Ilina Stanimrova (BA Media and Communications) is a final year student who took part in the recent assessment criteria project at the Business School as a Student Connector. Here she tells us about the work of Student Connectors and how they are helping to shape improvements based on feedbacks from students.
The Sussex Student Connectors programme is a new scheme to involve students in university projects, ensuring our voice is heard and included in the development of the University and the Business School.
About the role
Student Connectors are paid to work on a variety of projects across the University of Sussex. We co-create with University staff to improve courses and services. Any current student at Sussex, Brighton and Sussex Medical School or The Institute of Development Studies can become a Student Connector.
It is a part-time job that understands your student status and fits around your study schedule. New projects are starting all the time and if you are interested in becoming a Student Connector, you can find Connector job opportunities on their Instagram page @studentconnectors_ and on CareerHub. The application process is divided into two stages: a written application – motivational letter/CV, followed by an interview selection.
The purpose of the Student Connector Programme is to improve our student experience across the University by including us in University projects. This is a fairly new programme that aims to represent the student voice and help staff create innovative solutions. Furthermore, the project gives the opportunity for students to develop their skills and employability.
“I would definitely apply to be a Connector if it is a project you are interested in. You will get to interact with a variety of people and work on a project that has a meaningful output, not just for you but for other students.”Georgia, BSc Business and Management (2020)
Assessment Criteria Project Background
The University of Sussex Business School Assessment Criteria project was created in response to NSS results that indicated Business School student finalists’ discontent with existing assessment criteria. I was part of the project which started in summer 2020 and lasted eight weeks. Business School faculty and Student Connectors worked together to create a new and better assessment criteria for students. Lecturers, module conveners, tutors, staff and six Student Connectors all worked on the project.
We reviewed the assessment criteria within national guidelines and implemented improvements according to the Connectors’ opinions. Plenary meetings were held every week and there was a dynamic conversation between students and staff as to how to improve the criteria. The Student Connectors were from different School departments and academic years and we shared varying opinions between ourselves and teaching staff.
We opened up a much-needed conversation about student education and academic success. The Student Connectors wanted to prioritize the accessibility of the new assessment criteria and the need for individual feedback. Teaching staff made sure to accommodate those needs and they also shared their support on individual feedback. Both parties worked hard to create an assessment criteria that would help students with their work, but also navigate them to overcome their weaknesses. We hope for a successful outcome and better student feedback as a result.
“As a student connector on this project, I learned how to manage teamwork and think differently. The discussions with other students and teaching staff made me realize the many perspectives on student experience.”Ilina, 3rd Year, BA Media and Communications