Chapter 2 - Annual Student Experience Review

  1. Annual Student Experience Review

    The Annual Student Experience Review (ASER) draws together and streamlines existing monitoring activities (External Examiner Reports, Accelerate, Annual Monitoring Review (AMR), Survey Action Planning and Annual College Compliance with University quality assurance and quality enhancement policies in the TQA Manual) that are extended throughout the year into one meeting for Taught Programmes and one meeting for Postgraduate Research (PGR).

    An ASER will take place for all Colleges (including INTO) every academic year, whether or not a College is undergoing Enhanced ASER). ASERs are an annual ‘health check’ by the University with the purpose of providing a single opportunity to:

    - Monitor each College’s scrutiny of student datasets, subsequent action plans and monitoring completion of actions from the previous year
    - Review progress towards achieving actions identified in the College’s most recent College Academic Audit;
    - Reflect annually on risks and weaknesses, identifying action to be taken forward where necessary;
    - Review processes and compliance with University quality assurance and quality enhancement policies;
    - Discussing College engagement with key strategic education/research priorities;
    - Providing a formal opportunity for the senior team to discuss student experience matters including the programme portfolio and the efficacy of the response to student feedback;
    - Review academic partnership activity (e.g. student exchanges/split-site PhDs;
    - Review common themes emerging from External Examiner reports;
    - Providing an opportunity to identify good practice worthy of wider dissemination;
    - Consideration of the Students’ Guild/FXU ‘Visions for Education’

    Separate meetings will be arranged to review Taught provision and Graduate Research provision.

    1. ASER for Taught Programmes
      1. Discipline Level Scrutiny

        Annual Programme and Discipline level scrutiny of datasets

        The University recognises that the process of reviewing taught provision is iterative, and that much of this business takes place at different times and through a variety of mechanisms during the monitoring year.

        Responsibility for reviewing such provision is devolved to Colleges and, for this system to work, it is important that a College is able to identify concerns:-

        a) that apply to a particular module, programme or discipline;
        b) that are common to a number of its modules, programmes or disciplines;
        c) and to take timely and appropriate action.

        Colleges will ensure that detailed scrutiny of taught programmes student progress takes place at module and programme level at an annual meeting of relevant academic staff. Strategic Planning and Change will prepare datasets. Following these meetings, each College will document, on an annual basis, the performance of each programme against a range of quality parameters and University KPIs:

        - Admissions
        - Progression and awards
        - Any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body/accrediting body or other external reports
        - Internal survey results (e.g. Accelerate)
        - External survey results (NSS, PTES)
        - Consultation with students (SSLC)
        - Employability statistics (DLHE)
        - INTO Progressors and International students
        - ILP Report

        Data should be considered on the basis of the whole cohort (e.g. to include analysis of both off-campus versus on-campus, part-time versus full-time provision, where appropriate). Particular attention should be paid to any programme where amendments have been made such as the inclusion or deletion of modules. The Review of such programmes would need to ensure that any changes have not substantively changed the programme.

        A suggested checklist (Annex A) is available to guide reflection at these meetings.

      2. College Level

        College Scrutiny meetings

        This process is instrumental in maintaining and enhancing the quality of provision offered by Colleges, but a mechanism is still required by which to scrutinise and analyse this process within the College. This should be managed through Scrutiny Meeting(s) which may, for instance, subsume a meeting of a College Education Strategy Group(s) or equivalent. Student representatives, undergraduate and/or postgraduate as appropriate, should be present. To ensure independence and accountability, the Associate Dean of Education should oversee the Scrutiny Meeting(s)

        This Scrutiny Meeting(s) will consider the monitoring reports for all College taught programmes, undergraduate and postgraduate, using the minutes of the Programme/Discipline Review Meetings as evidence. The Scrutiny Meeting(s) will wish particularly to discuss unresolved matters of concern identified in the reports, along with the action proposed to address them and the identification of the person or body responsible for resolving them. Where there is a lack of clarity, the College may wish to consider its own documentation relating to such topics.

        An important aim of annual review should be to promote enhancement and to disseminate good practice, not only within the College, but also across the University. It is therefore important that both disciplines and Colleges consider and record good practice for all provision. This will then be referred to Education Enhancement for further development and dissemination.

