Key information on the UG Curriculum Refocus can be found on this page.
Associate Deans are advised when information has been added or updated so they can alert their faculty that there is something new. Categorised guidance, resources and information is available to download or view in the sections below.
The Centre for Learning and Teaching is working closely with Associate Deans who have responsibility for learning and teaching, and with Heads of Schools, Teacher Fellows, Principal Lecturers, Course Leaders, and Learning Technologists in each Faculty, to provide a service for staff.
We also work in partnership with other University services, including Libraries and Learning Innovation; Information, Media and Technology Services; Student Services; Quality, Standards, Review and Enhancement; the Registry; and People Development, to provide integrated support and guidance for course and module teams.
If you have a question that is not covered in the guidance and resources provided please check the FAQs sections below that have been asked by staff and their answers. These follow the same categories as the guidance and resources. More general issues and comments from the Development and Faculty days are being collated into a guidance document.
Workshops and Events to support colleagues in the refocus and other aspects of learning and teaching are available on the People Development website.
Intro to the Refocus and Student Charter video (32 mins)
Presented by Sally Glen, David Arblaster, Tashi Thornley - 14 Sept 2011
Course Development Principles video (48 mins)
Led by Sue Smith - 14 Sept 2011
Good learning outcomes aren't just administrative devices: they support good learning and teaching. This guide shows how they can be used to plan programmes and modules, improve feedback to students, assess students validly and review teaching.
Resourcing the Curriculum video (45 mins)
Led by Wendy Luker - 14 Sept 2011
Led by Laura Dean -14 Sept 2011
View the UG Refocus FAQs
In the sections below, please find a collection of questions asked by staff involved in the UG Refocus.
The Centre for Learning and Teaching collates the questions and finds out the answers from the relevant services across the institution.
If you still have a question after reading through the resources, guidance and the FAQs, please email us.
Word templates will now be used to capture the outputs of the undergraduate refocusing exercise. The external providers will continue to work on the course approval tool to develop it further to meet our requirements but it is not appropriate to delay the project when we can support it in an alternative way. The developmental engagement principles, which underpin the exercise remain unchanged, as do the stages of the process: a first development phase, a review phase, a second development stage to respond to the review and an approval stage.
Faculty Quality teams will use email to circulate populated course and module approval templates to colleagues who are external to the university. Specific folders will be identified on Faculty shared drives allowing both the Course Development Teams and the broader group of colleagues to access the templates. These latter colleagues will review the content and provide structured feedback to embed the required quality assurance at a formative stage. The feedback will be collected on pro-formas to ensure we have consistent evidence of developmental engagement activities for external scrutiny.
The course and module templates will be familiar as they will closely resemble the indicative templates currently held on the Centre for Teaching and Learning web resource. The re-ordered versions will be available through this resource very shortly along with full supporting guidance.
Following the decision, further to consultation with the Deans, to implement the undergraduate framework for level 4 students only in 2012/13, the established annual monitoring and review process will need to be undertaken in the current academic year to ensure that our existing undergraduate programmes are providing the best possible learning experience for our students. Colleagues should ensure that the refocus exercise is added to the agenda of the annual review meeting so that student representatives can help shape the emerging curriculum. The exercise will also provide robust supporting data for course development more generally.
Full details can be found of the established annual monitoring and review process though colleagues should be aware that a more concise data set to underpin the exercise has been circulated to Deans/C.O.O.s by the Strategic Planning Office.
Benchmarking relates to the maintenance of threshold academic standards, while quality assurance is concerned with the way universities manage students' learning opportunities. The standardised online templates for course approval/ re-approval will include sections where consideration of these related elements can be evidenced and colleagues will be aware that this is not a mechanistic or 'tick box' exercise.
Threshold academic standards can be maintained by the use of:
Quality assurance can be evidenced through:
The above lists are not exhaustive and guidance on matters relating to curriculum or pedagogy will be available from the Centre for Teaching and Learning and Teacher Fellows. Guidance on matters relating to our University's expectations of standards and quality more generally will be available from QSRE and Faculty Quality Teams.
See the detailed answers in relation to the question on benchmarking.
