so that they can represent the needs of the students effectively. Be sure to attend Class Representative Meetings to make sure your voice is heard, to meet other Class Representatives and discuss common issues and needs you all have.

As a Class Representative, there are limits to your role, but you should take time to work with your fellow students, your lecturers and your Students' Union as together you can help to continuously improve the student experience in TU Dublin. The Student Voice is so much stronger when we can work together.

Remember that when you're looking for feedback from your classmates, or when you're working with your classmates, your lecturers and your Students' Union, your focus can be on any of the following areas:

  • Teaching and Learning: How your classes are taught and how you use the time and space available to you to learn.
  • Assessment and Feedback: How you and your classmates are marked and how you are guided to improve your performance through feedback received with your marks.
  • Development and Success: How TU Dublin enables you and your classmates to reach your full potential as people.
  • Quality Enhancement and Assurance: How TU Dublin's processes and practices enable your programme to be improved to provide an excellent experience each year.
  • Curriculum: How your programme is designed; what modules are included; what activities - including placement, international studies, field trips, are included in your programme.
  • Learning Resources: How you are supported to learn with the provision of learning resources by your lecturers, by the Library, online and in class.

You have been selected by your classmates to represent them. This is a wonderful honour of which you should be proud. It is also an important responsibility, because your classmates have selected you to represent all their voices. 

Consider now the three key messages that were introduced in the video, and that are described in the next section.

As a class representative in TU Dublin it is important that you:

Actively engage with TU Dublin and the Students’ Union: This involves participating in formal TU Dublin processes and procedures and building the relationships that will help you to represent your classmates.

Provide a voice for all your classmates: This involves helping all your classmates feel a part of the class and bringing their views forward into decision making processes in TU Dublin and in the Students’ Union.

Manage your time: Being a Class Representative is demanding on your time. It is essential that you manage your time so that you can be effective in your role without this impacting upon your studies.

Actively engaging with TU Dublin and the Students' Union involves participating in formal TU Dublin processes and procedures and building the relationships that will help you to represent your classmates.

Formal TU Dublin Processes and Procedures

To participate in the formal TU Dublin processes, you need to learn about how Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement works in TU Dublin.

This includes participating in fora through which you can provide feedback.

This also involves learning about how your programme is enhanced, how it is developed and what - if any - role is played by a professional body.

It also helps if you learn about how your marks are awarded, and the role that is played by the internal examiner and the external examiner.

Episode 3: Understanding Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement, will help you to learn more about this important topic. 

Building Relationships

As a Class Representative you will need to develop relationship with your:

  • Classmates
  • Year Tutor
  • Other Class Representatives
  • Your Students' Union

Your classmates will need to know who you are. They will need to trust you and observe you representing all their voices.

Your year tutor will be your first point of contact for any feedback you want to provide on behalf of your class. They will need to recognise that you are speaking to them on behalf of the class, not just yourself. 

Other Class Representatives will be able to advise and assist you, in particular if they have been a Class Representative in a previous year.

Your Students' Union is there to help and support you. They have permanent staff and full-time staff whose role is to help and advise you and your classmates. If you actively engage with them, they will help you to become and excellent Class Representative!

Providing a voice for others involves helping all your classmates feel a part of the class and bringing their views forward into decision making processes in TU Dublin and in the Students’ Union.

It is essential that you represent all the voices in your class, not just your voice, not just the voices of your friends, and not just the voices of the people who voted for you.

Your classmates will have a range of different personalities, personal preferences and lifestyles. Don't assume that because someone doesn't speak up that they don't have a view. Take the time to get to know all your classmates so that they will feel comfortable letting you know their opinions.

Learn more about this in Episode 8: Providing a Voice for Others.

 

Being a Class Representative is demanding on your time. It is essential that you manage your time so that you can be effective in your role without this impacting upon your studies.

Talk to other Class Representatives to learn from them about how they have managed their time in the past.

If you find that you are very busy with your own learning activities, your social life and your roles as a Class Representative, try out a number of strategies to help you prioritise. Try using a Urgent-Important matrix below to categorise your various tasks.

  Very Urgent Not Very Urgent
High Importance These tasks must be done very soon. Get to it! You can make a plan to do these as soon as possible. Take time to think about when would be good to do them.
Low Importance This really isn't important. If you don't do it, the consequences won't be great. Don't prioritise this over other tasks. Why bother doing this at all? Perhaps this is something you enjoy doing, but it shouldn't interfere with what needs to be done now. 

Try building to-do lists with realistic timescales.

Be sure to build in your own relaxation time. If you are constantly busy the quality of your work will suffer. As Stephen Covey says: When you're cutting logs, it's a good idea to take time out to sharpen the saw!

Equally importantly, don't procrastinate - like this guy!

 

These learning activities are designed to help you develop the knowledge and skills required for this episode. These learning activities are also a requirement for the Active Class Representative Digital Badge.

Learning Activity 1.1. Identify Past Class Representative

Each year, your programme year will elect new Class Representatives. Find out who was the Class Representative last year for the year that you are currently in (e.g. if you are now in TU123-2, find out who was the Class Representative for TY123-2 last year).

You may find it helpful to contact your Programme Coordinator or Year Tutor to assist with this. The Students' Union Office will also be able to assist you.

It is important that Class Representatives contact their counterparts from previous academic years so that they can be informed about work that has commenced but that still needs to be progressed or completed.

If you are applying for a Digital Badge, include this (or a link to this) in your E-Portfolio.

Learning Activity 1.2. Consultation and Engagement

Write down the top 5 questions you have about the role of Class Representative.

Find someone who has previously been a Class Representative and ask them for their answers to your questions.

If you are applying for a Digital Badge, include this (or a link to this) in your E-Portfolio.

Learning Activity 1.3. Reflection on Being a Class Representative

Write down your view on:

  1. The top 3 reasons why the role of Class Representative is important.
  2. The top 3 skills or abilities that you will bring to the role of Class Representative.
  3. The top 3 skills or abilities that you will develop further in the role of Class Representative.

If you are applying for a Digital Badge, include this (or a link to this) in your E-Portfolio.

 

For additional information, review the NStep resources on Being a Class Representative, and all the other resources on the NStep website.

If you're interested in becoming a Class Representative, see the flyer below.

Flyer inviting people to find out more about becoming a class representative