Undergraduate (UG) Student handbook 2017/18

Student Engagement Policy

social engagement

The School of Mathematical Sciences uses the following markers of student engagement to ensure that you are well supported and given every opportunity to progress with your student and to achieve to your full potential whilst here.

 

We will assess you by a mixture of exercises, coursework, in-term tests and end-of-year exams; see module details for how we assess each module. For most of our modules, the assessment of exercises is formative, which means that it is intended to help you learn and does not contribute marks to your final result for the module. Formative exercises give you practice for the tests and exams and so are just as important as summative assessments that contribute marks directly to your final result for the module. If you work hard on all the formative exercises then you will do better in your tests and exams.

Markers of student engagement


Attendance


You are expected to attend scheduled taught sessions including lectures, practical classes, group work, workshops, tutorials, computer lab sessions, problem-solving classes, exercise classes, project meetings, and other events associated with the modules for which you are registered as part of your programme of study. If you are absent from Queen Mary for more than a day or two then please always let your academic adviser know (preferably by email) at the earliest opportunity. Attendance is important; failing to attend usually leads to failure in assessment. Reading lecture notes or watching QReviewed lectures is not a satisfactory substitute for attending lectures. We will collect evidence of attendance using the card readers just inside the doors of larger teaching rooms or from registers in some modules. It is your responsibility to touch your Queen Mary student identification card to a card reader or sign the register during your lectures and tutorials.

Lecture Attendance

The School of Mathematical Sciences monitors attendance through lecture attendance. You are required to tap their student ID card on the black card readers, which are located near the entrance/s of all large lecturer theatres. The card readers will be activated for fifteen minutes from the start of the lecture. Attendance will not be recorded after the first fifteen minutes and if you arrive after the first 15 minutes you will be marked as absent. Please contact the Student Support Officer if you have any issues with the attendance monitoring process. If the black card readers are not present in the lecture theatre, attendance will not be required on this occasion. It is your responsibility to touch your Queen Mary student identification card to a card reader to record your lecture attendance when attending lectures, as long as the black card scanners are present.

Tutorial Attendance 

The School of Mathematical Sciences monitors tutorial attendance through you collecting your marked weekly coursework exercises. You will be required to present your Queen Mary Student identification card to the module organiser or tutorial lead. The collection of marked weekly coursework exercises will be recorded and confirms your tutorial attendance. Please see the 'Weekly Coursework Submission' section below for further information.

International students on Tier 4 student visa (Temporary), if lecture card reader is not present:

The UK Border Agency monitors overseas students attending UK Universities (Tier 4 applicants). Since April 6th 2010 the licensing system for educations institutions has changed, currently Queen Mary is a Tier 4 Highly Trusted Sponsor. In order to maintain this status we have to ensure that we have acceptable systems in place for monitoring student attendance and reporting non-attendance. If we cannot demonstrate that our systems are satisfactory we may in future be required to monitor student attendance more closely.

For regulatory reasons all international students on a Tier 4 student visa, within the School of Mathematical Sciences is currently required to register their tutorial attendance for all modules. You will need to contact the Student Support Officer or a member of Professional Services Staff at the Maths School Office (Queens CB307) after your tutorials to record the relevant tutorial attendance.

You will need to present your Student ID card and state the tutorial you have attended to get your tutorial attendance recorded. This does not have to be straight after each tutorial as you may have other lectures/tutorials but you should get this recorded on the day of each tutorial. It is your responsibility to contact the Student Support Officer or a member of Professional Services Staff at the Maths School Office (Queens CB307) after each tutorial to record the relevant tutorial attendance


Weekly Coursework submission


You are expected to submit reports, exercises, essays, and other pieces of coursework associated with each module for which you are registered as part of your programme of study, by the individually advertised deadlines and methods of submission. With the exception of project modules, all modules will have at least five (usually a maximum of ten) coursework assignments (or at least 3 mini-projects). These will be regularly spaced throughout the semester. Failure to submit coursework regularly  will result in you having to attend Wednesday afternoon catch up sessions to work and complete your outstanding coursework. 

The main method of engagement within the School of Mathematical Sciences is through the submission and collection of weekly coursework for all your modules. The lecturer/module organiser will post all weekly coursework exercises via QMplus (on some occasions these may be set during lectures). The lecturer/module organiser will confirm this during the first lecture. It is your responsibility to ensure that you can find the weekly coursework exercises for all your modules and to contact the relevant lecturer/module organiser if you have any questions about the posting of the weekly coursework exercises. The module organiser will set problems as your weekly coursework exercises. Working through the exercises is essential in order to understand each module. Moreover, we also use your exercise solutions and quality of the coursework as a measure of your engagement within the module and to identify if you require any further support.

