University of Tasmania
School of Psychology
Staff-Student Consultative Committee Meeting: Hobart Second Semester
3.00 pm, Thursday 18th October 2007 (1)
Claire Patmore, Katie Boutchard (Year 1); Lesli Hokanson, David Hanley
Staff Members in attendance: Dr Walter Slaghuis, Dr Andrea Adam, Dr
Nenagh Kemp, James Alexander (Chair).
Sue Ross was present as Secretary.
The meeting will be adjourned until Tue 23rd Oct to allow second year
representatives to attend.
The Grad Dip representative sent an apology, no new issues or problems had
arisen in second semester, beyond those raised in first semester.
The Honours representatives sent apologies, they had met with the Course
Coordinator and resolved issues. A written report was supplied by the fourth
year representatives and is attached as Appendix 1.
James said that he understood that the first year representatives had met and
discussed the issues with the Hobart Psych 1 coordinators.
The representatives stated that most minor issues had been cleared up during
the meeting with course coordinators. There was brief discussion of
consistency between lectures and pracs, and the general text.
The following issues were raised for further discussion:
Scheduling of lectures, whether it would be preferable to have two one
hour blocks. Students with a clash at the 2 hour slot might be able to get to
one if they were separated. The question of which students preferred was
discussed. (Andrea Adam advised that data had been collected regarding
Formatting Guide – Psych 1 students felt that having alternatives is
confusing and seem to prefer Findlay to Shakespeare-Finch. Staff agreed
that Findlay is more appropriate for an introduction to formatting in first
year. Third year representatives commented that they used both, and this
was not a problem at their level. James advised the course coordinators to
recommend Findlay for Psychology 1 in Hobart.
The second and third year student representatives had not had an
opportunity to meet with coordinators because of the crisis caused by moving
staff offices during the teaching term.
Many issues were raised and discussed, some were considered minor.
A written report was supplied by Lesli Hokanson and David Hanley and is
attached as Appendix 2.
o Inconsistencies between different prac classes in a unit over advice on
assignments. Staff considered differences between questions asked in
prac classes would lead to some differences which were appropriate.
James suggested the use of WebCT Bulletin Boards to allow public
advice and discussion on assessment issues.
o Inconsistencies in extensions and penalties for word length between
o Availability of SPSS on some computers in the library to allow after
hours access. James agreed to raise this with the Library
o Perhaps the Psych 1 Rubric feedback method for assignments could be
considered at second and third year levels. James agreed to circulate
this to teaching staff.
o Double lectures: some students believe strongly that there should be a
break of 10 minutes, 5 minutes was not enough. In discussion it was
agreed that no-one could concentrate for two hours, James pointed out
that was one reason double lectures were inappropriate.
o Representatives asked if students could have access to the minutes of
previous Staff-Student Consultative Committee. It was pointed out
that this, and outcomes, were displayed on the School website. One
representative expressed surprise that there was a school website and
asked for its address. Staff pointed out that the address was on every
unit outline students got. It was agreed the unit outlines were full of
redundant information which wasn’t attended to. It was suggested a
version with important information for a unit be used. Some staff
thought that the University required the redundant format be used,
James said he thought the problem was in the School.
o Students noted that Human Neurosciences was well taught.
Powerpoints were not provided to students (until the end of semester).
Students asked if lectures could be recorded with the lecturers
agreement, which probably required booking a theatre with recording.
This should be reviewed.
o Cognition and Memory used alternate live lectures and recorded
lectures from the other campus. Students were concerned at problems
scheduling the recorded lecture, this should be reviewed.
o Consistency between stats in stats courses and other Unit’s pracs. Most
units are clear on their specific requirements but staff should be given
information about approaches taught in stats.
The meeting was adjourned at 4.00 until Tuesday 23rd October at 11 am.
Hobart Staff-Student Consultative Committee Meeting-continued
Adjourned until 11.00 am, Tuesday 23rd October 2007 (2)
Erica Galloway, Luke Hortle, Imogen Kooloff (Year 2)
Staff Member in attendance: James Alexander (Chair).
Sue Ross was present as Secretary.
