LEARNING _ TEACHING COMMITTEE - University of Dundee

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					                                 UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE

                                  SENATUS ACADEMICUS

                       LEARNING AND TEACHING COMMITTEE

A meeting of the Committee was held on Wednesday 11 November 2009.

Present:          Professor J Calderhead (Convener), Dr J Hughes, Dr R Parsons, Mr D
                  George, Dr L McLellan, Mrs L Jones, Dr C Dey, Dr F Smith, Dr L Walsh, Ms
                  L Robertson (vice Professor D Bearn), Dr R Soames, Ms P Elliott, Ms C
                  Backler (vice Mrs D Jackson), Dr I K Francis, Dr W Murray (vice Ms C
                  Normand), Dr J D B Weyers, Mr A Smith.

In Attendance: Dr E Monaghan

By Invitation:   Professor C Reid

PRESENTATION: EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Professor Reid, School of Law, delivered a brief presentation on the area of Education for
Sustainable Development, an area which was presented under a number of labels eg
“education for sustainable development”, “sustainability literacy”, “environmental literacy”.
A range of external bodies including the Scottish Funding Council, QAA, Higher Education
Academy and Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges, had a direct interest
in this area with the potential for funding.

While there was a considerable amount of activity in this area at the school level, these
activities lacked effective coordination at the institutional level to maximise the potential
marketing, recruitment and funding opportunities. As Co-convener of the University‟s
Environmental Task Group, Professor Reid undertook a survey, in early Summer, of the
University‟s programmes and modules to gauge current activity in this area. Although the
response rate was incomplete, academic staff had identified 20 programmes at postgraduate
level, and 40 modules at undergraduate level with content related to this general area.
Recent examples of related activity included the School of Duncan of Jordanstone College‟s
project entitled, ‟Design Sustainability as an Enhancement Theme for the 21st Century Design
Graduate’, which was featured as an HEA case-study outlining the pedagogic approach to
projects based on Sustainability and Design, and the forthcoming Enterprise Gym‟s DS3C
programme arranged in early November.

Noting the significant improvement in environmental management across the University
since the appointment of an Environment and Sustainability Officer, Professor Reid
proposed that a person should be identified, at the institutional level, to take a lead role in
coordinating learning & teaching related activities in this area and to engage with external
bodies to assist in securing funding. It was noted that some funding might be identified
from the QAA‟s Quality Enhancement Themes programme to begin work in this area.

Resolved:

(i)    to thank Professor Reid for his informative presentation;


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(ii)    to note that the results of his recent survey were available from Professor Reid and to
        ask Dr Monaghan to consider whether these results could be made available on the
        University‟s website;

(iii)   to ask Professor Reid to meet Dr Walsh and Dr Monaghan to consider how this
        matter could be progressed and to ask Dr Walsh to report the outcome to the
        Committee‟s next meeting.

1.      MINUTES

        Resolved:

        (i)    to approve the Minutes of the meeting of 1 October 2009 subject to the
               correction of „Dr Fraser‟ to „Dr Smith‟ (page 4); and

        (ii)   to note Senate‟s following observations on the minute:

               The Vice-Principal (Educational Development) drew members attention to three
               items in the report. On the ELIR Part I visit, he noted that preparation for a schedule
               of meetings for the Part II visit was in hand. On the NSS results he noted that both
               the response rate and the results were the best since the University had begun to
               participate; he also noted that a report on the International Student Barometer (ISB)
               was in preparation for the next meeting of the Committee which also indicated a rise
               in satisfaction rates. On the extra week, he noted that Freshers' Week had been
               successfully reinvigorated and that there would be further discussion of
               administrative and infrastructure issues to try to ease pressure on staff for next year.

               The Senatus decided:

               (i) to approve the report;

               (ii) to commend the team responsible for producing the ELIR Reflective Analysis.

2.      MATTERS ARISING

        (1)    Teaching Awards: Review of Process

               The Committee received a paper from Dr L Walsh providing further
               proposals for improving the process for the award of the Honorary
               Graduates‟ Award for Innovative Teaching and the Senate Award for
               Excellence in Teaching. The revised process placed greater emphasis at the
               College level for the initial identification of candidates for both awards and
               addressed the issues of nominations arising from cross-College and School
               teams. The proposals were discussed and agreed with the College Heads of
               Learning & Teaching at a meeting held on Tuesday 3 November.

               Dr Walsh would convene a further meeting of this group to undertake a
               comprehensive review of the current teaching awards portfolio with the aim
               of implementing the changes to the processes in academic session 2010/11.




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                  Resolved:       to note the paper, and that Dr Walsh would submit a further
                                  paper to the Committee‟s next meeting on the outcome of a
                                  comprehensive review of the teaching awards portfolio.

          (2)     Enhancement of Schools' Practices for Providing Feedback to Students:
                  Establishment of the Working Group: Remit and Membership

                  The Committee received a paper from Dr McMillan proposing a remit and
                  membership for a new Working Group to consider the Enhancement of
                  Schools‟ Practices for Providing Feedback to Students.

                  Resolved:       to approve the remit and membership subject to the addition
                                  of a representative from the Educational Development
                                  Division, Library & Learning Centre.

3.        ACADEMIC QUALITY SUB-COMMITTEE

          (1)     Report of the Meeting of 22 October 2009

                  The Committee received the report of the meeting of 22 October 2009
                  including progress with ELIR and preparations for the ELIR team‟s Part II
                  visit during the week beginning 16 November 2009. The Part II visit
                  programme would include a meeting between the visiting ELIR team and a
                  group of distance learning students using Adobe Connect web conferencing
                  software.

                  Resolved:

                  (i)     on minute 3, to note that the preparations for the ELIR Part II visit
                          were proceeding satisfactorily;

                  (ii)    on minute 4, to note the University‟s annual institutional statement to
                          the Scottish Funding Council on internal and external subject reviews
                          (Appendix 1 refers1);

                  (iii)   on minute 4, to endorse the proposal to pilot the addition of a
                          representative from the Library & Learning Centre to programme
                          review panels during the second semester;

                  (iv)    on minute 7, to approve a revision to the Quality Assurance
                          Framework to define more clearly the role of the Overseas Link Co-
                          ordinator (Appendix 2 refers2); and

                  (v)     on minute 8, to welcome the recent accreditation by the Higher
                          Education Academy of the University‟s framework for continuing
                          professional development.




1   Available from the Academic Secretary‟s Office.
2   See http://www.somis.dundee.ac.uk/academic/learning/archive/200910/Mtg2/paperc.rtf


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          (2)     Quality Assurance Framework: Student Placements Policy: Update

                  The Committee received an updated version of the Student Placement Policy
                  which required minor amendments to address a recent Universities &
                  Colleges Employers Association publication, „Health & Safety Guidance for
                  the Placement of HE Students‟.