Progression and award regulations specific to our university are found in sections C3 and C4 of the Academic Regulations. Benchmark statements are published on the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) website.
The Undergraduate Academic Framework has been developed to apply a consistent model to undergraduate provision with the ensuing benefits of facilitating deeper knowledge amongst students while promoting a standardised and sustainable curriculum. A 40 credit point module is built into the framework at Level 6 for the dissertation/project or extended study module. This will be the standardised model of delivery.
Exceptions to the structure of the framework in terms of either modular structure or learning outcomes will be considered on a case by case basis. An example of such an exception would be where an alternate structure is a requirement of external accreditation.
While a traditional dissertation may in some cases be unsuitable for a particular curriculum area (e.g. Performing Arts), the expectation is that an alternative form of project or extended study module will be included at Level 6 to evidence the academic rigour which is an expected characteristic of an Honours degree. Such a module will be developed by course teams as part of the re-approval process in 2011-12.
The University has decided that the new undergraduate framework will be delivered to full-time (FT) Level 4 new starters in 2012-13.
The University is not contractually obliged to maintain the same curriculum as advertised across the length of a course since this precludes innovation, currency and enhancement.
The University is introducing the undergraduate framework to improve the student experience and as such, believes that as many students as possible should benefit from the changes. However it is recognised that FT students who have already commenced their contribution to Honours by 2012-13 should continue on the existing 8 x 15 credit point modular structure to maintain clarity and transparency in the calculation of their final award.
The Undergraduate Academic Framework requires course teams who are delivering to part-time (PT) students to move away from the assumption that PT students will attend modules which are structured around the full-time (FT) undergraduate calendar. In many cases this does not facilitate ease of study for a PT cohort.
Instead, courses which seek to offer a PT or other flexible delivery mode to students from 2012-13 will need to plan specifically for that cohort and develop a delivery pattern which meets the PT student cohort's requirements. It is unlikely to be predicated on the corresponding FT model.
Further guidance on PT students and the Undergraduate Academic Framework will be published shortly.
Given the inherent difficulties of transferring students who are mid-level to a new framework, a number of models for PT students are currently being considered.
Further guidance on PT students and the Undergraduate Framework is available in the report that summarises for the Board on 2 November 2011 the agreements made at Quality Standards and Regulations Sub-Committee and Academic Board in relation to the development of part-time undergraduate and post graduate frameworks.
Pathways are not currently defined within our academic regulations and consequently there is variable interpretation of the meaning of that term. For the purposes of the Undergraduate Framework, pathways may be submitted for approval based on the following premises:
While the number of option modules that a student may undertake is clearly referenced within the framework documentation (up to two at Levels 5 and 6 respectively), the number of option modules from which a student chooses the two undertaken is a matter for the Faculty concerned.
However, Faculties will be mindful of the strategic planning performance indicator which seeks to establish a minimum standard of 25+ students per module delivery per year.
Within the new Undergraduate Framework, courses will own modules. That is not to say that modules cannot be shared across or beyond allied subject areas but that one course takes overall responsibility for the content, threshold standards and ongoing quality assurance of that module.
What is important is that module learning outcomes align with course learning outcomes. So modules could be part of more than one course as long as learning outcomes are aligned.
The number of option modules from which a student will be able to choose will be a matter for the individual faculties based on available resources and sustainability. Some Faculties will want to offer a larger number of options to pick from, secure in the knowledge that there will be a sustainable number of students (25+ as a guide) to enrol against each of the choices they offer.
In other areas, the number of students will be smaller and therefore the number of sustainable option modules which may be offered will be correspondingly smaller: 1 from 2 in each semester for example. Occasionally there will be a rationale for having a particular module offered as an option which does not meet the standard institutional indicator of a sustainable delivery because for pedagogic or quality reasons, it adds value to the overall course structure. Whether these modules will be allowed to proceed or not is a matter for the Dean of the Faculty concerned.
The nature of a framework is that it is applied as consistently and broadly as possible, standardising practice to an agreed set of criteria. Certain courses however will need to apply to exemptions from the framework because of the requirements of their accrediting professional bodies.
