This update contains information on the following topics:
The CMA Working Group has been meeting regularly throughout the academic year 2015-16 and you will have seen significant changes to online content at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/cpl/.
Further information relating to planning changes to courses, and consulting with current students and applicant groups about these, as well as additional costs, was circulated to HoDs, DUGS, DGSs and departmental administrators recently. Summary information about additional course costs has now been published at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/studentrights/addcosts. The page also contains a link to an index of departments from which the information provided by departments in the spring relating to additional costs for their own courses of study is now published. Over recent meetings the Working Group has considered: the preparedness of University processes for Confirmation, Clearing & Adjustment in the light of CMA requirements; changes needed to postgraduate admissions processes; alterations to be made to online enrolment, now open; data protection issues and ensuring overseas staff, representatives and agents are in receipt of guidance in relation to marketing materials. Work is now underway to develop an e-learning module on the implications of consumer protection law for HE so that all staff will be able to refresh their knowledge of requirements at their convenience and to enable departments to offer new staff a means of swiftly getting up to speed with guidance applicable to much of our work.
At its meeting on 27 June, the Senate approved a paper setting out the intended scope, purpose, governance and operational arrangements for the University’s next Institutional Teaching and Learning Review, scheduled for weeks commencing 16th and 23rd January 2017. Work is being conducted to draft the Self-Evaluation Document to be used by academic departments and accompanying guidance notes. Further information will be made available on the Teaching Quality website soon. In the meantime departments are asked to avoid scheduling other commitments in the ITLR fortnight.
At its meeting on 27 June, the Senate approved a paper setting out work undertaken to date and preliminary recommendations arising from the Review of Academic Governance. Work will continue over the summer and a Task and Finish Group will be established to draw academic colleagues into consideration of proposals under consideration. A consultation exercise on final recommendations will take place in the autumn and spring terms 2016-17.
The University of Warwick are coordinating of a 3 year (Oct 2015 – Sept 2018) research project funded by HEFCE, the LEGACY project (Learning and Employability Gain Assessment Community) will pilot and evaluate measures of Learning Gain in higher education in England. The project consortium brings together researchers from 18 Russell Group universities to develop, test and evaluate cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches and measures. The project will identify core dimensions of Learning Gain and develop tools allowing measurement of students learning gain at multiple stages recording over 4,000 individual data records spanning multiple academic years.
The project further investigates employability dimensions, determining how alternative methods of careers advice and support could be used to further identify the learning gain achieved. This area of research will be aimed at undergraduates that are active in career planning. This area will also identify possibilities of measuring the distance travelled in terms of skills development, recognising (and using) personal strengths, overcoming career barriers and identifying links to identified Learning Gain metrics. Furthermore, the research will aim to identify whether individuals that participate in overseas study or work placements gain a ‘Learning Gain’ advantage over those that are on campus.
The project is approaching its first year of operation having embedded processes and procedures within each of the work packages to achieve project goals, partners have also coordinated and developed interviews, questionnaires and online tools in preparation for student engagement in the autumn term of 2017. To find out more information, please contact Sunil Maher,[email]firstname.lastname@example.org[/email] ext. 28634
Students can now receive feedback on exams, for those exams taken in 2016/17 onwards. Senate has approved a number of options in this respect:
Where departments already have arrangements for providing feedback on exams in place, for instance to individuals, these practices can continue;Departments may introduce feedback at cohort level setting out a summary of outcomes for students using the template form provided here or a variant of this form;Alternatively you may develop your own mechanism for providing feedback to students which suits your discipline and local context but this must be developed in discussion with students and provided for review by a sub-group of the Academic Quality and Standards Committee. If you would like advice on how to approach this please contact Professor Gwen van der Velden, Director of the WIHEA (G dot Van-der-Velden at warwick dot ac dot uk) or Dr Rebecca Freeman, Education Strategy Officer in the School of Life Sciences (R dot Freeman at warwick dot ac dot uk) .
Please let Katharine Gray, Teaching Quality know which approach you are intending to use by 30 September (e-mail k dot gray at warwick dot ac dot uk ). Could you please also ensure that students are informed about how feedback will be provided, once you have determined which approach you intend to use.
Martin Mik is leading on a project aimed at reviewing and updating of University student-facing Regulations. The aim of the review is to make University Regulations clearer and easier for students and staff to understand and to operationalise. Martin will engage colleagues across academic and administrative departments to discuss changes to individual Regulations. Consultations on changes will, of course, include student representatives. Although the project focuses predominantly on the clarity of the University Regulations, it is also an opportunity to update and refresh these and make them – as far as possible – future proof. Please contact Martin Mik ()m dot mik at warwick dot ac dot uk)) directly with any questions about this project.