        An Action Plan in the form of Annex C should be completed by the College and submitted to Quality Review prior to the annual ASER meeting. Actions should be precisely stated, ensuring that they are measurable and achievable. Where more than one person is listed against an action it should be clear who is the lead and is responsible for completion. The Action Plan should include the date on which it was subject to College level scrutiny. This will negate the need for the College to supply minutes of such a meeting, which may replicate much of the content of the Action Plan. In addition, Colleges should supply to Quality Review evidence of annual monitoring discussions of modules and programmes at Discipline level. The Action Plan will form the basis of discussion at the ASER meeting with representatives from Academic Policy and Standards to consider the outcomes of the College’s internal scrutiny.

      3. University Level Scrutiny

        Following the provision of the statistical and survey data by Strategic Planning and External Examiner Overviews by Quality Review there will be a meeting of the Academic Dean for Students and Academic Policy and Standards staff to gain an institutional overview of common themes arising. This will inform the lines of enquiry pursued in the ASER meetings with Colleges.

        The ASER Meeting

        The ASER takes the form of a half day meeting during the Spring Term, taking place within the College with the Associate Dean (Education) and the Education Business Partner, and a student representative, usually the College Officer.

        The meetings will be Chaired by the Academic Dean for Students supported by colleagues from Academic Policy and Standards. Meetings will be informed by the following information:

        - Previous ASER report
        - Report of previous Review or College Academic Audit and progress against actions identified
        - College themes emerging from External Examiner reports
        - National survey action plans (NSS, PTES)
        - College action towards the Students’ Guild/FXU ‘Visions for Education’
        - Student Cases (e.g. Academic Conduct, Student Appeals and Student Complaints)
        - College analysis and scrutiny of student datasets to include:
        - - Admissions
        - - Progression and awards
        - - Any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body/accrediting body or other external reports
        - - Internal Survey results (e.g. Accelerate)
        - - Consultation with students (SSLC)
        - - Employability statistics (DLHE)
        - - INTO Progressors and International students

        At the College ASER meeting, discussion will focus on the Action Plan and the common themes identified by the Academic Dean for Students. The Panel will agree with the College which thematic areas will receive targeted support from Professional Services and identify them in the College Action Plan. Following the ASER meeting, a report, which will include the College Action Plan, will be prepared by Academic Policy and Standards. Specific actions required of Professional Services will be agreed with the Academic Dean and relevant departments prior to final approval by the Academic Dean. The final version will be reported to the Board of the Faculty of Taught Programmes. The Associate Deans of Education are responsible for follow-up action within their College.

        The final version will be reported to the Board of the Faculty of Taught Programmes. These reports will be used by the Education Strategy Strategic Leads to support their work. Each Professional Service will be sent a report outlining the areas identified by Colleges as requiring support from them. Exceptional Good Practice will be reported to ADEs for discussion and dissemination via the Education Executive. The Associate Deans for Education are responsible for follow-up action within their College.

        Colleges are expected to monitor progress of their own Action Plans at least once per term, normally in an Education Strategy Group (or equivalent) meeting. Interim reports will not normally be required although updates may be requested if there are particular areas of concerned identified centrally.

      4. Online Programmes

        Special provisions for online programmes offered in partnership with Keypath Education are set out in a document of that same name, which has the same force as this Handbook.  The special provisions should be read in the context of this Handbook, and unless the Special provisions for online programmes offered in partnership with Keypath Education make clear otherwise, the provisions of this Handbook remain in force. In the event of inclarity or uncertainty, the matter should be referred to the Dean of the Taught Faculty.

    2. ASER for Postgraduate Research Programmes
      1. Discipline Level Scrutiny

        Annual Programme and Discipline level scrutiny of datasets

        The University recognises that the process of reviewing research degree provision is iterative, and that much of this business takes place at different times and through a variety of mechanisms during the monitoring year.

        Responsibility for reviewing such provision is devolved to Colleges and, for this system to work, it is important that a College is able to identify concerns:-

        a) that apply to a particular discipline;
        b) that are common to a number of its disciplines;
        c) and to take timely and appropriate action.

        Colleges will ensure that detailed scrutiny of PGR student progress takes place at discipline level through Annual Monitoring Review. Strategic Planning and Change will prepare datasets. Following discussion, each College will document, on an annual basis, the performance of each discipline against a range of quality parameters and University KPIs:

        - Admissions
        - Progression and awards
        - Internal survey results
        - External survey results (PRES)
        - Consultation with students (PGR Liaison Forums)
        - Employability statistics (DLHE)
        - Annual Monitoring Review
        - ILP Report

        Data should be considered on the basis of the whole cohort (e.g. to include analysis of both off-campus versus on-campus, part-time versus full-time provision, where appropriate). Particular attention should be paid to any programme where amendments have been made. The Review of such programmes would need to ensure that any changes have not substantively changed the programme.

