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  1. College of Arts and Social Sciences Quality Enhancement: Themes and Strategies 2nd Teaching & Learning Staff Forum Wednesday 24th November 2004

  2. College of Arts and Social Sciences Part 1Enhancement Themes

  3. College of Arts and Social Sciences Responding to Student Needs Professor Trevor Salmon Director of Teaching & Learning Dr Mary Pryor Academic Learning & Study Unit

  4. Responding to Student Needs Context • Quality Enhancement Theme for 2003/4 • Led by Professor John Harper (RGU) • Project Report available January 2005 • Work to be disseminated through a web-based tool-kit • http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/

  5. Responding to Student Needs Four Strands Developing the first year curriculum Academic Learning Support, Assessment, Technology-Related, Course Content, Staff Professional Development Approaches to integrating student support Increasing diversity, Holistic Approach: Academic, Administrative and Pastoral Approach, Key Issues Personal tutor systems and their alternatives Models and Systems of Support, Use of Technology, Student Expectations Induction Student Transition, Staged Dissemination of Information

  6. Responding to Student Needs What do we need to do? • Make first year a priority • Foundation for retention and student development • Deliver effective transition • Understand student expectations • Understand what happens in Schools • Meet diverse needs

  7. Responding to Student Needs What do we need to do? • Communicate our expectations • Appropriate curriculum • Best teachers • Common ‘intra-disciplinary’ expectations • Right tools at the right time • Early assessment

  8. Responding to Student Needs CASS Activities: School Level • Approachability - Smile for Students • Person and Professional Advisors - Accessible! • Compulsory year 1 learning course • Induction days/coffee/small teambuilding sessions • Practice exams with detailed feedback • Maximum numbers in tutorial groups, badges • Encouragement to join discipline societies • Easy access to information (Noticeboards/web) • Getting student feedback

  9. Responding to Student Needs CASS Activities: College Level • Re-launch of SK1003 • Theme - ‘Get yourself connected…’ • Early computer registration • Students as demonstrators • Pilot scheme • First MA Welcome • First Year Experience Questionnaire

  10. Responding to Student Needs MA Welcome • Academic Welcome (2 sessions) • Thursday 23 September - Freshers’ Week (Advising) • Inspirational and informative! • 200+ students at each session • Speakers: • Professor Trevor Salmon – CASS DoTL • Mr Steve Duggan - Student Support Services • Dr Mary Pryor – Academic Learning & Study Unit • Dr Aenea Reid - DISS

  11. Responding to Student Needs 1st Year Experience Questionnaire Rationale • Identified by the Retention & Progression Strategy Team as an important research area for the University • Identified by CASS as a key priority • CASS – SK1003 students - pilot for the Institution

  12. Responding to Student Needs 1st Year Experience Questionnaire Questionnaire • Web-based questionnaire - 25% response rate (7% for Napier) • Prize draw (£20 book tokens) offered as an incentive • Run during the 8th week of teaching

  13. Reasons for going to University 200 160 Counts 120 80 40 0 Other Family expectations To improve career prospects To study a particular course It postponed working full-time 1st Year Experience Questionnaire Student Profile • 69% < 18 yrs (9% 26+) • 71% from Scotland (23% from Aberdeen) • 80% MA, 16% BEd/BMus • 99% Full-time • 99% Entered into Year 1

  14. 1st Year Experience Questionnaire Preliminary findings… MA Welcome • 56% attended the MA welcome – 75% found it useful • 81% non-MA students had an Induction – 91% found it useful Information related to their Academic Studies

  15. 100 100 80 80 60 60 40 40 20 20 0 0 1st Year Experience Questionnaire Timetabled academic study Personal academic study Percent (%) Percent (%) < 10 11 – 15 16 > < 10 11 – 15 16 > Time (hours) Time (hours)

  16. 100 100 80 80 Percent (%) 60 60 40 40 20 20 0 0 For some courses For all courses For none 1st Year Experience Questionnaire In employment Submitted first assignment Percent (%) No job < 10 11–15 16 > Time (hours)

  17. 1st Year Experience Questionnaire Information related to their Academic Studies • 20% have changed their courses • 69% agreed that their courses are as good as they were expecting • Overall 1st Year Experience • 74% feel they belong to the University community • 72% agreed that their experiences so far match their expectations • 88% would recommend the University to their friends

  18. Responding to Student Needs In Future….. • What can we do to make the transition to university more effective? • What key areas should we focus on?

