Biomedical Science Student Staff Committee voted the best in Annual Academic Awards 2019

Biomedical Science (BMS) staff and students are celebrating the success of their Student Staff Committee (SSC) at the recent Sheffield Academic Awards. The annual Academic Awards celebrate individuals or teams that have ‘enhanced education and community life at the University of Sheffield’. They are run in partnership between the Students' Union and university.

BMS SSC 500The winners of ‘Best SSC’ had this to say in a joint statement:

“The SSC is a partnership between staff and students, where we discuss ideas that will enhance the course for current and future students. Reem Abouward was the Student Chair of the SSC this year with Dr Lauren Buck taking up the role of Staff Chair. Rebecca Sanders (Vice-Chair), Anna Malkowska (Secretary) and Ramona Neagu (Digital tech) made up the rest of the student SSC team. BMS SSC had remarkable engagement and support from Academic Reps and staff throughout the year, and were able to not only introduce changes to the course but to improve the SSC system itself.

“Our main accomplishment was changing the ethos of the SSC: from a place where minor issues are resolved, to one where students and staff can work together to discuss innovative changes to the course and department. We created a new email address for the committee and introduced a novel “email rep” role. This allowed us to tackle minor issues as they arose and offload them ahead of SSC meetings, so that this time could be used to discuss larger departmental ideas with staff. A recent example was a suggestion to change the lecture format to include formative assessment breaks to encourage active learning.

“Working together, we collated opinions from students and staff about the tutorial scheme, which Dr Buck is utilising to improve the tutorials system for next year. In addition to SSC meetings, we also met with staff throughout the year to improve the format of specific modules based on student feedback. This led to changes in the structure and assessment criteria for some of the modules, such as introducing formative assessments in level 3 and increasing the support given to students in their final year projects.

“None of this would have been possible without the Academic Reps. This year we saw a massive increase in student engagement, which was driven by staff appreciation for feedback and student opinion. We created several feedback forms throughout the year and students were very keen on filling them in and sharing their views.

“Speaking on behalf of the SSC team, we are thrilled for the recognition and thankful to everyone who nominated us. We are also very grateful to have had this wonderful chance to positively impact student learning and experience within the department. We wish next year’s committee the best of luck and hope that our success will encourage more students to participate in the SSC!”