James welcomed the students to the meeting and went through the main
points of the meeting held on 18th October.
The second year representatives had not had an opportunity to meet with
Written reports were supplied by Erica Galloway and Luke Hortle and these
are attached as Appendix 3.
Most of the discussion concerned KHA202 or KHA205.
KHA202 Lifespan Development. The prac course had one assignment,
followed after a break by 4 weekly exercises. Most students preferred this
structure, though some prefer two assignments. The exercises allowed better
relationship between lectures and pracs, and pracs were working towards
something or not held. Some issues of specific exercises were discussed. The
text book could be reviewed, a topic based text might be more appropriate.
KHA205 Clinical. The pracs were good, there was a bit much dictation and
some issue on relations with lectures. In 2007, because of staff leave, a range
of different lecturers were used, which made it a bit disjointed and there were
some problems of coordination. The double lecture on Monday made it
impossible to manage some unavoidable absences.
Web CT is great, T-Drive (205) is not. Web CT is much better as the source for
materials, so it would be good if T-Drive were avoided (except for 201 where
pracs are in the lab).
Is there staff personal development on Power Point delivery? There was
discussion of styles used with too much or too little content. Kim Norris’ use
of power points in her KHA202/303 lectures was awesome.
It was noted that in the “Studies in Psychology” booklet, there are four units
offered in even years, only three in odd years. Another unit in odd years
would be appreciated. It was suggested that prerequisites/corequisites be
explained as concurrent enrolment. Info for BPsych streams had improved. It
was useful to be able plan a few years ahead even if changes occurred.
Issues affecting part-time students were discussed (WebCT vsT: , later pracs)
Feedback on assignment marking
There needed to be channels for extra feedback on assignments. The group
feedback at the beginning of class for 202 exercises was good. While they
would like marks as numbers, if grades were used then +/- were good.
Curt e-mail replies from Academic staff members to student queries were
James proposed that students be asked to include the Unit Number in the
subject for an e-mail, which would aid identification by staff.
Psychology 1 Students
There was discussion of Psychology 1 arising from written comments from
the first part of the meeting. Some related to 2006, and some from tutoring in
the Pass program in 2007. Perhaps the Research Participation issue should be
presented positively not “You will be a research guinea pig”, similarly
justifying multiple choice exam. Generally, staff are not “wonderfully nice”
to first year students and School requirements relatively harsh, so by the time
students were encouraged to re-enrol it was too late for those who had
decided not to.
Another concern for some Psychology 1 students was lack of knowledge
about consultation times, where they are to be held and timeslots.
Minutes confirmed by: ___________________________Date _____________
Outcomes of the Staff-Student Consultative Committee (Hobart-Semester 2
2007). – actions by chair.
Teaching Discussion Papers have been circulated to Hobart teaching staff on the following topics from
the SSCC meeting
Powerpoint in Lectures including one of Kim Norris’ powerpoints
The provision of powerpoints to students, arising from Human Neuroscience
The Psychology 1 Marking Rubric
Style of email replies to students
Consistent advice on assignments
The library has been asked to consider providing access to SPSS on some
James Alexander, Chair
Appendix 1 – Honours Report
On Thursday the 11th of October, Wally met with David Tuck, Fletcher Davis
and Madelyn Dent and the following topics were discussed:
- Wally has proposed a blanket extension to be applied to the submission of
theses, from the 23rd to the 26th of October (the Friday of that week, rather
than the Tuesday). Wally will be informing us shortly if this is the case
- the following answers to frequently asked thesis questions have been
provided by Wally.
1. theses are to be submitted to sue before 4:30 on the due date.
2. due to ethics and results presentations, theses will not be blind marked
3. colour is permitted in figures, but not in the body of text.
4. hard copies of statistical analyses must be appended to your thesis.