  19. College of Arts and Social Sciences Employability Dr Graeme Roberts Vice Principal Teaching & Learning

  20. Employability QE Theme: Important and Timely Because: • Many students believe increases chances of well-paid and meaningful employment • One of SHEFC’s hallmarks of a high quality HE sector is “where learning and teaching promotes the employability of students” • ELIR includes consideration of the HEI’s approach to the employability of its students • SFC publication Learning to Work report as framework for consultation and policy development

  21. Employability QE Theme: Important and Timely Because: • ESECT (Enhancing Student Employability Co-ordination Team) briefings and practical toolkits • LTSN Generic Centre guidance on enhancing student employability • Support for employability theme in 2004 by HEA subject centres Great Opportunity for Scottish Universities to build on and exploit this material

  22. Employability What is Employability? “A set of achievements - skills, understandings and personal attributes - that make graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations.”

  23. Employability Aims of Steering Committee To help Scottish sector engage effectively by: • Creating a clearer understanding of what it means • Raising its profile and its benefits across the sector • Encouraging and assisting the development of institutional strategies that embed employability in the entire student experience • Working with the Scottish Group developing material to support introduction of Personal Development Planning in 2006

  24. Employability Network of Institutional Contacts To ensure that programme of work is informed and shaped by sector’s needs and priorities, ICs have provided detailed information about: • How each university plans to engage with theme • What it hopes the outcomes of that engagement will be • What assistance it needs • Any proposals it may have for a local employability event

  25. Employability Employability Strategy Working Group Considering: • Mapping current level of employability activity in each School • Identifying good practice for sharing with the rest of University and sector • Assisting Schools to embed employability in curriculum • Working with Students’ Association to promote employability through extra-curricular activities • Addressing implications of Learning to Work report

  26. Employability Employability Strategy Working Group Has agreed to develop an institutional strategy that: • Builds on current policy on provision of career education, information and guidance (February 2002) • Incorporates provision for PDP • Takes account of Learning to Work report • Provides overarching framework and guidance for development and delivery of College and School action plans and development partnership between Students’ Association and Careers Service

  27. Employability Employability Strategy Working Group Seeking advice and comment on how to: • Develop and implement an effective employability strategy in a research-led university • How to make the best use of briefing materials and toolkits developed by ESECT • How to take account of the needs of local and national employers • How to monitor and assess effectiveness of our strategy

  28. College of Arts and Social Sciences Part 2Quality Enhancement

  29. College of Arts and Social Sciences Overview of QE Framework & QE Strategy Dr Nick Spedding Administrative Officer, Registry

  30. QE Framework & Strategy Quality Enhancement is not….. Quality Assurance - ensures things are OK • Focuses on what is taught at what level • Retrospective • Bureaucratic, confrontational • Box-ticking, form-filling, hoop-jumping extravaganza As it turns out, we are very good at this!

  31. QE Framework & Strategy Beyond Quality Assurance Quality Enhancement - always making things better • Focuses on students and the wider learning experience • Forward thinking: future actions, strategic planning • Partnership, constructive dialogue • To produce genuine change This is work in progress, guided by SHEFC’s Quality Enhancement Framework

  32. QE Framework & Strategy Quality Enhancement Framework FiveCore Aspects: • New standards of public information • Working more closely with students • No more QAA subject inspections; Internal Teaching Review (ITR) only • Key themes to guide Scotland-wide QE activities • Enhancement-Led Institutional Review (ELIR)

  33. QAA definition of QE: “ Taking deliberate steps to bring about continual improvement in the effectiveness of the learning experience of students” HE Academy definition of QE: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/896.htm “An inclusive concept and a collective enterprise (that) includes significant strategic initiatives and the many small things that people do to try and make things better” QE Framework & Strategy This is the gap our QE strategy should help us bridge!