Each lecturer/module organiser will tell you at the start of the module how to submit your weekly coursework exercises for that module. Some undergraduate modules will use the red coloured locked collection boxes located along the walls next to the Maths School Office in Queens CB307. For modules that use a collection box, you must "post" your exercises through the slot in the correct box by the deadline specified by the module organiser. The coursework submission boxes are clearly labelled with each module. If you put it in the wrong box then you have not submitted it. You may lose your exercises and any marks and this will be recorded as a non-submission.

You must clearly print your student number and your name as registered with Queen Mary, with your surname underlined, at the top of the first page of all exercises and other work you submit. You must include the tutorial group you are in, otherwise this cannot be returned to you during your tutorial class. You must also staple multiple sheets together. We may not accept work that does not meet these requirements. If you are working in groups please ensure you meet up to complete the coursework exercises together and all group members name and student number are included.

All weekly coursework exercises will be returned in the following week during the tutorial. You are required to attend the tutorial and collect your marked weekly coursework exercise. You will be required to present your Queen Mary Student identification card to the module organiser or tutorial lead. The collection of marked weekly coursework exercises will be recorded. The collection of your marked weekly coursework exercises is used to monitor your attendance in your tutorial classes. You will have two weeks to collect each weekly coursework exercise. If you have not collected your marked weekly coursework exercises within two weeks of the submission deadline, this will be returned to the Maths School Office (Queens CB307). You then will be required to collect these from the Maths School Office but this will be recorded as late weekly coursework collection. You will receive email reminders if you do not collect your marked weekly coursework exercises. It is important that you collect your marked weekly coursework submissions, as feedback will be provided to support your learning and understanding of each module.

We try to return all submitted exercises but we cannot guarantee to do so and occasionally exercises get lost. Therefore, you should take a copy of any exercises that you want to keep before you submit them. If you have a computer and scanner, it will cost you nothing to scan all your exercises before you submit them.

  1. Participation in other formative assessments

    You are expected to participate in a range of activities (with or without the allocation of marks) that help to inform teaching and learning during the learning process. Examples of such activities are subject related quizzes and exercises linked to module materials on QMplus.

  2. Marks from summative assessments

    You are expected to participate in a range of activities assessing the outcomes of a learning process. Marks allocated from such summative assessments, e.g. week 7 tests, coursework, and examinations, contribute to your overall module grade and degree classification.

  3. Other student engagement activities

    You are expected to participate in a range of formal or informal activities that signify continued engagement with your programme of study. Examples of such activities are scheduled meetings with your Academic Adviser and group work.

Action following identification of students who may require support

  1. Actions taken by the School of Mathematical Sciences are designed to support students to engage or re-engage with their study programme. The underpinning principles are that the School, once it has admitted a student to a programme of study, has a duty of care to that student, whilst in turn the student has a responsibility to engage with the available support. In such cases, support will be designed by the School around the needs of the individual student.
  2. There will be four checkpoints each semester that are designed to check students level of engagement using a portfolio of engagement data, which includes lecture attendance, tutorial attendance through the collection of marked weekly coursework, weekly coursework submission and participation in summative assessments.
  3. If you are identified as approaching or falling below the minimum requirements of engagement set by the School an email will be sent to your Queen Mary email account alerting you to this and outlining the support mechanisms available to you to deal with the issues that may be contributing to this. These may include meetings with the Student Support Officer, your Academic Adviser or attending mandatory catch up sessions. Please be aware that if you do not reply to our email within seven days, we will put a record of your poor engagement in your file. This information may be passed on to your funding body or used in any references from the School.
  4. Once you are identified as in need of support in order to re-engage with your studies, you will be invited to a meeting with your Academic Adviser to discuss any issues that might be affecting your studies, and for the provision of encouragement and advice (with possible referral to Queen Mary support services if necessary). The first port of call is your Academic Adviser, who in turn may liaise with the Senior Tutor and the Student Support Officer. In exceptional circumstances, a senior member of the School team, such as the Head of School, may be involved in this process.
  5. The School of Mathematical Sciences will always try to help you if you are experiencing problems, but we cannot do so if we are not kept informed of them. If there are factors making engagement with your study programme difficult, it is essential that you discuss these with your Academic Adviser or an appropriate person in the School at an early stage. This will give us the opportunity to intervene and provide the necessary support.