Aims of induction • To provide newly appointed External Examiners with: • Context and background to University of Cumbria • Sufficient information to enable External Examiners to carry out their duties: • Types of External Examiner • Role of the External Examiner • Specific responsibilities • University’s responsibilities • Reporting • An opportunity to meet University academic and administrative staff • An insight into the University’s operation of assessment boards and exemplar paperwork • An opportunity to engage in programme-specific induction
Context and background to UoC • University of Cumbria is a new university which was formed in 2007 • Has a history of educating professionals going back over 150 years • 3 main campuses: Lancaster, Carlisle, Ambleside • Student demographics (approx at 2011-12): • F/T students c.10500 P/T students c.8100 • U/G students c 13500 P/G students c.5100 • Approx two thirds female to male student ratio • Almost half U/G students are under 21 years old • Employability outcomes: • 88% (*) of 2010-11 graduates in work or further study • Slightly less than previous years (reflects the worsening labour market situation)
QAA Quality Code – B7:External Examining • The QAA Quality Code sets out the following ‘Expectation’ in Chapter B7, stating that: • ‘Higher Education providers make scrupulous use of external examiners’ • Changes as a result have included: • EE details in Module Guides for students • EE reports shared routinely with students through Programme Blackboard sites • Another relevant publication is the HEA Handbook for External Examiners which can be found here
Types of External Examiner • Subject External Examiners are appointed to comment on assessment practice at module level and will be involved in: • Levels 5 and 6 of undergraduate degree programmes • Levels 4 and 5 of Foundation degrees and target DipHEs • In the full programme for other awards (eg 1 year courses, P/G courses) • Minor change validation • Award External Examiners are appointed to ensure the University’s assessment processes are sound, fairly operated and in line with the institution’s policies and regulations. • External Examiner findings have a strong impact in relation to QAA institutional review • The External Examiner is seen as a critical friend and external moderator and plays an important role in quality enhancement.
Role of the Subject External Examiner • To ensure that academic standards are comparable with those across the UK Higher Education sector • To ensure that module assessment requirements meet aims and outcomes • To ensure that standards across modules are comparable (including cross site parity, and parity across collaborative provision where appropriate) • To ensure that the achievement of programme aims and outcomes contributes to the commercial, industrial and professional environment (as appropriate) • To ensure that assessment strategies and methods are in line with current best practice • To ensure that student work is assessed carefully, accurately and fairly by internal examiners • To ensure that Assessment Boards give full and fair consideration to each student
Specific Responsibilities of the Subject External Examiner • To scrutinise a representative sample of each grade or class of degree, cases of failure and cases identified by staff • To approve exam questions and rubric • To attend Module Assessment Boards (MAB) to: • Confirm that they operate according to University regulations and with consistency and fairness • Provide advice on decisions where necessary • Agree marks, recommendations and decisions • To provide an annual report on the modules to which they have been appointed • To provide advice to course teams on, and approve, proposed minor changes to the courses/modules
Role and responsibilities of the Award External Examiner • To ensure that: • Academic standards are maintained at a level comparable with similar awards elsewhere in the HE sector • Procedures are followed in a fair and proper manner with consistency in the application of the Regulations and comparability of treatment for students in their interpretation across the University • They attend University Assessment Boards (UABs) • There is an experienced and objective input into the understanding and knowledge of how comparable situations are dealt with elsewhere and through experience in applying Regulations • They provide an annual report to the University
University responsibilities • To provide you with sufficient information to carry out your duties • To provide you with timely information on the dates of Module and University Assessment Boards and any other meetings • To ensure a timely dispatch of information and work for moderation • To provide a formal response to your annual report • To ensure timely payment of fees and expenses
External Examiner’s Annual Report • Subject External Examiners – provide comment on: • Academic standards and comparability to similar courses and/or modules elsewhere • The quality of learning opportunities available to students • The assessment process • Organisation and arrangements in enabling you to fulfil your duties • Award External Examiners – provide comment on: • The operation of University Assessment Boards • Consistency in interpretation and application of University Regulations, Processes and Procedures • The administration of the Assessment Board process • Serious Concerns • In the first instance, to the Chair of MAB or UAB • Opportunity to report directly to the Vice Chancellor via a confidential report
External Examiner’s Annual Report – cont’d • Reports should be submitted by 31 July (or within 6 weeks of the assessment board) • Please do not name students or staff • Standard template must be used (available from the website here ) • Please send reports to AQD at: firstname.lastname@example.org • Report goes to programme team and other relevant departments, where necessary • Report is shared with students
External Examiner’s Report – cont’d • A good report should: • Fully address each bullet point • Be constructively written to aid enhancement • Actions should be clearly stated and prioritised in the appropriate section of the report • Recognised good practice should be highlighted so that this can be shared • Confidential section should only be used for serious matters of concern
Collaborative provision • The appointment letter will advise where collaborative provision is included in the External Examiner’s remit. • In these cases, annual reports must comment on each collaborative partner under the appropriate sections within the report, taking account of: • The comparison of standards between the University and Partner delivery • The operation and management of the partnership between the University and the Partner • You should receive a joint response to your report from the University Programme Leader (UPL) and the Partner Programme Leader (PPL) • There is an expectation that you would visit the partner site(s) at least once during your tenure
Consideration of Annual Reports • You should receive a formal response to your report, addressing the issues raised by you within 6-8 weeks • Reports feed into the Faculty annual monitoring (AER) process: • Annual monitoring process (AERs) report, through Faculties, to the central Academic Quality & Standards Committee (AQSC) • A summary of issues arising from External Examiner (Subject and Award EEs) Reports is provided to AQSC annually, and updated action plans are monitored through Faculties and via AQSC at the mid year point • A summary of issues requiring action at University-level is provided to Academic Board and monitored through AQSC.
Finance and accommodation • Fees and expenses • A set annual fee, stated in the appointment letter • Expenses refunded, but must include full receipts (exception is mileage) • Maximum allowance for subsistence (see information pack) • Annual fee (not automatic – it must be claimed) - will be paid on receipt of annual report • Accommodation • Use your Course Information Point (CIP) administrator contact to request accommodation, or e-mail Quality Resource & Planning Unit (details at end)
Finance and Accommodation • Claim forms • Ensure all sections of the claim form are completed – including bank details, National Insurance and date of birth • A copy of your passport photo page should be submitted • New claimants must also submit a P46 form with their first claim • Please submit all claims promptly • University makes payments on the 26th each month (where claims are received by 5th of the month) • Receipts • Must be original and not credit card flimsies or statements • Alcohol and newspapers are not refundable
Contact Details • Generic e-mail for queries and to submit reports: • email@example.com • Accommodation: • Your CIP administrator • or • firstname.lastname@example.org • Website: • http://www.cumbria.ac.uk/externalexaminers
And finally … • Thank you for listening – any questions?