Identifying Students' Problems
10. Identifying Students' Problems
10.1 IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS
A course organiser must be aware of any problems which may affect a student’s performance, be they health, financial, family or personal. These may ultimately have to be drawn to the attention of the Board of Examiners. Often such problems will be reported to the course organiser by the student or by their representative (e.g. doctor, parent or director of studies). The course organiser or a member of the course team should advise a student who reports a serious problem that this should also be reported to their director of studies, if not already done. Nonetheless, some students may fail to inform anyone and it can be the case that problems are detected through monitoring by the course organiser. The principal means for such monitoring are checks on attendance and submission of coursework. (Such checks may also uncover wilful neglect by a student.) Attendance at lectures is rarely checked, especially for large classes, but attendance at tutorials and laboratory classes is usually recorded. The degree to which an absence is significant depends on the rules set out to the class at the start of the session. A further check, for courses with significant computer-based work, is the date of the last 'log-in'. In most cases, submitted work contributes to the overall assessment so there is a strong incentive to complete it; a missing component almost invariably indicates a problem of some kind. It is good policy for course organisers to require tutors to maintain and return records of attendance and coursework marks, which can then be periodically reviewed. There is no standard pattern for deciding when to take action, but missing two or three consecutive tutorials or a failure to submit a major essay are common criteria.
A Manual for Course Organisers
The action taken may be to contact the student directly, although it may be politic to contact the...