5. it is not required for you to append raw participant data to your thesis
- Wally will be examining the attendance records of Advanced Topics, and
notifying us all shortly regarding grade allocations
- notification of honours results will take place when exam results are released
- only 25% to 30% of any honours year receive a first class grade
- next year's honours handbook will include a brief paragraph outlining
protocol for raising disputes or concerns, and that all matters raised with the
unit coordinator are held in the strictest confidence
My apologies but I won't be coming in to meeting, I was planning to but a bit
behind with my write-up and can't really justify a 3 hr round trip for a
meeting, sorry. There are however a couple of issues I'd like to comment on:
1. I think it would be great for group solidarity if the Hobart students
travelled up say for one debate in Theoretical Controversies (perhaps when
Launceston students actually doing the debates so they can practice prior to
presentation?). I realise it's not as cost effective, but I think it would go a long
way to making the group more cohesive, and reduce the extra time pressure
placed on Launceston students by having to travel to Hobart 3 times in one
2. It would be great if when a unit (i.e. applied) is regularly videoconferenced
it could be automatically arranged to have the Burnie Campus linked. Anthea
was able to set up for a couple this semester and it seemed to run smoothly,
and I think from what I've heard there is often Honours students living west
of Devonport for whom it would be a lot cheaper/time effective to travel to
3. I think having Applied run in 1st semester, exactly as-is in that the essay is
75% and the attendance is 25% would spread the workload a bit more evenly.
Personally I found that despite my best efforts things still got a lot busier in
the 2nd semester. It may sound like a lot I guess, but sociology do all
coursework in 1st semester so I think we'd cope with 3 units in first, and find
it less stressful.
Emily emailed this to me this morning as she is unexpectedly unable to attend.
Could you please give Wally my apologies and pass on the only thing I had
concerns about this year was the video-conferencing? and that I think James
was the only Hobart lecturer who made any effort to make us feel a part of
Thanks for making the time to talk to us about this year....It’s been a
challenging but interesting year for the most part!
Appendix 2 – Third Year Report
Third-year student report – Second semester 2007
A well-taught unit.
Considering that it is a core unit and it is being taught as a note-taking unit
(ie no lecture slides available until possibly at end of semester) it would be
great if lectures could be recorded. Consultation with one of the lecturers of
the unit (Mike Garry) suggested that he at least would be happy for lectures
to be recorded, and that the unit needs to be scheduled to run in a lecture
theatre with voice-recording facilities.
If lecture slides are going to be made available at the end of the semester
can this be announced at the start of the lecture series so that students can
adjust their note-taking strategies accordingly?
Cognition and Memory
It seemed to be a poor lecture structure for Hobart students in terms of the
Launceston lectures being delivered after the Hobart lectures. Often the
Hobart lecture slot was not able to be used to go over lectures (because they
hadn’t been delivered yet) and then conversely a Hobart lecture was
delivered during the slot meaning that the Launceston lecture could not be
presented in the timeslot. Obviously one lecture has to be presented before
the after and there is no reason that Hobart students should be advantaged
while Launceston students are disadvantaged (or vice versa). Perhaps an
attempt can be made to minimise the swapping between the Launceston and
Hobart lecture streams.
Students may benefit from a consistency between what is taught in the
explicit Research Methods units (2nd and 3rd year) and the requirements for
assignments in the other units. When inconsistencies or differences of
opinion arise perhaps a more explicit explanation to students will help
them understand the complexities of statistics and research methods in
There is inconsistency between the information given out by different
tutors about assignments. It seems that different tutor groups receive more
or less information /assistance towards completing assignments.
There is a perceived inconsistency in the way penalties have been given
out to students for breaches in assignment word limit.
There is a perceived inconsistency in the way that extensions to
assignment “due date” are given to students.
Can the Dept. arrange for SPSS to be available at the library since
undergraduates do not have access to the Psych. Computer Room after
normal hours? Alternatively allow general access to the Psych. Computer
Room 24 hrs/ 7 days per wk.
