PD ‘Wat’ are you doing?: WatPD, WaterlooWorks, and the importance of student feedback

Andrew McBurney - VP Academic
Posted on: February 18, 2017

Hope everyone had a great time with midterms! To those still in midterm mode – I feel your struggle (I still have midterms too). Without further ado, I’m going to dive right into this week’s topic.

The importance of giving feedback and making your voice heard

Apathy is a prevalent issue in today’s society, especially visible in elections and surveys. For instance, in the last FEDS elections there was a total voter turnout of 15.28% of undergrads. While the turnout was a 7% (approximately) increase from the previous election, the majority of undergraduate students are still choosing not to participate.

The question is: why?

That’s the question organizations like CECA and WatPD ask when trying to collect data: “Why don’t students respond?” People sometimes get the notion their feedback won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, or that their opinions won’t be adequately considered – so they don’t express them. Some people might think their feedback is obvious, but could easily be overlooked. Sitting on CECA related committees like Co-operative Education Council, and Co-op Student Council, I can tell you firsthand that CECA doesn’t know all student concerns – which is why it’s important to provide feedback to make them aware.

Opportunities to make your voice heard

With that being said, I’d like to talk about two opportunities coming up in the near future for you to give your feedback.

Firstly, CECA is looking to gather as much feedback as possible about WaterlooWorks, to prioritize improvements for the system in subsequent terms. Later on in the term (after the main matching process, and before exams) your class representatives will be circulating a survey on WaterlooWorks for you to fill out. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete, and your feedback will be passed on directly to CECA. This is a great way to get your opinions taken into consideration by the people prioritizing system improvements.

Secondly, the Vice-Dean of Engineering and Associate Dean of WatPD Engineering have taken great interest in doing an honest and complete evaluation of WatPD, to see how well it’s performing, and to decide where to go next (improvements, etc.) from this feedback. The biggest problem from their perspective is they don’t know with certainty what most students think of the courses, and the program in general. That’s where you come in. There currently isn’t a date set for this survey, as it’s still in the works – but I encourage you all to fill it out once it’s distributed. WatPD is very interested in finding out students’ honest feedback – to make the overall experience better for students.

Final remarks

As always, if you ever have anything you’d like to discuss, you can contact me at vpacademic.b@engsoc.uwaterloo.ca.

Cheers fam – stay woke,

Andrew