                  Resolved:       to approve the updated policy (Appendix 3 refers3).

4.        POSTGRADUATE AFFAIRS SUB-COMMITTEE (PGASC)

          The Committee received the report of the meeting of 28 October 2009 including an
          appendix reporting a proposal from Dr McLellan and Dr Weyers to pilot a new
          institutional review process for programmes leading to the award of research
          degrees in the College of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing during the current academic
          session. This proposal was endorsed by the Academic Quality Sub-Committee at its
          meeting of 22 October 2009 together with their parallel proposal that they establish a
          Working Group to review the University‟s Code of Practice for Supervised
          Postgraduate Research.

          The diversity of the approaches to research study taken by different disciplines was
          acknowledged and the extension of the pilot review process methodology to other
          Colleges would be discussed fully with staff from the other Colleges. It was agreed
          that, at present, the institution lacked knowledge on the quality and consistency of
          the experience of its research students across the Colleges and how best to enhance
          that experience and share good practice. These outcomes could be reflected in the
          review of the Code of Practice.

          Resolved:

          (i)     to note the report;

          (ii)    on item 5, to endorse the proposals from Dr McLellan and Dr Weyers to pilot
                  a periodic review process for research programmes in the College of
                  Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing during the current academic session;

          (iii)   to endorse the proposal for the PGASC to establish a Working Group to
                  review the University‟s Code of Practice for Supervised Postgraduate
                  Research;

          (iv)    on item 6, to note that Dr Francis was developing an institutional standard for
                  the award of Merit and Distinctions for Taught Masters degrees; and

          (v)     on item 7, to note that the University had subscribed to the Higher Education
                  Academy‟s Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey
                  (http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/supportingresearch/postgraduate
                  work refers).



3   See: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/qaf/


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5.         INTERNATIONAL STUDENT BAROMETER (ISB): SUMMER 2009 RESULTS

           The Committee received the report from Admissions & Student Recruitment on the
           outcome of ISB survey for the Summer of 2009. The University response rate was
           relatively low (34%) but, overall, 90% of the respondents indicated that they were
           either satisfied or very satisfied with their overall learning experience, their living
           experience and the overall support they had received. Students reported that „The
           opportunity to earn money while studying‟ was their biggest item of dissatisfaction
           (49%) followed by „The availability of financial support/bursaries‟ (41%).

           The University would participate in the survey biennially.

           Resolved:         to note the report and to welcome the international students‟ positive
                             response to the survey.

6.         REVIEW OF COLLEGE STRATEGIES AND SCHOOL LEARNING &
           TEACHING DEVELOPMENT PLANS

           The Committee received the report of the Review Group‟s meeting of 2 November
           2009 which included an agreed action plan to address the ten action points identified
           by the Convener in his report to the Committee‟s last meeting on 25 September 2009.

           Resolved:         to note the report and to approve the action plan (Appendix 4 refers).

7.         OVERVIEW OF EXTERNAL EXAMINERS' REPORTS: 2008/09

           The Committee received the Academic Secretary‟s annual report on his analysis of
           external examiners‟ reports for academic session 2008/09.

           In line with last year‟s report, the external examiners‟ reports for session 2008/09
           were largely positive and supportive, commenting favourably upon procedures,
           outcomes and standards, the quality of the assessment procedures, good
           documentation, evidence of high quality teaching and good student performance.
           Most of the issues which arose in individual reports were „local‟ in nature and were
           being addressed in programme boards and Schools. Almost without exception,
           externals have commented that issues which arose in the previous year have been
           dealt with and that they have been informed of progress.

           On paragraph 3 of the paper, Dr Francis had noted that one or two external
           examiners‟ had expressed their objection to candidates obtaining an Honours degree
           with up to two failed modules in the College of Arts & Social Sciences. This issue
           had been considered during the last review of the policy on the Assessment of
           Taught Provision and it had been agreed to maintain the existing arrangement.

           Resolved:

           (i)      to note the paper (Appendix 5 refers4);



4   Available from the Academic Secretary‟s Office.


                                                                                                      5
     (ii)    on paragraph 6 of the paper, to endorse Dr Francis' request that the Deans of
             the Schools specified, submit their responses to him, in the first instance,
             detailing the actions that their Schools have taken in response to the views
             expressed by their external examiners and to ask Dr Francis to report
             progress to the Committee's next meeting;

     (iii)   on the issue of the award of Honours degrees to candidates with failed
             modules, to ask Ms Normand and Dr Dey to survey the views of their
             College‟s colleagues on this issue and to submit a brief report to the
             Committee‟s next meeting; and

     (iv)    to ask Dr Francis to survey the views of other Scottish Universities with
             similar structures to the University on this issue and to ask him to report his
             findings to the Committee‟s next meeting.

8.   E-LEARNING: REVIEW OF USER REQUIREMENTS AND THE MANAGEMENT
     AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNDERLYING SYSTEMS

     The Committee received a paper from Mr D George proposing the establishment of a
     working party, charged with reviewing the University‟s policy on the provision and
     development of e-learning at a strategic and technical level. The review was timely
     given the difficulties arising for some staff and students from the last upgrade of the
     Blackboard software to version 9 and might include new related e-learning
     developments such as the rollout of wireless networking across the campus.
     Reliability and robustness were key features of My Dundee as this system was now
     essential for the delivery of learning and teaching.

     The paper would also be submitted to the next meeting of the Library & Information
     Services Committee (LISC) on 13 November 2009 and Mr George proposed that the
     working party‟s remit be developed following discussion of his paper by both
     committees. The remit should propose strategies which built on the significant
     progress the University has made in developing e-learning but should also address
     the avoidance of problems with future software upgrades to My Dundee.

     In discussion, it was agreed that the working party should be small, that each College
     should be asked to nominate an academic staff member with a good working
     knowledge of My Dundee rather than academic members of either the Committee or
     LISC and that it should be chaired by the Convener. The DUSA President would
     represent the student body on the working party and Mrs Jones requested that she
     might represent the views of ASRS, given the increasing use by that Service of My
     Dundee.

     Resolved:

     (i)     for its part, to approve the proposal to establish a working party; and

     (ii)    to ask Dr Monaghan to circulate the final membership and remit of the
             working party to the Committee for information following LISC‟s meeting.

9.   INSTITUTIONAL DEFINITION OF THE TERM SCHOLARSHIP



                                                                                               6
      The Committee received a paper from Dr L Walsh proposing the establishment of a
      Working Group to address the pressing need to reach agreement on shared
      definitions of the terms „scholarship‟ and „scholarship activities‟, at both the
      institutional and disciplinary levels, in line with the implementation of the nationally
      agreed HERA role profile of „Teaching and Scholarship‟. In discussion, it was agreed
      that any definition must take account of the differences between disciplines in the
      approach to scholarship.