  34. QE Framework & Strategy UofA’s Quality Enhancement Strategy http://www.abdn.ac.uk/qe/strategy.shtml • Explicit statement of intent • Draws together key principles of QE and identifies key agents • Includes action points for the central administration • Toolkit to guide thought and action at all levels

  35. QE Framework & Strategy UofA’s Quality Enhancement Strategy http://www.abdn.ac.uk/qe/strategy.shtml “The QES provides a central framework to encourage and support the pursuit of better practice in teaching and learning, but the responsibility to undertake enhancement activities rests primarily with individuals and groups in the University’s Schools and other academic units”

  36. College of Arts and Social Sciences Institutional Priorities: Preparing for ELIR Dr Graeme Roberts Vice Principal Teaching & Learning

  37. Preparing for ELIR ELIR • Audit of management of quality and standards through institutional review • Also looks at our management of QE • Outcome of a public document - judgement and commentary • Opportunity for a serious critical reflection on our strengths and weaknesses • Comments on draft by end of term

  38. Preparing for ELIR Strengths? • QE strategy and action plan • New teaching and learning infrastructure • Robustness of revised ITR system • Revision of class representative system* • Promotion of e-learning* • Investment in teaching infrastructure* (*case studies)

  39. Preparing for ELIR Weaknesses? • Student feedback system • Lack of co-ordination of learning support services • Arrangements for sharing of best practice • Professional development of staff for their role in teaching and learning • Recognition and reward of teaching excellence • Management of implementation of QE strategy

  40. Preparing for ELIR Overall Picture? • Effective approach to QA - moving emphasis to QE • Regularly reviews key elements of QA strategy • Staff conscientious about teaching but perceive advancement depends on research • Effective ad hoc innovation at subject level - now seeking to manage process more effectively

  41. Preparing for ELIR Overall Picture? • Low participation in educational staff development and engagement with HEA subject • Strong and effective partnership with students • Committed to excellence in teaching and research

  42. College of Arts and Social Sciences Institutional Priorities: Review of Teaching & Learning Strategy Ms Cathy Macaslan Head of School - School of Education

  43. Review of Teaching & Learning Strategy • Critical reflection • How effective are we? In which ways are we effective? • Strengths • What are our target areas for development? • What should inform such choices?

  44. Review of Teaching & Learning Strategy Strategic Review • Teaching and learning in a research-led institution • Outcomes measured against benchmarks • Information to inform development plan • Dovetailing enhancement theme

  45. C. Macaslan, Head of School of Education (Convener) Bill Long,Director of Undergraduate Programmes (Science) Gillian Mackintosh,Registry Julie McAndrews,Centre for Lifelong Learning Darren Comber,Educational Staff Development Unit Aenea Reid,DISS Clerk,TBC Review of Teaching & Learning Strategy Review Group • Mary Cotter,DTL, College of Life Sciences and Medicine • Trevor Salmon,DTL, College of Physical Sciences • Gordon Walkden,DTL, College of Physical Sciences • Calum Mair, Vice-President (Education), Students’ Association • Doug Marr,School of Education, Court nominee on UCTL

  46. Research-led University ranked in the UK top 20 Distinctiveness of the student learning experience Students making us their first choice university Fees-only students Students from low participation groups Students successfully transferring from FE Part-time and mature students Our student body Student retention and progression rates, especially in year 1 Employability of our graduates Develop and deliver within the University a new evidence-based model for the Scottish teacher in the 21st century (the Hunter Project) Review of Teaching & Learning Strategy Remit To conduct a thorough review and holistic revision of the University’s approach to undergraduate teaching, learning and assessment, in the light of our aims:

  47. College of Arts and Social Sciences A Students’ Perspective: What does QE Mean? Mr Calum Mair Vice Principal Education, Students Association

  48. A Students’ Perspective “good degree” “high essay marks” “cheap booze” “free gym pass” “four years that I enjoy”

  49. 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 T & L Sport Social Job A Students’ Perspective Student A Student B Student C

  50. A Students’ Perspective 13,500 students would give a different answer 120 different Nationalities would give a different answer