1. Background to the Process
The QAA UK Quality Code Chapter B8: Programme Monitoring and Review requires that institutions should regularly “monitor the effectiveness of their courses:
- to ensure that programmes remain current and valid in light of developing knowledge in the discipline, and practice in its application
- to evaluate the extent to which the intended learning outcomes are being attained by students
- to evaluate the continuing effectiveness of the curriculum and of assessment in relation to the intended learning outcomes
- to ensure that recommendations for appropriate actions are followed up to remedy any identified shortcomings” (Indicator 5)
QAA also requires effective and prompt follow-up of any recommendations in order to
“protect the interests of current students and allow any staff and resource development needs to be addressed”. (2012, p5)
A suggested format is available although partner institutions may follow a different format in consultation with the Partnerships Office. All reports should be constructive, critical and evaluative. Strengths and weaknesses/issues should be identified and evidenced, with actions to address any areas of concern.
The evidence cited should be auditable and should include reference to:
- course statistical data;
- module schemes of work;
- External Examiner reports;
- student feedback (at entry; on course/module; at exit);
- staff views/ideas from course team, school/institution or faculty management meetings;
- examples of good practice (for example in accordance with guidance in the partner institution Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy);
- professional/awarding body reports;
- employer/professional adviser feedback or meeting minutes;
- promotion of equality of opportunity and diversity;
- QAA reports;
- new learning opportunities for students;
- relevant research;
- induction/inter-semester activities;
- institution policies and procedures;
- course committee/course team meeting minutes;
- re-approval event reports;
- staff CVs/new appointments/development activities/professional or scholarly activity;
- purchase of/access to new resources;
- tutorial and study support (personal, academic and information on students accessing Student Support services – all anonymous);
- student complaints;
- QAA, HEFCE initiatives and requirements (for example QAA UK Quality Code).
It is essential that members of the course team (and students if possible) are given the opportunity to contribute to the report, with the Course Leader taking overall responsibility for its collation and fine tuning.
3. Review Meeting
The Head of HE (or equivalent) should ensure all reports are completed on time and in an agreed format. If changes are necessary, these should be discussed and agreed with the Course Leader.
A review meeting should be arranged by the Head of HE (or equivalent) to discuss each report in detail and agree any necessary changes with the course team.
The Head of HE (or equivalent) should ensure appropriate representation. This should include Course Leaders, the Head of School and lecturing staff. It is good practice to include student representatives and a colleague from a different area of the institution to act as a critical friend.
A Partnerships Office representative and, where appointed, the UEA Academic Link should be invited and consulted about possible dates well in advance.
The reports that will be considered at the meeting should be circulated in advance to those attending.
The report, the previous and current action plan, External Examiners’ reports and course team response and the minutes of the review meeting should be considered by the relevant Joint Board of Study/Joint Committee or a sub-group.