      Following discussions with the Convener, Dr Walsh proposed that the Working
      Group have the following remit:

            Identify existing definitions and models of scholarship within the University and
             from other UK (and non-UK) institutions; as developed by HE-related
             organisations including the Higher Education Academy; and from the relevant
             literature
            Encourage the establishment of, and liaise with, School based groups considering
             this issue at the discipline level
            Develop definitions of scholarship and activities which constitute scholarship,
             that articulate with disciplinary interpretations across the institution

      The proposed membership of the Working Group was:

            Dr L Walsh, Assistant Director (Educational Development) LLC [Convener]
            College Heads of Learning & Teaching
            College Heads of Quality Assurance
            College HR Officers
            Dr E Monaghan, Assistant Secretary

      Further guidance, as appropriate, would be sought from the Convener and Mrs P
      Milne, Director of Human Resources.

      The Working Group would report to the Learning & Teaching Committee and
      submit its interim report to the Committee‟s meeting of 15 March 2010 with a final
      report for the following meeting on17 May 2010.

      Resolved:

      (i)       to approve the proposal to establish a Working Group; and

      (ii)      to ask Dr Walsh to submit the Group‟s interim report to the Committee‟s next
                meeting on 15 March 2010.

10.   IMPLEMENTATION OF CENTRALISED TIMETABLING

      The Committee received a paper from the Convener on progress with business of the
      Central Timetabling Project Board. The project‟s aims were:

            To devise a single timetable controlled by Central Timetabling Services holding
             all booked activities, including both teaching and ad hoc activities, for the
             University‟s Schools.



                                                                                               7
            To make more efficient use of the teaching week.

            To make optimum use of the best available teaching space and releasing excess
             teaching space for other activities.

            To maintain a clash-free timetable.

            To provide more comprehensive and accurate management information.

      Centralised timetabling had a number of potential benefits including a reduction in
      the amount of administrative time allocated to timetabling activities, ensuring that
      the University met its targets for room utilisation and the enhancement of the
      accessibility of timetable information for staff and students. The Project Team were
      currently developing a complete timetable for the current academic session from
      information provided by Schools and two Schools were piloting both the data
      gathering and timetable construction processes. The new centralised timetable
      should be deployed at the beginning of academic session 2010/11 and it was noted
      that key staff involved with the delivery of more complex, in timetabling terms,
      programmes such as the MA, should be fully involved in the pilot phase.

      A Scientia consultant would deliver a presentation demonstrating the new
      timetabling system on Wednesday 18th November 3.00 pm (Dalhousie 1S05) and on
      Tuesday 8th December at 2.00 pm (Dalhousie 1S05).

      Resolved:

      (i)       to note the report; and

      (ii)      to ask the Committee to inform Mrs L Martin, Principal‟s Office, should they
                wish to attend either presentation.

11.   STUDENT EXIT AWARD DATA

      The Committee considered a paper from Ms P Elliott providing an example of a
      summary report on students' Honours classification data by school and programme.
      It was agreed the information relating to those awards below Degree without
      Honours should be deleted and that a summary table by College, then School and
      programme should also be created. More consistency on the colours reproduced in
      the pie charts would also be advisable. Where possible, the Registry would also
      produce reports recording this data over the last three years to allow for the
      detection of any trends.

      It was suggested that progression data reports on taught postgraduate programmes
      would be of interest to the Postgraduate Affairs Sub-committee (PGASC).

      Ms Elliott added that her annual report on student academic progression data
      including pass rates at degree examinations, would be made available to staff and
      the Committee through e-Vision during the following week.




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      Resolved:

      (i)    to note the report;

      (ii)   to ask Ms Elliott to consider the development of annual progression data
             reports for taught Masters programmes for the PGASC; and

      (ii)   to ask Ms Elliott to inform Dr Monaghan when the annual academic
             progression data was available on e-Vision, to inform the Committee.

12.   PLUS@DUNDEE COORDINATION GROUP: FINAL REPORT

      The Committee received Dr McMillan‟s report on the outcome, to date, of the PLUS@
      Dundee project including feedback from an online questionnaire survey of new
      entrant students on the arrangements for Freshers‟ Week 2009. The report included a
      series of recommendations for developing these arrangements for Freshers‟ Week in
      January and September 2010. The report was endorsed by the PLUS@Dundee Co-
      ordination Group, at its meeting of 6 November 2009.

      Resolved:

      (i)    to note the report; and

      (ii)   to commend those involved for the success, to date, of the Plus@Dundee
             project, particularly Dr McMillan for her effective leadership of the project.

13.   INSTITUTE OF SPORT & EXERCISE (ISE): EXCEL SCHOLARSHIP
      PROGRAMME: GUIDANCE STATEMENT

      The Committee received a paper from the Director of ISE, Mr B Ewing, proposing
      guidance for students and the University on learning and teaching related aspects of
      the Institute‟s Excel Scholarship programme. As these students may be required to
      undertake sporting activities during semester time that would prevent them from
      attending classes, there was a need to develop flexible study and support
      mechanisms for this student group that were appropriate and practical but which
      did not compromise academic standards. The statement provided a series of general
      guiding principles and actions for the University and the student.

      Resolved:     to approve the guidance statement (Appendix 6).

14.   EMPLOYABILITY TASK FORCE (ETF)

      The Committee received the report of the Task Force‟s meeting of 25 September 2009
      and an updated institutional policy on the provision to students of Personal
      Development Planning (PDP) which the ETF had approved. The PDP policy was
      drafted for the delivery of PDP to undergraduate students and a revision was
      required to draw together the three strands of PDP activity for undergraduates and
      taught and research postgraduates into a single policy. The ETF was reviewing the
      content of the three My Dundee based PDP related organisations, My PDP, My PDP
      TPG and My PDP PG, with the aim of re-launching them at the beginning of the next
      academic session.


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          Resolved:

          (i)     to note the report; and

          (ii)    to approve the updated PDP policy (Appendix 75).

                                              SECTION 2

1.        MATTERS ARISING

          (1)     Library & Learning Centre: E-assessment Policy: Review: Revised Policy

                  The Committee received an amended version of the e-assessment policy to
                  address the Committee‟s request for a number of minor amendments.

                  Resolved:       to approve the policy (Appendix 8 refers6).

          (2)     PREP 2009: Report

                  The Committee received a paper from Dr K McMillan on the outcome of the
                  PREP 2009 programme.

                  Resolved:       to note the report.

          (3)      Emergency Policy Regarding Students with Mental Health Problems

                  Resolved:       to note that Dr I K Francis would submit his revised paper to
                                  the Committee's next meeting following the outcome of a
                                  consultation with Professor Mires concerning his approval of
                                  the policy revisions he had requested.

