Teaching & Learning Update May 2018
This update contains information on the following topics:
The Academic Quality and Standards Committee considered a paper concerning the variation of the delivery and presentation of the Graduate Diploma across the University at its meeting held on 31 October 2017. The paper (AQSC.11/17-18) proposed that Graduate Diplomas were standardised across the University from the academic year 2018/19 so that the University was in line with the sector. AQSC agreed that the Graduate Diploma would be an undergraduate qualification consisting of 120 credits with at least 90 credits at level 6 and an average credit weighted pass mark of 40%. It was also agreed that the Teaching Quality Office would work with affected departments to ensure harmonisation from 2018/19. If you think that this change will affect you and you haven’t already been contacted by Clair Henrywood, please contact Clair via email@example.com by 21st May 2018 so that she can support you with the implementation of this change in time for the start of the 2018/19 academic year.
Senate has approved the use of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) and a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in order to reward the partial completion of an undergraduate degree in cases where a student has not achieved all of the credit needed to be awarded the highest qualification for which they were registered. These awards had previously been made in a limited way but it was agreed that they should be offered cross-institutionally to bring Warwick in line with the rest of the sector.
The awards were an existing part of Warwick’s qualification framework, but the Senate additionally approved the total minimum credit to be passed to achieve the CertHE and DipHE respectively:
|Qualification||Total minimum credit to be taken||Total minimum credit to be passed||Highest level of credit||Minimum credit to be passed at the highest level|
It was agreed that a light touch approach to approval and implementation would be employed. The detail of how these qualifications will be operationalised is yet to be finalised, but it is currently intended that Boards of Examiners will be able to recommend these qualifications this year. Full details will be circulated in due course.
Following the discontinuation of Annual Course Review for undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses in 2015-16, Education Experience Monitoring (EEM) has been launched with a view to establishing a more meaningful, impactful process to support the continuous improvement of the student learning experience. EEM is centred on a biennial review of each department’s existing systems for monitoring and managing academic standards and quality, with a particular emphasis on how effectively external input (e.g. feedback from students, External Examiners and PSRBs) and student outcomes data has been used to maintain academic standards and improve the quality of the student learning experience. The review is undertaken collaboratively by senior staff in the department and a panel of senior staff and students from across the University, and results in a brief report evaluating the department’s systems.
The Department of Psychology and the School for Cross-Faculty Studies were the first to engage with EEM and a further eleven departments are scheduled over this term. Guidance for departments is currently being tested with those engaging with EEM and will be published shortly. Questions about EEM can be directed to Dan Derricott, Assistant Registrar (Monitoring & Review), via firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the 37 reviews undertaken in January 2017, each academic and professional service department involved has reported on the progress made against recommendations from their review panels. A huge amount of progress has been made locally and the recommendations have also been central in the development of the new Education Strategy. Following this first round of progress reporting, the Education Executive and chairs of Faculty Education Committees are reviewing how best to sustain the momentum from ITLR and undertake this reporting in the future.
Reviews of two further departments were undertaken in April 2018. The School of Engineering and Teaching Quality were both reviewed by panels comprising senior Warwick colleagues from other departments, external experts and Students’ Union officers. The reports from both reviews will be considered by the ITLR Steering Group later in the term.
Questions about ITLR can be directed to Dan Derricott, Assistant Registrar (Monitoring & Review), via email@example.com
The National Student Survey launched at Warwick in February and has exceeded a 70% response rate institutionally, which is a fantastic achievement and gives us a rich, robust insight into the views of finalists. The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, which runs nationally each year, is now open for PGT students to complete and we are just as ambitious in achieving a strong response to this survey. Results from both surveys are published in early August and we are considering how we can more effectively make use of this feedback across the institution and close the feedback loop with students.
