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Teaching & Learning Update December 2016

Please note that the Teaching Quality team will be moving desks during w/c 19 December and this disruption may cause some temporary difficulty in contacting us. All staff not taking annual leave will be available on email as usual and the resource accounts quality at warwick dot ac dot uk and ITLR2017 at warwick dot ac dot uk will be covered throughout the period.

This update contains information on the following topics:
Institutional Teaching and Learning Review

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

External Examining Process

LEGACY Project

Monash Warwick Alliance


Institutional Teaching and Learning Review

The central ITLR team recently circulated an update to Heads of Departments detailing progress to date. Colleagues may wish to note:

(a) Review dates and panel members

Review dates have now been scheduled, in line with the availability of external panel members and panel chairs. Since the majority of these appointments have been confirmed, very few departments are not now aware of the dates for their own review.

Internal panel members and panel secretaries have been providing their availability over the review period. Training for internal panel members and panel secretaries took place w/c 28th November, with a couple of additional sessions to be scheduled for any colleagues yet to be invited. Many thanks to those colleagues who have already agreed to serve on a review panel. Role descriptions for these positions have been published on the ITLR 2017 website; colleagues are invited to review these ahead of attending training where possible. The Students’ Union is advertising for students to participate in the ITLR 2017 as student panel members. Should you be aware of any students who you think would be interested in this opportunity and make a strong contribution, please could you direct them to the information via this link: https://www.warwicksu.com/news/article/warwicksu/Teaching-and-Learning-Review-call-for-student-representatives/ Please note that the central team will be approaching departments to identify students to meet with their departmental review panel as part of the process for confirming Review Agendas – this is different to the identification of student panel members.

(b) Review Data webpages

The central ITLR team has opened up access for departments to the review data webpages on the ITLR 2017 website. Please note that these web pages are still a work in progress, and that our Data Officer, Mandy Harris, is still uploading data and documentation to the site and amending content. If you are looking for a particular item of information which is not yet showing on these pages, please email Mandy via ITLR2017 at warwick dot ac dot uk Similarly Mandy may be in contact with departments to source documentation where gaps exist in central records. The following information is now available via these pages, which departments may find useful to refer to in their SED:

  • Postgraduate research submissions data
  • Postgraduate entry qualifications data (via Educational Analytics dashboards)
  • Sources of funding for PGR students
  • Progression rates (via Educational Analytics dashboards)
  • 2016/17 data is available via the Educational Analytics dashboards

The pages can be found at:

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/itlr2017/listofdepartments/

Access is restricted so that departments can only view their own review data.

(c) Review agendas

Departments have received a template agenda for the review and have been invited to supply the names of departmental staff and students who will be meeting with the Review Panel in each session and to confirm the timings indicated. The central team will be working towards sending draft agendas to Panel Chairs before the Christmas break.

(d) ‘Preparedness for TEF’

The central team has fielded questions relating to information departments should be including in section 5 of the SED: ‘Preparedness for TEF’. By way of clarification, Review Panels will not be provided with any additional information regarding expected departmental performance against TEF metrics, but will be signposted to the DLHE data, NSS and PTES scores, non-completion rates and departmental commentary on the strengths of existing taught provision. It is noted that these data do not map directly onto the way in which TEF metrics will be calculated (e.g. the University calculates non-completion rates rather than non-continuation rates, which will be used by the TEF), but departments should use these as the basis for reflection on their preparedness for TEF and provide commentary on their current performance in relation to these.

(e) Self-Evaluation Document (SED)

The deadline for submission of departmental Self-Evaluation Documents (SEDs) and supporting documentation was Wednesday 7 December. Many thanks to those colleagues who observed this deadline which is enabling speedy turn around of your review documentation to your review panels.

If you have any questions or feedback please continue to contact the ITLR 2017 team via ITLR2017 at warwick dot ac dot uk or check the website at http://www.warwick.ac.uk/itlr2017 as new information is being published online on a weekly basis.


Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Guidance on Consumer Protection Law

Further to the last update circulated in August, additional work has been done in relation to recruitment practices, notably at postgraduate level; in terms of the University’s fees policy and to capture issues in relation to course changes and ensuring that these are reflected in material information provided to applicants. Further work will focus on the development of a University policy on deposits and the discontinuation of courses of study.

(a) Discontinuation of courses of study

May I draw your attention particularly to information and guidance on the Teaching Quality website at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/categories/courseapproval/discontinuation

relating to the discontinuation of courses. We have picked up through preparation for the ITLR that a substantial number of courses have been discontinued for which no formal notification has been received. This means that centrally-managed information relating to these courses will continue to be erroneously published online. The guidance provides a link to a form to be submitted to serve as formal notification of cessation, noting that it will be for academic departments to monitor the progress of continuing students including any who may have taken TWD from the courses and be due to return during the ‘teaching out’ period.