          (4)     Widening Participation: Draft University Policy

                  Resolved:       to note that the section of the policy relating to the Medical
                                  School was still under development and to ask Mrs Jones to
                                  submit the complete policy to the Committee's next meeting.

          (5)     Resit Examinations: University Policy

                  Resolved:       to note that as Dr I K Francis was still reviewing Schools'
                                  practices, he would submit his paper to the Committee's next
                                  meeting.

2.        LIBRARY & LEARNING CENTRE (LLC): UPDATE

          The Committee received a paper from Dr R Parsons providing an update on recent
          LLC developments including progress with addressing the concerns of students

5   See: http://www.somis.dundee.ac.uk/academic/learning/archive/200910/Mtg2/papern2.rtf
6   See: http://www.somis.dundee.ac.uk/academic/learning/archive/200910/Mtg2/papero.rtf


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     from the School of Law on the reduction in the opening hours of the Law Library and
     a summary report of actions and incidents relating to the recent upgrade of the My
     Dundee software.

     The Committee also received a paper from Dr L Walsh on corresponding Academic
     Professional Development initiatives. The latter included details of a joint project
     with Human Resources Directorate to establish transparent criteria for promotion
     within the Teaching & Scholarship career development route. This project should be
     completed by the end of the current academic session.

     Resolved:     to note the papers.

3.   STUDENT REPRESENTATION WORKING GROUP

     The Committee received a paper from Ms Palana and Mr Ritchie on progress with
     use by selected Schools of the sparqs toolkit and the report of the meeting of the
     Student Representation Working Group of 24 September 2009.

     Resolved:     to note the paper and the report.

4.   CENTRALLY MANAGED TEACHING ACCOMMODATION: ROOM
     UTILISATION SURVEY: INTERIM REPORT

     The Committee received a paper from Ms M Kenley providing an interim report on a
     recent room utilisation survey which suggested that the average Room Utilisation
     Rate was 24% compared with a rate in February 2009 of 16% and of 21% in October
     2008 (target figure - 35%). The rate of booked but unused hours also recorded a
     significant improvement at 11% which was inline with meeting the University‟s
     annual target of 10%. Whilst this report was encouraging, it was based only on the
     results of the first of a series of thirteen planned survey weeks of the Dalhousie
     Building for the current academic session. A full report on the room utilisation
     survey for centrally timetabled rooms would be submitted to the Committee‟s next
     meeting on 15 March 2009.

     The Dalhousie Utilisation Group had met and had agreed to have separate meetings
     with academic groups and support services groups to deal with specific issues
     related to these users. The issue raised by the Committee at its last meeting of
     student items being left posted to walls and notice boards would be discussed at the
     academic group‟s meeting. These meetings will take place before the end of the first
     semester.

     Resolved:     to note the report.

5.   DISTANCE LEARNING FORUM

     The Committee received the report of the Forum‟s meeting of 30 September 2009.

     Resolved:     to note the report.




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6.    DATE OF NEXT MEETING

      Resolved:    to note that the Committee's next meeting would be held on Monday
                   15 March 2010 at 10am in River Room 3, 9th floor Tower Building.




                               Professor J Calderhead
                                     Convener


16 November 2009




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                                                                                                                Appendix 4


                                       LEARNING & TEACHING COMMITTEE

                                           MEETING OF 11 NOVEMBER 2009

                                        Vice Principal’s Annual Commentary on
                                        Learning and Teaching 2009: Action Plan

                                                        Meeting Note

A meeting of the Review Group was held on Monday 2 November 2009.

Advisory Group: Professor J Calderhead (Convener), Dr I K Francis, Dr J Weyers, Dr L Walsh, Ms R Palana

College Representatives: Ms C Normand (CASS College Head of Learning & Teaching), Dr J Hughes (CASE
                              Head of Learning & Teaching), Dr L McLellan (MDN Head of Learning &
                              Teaching), Mrs H Marr (MDN Head of Quality Assurance), Dr R Soames (CLS)

In attendance: Dr E Monaghan

The meeting was held to:

         consider any general observations on the Convenor‟s Annual Commentary on Learning & Teaching
          2009 paper which had been submitted to the Learning & Teaching Committee‟s meeting of 1 October
          2009 (appendix refers);

         identify any gaps or omissions in that paper;

         develop an action plan to address the ten points identified by the Convenor as requiring action at the
          institutional level.

General Observations

The Group noted that the College representatives had commented on the value of the process to date, noting that
the act of drafting the School Learning & Teaching Development Plans had focused Schools‟ attention on both
the University‟s and their College‟s Learning & Teaching strategies. The outcomes of programme reviews were
beginning to be reflected in Schools‟ plans but it was agreed that the QAF required amendment to stress the
crucial nature of this link.

Following an observation from CASS the Group considered whether the series of meetings between the VP‟s
Review Group and Colleges‟ representatives could beneficially be moved forward in the academic session. It
was agreed that given the newness of the review process, the timetable of meetings should remain the same for
the current academic session but that this issue should be reviewed at the end of the second cycle of the process.

Gaps and Omissions

None was identified. It was noted that the QAF guidance note on Learning & Teaching Development would be
updated for the 2009/10 cycle by Dr Weyers and Dr Monaghan.

Action Plan

The Convener noted that one of the purposes of the annual meeting with College and School representatives was
to consider strategic alignment and to identify areas where College and School objectives required action at
University level in order to be effective. The Group agreed the following action plan in respect of each of the ten
items identified within the Annual Commentary:

1.   Continuing support for technology-enhanced learning (e.g. the VLE) is highlighted both in the context of provision for
     full-time students but also in the support of flexible delivery for part-time and distance learning students. This refers to
     staff training and also resource development.




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     Action: Information Services (IS): Staff and students could be surveyed concerning their experiences of their
     use of the My Dundee VLE. The Library & Learning Centre should consider the establishment of a My
     Dundee User Group to actively monitor staff and students‟ views on this key service. IS should consider
     whether the ICS helpdesk service and related email system could form a single point of contact for reporting
     problems with both My Dundee and the University‟s network and email infrastructure. It was noted that the
     Director of IS, Mr D George, had submitted a paper to the next meetings of the Learning & Teaching
     Committee (11 November) and the Library & Information Services Committee (13 November) concerning
     recent issues with the use of My Dundee including the establishment of a Joint Working Group comprising
     membership from both Committees, who could take this action point forward.

2.   In making decisions on resourcing and on the financial viability of programmes, there is a need for the ready availability
     of standardised and accurate financial information regarding both income and expenditure.

     Action: Finance Office/Planning Office: A workshop should be arranged by the Finance Office and the
     Planning Officer for the relevant senior College and School staff to clarify the allocation of resources to
     inform academic planning including arrangements for the allocation of resources for cross-college and
     school teaching programmes. It was noted that Finance Office had developed a template for costing new
     Taught postgraduate programmes.