Requests for exemption from the framework which can be evidenced by Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body (PSRB) stipulations should be made to the DVC Student Experience by the Faculty Associate Dean (Quality) via the Quality, Standards, Review and Enhancement Group Head, Nick Waters. The DVC will require a rationale for the exemption request and supporting evidence which defines the PSRB objection.
If the request for exemption to the framework relates to an internal, subject based or pedagogic rationale, again the methodology for the exemption request would be a submission by the relevant Associate Dean with the supporting rationale.
The DVC will address each one based on the merits of the evidence/ rationale provided.
Please note - the prescribed framework relates to:
Please refer to other documents on this website for a detailed analysis of the requirements of the standardised framework.
It is a regulatory requirement to seek new strategic planning approval for any, or a combination of, the above elements.
The approval and review schedules submitted already by Faculty Quality Teams have sought to highlight identified course title amendments which require SPA in advance of developmental activity and these will be expedited swiftly upon receipt. If such amendments arise through the process of course development activities, faculties should submit SPAs contemporaneously and these will again be dealt with expediently and via a lighter touch process.
It is anticipated that most external advisors will help develop and approve only one course and the process is predicated on this understanding. In exceptional circumstances a rational may be advanced for more than one course to be attributed to a single external advisor (eg where there are elements of shared curriculum) but faculties may need to negotiate an additional fee for additional duties.
At all times the independence of the external, and the suitability of that individual to make informed comment on development, must be paramount.
No. This is because the developmental process for refocused courses will evidence that same engagement with key quality indicators (Teaching Quality Information, NSS, External Examiner feedback etc) and student feedback. Hence refocus will be a proxy for the regulatory requirement of the annual review meeting.
Colleagues will be mindful of the need to pursue focus groups with students in line with the regulatory requirements and to ensure that the needs and concerns of current L5 and L6 students, who may be unaffected by the refocused curriculum , are investigated and responded to in a consistent and appropriate way. These are the students who will be completing the next two NSS surveys.
Looking at the entirety of a course, or indeed across a level, they may well do. What may change is the number of contact hours per module. Within the revised framework, modules will predominantly be worth 20 credit points and an H.E. credit point is equivalent to 10 notional hours of learning - that is, the average student would be expected to expend 10 hours of their time in learning activities to achieve a credit point.
So in our revised structure, a 20 credit point module will equate to 200 notional hours of learning as opposed to the 150 notional hours of learning in a 15 credit point module. We would expect the proportion of contact time to therefore increase as a proportion of the additional 50 notional hours learning.
From 2012, all universities will be required to provide a Key Information Set (KIS) for each course which includes an indication of the proportion of time in each year of study that students can expect to be engaged in scheduled teaching and learning activity (contact hours), guided independent study, and placement or study abroad activity. In this way, contact time will become a key identifier of "quality", particularly beyond the confines of HEIs. Contact time will be used to measure one course against another, both within institutions and among institutions.
The course approval tool will ask course development teams to define the number of contact hours undertaken in the following activities: lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, group work and residential activity. This information will be aggregated for the course by level. Colleagues should view contact hours as scheduled interactions with students by a member of the teaching team. These needn't be face to face; online discussions led by a staff member are equally valid. Also, the teaching team includes academic librarians, technicians, research assistants - a wide range of professional colleagues who contribute to students' learning opportunities.
Course Development teams are likely to be asked to consider i) your teaching group size, ii) the form your contact time takes, iii) the intended purpose of the contact time, iv) whom the contact time is with and v) whether the contact time is formally scheduled.
Leeds Met proposes that no students should experience any reduction in any of their guided learning as a result of the refocus. The nature and volume of contact with members of staff is, as ever, based on the professional judgement of the course and module team.
More guidance and detail on contact hours will be provided as it becomes available.
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) exists to assure standards and improve the quality of UK higher education. Guidance on contact hours is provided on their website.
Guide for institutions: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Pages/contact-hours.aspx
The transitional arrangements for all our students have not been formally ratified by Academic Board as yet. However, current thinking in relation to those students who are fail/ repeat level is as follows:
In relation to those students who are fail/ complete (ie with some modules passed and "banked"):
These decisions have not yet been finalised but will be communicated to colleagues and students in due course.