There seems to be a majority preference for a 10 minute break, as
timetabled, between double lectures, often lecturers only allow up to 5
Appendix 3 – Second Year Reports
Report from 2 Year student s for the Staff & Student Meeting
23rd October 2007
Complied by Erica Galloway
Lifespan Developmental Psychology
A well-liked course over-all
Comprehensive lecture notes which were available before the lectures
A good textbook
Good practical classes which were constructive (whether it was
learning course content or getting concrete help with our assignments)
o Was well-explained, was practical, help was given when needed
and the markers gave good feedback
The in-class exercises (generally liked):
o This was a good way of “studying” lecture content
o It gave the practical classes a good purpose
o The readings were about the right amount
o Not having to write another assignment was good
o Only 3 of the 4 counted towards the official mark (so less
Too much of the lecture content was Piaget
The in-class exercises
The questions were structured very differently each time
(sometimes not on the text reading, sometimes they were,
sometimes on the journal reading mostly or on the in-
class work mostly)
It was very hard to improve as the weeks went on,
because of the inconsistency
o The practicals were often rushed
o The questions were not based enough on the readings
Too much was expected in a short amount of time, as we
were not only supposed to understand the readings but
often to go much beyond them conceptually in only 20
A suggestion for the practical exercises:
o Make them a weekly exercise that is written at home and
handed in at the beginning of the next practical (similar to how
it is done in 1st year)
The classes were practical, in the sense that we learned a lot about
The unit was very disjointed
Lecture notes were not up on the t-drive early enough
Not having WebCT access was frustrating for many people
Knowing who to talk to apart from your tutor was hard to gauge
The role plays
o Some classes were only given one week of notice, while some
were given none at all
o Thus the marking criteria appears to have been different across
Many lectures were not attended by lecturers (a major concern)
Lecturers did not seem to know what had already been covered in the
Studying Psychology in General
At the end of semester of second year we are encouraged to continue
o However at this stage, it is not when people need the
encouragement, as they have already chosen to major in
o Rather, it seems to many people that the way 1st year
Psychology students are treated by the Psychology Department
is the reason why people stay or do not stay studying
It would be great if the information about pre-requisites, co-requisites
and what needs to be done to get into Honours was made more readily
available and easy to understand. Some students were not aware of
A lack of flexibility for part-time students (who may work full-time)
o No after 5pm classes
o No WebCT access for some courses (the t-drive is not easy to
o No lecture recordings (this is also applicable for people with
Psychology Staff-Student Consultation Meeting
(Tuesday October 23 11am)
- Overall, many students enjoyed the course content.
- Students have said that they preferred the small exercises to having
another large essay/assignment – taking the pressure off in terms of time
spent on pieces of assessment.
- Generally, lectures are great when the lecturer is engaging with the
concepts, theory and research, as well as engaging with the students and
making the information and lecture content accessible. It really makes it a
valuable learning experience.
- The relatively small tute sizes made them good learning environments,
allowing for important interaction between tutor and students.
- It was good having a variety of lecturers from different areas and
perspectives in lifespan psych.
- Students have said that they would much prefer another assignment
instead of the small exercises. They said they felt that the exercises didn’t
give them enough opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of
topics to a quality they were happy with. Others found the exercises a lot
of pressure and very stressful, given the short time to complete them. So
many would much prefer another essay/assignment to give them the
chance to produce a piece of work they feel does them justice.
- Some students reported that some lecturers didn’t engage the students in
a valuable learning experience. They felt that the lecturer did not make
the lecture content accessible.
- For psych units in general, it is very frustrating when lecturers just read
out the powerpoint slides. This is a waste of the students time and speaks
down to their intelligence; students come to lecturers expecting to learn
from the lecturer. They want the lectures to be worth coming to; they
want the lecturer to use the powerpoints as a tool from which to expand
on points with examples and research. If the slides are just going to be
read out, let us know so that we can choose to attend or just read them
ourselves. We should come to lectures and really want to take notes on
what’s being said.
- Several comments have been made in regard to the organisation of
Clinical Psych this semester. It’s been disappointing and frustrating to
have missed so many lectures. We do understand that sometimes there
are mix-ups and unforseen circumstances, but for future units it’d be
great to have the organisation tightened.
- Students have reported that the exam outline has been too broad for
- Students have said they wanted more constructive comments on their
assignments. Also, many students have requested that we get actual
percentages with our marks so that we know where we sit and what kind
of a mark we got. It would also be beneficial to know what percentage
we’re sitting on when we go into the exam.