3.   More easily accessed standardised quantitative information on students (intake, progression, graduation) was identified
     as an area for improvement by some Schools.

     Action: Registry: This was a work in progress as the Registry would submit a recently developed examplar
     for the presentation of this type of information in a user-friendly format to the next meeting of the Learning
     & Teaching Committee on 11 November.

4.   There is a need identified within several Schools for support and expertise in programme marketing and international
     recruitment, though this is being addressed in part by Colleges and their BDOs.

     Action: Admissions & Student Recruitment Service (ASRS) and the Director of Quality Assurance: To ask
     the Director of ASRS to arrange a workshop on programme marketing and international recruitment (with
     possible support from the Internationalisation Working Group) for relevant College and School staff early in
     the second semester. It was also recommended that Schools be encouraged to consider the full implications
     for School staff and postgraduate students of new taught postgraduate programmes with a January start
     date. The student experience of those taught postgraduates should be directly comparable to their peers
     who commenced their studies in September and this point will be reflected in revisions to the QAF.

5.   Particularly with CASE and MDN, there are estates and physical infrastructure needs that have to be addressed to
     improve the student learning experience.

     Action: Estates & Buildings: the need to address urgently buildings‟ infrastructure needs in certain Colleges
     was recognized in the Estates Strategy but it was agreed that this should be given high priority by Estates &
     Building in their annual report on future budget allocations for buildings refurbishment. It was noted that
     Court had recently agreed to the allocation of £15 million over the next three years for the refurbishment of
     the Crawford and Matthew Buildings (CASE).

6.   Research-teaching linkages are valued throughout the University though they are approached differently by different
     Schools. Difficulties are suggested in balancing research and teaching activity within some Schools, within individual
     staff roles, and in ensuring research inputs to programmes. There could be benefit from the wider sharing of actual
     practice across the University.

     Action: Library & Learning Centre: To ask Dr Walsh to continue to arrange appropriate staff development
     sessions to support the sharing of good teaching practice on research teaching linkages across the University
     and to continue to feature this theme in future issues of „Highlighter‟. Dr Walsh noted that she would
     continue to develop with colleagues both College based and institutional events on teaching excellence with
     appropriate input from the Higher Education Academy. Dr Walsh added that she had been asked to
     establish a new Working Group with the College Heads of Learning & Teaching and others, to consider the
     related issue of the definition by the University of the term „scholarship‟ which she would link to the
     research/teaching linkages theme. The remit and membership of this new Group would be submitted to the
     next meeting of the Learning & Teaching Committee on 11 November. Ms Normand noted that her College
     had arranged an away-day based on the theme of teaching excellence for the following week.




                                                                                                                           14
7.      Pastoral support for international students and also graduate students is identified by several Schools as an area in
        need of improvement and consideration might be given to greater central support (English language, social integration,
        student representation). The MDN Graduate School raises questions of what is best delivered at School, College and
        University levels in terms of support for graduate students.

        Action: Postgraduate Affairs Sub-Committee (PGASC), the Internationalisation Working Group and
        Academic Achievement Teaching Unit (AATU): Pastoral support for international students would be
        reviewed by the PGASC and the IWG and the Convener noted that the PGASC was reviewing the concept of
        establishing either an institutional Graduate School or as a set of College Graduate Schools. AATU would
        consider the provision of more detailed guidance for schools on the IELT system in a discipline context.

8.      In considering issues of retention, the high proportion of professionally accredited programmes can be seen as a possible
        impediment: failure or lack of motivation at advanced stages of a programme can result in few alternative options (and
        sometimes none) within the University that a student can transfer to. This contrasts with universities with more
        general and flexible degree structures where retention is typically higher. Some consideration could be given to how a
        greater level of flexibility can coexist with current specialised professional routes.

        Action: Academic Secretary (AS): This need had already been identified and the AS had already agreed to
        develop Regulations for a General Degree to provide students studying on professionally accredited
        programmes with an alternative General degree qualification for submission to the Learning & Teaching
        Committee‟s meeting of 15 March 2010.

9.      Schools and Colleges have approached strategic planning in a variety of ways. Though these have generally followed
        the needs and interests of the units concerned, it has been acknowledged that some sharing of good practice across the
        University could be valuable in later refinements.

        Action: Library & Learning Centre: Dr Walsh to identify good practice in Schools‟ approaches to strategic
        planning and to arrange workshops to disseminate good practice.

10. Whilst the annual review of College and School strategies has generally been acknowledged to be a valuable process,
    further iterations and refinements of strategies might also benefit from broader representation in the review process –
    e.g. the inclusion of representatives from other Colleges might facilitate wider dissemination of good practice; some
    external representation might also introduce new areas to consider.

        Action: the Convenor: To review attendance at future Review Group meetings.

Resolved:

(i)               to ask Dr Weyers and Dr Monaghan to review the relevant section of the QAF to emphasise the
                  importance of the link between the outcomes of programme reviews and the drafting of School
                  Leaning & Teaching Development Plans;

(ii)              to agree that the timetable the meetings between the Review Group and College Representatives
                  should remain unchanged for the current academic session but that the timetable should be kept
                  under review to reflect any substantive management changes at the institutional and College levels;
                  and

(iii)             to agree the action plan reported above.




                                                                                                          Professor J Calderhead
                                                                                                                       Convenor
                                                                                                               7 November 2009




                                                                                                                              15
                                                                                                         Appendix

                                   LEARNING & TEACHING COMMITTEE

                                        MEETING OF 1 OCTOBER 2009

                                    Vice Principal’s Annual Commentary on
                                          Learning and Teaching 2009

Following the academic restructuring of the University and the revision of the University‟s Quality Assurance
Framework, this is the first annual report on Learning and Teaching that includes within its scope the new tiered
system of Learning and Teaching Strategies and Plans at the levels of University, College and School. The
purpose of the tiered system is to reflect the intention of academic re-organisation to encourage the definition
and development of individual professional areas and collaboration amongst the arts and sciences, with each
School contributing its own distinctive agenda within the framework of University and College strategy. The
tiered system also recognises that strategic decision-making, action and monitoring is required at different levels
in order to promote effective enhancement of the quality of learning and teaching within and across the
University.

With regard to the University Learning and Teaching Strategy, this is now the third year of its implementation
and the majority of institutional level actions have been initiated and targets are generally in sight if not
achieved. Of particular note are:

        Workload allocation models have now become well established across the University, and Colleges and
         Schools continue to refine these and exchange information on models and the rationale for their
         development. Building on the recent LFHE and HEFCE research on academic workloads, the
         University might usefully at this stage develop a self-audit tool for Colleges and Schools to employ in
         considering any future refinements.

        Through the Educational Development Unit of the LLC, the University continues to promote
         involvement in the QETs through conferences, workshops and attendance at national events.
         Involvement in the consolidating and integrating theme of Graduates for the 21st Century has been
         particularly relevant to the recent employability initiatives within CASS and the Careers Service.