Level learning outcomes are not an integral part of the UG curriculum framework and need not be included in your CAT.
It is the course and module learning outcomes which need to be aligned and mapped. However, some courses in Faculties with particular professional /subject requirements will still need level learning outcomes integrating into the CAT and so the CAT will retain the box for up to 6 per level to reflect this (if it is appropriate for your course). Level learning outcomes allow course development teams to contextualise a range of learning activities into progressive steps which are understandable to our students and other stakeholders and many course development teams are familiar with using level learning outcomes as a tool to facilitate academically coherent course development. Additionally, certain professional, statutory and regulatory bodies will expect level learning outcomes to be reflected in accredited provision. If you are defining level learning outcomes as part of the course development process, these would not be explicitly mapped from the module to the course, although (if you are including them) the reader would expect to be able to see the relationships between the three areas.
Course development teams should also aim to include evidence of the graduate attributes in the wording. Level learning outcomes act as a contextual point of information for stakeholders, assessors and employers who may have queries about a student's level before, for instance, they accept them on a placement.
If you need to add additional rows to your CAT to accommodate your level learning outcomes you may, although a smaller number of focussed outcomes may be more useful to your stakeholders.
Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of standardised information about undergraduate courses of over one year which all HEIs in England, Wales and NI must produce from 2012 to help applicants compare different courses.
They will include data on:
Of these, student satisfaction, destinations and the course specific information about scheduled contact time and assessment methods used will need to be addressed in course development and the Refocus Handbook provides additional guidance on requirements.
In terms of contact hours and assessment methods, we will seek to collect this information as raw data via the Module Approval Templates and then we will combine this, institutionally, with enrolment data to arrive at an appropriately representative picture.
For more general information on what is included on the KIS see:
Colleagues who are interested in the more technical guidance around data requirements can view this at the HESA website: http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_studrec&Itemid=232&mnl=12061
Bear in mind you still have the same number of credits (120 per level). This undergraduate refocus process is not necessarily about removing content. It is really about reconsidering the content and aims of your course so you can refocus the curriculum. You should consider the course development principles (particularly the 'key concepts' principle) which will help course teams' discussion and allow them to refine their decisions to make sure they have considered the real fundamentals (key concepts) which students will need to learn. You will then be in a better position to differentiate between the six core modules you offer at all levels and any option modules you might want to offer at Levels 5 and 6.
If you have a professionally linked course you will have to consider your professional body's guidelines and benchmarks.
You will need to ensure when you compare an 'old' module specification against a new refocused one that the student's 'depth of learning' in that module is clearly visible in the learning outcomes, indicative content, proposed activities and assessment.
Teacher Fellows will be a valuable resource for course development teams. You should ask your Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching how you can best use those in your Faculty. You will also have a PL responsible for Learning and Teaching in your Faculty who will be able to advise you or link you with a Teacher Fellow. You should also work with other course leaders in your Faculty to share practice and ideas.
The Centre for Learning and Teaching is in the process of compiling a database of Teacher Fellow advisers from other Faculties who have expertise in specific areas of course development.
Using two separate portfolios of evidence as the separate summative assessment points on a module would be onerous for students and is an example of unnecessary over-assessment. We would encourage you to use different types of assessments within each module and across the course in order to maximise skill development.
The rationale for having a maximum of two assessments is to stop our current over-assessment. It should also help to encourage deeper learning and prevent students becoming too tactical in their approach to assessments.
You should not attempt to embed one assessment within another.
One of the aims of the refocus exercise is to rebalance assessments across a course so that they are not 'bunched' in terms of either submission time or assessment type. You need a varied assessment diet. As a result, this new refocused curriculum should enhance how different skills can be assessed across a course. When your course team begins to work through the course development principles some of the things you might need to consider include:
This process will help you reflect on an appropriate course and module structure which doesn't necessitate two portfolio assessments in one module.