Thank you to all of you who have replied to the survey on plagiarism. A summary report on how plagiarism is investigated and reported and how approaches are communicated to students has been considered by the Quality Assurance Working Group. A working group has been established, chaired by Professor Andrew Reeve (PAIS) to develop guidance on investigation of plagiarism which will be ready for consultation in the Autumn term.
Thank you also to those of you who responded to the survey on borderline conventions. A summary report on the responses has also been considered by the Quality Assurance Working Group and further work in this area will be taken forward in the coming months.
In June 2016, Senate approved the revised external examiners’ report and streamlining the process of scrutiny proposing a standard process for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes for external examiners reports received for the academic year 2016/17 as set out in paper AQSC 38./15/16. Funding has also been approved for a SITS development for external examiners’ reports to be stored in SITS and to be moved around via a workflow system to departments to collect departmental responses and to scrutinise the external examiners’ reports via the Committee process (Board of Graduate Studies and Board of Undergraduate Studies). A project group comprising academic and administrative staff from departments and central divisions as well as the SITS Project team will be working on implementing a successful SITS development throughout the autumn term 2016 to enable reports to be moved around electronically for consideration and scrutiny as well as for extracting reports on emerging themes and topics for TQ consideration. Further communication to external examiners and departments on details of the implementation will take place in the spring term 2017 ready for external examiners’ reports to be received in June/July 2017.
Senate also approved in June 2016 changes to the Annual Course Review and Monitoring Process which will be introduced from the beginning of the academic year 2017/18 as set out in paper AQSC 37/15/16. Introduction of the new process has been postponed due to the Institutional Teaching and Learning Review taking place in the academic year 2016/17 over a two week period in January 2017 with the paper based Annual Course Review process having been suspended for the academic year 2016/17.
The new process to be introduced from 2017/18 onwards will focus on two aspects:
- continuous monitoring of quantitative data such of key metrics (non-completion statistics, progression to next year of course, NSS data, degree outcomes and destination of leavers statistics) as well as qualitative data (external examiners’ reports, Staff Student Liaison Committee reports, NSS/PTES action plans, annual course reviews from previous years and course specifications/regulations) which will be published on a central course portal. Teaching Quality will agree threshold with schools/departments in advance in relation to key metrics and once thresholds are breached, Teaching Quality will initiate conversations with schools/departments with the aim to urgently deal with issues of concerns as identified in the data;
- instead of the paper based annual course review, a course review event called the Education Experience Monitoring (EEM) will take place every two years involving the course team and members of Teaching Quality focusing in more detail on qualitative and quantitative course data with the production of action plans and identification of good practice to be disseminated across the University;
Further updates on the operation of the revised Course Monitoring and Review process will follow during the academic year 2016/17.
(- how and when departments should update their module information for 2016/17)
From early to mid-August, departments can make amends to their 2016/17 module catalogue. Guidance on how departments can edit their module catalogue (and where the various sections draw their information from) can be downloaded from the homepage right-hand menu here: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/modules/
The Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) is the diploma supplement and full transcript issued by the University to all Undergraduates (except MBChB). Over the last few weeks, continuing undergraduates have had weekly updates to transfer marks from SITS on to their HEAR. Due to processing restrictions, finalist HEARs can only be updated once all marks have been entered in to SITS as agreed post-exam board. Finalist HEARs are therefore only due for issue in mid-August. Should the Examinations Office confirm that it is possible to do issue these beforehand, finalists may receive these earlier. Students receive emails from GradIntelligence (the HEAR provider), notifying them when an update is run on their record.
If any student wishes to see their final marks in advance of their HEAR being updated/finalised, students can view this information via Student Records Online. Instructions for this can be found here: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/categories/examinations/hear
Teaching Quality is very pleased to welcome Alison Greenhalgh to the team as Course Specifications Project Officer to work with academic departments to review and revise course specifications for all courses of study. Alison previously worked in the Economics Department and IER at Warwick. Alison will be working with Jen Bowskill to update specifications in the database available on the Teaching Quality webpages; and to dovetail work with the new course approval process which will enable copies of specifications to be archived when changes are made.
Both Alison and Jen will be contacting staff in all departments in due course in order to discuss department specific course specifications.