        The University‟s Employability Strategy and Graduate Skills Award were launched in June, and a small
         task force has been charged with overseeing the implementation of the former and reporting progress to
         the Learning and Teaching Committee.

        The NSS has provided a valuable tool for monitoring the undergraduate student learning experience.
         Actions taken by Schools in response to the 2008 results have generally been shown to have a positive
         effect in the views of students in the 2009 cohort (e.g. in the area of feedback and assessment). Student
         participation at over 60% also suggests that students generally welcome the opportunity to take part in
         the exercise. A system has been established for the analysis and consideration of results and the posting
         of individual School responses. Results and responses are available on the University website:

         http://www.dundee.ac.uk/principalsoffice/NSS.htm

        The Postgraduate Research Student Experience has been monitored for the past 3 years with the
         national PRES survey. Year on year changes and comparisons with other universities in Scotland have
         been monitored by the Postgraduate Affairs Sub-Committee. The results of these surveys will be posted
         on the PGASC website.

        The international student experience is being monitored and benchmarked with the International
         Student Barometer. The Summer 2009 results have recently been released and a summary of student
         responses is currently being prepared by ASRS and will be considered at Learning and Teaching
         Committee.

        A project group within Registry has been established to implement central timetabling with a target of
         2010. Progress is being monitored by a Project Board which will report progress to the Learning and
         Teaching Committee.




                                                                                                                16
        The amalgamation of the Library and the Learning Centre came into full effect at the beginning of the
         calendar year, and the LLC has developed a new organisational structure to support its range of
         activities.

        A Widening Participation strategy from ASRS was considered by the Learning and Teaching
         Committee, and is awaiting some additions regarding initiatives in the School of Medicine before being
         finalised. Online equal opportunities training for academic staff, coordinated by HR, includes modules
         on Diversity in Learning and Teaching and on Recruitment and Selection. A further online module on
         Developing Inclusive Curricula is also now offered as part of the University‟s PG CertTHE programme.

        The Academic Achievement Teaching Unit was established to oversee support for the additional
         induction week in 2009/10 and to provide support for the development of academic study skills,
         particularly with integration into the early parts of programmes, following good practice identified in
         research on The First Year QET.

        The Blackboard VLE has been upgraded to version 9.0 over the summer, with the potential to offer a
         speedier service with improved links to other platforms that staff and students might use. The
         implementation has incurred some disruption since, unlike previous upgrades, there have been several
         glitches and compatibility issues, some of which are still to be resolved. Nevertheless, the upgrade
         promises to provide additional functionality to enhance e-learning.

        The Distance Learning Forum has coordinated an audit of distance learning activity across the
         university to obtain an accurate picture of the scale of this activity, to model its viability and future
         potential and to consider future resourcing. A full report will be considered by the Learning and
         Teaching Committee in 2009/10.

        The revised Assessment Policy seems to have bedded down well, with very few assessment issues being
         raised by external examiners this year.

        Whilst the University is able to provide European Diploma Supplements on demand, there is still a
         substantial amount of work to be done in updating the programme and module database before an EDS
         can be wholly generated routinely.

        The Chancellor‟s Award for Lifetime Contribution to Teaching was awarded for the first time this year
         to 3 long-serving members of academic staff. The University now offers 3 different University awards
         for quality in teaching, with associated dissemination events. Criteria and processes for selection are
         continuing to be refined in the light of the judging panel‟s experience.

With regard to College and School Strategies and Plans, meetings were held with College and School
representatives in May to review progress, to consider the alignment of strategies at the different levels and to
identify potential facilitating actions at University level (Appendix refers). College Strategies have been in
existence for some time, but this was an early stage for several School Development Plans. The latest versions of
the College Strategies and School Plans are available from the QAF archive at:
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/qaf/qaaarchiveoverview.htm.

All Schools and Colleges have now completed strategies and plans. Whilst the format and scope, particularly of
School strategies, varies considerably, the emphasis has been on constructing working documents that are of
value to the Schools themselves. The strategies and plans include consideration of the relevant professional and
disciplinary contexts, generally identify current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, are informed,
in the case of school plans, by programme review, PSRB reports and annual monitoring and identify clear future
actions framed within the context of broader University strategy (particularly the University Learning and
Teaching Strategy, and the Strategic Framework to 2012). Some of the strategies and plans have considered
benchmarking against other universities. The development of strategies and plans has generally been a very
inclusive process, employing extensive staff consultation and in one case a staff survey. The strategies and plans
have involved considerable effort, but Schools report this to have been a valuable process, building a sense of
School direction, purpose and prioritisation, and contributing more useful insights than the previous School
monitoring reports. The strategies and plans will be refined in future iterations and will evolve over time. Issues
of particular note include:

        Retention is being addressed in a variety of ways throughout the University, including greater attention
         being given to study skills, particularly integrated into first year programmes, absence monitoring and




                                                                                                                     17
         early intervention, more systematic personal tutoring, and increasing student involvement through
         technology (e.g. Computing‟s Techzone).

        Workload models are being used throughout the University, and are proving useful in identifying
         staffing issues and in succession planning as well as in supporting equity and balance in the distribution
         of teaching, assessment and administration.

        Employability and internationalisation are well-addressed in College and School plans, and there is
         scope for disseminating good practice (e.g. the international articulation agreements being pursued by
         CASE)

        There are clear links between College Strategies and School Plans. Colleges are clearly adding value to
         School activities in several ways – for example in promoting interdisciplinary study or inter-
         professional learning, by coordinating support for graduate students and in supporting strategic
         planning. Colleges are also helping to disseminate good practice amongst the Schools through College
         committees, workshops, and in one case through their own learning and teaching awards.

        Recruitment is addressed in several strategies, particularly in those areas where a more proactive
         approach is required.

Where is action needed at University level?

One of the purposes of the annual meeting with College and School representatives is to consider strategic
alignment and to identify areas where College and School objectives may require action at University level in
order to be effective. The following areas were identified in discussion:

11. Continuing support for technology-enhanced learning (e.g. the VLE) is highlighted both in the context of
    provision for full-time students but also in the support of flexible delivery for part-time and distance
    learning students. This refers to staff training and also resource development.

12. In making decisions on resourcing and on the financial viability of programmes, there is a need for the ready
    availability of standardised and accurate financial information regarding both income and expenditure.

13. More easily accessed standardised quantitative information on students (intake, progression, graduation)
    was identified as an area for improvement by some Schools.

14. There is a need identified within several Schools for support and expertise in programme marketing and
    international recruitment, though this is being addressed in part by Colleges and their BDOs.

15. Particularly with CASE and MDN, there are estates and physical infrastructure needs that have to be
    addressed to improve the student learning experience.

