This update contains information on the following topics:
As you may be aware there were a number of changes to the Teaching Quality team last year, with new staff joining us over last Autumn and early Spring, and I would therefore like to take the opportunity to set out who is now in the team, our respective roles and current projects.
Katharine Gray, Senior Assistant Registrar (Teaching Quality)
Katharine leads the Teaching Quality team and is Secretary to the Academic Quality and Standards Committee (AQSC), the Collaborative Flexible and Distributed Learning Committee (CFDLSC) and the E-learning Steering Group (ELSG). Katharine works on a range of quality assurance related projects, supporting the Chair of AQSC on strategic developments relating to education and acting as the main point of contact for the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).
Rory McIntyre, Assistant Registrar (Teaching Quality)
Rory is Assistant Secretary to AQSC, CFDLSC and ELSG. He also leads on the operation of the NSS survey, works with the Students’ Union on supporting the SSLC system and is the contact point for departments on KIS teaching and learning data. He has led the implementation of the HEAR and is currently also working on quality assurance projects which include reviewing course approval processes and further developments on the HEAR.
The Faculty Board Secretary roles for the Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences and Science, have now been incorporated into three roles of Assistant Registrar (Learning and Teaching) who also provide support to the Faculty Chairs on faculty projects and undertake cross institutional projects. The Assistant Registrars (Learning and Teaching) are:
Ruth works with the Faculty of Science as Secretary to the Board and its sub-committees. She is working with the Chair on a number of working groups taking forward outcomes from the Institutional Review of 2011 as well as working on a number of cross-institutional developments relating to assessment and feedback.
Laura works with the Faculty of Arts and its sub-committees. She is supporting the Faculty Chair in a number of areas including the development of the Humanities Building project and the Medical Humanities initiative. With Ruth, she is working on a number of cross-institutional developments relating to assessment and feedback and also on module evaluation.
Martin is Secretary to the Faculty of Social Sciences and its sub-committees. He is supporting a number of working groups taking forward outcomes from the Institutional Review of 2011 and is also working on Faculty communications. Martin has also been heavily involved in the QAA Review, has worked on the development of harmonised conventions for postgraduate taught courses and is working with Student Support on providing training and guidance for Exam Boards in relation to students with disabilities.
Ruth, Laura and Martin are supported by Assistant Secretaries to the Faculty Board and sub-committees. Further details are available online.
You will also know the following team members:
Carla Stafford, Secretary
Carla works primarily with Katharine and Rory, including supporting AQSC, CFDLSC, ELSG and the range of working groups that we are involved with and also QAA Review.
Kimberley Barylo, Clerical Officer (Academic Governance)
Kimberley supports the Assistant Registrars (Learning and Teaching), including supporting their Faculty work, and is Assistant Secretary to the Arts Undergraduate Studies Committee. She also works with Roberta Wooldridge Smith, Deputy Academic Registrar, supporting the work of Senate and other aspects of academic governance. She is involved with the Lord Rootes Fund and SSLCs and is Secretary to the Science Faculty Employability Forum.
Colleagues will be aware that the Teaching Quality team led on the implementation of a University wide “module catalogue” which was fully completed and launched at the commencement of the 2011/12 academic year. A number of enhancements have since been made to the catalogue in order to make it easier to manage on an ongoing basis and also to make the catalogue fully searchable. The module catalogue can be accessed at http://go.warwick.ac.uk/modules. Since the changes were introduced, the module catalogue has seen a dramatic rise in the number of users accessing the web-site, with numbers now regularly exceeding 500 per day.
Staff based in academic departments can also make use of the “Module Catalogue Administration” functionality now provided through the online student records system (e:vision) to make changes to the descriptions in the catalogue for modules run by their department. If you have any queries or comments about the module catalogue, then please contact Rory McIntyre in the first instance.
The “50% rule” (governing the minimum proportion of undergraduate assessment which needed to be by examination) has now been discontinued for all but final year students and the new arrangements have been communicated to Heads of Department, Directors of Undergraduate Studies, Departmental Administrators and Chief Examination Correspondents.
An over-arching University-wide Assessment Strategy will be produced early in 2013/14 by a working group, consisting of representatives from all four Faculties. Once the University’s new Assessment Strategy has been agreed by Senate, departments will be invited to develop their own assessment strategies during the Autumn term, which will be considered by AQSC early in 2014. We are in consultation with LDC and Faculties to discuss support for departments with this process. Should you have any queries, please contact Ruth Cooper.
A number of developments relating to changes to examination conventions were progressed over the last year for introduction in 2013/14 and many of you will have been contacted about these already. In summary:
- A working group of the Board of Graduate Studies has developed a set of harmonised conventions for all postgraduate taught courses, including PGDips and PGCerts. These were discussed extensively by BGS and Faculty Graduate Studies Sub-Committees, were approved by the Senate at its meeting on 12 June and will be introduced in 2013/14, replacing all departmental PGT conventions for new entrants from 2013/14. Your Directors of Graduate Studies and Heads of Department will have received a separate communication about these conventions. The Conventions, guidance and FAQs are available from the link below.
- Similar work has been ongoing to review First Year Board of Examiners conventions, which will also be introduced in 2013/14.
- Following the decision taken by Senate last year to change the way in which overcatting contributes to year end marks and degree classification for undergraduate students from 2013/14, discussions have been ongoing on an alternative methodology to be implemented next year, with relevant committees having been consulted during the course of last term. The revised methodology was approved by Senate in July.
All new and updated examination conventions are now online.
Thanks to all of you who worked to encourage students to complete the NSS this year. Our response rate improved and the results have now been published and disseminated to Heads of Departments. Satisfaction rates for the institution as a whole have gone up in a number of question categories, including a 4% increase in satisfaction on Assessment and Feedback, while overall satisfaction has remained at 87%.
Equality training was introduced last term for members of exam boards to ensure that they are appropriately briefed about current legislative requirements and that these are taken into account when making their decisions. Further training sessions will be held in Term 1 for exam board members, particularly those considering postgraduate taught courses. Amendments have been made to the sessions based on feedback from the May training sessions and colleagues from Teaching Quality and Student Support Services will be present to address queries. Further details are available online.
A webpage is now available which lists Good Practice Guides, Guidance and Policies.
We would also like to thank all of you who took the time to complete the online survey on feedback and assessment which we undertook earlier in the spring. Your contributions have been very valuable and are informing work which is ongoing in these areas. We also asked for any additional comments colleagues had on quality assurance matters and received a number of responses which we are currently considering and which will inform future work that we undertake.
The QAA are launching a review of their Subject Benchmark Statements and are seeking feedback on aspects that need updating in individual Statements. This information will help determine the level of revision required. If you have any comments that you would like to submit to the QAA please send them to the Teaching Quality team at firstname.lastname@example.org