TRIBAL, the provider of our student records system (SITS) will commence work in mid-August on the online SITS-integrated development that will enable us to change the existing University course approval process into an electronic, online-based workflow. Handover of the finished system is expected in October 2016 and will be followed by testing before roll out across the University. Work is ongoing throughout summer on finalising the new course approval form, membership of the Course Approval Panel and drafting of detailed guidance on the new form and the process. We anticipate the release of a new course approval form (Word version) before the start of the next academic year to ensure that colleagues putting forward course changes collect the required information. This will enable us to ensure consistency of course records from 2016-17 onwards. Full roll out of the new system is planned to take place during 2016-17. Please contact Martin Mik (m dot mik at warwick dot ac dot uk) with any questions concerning the course approval process.
As has already been communicated, undergraduate students will receive credit for the year abroad and periods in industry from 2016/17. Marks for study abroad will also appear on the HEAR and to support this approach, mark conversion tables have been developed and approved by Senate at its meeting in June 2016. These tables provide guidance on converting marks from scales used by overseas institutions to UK marks; some are provided at a country level and some at an institutional level where there is significant variance within countries. The scales have been developed by the International Sub-Group of the Academic Quality and Standards Committee, following consultation with academic departments and considering guidance developed by other UK universities. It is recognised that the conversion tables will need to be kept under review, to ensure that all areas are covered and to adapt them as required. Any feedback you may have therefore on your experience of using them would be welcome. The conversion tables are available online here .
The Warwick International Higher Education Academy (WIHEA) is the UK’s first institutional academy of educators, where staff and students who are engaged in developing and steering learning and teaching come together. Organised along similar lines to a professional body, the Academy aims to develop and embed outstanding learning and teaching at Warwick, in line with the distinctive nature of the University and the excellent reputation we have for academic achievement –both in research and teaching. The Academy also works to increase the recognition and reward of outstanding achievements in learning and teaching for individuals, teams and the institution as a whole.
Since being launched in 2015 and Gwen van der Velden, Academic Director starting in role in April 2016, the Academy has already introduced several schemes and initiatives across the University:
- The Foundation Fellowship Scheme currently has 41 members of academic and administrative staff and Warwick Student Union Sabbatical Officers who since forming in October 2015 have been fostering a community of excellent teaching across all academic Faculties and areas of student support. The Academy plans to increase the number of Fellows during 2016/17and actively involve them in helping to develop the direction of learning and teaching at Warwick.
- Adding a global perspective to teaching at Warwick, the International Visiting Teaching Fellowship, is designed to attract leading practitioners in teaching and pedagogical innovation to Warwick. In June 2016, the Academy was delighted to welcome Geoff Malleck our first International Visiting Teaching Fellow from the University of Waterloo in Canada. The primary focus of Geoff's three-week visit was exploring the principles and conditions that drive the ‘Creativity-Innovation-Entrepreneurship’ Continuum and the relationship with economic prosperity and culture. We are currently looking for International Academics that have made an impact within their specific field of teaching, innovation or enhancing the student experience to deliver a programme of engagement across the University, and particularly interested if such colleagues are able to visit both Monash and Warwick University prior to 31 December 2016, as part of the scheme’s Monash Warwick Alliance strand.
- The Academy’s Student Engagement Programme is based on a collaborative partnership model that offers funding to help transform the relationship between staff and students to one of partnership and co-production. The programme provides students paid work to collaboratively contribute to planning, developing and evaluating new and existing pedagogy and delivering learning and teaching excellence. Last year, there were 18 projects funded employing approximately 30 students to work flexibly around their studies across a range of roles. A Student Engagement Showcase event to share project outcomes, experiences and legacies will take place on 15 November 2016, more information will follow soon.
- A schedule of Learning & Teaching Seminars are being planned for 2016/17 to provide staff across the University an opportunity to hear from external speakers of great stature nationally and internationally. In addition, the Academy will host a range of Masterclasses aimed at sharing the excellent practice in learning and teaching, already taking place across the University.
Further information on the Academy’s planned activities for 2016/17 will be communicated across the University over the following couple of months. Please email WIHEA at warwick dot ac dot uk if you would like more information as soon as it is available or have suggestions of initiatives that the Academy could help support or collaborate on. Our new website is being launched in September 2016.
Good Practice Guide on Providing Information to Students
Please note that the Good Practice Guide on Providing Information to Students, updated for 2016-17, has been released and is available online from: http://warwick.ac.uk/quality/categories/gpginfotostudents
Please refresh your awareness of its contents; new sections have been added to reflect changes to the production and publication of course regulations and to reflect CMA guidance.