16. Research-teaching linkages are valued throughout the University though they are approached differently by
    different Schools. Difficulties are suggested in balancing research and teaching activity within some Schools,
    within individual staff roles, and in ensuring research inputs to programmes. There could be benefit from
    the wider sharing of actual practice across the University.

17. Pastoral support for international students and also graduate students is identified by several Schools as an
    area in need of improvement and consideration might be given to greater central support (English language,
    social integration, student representation). The MDN Graduate School raises questions of what is best
    delivered at School, College and University levels in terms of support for graduate students.

18. In considering issues of retention, the high proportion of professionally accredited programmes can be seen
    as a possible impediment. Failure or lack of motivation at advanced stages of a programme can result in few
    alternative options (and sometimes none) within the University that a student can transfer to. This contrasts
    with universities with more general and flexible degree structures where retention is typically higher. Some
    consideration could be given to how a greater level of flexibility can coexist with current specialised
    professional routes.

19. Schools and Colleges have approached strategic planning in a variety of ways. Though these have generally
    followed the needs and interests of the units concerned, it has been acknowledged that some sharing of good
    practice across the University could be valuable in later refinements.



                                                                                                                18
20. Whilst the annual review of College and School strategies has generally been acknowledged to be a valuable
    process, further iterations and refinements of strategies might also benefit from broader representation in the
    review process – e.g. the inclusion of representatives from other Colleges might facilitate wider
    dissemination of good practice; some external representation might also introduce new areas to consider.



                                                                                         Professor James Calderhead
                                                                                                          Convener
                                                                                                     September 2009




                                                                                                                19
                                                                                                         APPENDIX
                                            UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE

    REVIEW OF COLLEGE LEARNING & TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SCHOOL LEARNING AND
                           TEACHING DEVELOPMENT PLANS

    NOTE OF THE VICE PRINCIPAL’S REVIEW GROUP’S MEETING WITH THE COLLEGE OF ART,
                            SCIENCE & ENGINEERING (CASE)

A meeting of the Review Group was held on Tuesday 5 May 2009.

Present

Advisory Group: Professor J Calderhead (Convener), Dr I K Francis, Dr J Weyers, Mr C Ritchie and Mr M
                     Gribbon

College Representatives: Professor A Anderson (College Vice Principal), Dr J Hughes (College Head of Learning
                               & Teaching), Mrs E Littler (College Secretary)

In attendance: Dr E Monaghan

Apologies: Dr L Walsh (Advisory Group)

          Introduction

1         The Group received a near final draft of the Learning & Teaching extract from the College‟s Strategic
          Plan (2007 to 2012) prepared by Dr Hughes in consultation with colleagues from the Schools and the
          College. The extract was reviewed in the light of the near final drafts of Schools‟ Learning & Teaching
          Development Plans. This documentation would be submitted to College and School Boards for
          approval following the review meeting.

2         The Convener summarised the following three main aims of this annual meeting with senior College
          staff:

          1        to review the outcomes of all of the College‟s programme monitoring activities, to identify any
                   priorities for learning and teaching which required action at either the institutional, College or
                   School levels and to consider the linkage of the College‟s strategy to the University‟s Learning
                   & Teaching strategy;

          2        to investigate whether this revised process for reviewing College strategies and the new School
                   Learning & Teaching Development Plans was working effectively; and

          3        to consider whether the process could be improved.

3         The University‟ Learning & Teaching Strategy would be subject to a major review in academic session
          2010/11 and the outcomes of this process would inform the drafting of the revised strategy.

4         The Advisory Group complemented the College and its schools on the excellence of the submitted
          documentation.

5         Professor Anderson commented that the College would review the draft school reports to ensure that
          every area displaying particular success had been identified. The College had a responsibility to ensure
          that those areas continued to receive adequate financial support to allow them to be sustained and
          developed.

          Review of Major Themes and Targets in College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching
          Development Plans

6         Dr Hughes identified the following four main themes emerging from the school plans which were
          reflected in the College‟s strategy:




                                                                                                                  20
         a.   as the main priority, the improvement of undergraduate student retention and academic
              progression in particular areas;
         b.   increased resourcing to employ additional academic staff and to improve the teaching
              infrastructure;
         c.   increased recruitment of undergraduate and taught postgraduate students particularly the
              need to recruit more international students; and
         d.   the fostering of further research-teaching linkages and the related issue of providing students
              with more opportunities to allow them to enhance their graduate attributes .

7    On the retention theme, one of the schools‟ reports had identified undergraduate students‟ poor
     motivation as one particular area of concern. Each school had employed a range of different strategies
     to improve student engagement including the recent introduction, by the School of Engineering, Physics
     & Mathematics (EPM), of a system of student absence monitoring. Anecdotal evidence, to date, had
     suggested that this initiative was having a positive impact on student attendance and engagement.

8    Dr Hughes highlighted the importance of effective staff/student liaison in engaging students fully in
     their studies and as a primary means of determining the causes of poor student motivation. Student
     engagement would be enhanced if schools could demonstrate to their students that they were
     proactively seeking constructive feedback from them and then responding quickly with tangible
     outcomes eg the creation of the new Techzone area in the School of Computing.

9    On undergraduate student recruitment, Professor Anderson commented that the College‟s schools were
     directing more staff effort to support post-application visits to attract the best students to the College.

10   The College and the relevant schools had also highlighted the need to provide more student support in
     Mathematics for those students in the computing and the engineering disciplines. Under performance
     in Mathematics in secondary schools was a recognised national problem and the relevant College
     schools were focusing more effort, at post-application visits, to attract those applicants to the University
     with as high a level of mathematics competence as possible. Other initiatives including the provision of
     outreach Mathematics masterclasses to local schools, had also been piloted by the School of EPM. It was
     noted that the need to provide support in this area had been identified in the planning for the new
     PLUS@Dundee student induction initiative for September 2009. This included the development of the
     „Count Me In„ programme and the re-launch of the updated Advance@Dundee transferrable skills
     website.

11   Mr Ritchie suggested that the recent increase in stress levels amongst the current student body caused
     by the recent collapse of the local part-time employment market and the downturn in the graduate
     employment market resulting from the current financial downturn might have had an impact on
     student motivation and engagement.

12   The Advisory Group noted that the Schools‟ performance in the latest National Student Survey (NSS)
     was variable and that this point was being addressed by the relevant schools. It was noted that Deans‟
     responses to the 2008 survey from the Schools of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Architecture
     and Engineering, Physics & Mathematics, were still required for publication on the University‟s NSS
     website (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/principalsoffice/NSS.htm refers).

