VP Education: Aaaand We’re Back (Part 2)

Anson Chen - VP Education
Posted on: May 21, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome back! I’ve been super busy this co-op term working on co-op things!

First off, for those who don’t remember, last fall, I proposed starting an online tool for engineering students to rate their work terms. Over the winter, I started building this tool with the help of some amazing EngSoc volunteers. CECA heard that we were building it and reached out to myself and Jeff, the A-Soc VP. CECA proposed to collaborate with us on Rate My Work Term, which is the official work term rating tool that will be on WaterlooWorks. I decided that it was in EngSoc’s best interest to work on the official tool, as it would be linked directly to WaterlooWorks. We’re currently waiting for the next steps while the other faculty societies are getting the same invitation. Rate My Work Term will launch to architecture in Fall 2016, and to all students in Winter 2017. I’m sure that we will be needing student input in the near future. I am super excited and will keep you posted on things as they happen!

Second, Exam Bank raffles are back! For those who don’t remember, last fall we gave away $100 worth of movie tickets to people who submitted exams to the exam bank. This spring, we have more prizes to give away! Date of the first raffle is TBD, but it will be soon. Anything submitted since the start of term until then will count as an entry, so tell your class to upload exams!

Third, as part of my role, I attend university, faculty, and CECA meetings to speak on items on your behalf. Recently, the Senate Undergraduate Council discussed whether students should be allowed to share course materials. Last term, the university had issues with an external tutoring agency on JobMine making profit off of exam questions that they got from a hired Waterloo co-op student. To counter this, the university wanted to add a clause to Policy 71 and to course outlines that restricts students from sharing the “intellectual property” of their professors with external organizations and other students, unless they have consent from the professors. Intellectual property includes everything from lecture content to course outlines to exam questions. Myself and others expressed concern that this restriction would do more harm than good for those who share the material in order to learn better, and/or to help younger-year students who may not have the same quality of content in their own courses. The discussion lasted an hour; ultimately, everyone realized that UW’s goal was to deal with the tutoring agencies, not to make things hard for students. Therefore, the part of the policy relating to sharing course content with students was put on hold for reconsideration, and the policy relating to external agencies passed to Senate.

Super excited to be back and looking forward to another great term! Also, send me an email at vpeducation.b@engsoc.uwaterloo.ca if you’re interested in taking over my role!