We know that students are asked to complete too many surveys and that we could be better at using the feedback we collect. With that in mind, the Student Learning Experience & Engagement Committee (SLEEC) has established the Survey Strategy Steering Group, chaired by Professor Gwen van der Velden. The Group is tasked with bringing a more coordinated, strategic approach to the way students are surveyed, with a particular focus on running fewer surveys more effectively. The Group will also work with academic and professional support departments to ensure they have easier access to feedback that has already been collected, thereby reducing the need to issue additional surveys and increasing the impact of each survey run.
We would welcome your views on how we can improve our approach to the delivery of surveys and the action planning that follows. These can be shared via Dan Derricott, Assistant Registrar (Monitoring & Review), firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the project?
The current Module Approval process uses a paper form, which results in inaccurate module information being presented to students and prospective students and a data entry bottleneck delaying the provision of that information. This project will replace the paper form with an online system that will ensure complete, accurate and consistent module information, eliminate unnecessary data entry and enable module resources such as academic technology and library items to be provisioned more quickly.
What has happened so far?
The information about modules captured on the module approval form has been reviewed in consultation with academics, departmental administrators and central services. A revised data set has been approved by AQSC and referred to the Senate for further approval. The revised data set is available as a pdf on the project Intranet Page.
The Provisional Business Case outlining the project has been agreed and received SPI Steering Group approval.
What will happen next?
- Decide on a supplier that will meet the project requirements
- Determine project governance and develop a project plan
- Develop/configure system
- Test System
Where can I get further information?
The project Intranet Page will be regularly updated. It also has contact information for the Project Manager – Tarny Athwal or Process Owner – Roland Ingram.
The report of the Personal Tutoring Review Group, commissioned by AQSC to consider the purpose and requirements of personal tutoring at the University, sets out practice developments within 18 recommendations all of which were approved by the Senate on 14 March 2018.
The report concluded that although the University’s existing model of personal tutoring remained appropriate, a number of developments could assist with the quality and recognition of personal tutoring, e.g. an institutional code of practice for personal tutoring; an improved training framework; the explicit recognition of personal tutoring in departmental workload credit allocations; and the inclusion of personal tutoring performance within existing institutional frameworks used to recognise and reward academic performance (e.g. PDR, promotion and merit pay criteria).
The Dean of Students and Faculty Senior Tutors will be working to operationalise these recommendations over the next twelve months. Looking ahead to the new academic year, departments are advised that recommendation 4) establishes a limit of 25 tutees per tutor. There is an expectation that departments will allocate personal tutoring workload across all available members of academic staff to facilitate achieving this limit. If the limit is exceeded, departments will be required to explain the reasons for this and how the quality of personal tutoring provision and wellbeing of tutors is assured, as part of the routine review of personal tutoring (within the Senior Tutor Annual Report) and as part of periodic departmental Education Experience Monitoring.
The new workflow system for approval of external examiners within eVision will be released in summer 2018 ready for new external appointments made thereafter. Demonstration of the new workflow sytem to departmental staff sending through nomination and the approvals panel considering new nominations will take place in June 2018.
The Review of Assessment conducted on behalf of the Academic Standards and Quality Committee and chaired by Professor David Lamburn (Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, Education) has been gathering pace throughout the current academic year with work being conducted in four different sub-groups made up of academic and administrative representatives from all four Faculties and colleagues from central professional services departments.
The sub-groups are investigating in-depth the following issues:
a) Remedying failure, progression requirements and timing of examinations (Chair: Dr Phil Young, School of Life Sciences)
b) Mitigating Circumstances and Reasonable Adjustments (Chair: Professor Andy Clark, Academic Director of Undergraduate Studies)
c) Exam board procedures (Professor Jeremy Smith, Head of School, Economics)
d) Assessment Strategies at the level of the module and course (Professor Gwen Van der Velden, Director of Warwick International Higher Education Academy)
It is likely that a revised Extenuating Circumstances Policy will be implemented for the academic year 2018/19, in addition to principles emerging from all four sub-groups for future implementation beyond 2018/19. A communications event is planned for the 4 June 2018 informing departmental academic and administrative staff of these emerging principles and seeking further input into the Review of Assessment going forward.