Students benefit enormously from work-related learning of all types. Therefore you should aim to provide as much work-related learning as possible. You must include at least two weeks' work-related activity (or equivalent) in your course. This should be embedded within a core module so that all your students access this opportunity.There are a couple of weeks in the academic calendar after the Christmas break which can be used as a "block" for work related learning activity if that suits your course.
Work-related learning can encompass a range of opportunities, including work experience, internships, community-based projects, live projects and self-employment. Visits to workplaces such as work shadowing are not included as students are only observing, not participating. Some forms of volunteering are acceptable; however, you should reflect on whether students are performing purely altruistic rather than learning tasks, though of course these aren't mutually exclusive. Many courses already offer work-related learning in the form of live projects (completing work set by employers), inbuilt work placements and structured volunteering opportunities. Some examples of embedded work-related learning are available on the employability webpages. E-work place simulations with appropriate reflective activities linked to course work are also appropriate.
We are very much concerned with the development of key skills and they are embedded within the three graduate attributes of our University's students:
These graduate attributes will be embedded within course, level and module learning outcomes and will be assessed. Further guidance and resources relating to this is available in the Graduate Attributes - Resources for Download section above. Personal development planning is similarly embedded within the graduate attributes.
External advisors appointed to course development teams should be supplemented by employers and external practitioners. Courses should be developed alongside employers to meet specific training or developmental requirements and enhance 'real-world' practice. Our University regards involving employers in the planning stages as highly beneficial and there are a range of people around the University who can help course teams to make contacts.
Some Faculties have placement offices who can help and the Jobs & Careers team will be able to facilitate contacts. Your colleagues may also have contacts with relevant employers, particularly those who have recently joined us from industry. Before contacting an organisation it is helpful to establish whether Leeds Met already has a contact whom you may approach, or who could ease your introduction to appropriate people. For example you may wish to consult the database held by the Business Enterprise and Innovation team.
Also, each student should be given the opportunity to undertake work-related activity, volunteering or international study opportunities which will enhance interaction with local employers and external organisations.
Additionally many courses are accredited by the relevant Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) which have specific requirements relating to course design. Courses which do not hold appropriate sector accreditation are strongly advised to seek it.
Sector Skills Councils work with a number of HE institutions to facilitate course design which meets the needs of employers.
Involving employers might mean inviting them to join in course development activities, trying to be flexible about when, how and what their involvement is. You may want to consider the times when events are held, e.g. at the start or end of a day to minimise their travel time. You should also think about whether it is possible to contribute remotely using technologies such as Elluminate or by sending over documents for feedback. Often it is easier for employers to commit to help when you are asking for specific support, such as 'half a day at the end of November' rather than just general support, though it can be beneficial to generate a pool of employers whom you can draw on to contribute at different times.
"Key concepts" are one of our University's 9 course development principles. They are sometimes referred to as "threshold concepts". Course development teams need to consider this principle as part of their refocusing work.
The key concepts are the ideas that students in a particular course need to learn which set them apart from other professional groupings of subject areas; So what is it that makes a physiotherapist? What does a tourism student really need to learn to have a real grasp of the area? These may be challenging to acquire but they make that subject area or profession distinctive and they allow tutors to look again at the content of their courses to "slim it down", reduce repetition and revisit key learning areas at different points in the courses to emphasise and deepen learning in those areas. More information can be found in the Course Development - Resources to Download section above.
The "philosophy" of a course is different from "key concepts". When courses were approved prior to the online system, course teams would write a whole section on philosophy as part of the critical appraisal. Philosophy was broad in its understanding including the "raison d'etre" of the course, its teaching approaches, its currency and comparability with similar courses in other institutions and the integration of theory and practice in terms of its work related activity. On the new online approval form (CAT), the course team's ideas about "philosophy" can now be integrated throughout (rather than a separate, often lengthy and labour intensive "standalone" section). The philosophy feeds into the sections on the programme specification relating to learning and teaching approaches, employability related areas and the rationale for change box. The intention is to encourage course development teams to think about their course development as a whole and how their new refocused programmes can be designed and delivered to improve students' experience, their achievement and employability prospects.