        A suggested checklist (Annex B) is available to guide reflection at these meetings.

      2. College Level

        College Scrutiny meetings

        This process is instrumental in maintaining and enhancing the quality of provision offered by Colleges, but a mechanism is still required by which to scrutinise and analyse this process within the College. This should be managed through Scrutiny Meeting(s) which may, for instance, subsume a meeting of a College Graduate Research Committee or equivalent. Student representatives should be present. To ensure independence and accountability, the Associate Dean of Research should oversee the Scrutiny Meeting(s).

        This Scrutiny Meeting(s) will consider the monitoring reports for all College disciplines using the minutes of the Discipline Review Meetings as evidence. The Scrutiny Meeting(s) will wish particularly to discuss unresolved matters of concern identified in the reports, along with the action proposed to address them and the identification of the person or body responsible for resolving them. Where there is a lack of clarity, the College may wish to consider its own documentation relating to such topics.

        An important aim of annual review should be to promote enhancement and to disseminate good practice, not only within the College, but also across the University. It is therefore important that both disciplines and Colleges consider and record good practice for all provision. This will then be referred to Education Enhancement for further development and dissemination.

        An Action Plan in the form of Annex D should be completed by the College and submitted to Quality Review in readiness for the annual ASER meeting. Actions should be precisely stated, ensuring that they are measurable and achievable. Where more than one person is listed against an action it should be clear who is the lead and is responsible for completion. The Action Plan should include the date on which it was subject to College level scrutiny. This will negate the need for the College to supply minutes of such a meeting, which may replicate much of the content of the Action Plan. In addition, Colleges should supply to Quality Review evidence of annual monitoring discussions of at discipline level. The Action Plan will form the basis of discussion at the ASER meeting with representatives from Academic Policy and Standards to consider the outcomes of the College’s internal scrutiny.

    3. University Level Scrutiny

      Following the provision of the statistical and survey data by Strategic Planning and External Examiner Overviews by Quality Review there will be a meeting of the Dean of Graduate Research and Doctoral College and Academic Policy and Standards staff to gain an institutional overview of common themes arising. This will inform the lines of enquiry pursued in the ASER meetings with Colleges.

      The ASER Meeting

      The ASER takes the form of a half day meeting during the Autumn Term, taking place within the Associate Dean (Research), Director of Postgraduate Research Students (DPGR) and the Assistant College Manager (Research or Graduate Research) and a student representative.

      The meetings will be Chaired by the Dean of Postgraduate Research supported by colleagues from the Doctoral College and Quality Review. Meetings will be informed by the following information:

      - Previous ASER report
      - Report of previous Review or College Academic Audit and progress against actions identified
      - College themes emerging from External Examiner reports
      - National survey action plans (PRES)
      - College action towards the Students’ Guild/FXU ‘Visions for Education’
      - Student Cases (e.g. Academic Conduct, Student Appeals and Student Complaints)
      - College analysis and scrutiny of student datasets to include:
             - Admissions
             - Progression and awards
             - Equality and diversity
             - Internal Survey results
             - Consultation with students (PGR Liaison Forums)
             - Employability statistics (DLHE)
             - Annual Monitoring Review data

      At the College ASER meeting discussion will focus on the Action Plan and the common themes identified by the Dean of Postgraduate Research. The Panel will agree with the College which thematic areas will receive targeted support from Professional Services staff and identify them in the College Action Plan. Following the ASER meeting, a report, which will include the College Action Plan, will be prepared by Academic Policy and Standards. Specific actions required of Professional Services will be agreed with the Dean and relevant departments prior to submission final approval by the Dean of Postgraduate Research. The final version will be reported to the Management Group of the Doctoral College/Graduate Research Faculty Board. The Associate Deans (Research) are responsible for follow-up action within their College.

      The final version will be reported to the Management Group of the Doctoral College/Graduate Research Faculty Board. Each Professional Service will be sent a report outlining the areas identified by Colleges as requiring support from them. Exceptional Good Practice will be reported for discussion and dissemination via the Management Group of the Doctoral College/Graduate Research Faculty Board. The Associate Deans (Research) are responsible for follow-up action within their College.

      Colleges are expected to monitor progress of their own Action Plans at least once per term, normally in an Graduate Research Committee (or equivalent) meeting. Interim reports will not normally be required although updates may be requested if there are particular areas of concerned identified centrally.

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