(b) UUK report on CMA compliance

Colleagues may be interested to read a UUK report on a consumer rights self-assessment exercise published in October, see http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Documents/2016/consumer-rights%20universities.pdf which provides a useful insight into progress towards compliance across the sector.

(c) CMA Moodle course

Over the last several months, colleagues in the Academic Registrar’s Office focussed on CMA compliance have been working with an academic technologist in ITS who has provided expertise in developing a Moodle course to enable all staff to refresh their knowledge of consumer protection law and how it should be applied at Warwick. Please take a look at the course now available at http://moodle.warwick.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=19670

I would ask you to ensure that all colleagues are invited to undertake the course, whatever their role, and that specific efforts are made to ensure that new colleagues having joined the University recently or due to do so are given early access to enable them to understand what is required of them. May I also ask that you consider the position of colleagues who may not be members of staff at Warwick but who contribute to the delivery of courses of study; it is possible for access to be granted to them also and their engagement would lessen any risk associated with a lack of understanding. Prior to requesting that individuals who are not members of Warwick staff be provided with access, you will need to request an ‘external partner account’ via the IT helpdesk. General queries concerning access should in the first instance be directed to cpl at warwick dot ac dot uk. Consideration should also be given to students employed as ambassadors, bloggers or who use social media formally on behalf of a department to ensure that where they, too, are acting on behalf of the University or department, they are able to access the module to be apprised of their responsibilities.


External Examining Process

(a) External Examiners’ Reports

Work continues to implement a SITS development to collect external examiners’ reports and departmental responses with the aim of sharing these more easily via a workflow system with members of the Boards of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies to enable them to consider and scrutinise reports more effectively. Implementation of this new process will take place in spring 2017 ready for external examiners’ reports being received in June/July 2017; communication to departments and external examiners on the new process will be sent out in spring 2017.

(b) Nominations of new External Examiners and approval

In the meantime the new process agreed by Senate in 2015/16 to nominate new external examiners for taught programmes has been implemented. From now on a sub-group of Steering comprising the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), the Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), the Academic Director of the Graduate School (for PGT programmes only), the relevant Chair of Faculty and the Academic Registrar will approve new nominations of external examiners with only complex cases being escalated to the Steering Committee.

Details of the new process and revised nomination form can be found under the section Guidance at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/categories/examinations/externalexaminers 

This process is currently still paper-based, but from the academic year 2017/18, the nominations process will also be administered using SITS which will enable relevant information being moved around via a workflow system and automate the nominations and approval process of new external examiners.

If you have any questions in relation to the external examiners’ report project or the revised nominations process, please contact Claudia Gray (C dot Gray dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk)


LEGACY Project

The LEGACY project (www.legacy.ac.uk) is a collaborative research project involving 18 Russell Group universities. LEGACY will pilot and evaluate measures of Learning Gain in higher education in England by developing, testing and evaluating longitudinal approaches. It will identify core dimensions of Learning Gain and develop tools to measure students learning gain.

Now in its second year of operation, the four main project strands are currently engaging and capturing student responses to surveys and questionnaires through various consortium partners. In early 2017, the project will analyse the collated data and report on some its initial findings, with more outcomes and assessment of measures in the summer/autumn of 2017.

More recently, LEGACY was invited to present at HEFCE’s National Conference on Learning Gain, detailing activities of the individual strands, approaches adopted in the project, the interventions being delivered to support students and the relationship to employability. LEGACY will also present several papers at the SRHE 2016 Conference where it will support a Learning Gain Symposium.

To find out more information, please contact Sunil Maher, LEGACY Project Manager at s dot maher dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk


Monash Warwick Alliance

Recently renewed for a second five-year term, the partnership between Monash University and the University of Warwick brings together the capabilities and resources of two of the world’s top 100 universities. In recognition of the “unprecedented breadth and depth” of the Alliance, on November 16th 2016 it was awarded the Australian Financial Review Higher Education Award for International Education. Read more here .

During 2017 the Alliance education strategy will continue to support student, academic and institutional collaboration, working across the university to provide opportunities for innovation, sharing practice and internationalisation in learning and teaching.

Any questions about the Alliance education strategy should be directed to cherryl dot jones at warwick dot ac dot uk

For all other enquiries about the Monash Warwick Alliance please contact mw-alliance at warwick dot ac dot uk