This method combines assessments over modules and across subjects. It expects students to transfer knowledge and skills and helps them see how issues and themes connect.
The QAA Code of Practice 'Section 7 - Assessment of Students' September 2006 specifically defines it as: "An assessment that encourages students to combine elements of their learning from different parts of a programme and to show their accumulated knowledge and understanding of a topic or subject area. A synoptic assessment normally enables students to show their ability to integrate and apply their skills, knowledge and understanding with breadth and depth in the subject. It can help to test a student's capability of applying the knowledge and understanding gained in one part of a programme to increase their understanding in other parts of the programme, or across the programme as a whole."
Synoptic assessment is well regarded in the sector with plenty of evidence from research papers and good practice case-studies. Many students like it and find it relevant. When carefully designed into the curriculum, it enhances links between modules and reduces "compartmentalised" learning approaches. It would be eminently suitable in our refocused curricula. It encourages deep learning through its emphasis on vertical and horizontal integration of the subjects being studied. This is supported by our course development principles which emphasises integration and having a course level assessment strategy.
It can carefully be used to assess two (or more) modules at one level (across one or two semesters). Synoptic assessment suits project work which may take place over one academic year but care needs to be taken to make sure the project terms and aims can encompass the breadth of the learning outcomes which need to be assessed. Students, on their new refocused courses, need to feel that they are not over assessed and have clear instructions and expectations of the assessment. The language of the steps to the summative assessment must clearly indicate that it is formative to that point.
Where synoptic assessment fails is when it is not built in at the course design phase and where module teams don't communicate well enough with each other.
Module learning outcomes not assessed by the synoptic method will need to be addressed by another form of summative assessment in the time frame of the module itself.
The CETL ALiC has also done much work on this and we have a history of good practice in the University in this area.
The PIPELINE synoptic assessment is a good example which assesses 3 modules across one semester. Synoptic assessment may not naturally fit under the two summative assessment points proposed in the new framework and you may need to introduce more formative assessment points during the time span of the process. There is a possibility that students could perceive / feel that they are being over assessed. If, however, students are clear about their performance and assessment criteria and it feels "seamless" to them, then synoptic assessment can still be appropriate. Staff need to think clearly about whether students are being or might feel overloaded by this means of assessment. If the assessment method is cumulative, are students clear about how the different elements build to form a synoptic assignment? How are you integrating formative assessment into the process?
If you want to check if synoptic assessment would be appropriate for your course in the undergraduate framework then you should ask your Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.
You can also contact staff in the Centre for Learning and Teaching for advice. They will be able to put you in contact with colleagues who have expertise in this area.
There is also guidance on assessment on the CLT-Resources pages provided by the Centre for Learning and Teaching. Pages 85-88 contain a useful checklist on choosing assessment methods in general at http://alt-resource.teams.leedsmet.ac.uk/assessment/Assesscom4.pdf.
Yes it is. You should aim to embed 2 weeks or equivalent work related learning into your UG course core modules. It is not enough to embed it in an option module. This could be a placement, a live project, a volunteering opportunity or an e simulation. If you want advice on where to access these resources or on embedding work related please contact Laura Dean.(firstname.lastname@example.org) The academic calendar has a period of time after Christmas at the end of semester 1 which you might find a useful block of time for your students work related activity.
Yes, the Vice Chancellor's Group has decided that for any student commencing a course from September 2012 onwards the sandwich or placement year will attract no fee, so students electing to do a sandwich year will have the same overall fees of those who do not take a placement year.
Yes, it will. 2011/12 is a 'pilot' year, and Simon Thomson / Arthur Sargeant will be contacting interested parties to set up pilots in early Autumn 2011. Training will be rolled out to all staff from early 2012 in preparation for the start of the 2012/13 academic year.
The working definition of Digital Literacy that we are using is as circulated at the staff development days in September. Whilst it is likely that this will be refined to become an agreed Leeds Met definition, the skills that this graduate attribute encompasses will be as described in the guidance document.
Digital literacy is a wider term than information literacy, and so includes most of what we would understand as information literacy, but includes additional skills around understanding of and use of digital technologies. A range of staff development workshops will be arranged and offered through the Centre for Learning and Teaching, and are likely to be run by a mixture of staff with the relevant expertise, e.g. Academic Librarians, Learning Technologists, the X-Stream Support team, Centre for Learning and Teaching staff etc.
The Resource Discovery Tool, called 'Discover More in the Library' is now live, and can be accessed from http://libraryonline.leedsmet.ac.uk/pages/resources/
Essentially all the graduate attributes should appear at every academic level. They should be embedded into the module learning outcomes where it feels appropriate to do so. These decisions are up to the professional judgement of the course development team.
Realistically not every module learning outcomes needs to have every GA in it. It is quite clear that you can't, in particular, force a GA focussed module learning outcome "unnaturally" into some modules (particularly with global outlook).
However, there should be evidence of all GAs spread across most modules at every level and the online approval form asks courses to evidence this and show how they are progressively developed through the whole course both across and through the levels (vertical and horizontal integration). Course teams should think about how the course and module aims reflect each GA. If staff are modifying existing learning outcomes to incorporate a GA, then they need to understand why they are doing this to address the "key concepts" for their course and how the module delivery and content will look as a result. The embedding of a GA shouldn't feel artificial and course teams should try to address the specific embedding of GAs holistically alongside the specific questions asked for each course development principle.
It is likely that every module will have at least one GA embedded in their module learning outcomes particularly if course development teams adopt broad definitions of the GAs. For example, being "enterprising" covers everything from problem solving, project work, creative thinking, idea generation and stimulating, persuasive communication. Students' digital literacy can cover the whole range of X stream, Blackboard use, literature searching and filtering, making films, receiving audio feedback and using mobile technology and specific software on professional courses. Staff development sessions will help course teams embed all the GAs.
The guidance documents in the Graduate Attributes - Resources for Download section above give some really good ideas about how to modify existing learning outcomes and write new ones and gives ideas about module activities.
There is no latitude to postpone the periodic review of the postgraduate (PG) awards in 11/ 12.
All awards must retain academic approval if being actively recruited to/ delivered in 11/ 12.
Faculties were advised last year that those awards which were due for review in 11/ 12 might have their periodic reviews brought forward a year so as not to clash with the demands of the undergraduate refocusing work. The revised 6 year cycle of approval, agreed at Academic Board in July 2011, becomes current for all undergraduate provision from 2011/ 12 (whereafter provision will be in approval until 2017/18 latest) and will apply to refocused PG taught provision from 2012/ 13 (whereafter provision will be in approval until 2018/19 latest).
A paper to QSRC in October 2011 will outline a draft taught PG framework of delivery. Colleagues at the Planning Conference heard the importance and urgency of growing our taught PG numbers; this is unlikely to happen without the development of new awards. Any new postgraduate awards approved this year will be approved for a period of six years. If you need further clarification, staff should contact their Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching and/or QSRE.
The Students' Union has been consulted about the graduate attributes and the Undergraduate Academic Framework and is supportive of the development. It welcomes the improved clarity relating to course structure, the defined assessment requirements, the standardised calendar and the focus on graduate attributes.
Consultation will be ongoing as we approach the delivery of the framework in 2012-13.
All students who are transferred from the 8 x 15 credit point structure to the 6 x 20 credit point structure will be contacted prior to the transfer in line with the QAA Code of Practice Section 7.
Alongside the consultation with the Students' Union, student comments are sought more generally through annual monitoring and review and its associated focus groups, module evaluations and our own student surveys. On a larger scale, the output from the National Student Survey (NSS), where all full-time and part-time Level 6 students are asked for their opinions on a range of defined questions, is provided to the University in September each year.
The outcomes of the NSS are published externally (grouped by JACS code) and are shared with Associate Deans and Heads of School for wider promulgation at course level. The newly formed Strategic Planning Team will have oversight of how the information is analysed and disseminated.
All these elements provide feedback from students which should be considered in course design/re-design. Additionally, and in line with growing sector expectations, students will be involved in course development teams' meetings, informing decisions relating to course approval/re-approval.
Guidance for students is available here and also on the Students' Union website.