13   On the theme of student recruitment, the adequacy of the current support for international students was
     discussed. The University‟s positive feedback from international students via International Student
     Barometer surveys and the success of the Enterprise Gym in attracting significant numbers of
     international students were noted. Professor Anderson commented that DUSA, subject to resource
     constraints, should consider the expansion of its programme of social events and opportunities targeted
     at particular groups of international students and taught postgraduate students. In September 2008, the
     College had arranged a social event for all its new Masters students including international students.
     Professor Anderson commented that DUSA, College and School representatives might meet to discuss
     possible ways in which they could cooperate on the arrangement of social activities targeted at its
     international students and taught postgraduate students. The comparatively recent significant increase
     in the number of taught postgraduate students as a proportion of the University‟s student population
     was noted. The development of adequate and appropriate pastoral support, by both the University and
     DUSA, might have lagged behind this expansion in some areas.

14   The new PLUS@Dundee project was refreshing the institutional approach to the induction of all of its
     student entrants and DUSA were equal partners in this new project. Professor Anderson proposed that



                                                                                                              21
     the Director of the PLUS@Dundee project, Dr K McMillan, should be invited to join the
     Internationalisation Strategy Group which she chaired.

15   Additional key topics which emerged from discussion were:

     1        the need to review the adequacy of current pastoral support including the provision of an
              adequate level of social activities for international and taught postgraduate students

     2        the consideration of whether the University‟s current provision of English language support
              for international students was adequate [Secretary’s Note: review of programmes of the
              Communication & Language Studies unit of the School of Humanities has considered this
              matter]

     3        the promotion of greater undergraduate student engagement and improved student retention
              and how these might be addressed through developments such as the wider use of student
              absence monitoring systems and the implementation of the new PLUS@Dundee student
              induction project

     4        the need for a greater understanding by College and Schools‟ staff of the issues underlying
              poor student retention which would be promoted by the development of a report (for Section
              B.2 of the School Learning & Teaching Development Plans template) which brought together
              annual statistical data on student progression compiled by the Registry with the corresponding
              NSS data

     5        whilst acknowledging resource constraints, that the College‟s belief that some of the
              University‟s central services should be more attuned to its particular needs, eg ICS and the
              Library & Learning Centre with respect to support for e-learning and the use of Apple
              computers.

     Matters Arising from College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching Development Plans
     Requiring Wider University Action including Areas of Good Practice for Wider Dissemination

16   Dr Weyers noted that, in her absence, he would consult Dr Walsh on the drafting of a summary report
     of good teaching practice from information reported in schools‟ plans for wider dissemination. The
     schools‟ plans had provided many informative examples of good learning and teaching practice. This
     would form part of the Group‟s final report of the review process for the Learning & Teaching
     Committee‟s meeting of 1 October 2009.

     Matters Arising in the Construction of College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching
     Development Plans for Consideration following the Review of the University’s Quality Assurance
     Framework (QAF) and Other Matters

17   The College representatives stated that the process of drafting the school learning & teaching
     development plans had been viewed by all schools as an extremely useful reflective exercise. While the
     process had been lengthy, this was as expected, as being the first iteration of this process. It was
     anticipated that staff would find the annual process of updating them less onerous. The process had
     encouraged staff to reflect critically and to work cooperatively, in a systematic manner, on the future
     development of learning and teaching within both the schools and the College level. The cooperation
     required to draft the school plans had stimulated cross-school debate which it was believed had also
     encouraged staff to foster new cross-school learning and teaching relationships. The College
     representatives commented that the current timing of the process in the academic year was appropriate.

18   Professor Anderson noted that those school plans which reported certain types of student data
     including retention data, were of particular value as that data provided a context for the commentaries.
     Professor Anderson also suggested that the outcomes of external reviews including the National
     Student Survey and International Student Barometer should also be reflected in all school plans and
     might form a new section of the future College strategy. The Advisory Group should consider whether
     a core set of such data should be identified for inclusion in future versions of school plans perhaps
     linked to the KPI‟s reported in the University‟s strategy.




                                                                                                             22
19   Dr Hughes noted that the reflective workshop model developed by Dr Weyers and Dr Walsh for the
     ELIR preparations might have a broader application to promote greater dialogue between Colleges and
     schools. Dr Weyers agreed to consider how this development might be taken forward.

20   The College representatives commented that the new QAF arrangements had worked as planned, with
     the expected interchange of QA-related information. While the present direction was predominately
     „top-down‟, it was expected that with a further „turn of the cycle‟, the „bottom up‟ aspect would become
     more important part of the process.

     Linkage of the College Learning & Teaching Strategies to the University’s Learning & Teaching
     Strategy

21   The Group agreed that the College strategy provided a clear vision of its plans for the future
     development of learning and teaching which linked effectively with the objectives reported in the
     University‟s Learning & Teaching strategy.




                                                                                       Professor J Calderhead
                                                                                                     Convener




                                                                                                           23
                                          UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE

    REVIEW OF COLLEGE LEARNING & TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SCHOOL LEARNING AND
                           TEACHING DEVELOPMENT PLANS

    NOTE OF THE VICE PRINCIPAL’S REVIEW GROUP’S MEETING WITH THE COLLEGE OF ARTS &
                                  SOCIAL SCIENCES (CASS)

A meeting of the Review Group was held on Wednesday 13 May 2009.

Advisory Group: Professor J Calderhead (Convener), Dr I K Francis, Dr J Weyers, Mr C Ritchie

College Representatives: Professor C Whatley, (Vice Principal), Ms C Normand (College Head of Learning &
                               Teaching), Ms L Potter (College Secretary), Mrs L Stevenson (College Head of
                               Quality Assurance)

In attendance: Mrs L Jones, Dr E Monaghan

Apologies: Dr L Walsh (Advisory Group)

        Introduction

1       The Group received an Annual Learning & Teaching Commentary on the College‟s Strategic Plan
        prepared by Ms Normand with assistance from Mrs Stevenson, and drafts of the seven Schools‟
        Learning & Teaching Development Plans. Ms Normand noted that some of the drafts were at an early
        stage of development and required further work The final versions of the documentation would be
        submitted to College and the School Boards for approval in due course.

2       The Convener summarised the following three main aims of this annual meeting with senior College
        staff:

        4        to review the outcomes of all of the College‟s programme monitoring activities, to identify any
                 priorities for learning and teaching which required action at either the institutional, College or
                 School levels and to consider the linkage of the College‟s strategy to the University‟s Learning
                 & Teaching strategy;

        5        to investigate whether this revised process for reviewing College strategies and the new School
                 Learning & Teaching Development Plans was working effectively; and

        6        to consider whether the process could be improved.

3       The University‟ Learning & Teaching Strategy would be subject to a major review in academic session
        2010/11 and the outcomes of this process would inform the drafting of the revised strategy.

4       Acknowledging the complexity of managing this exercise for the first time given the large number of
        schools in the College, the Advisory Group complimented the College and its schools for their efforts to
        date. Dr Weyers identified the narrative content of the School of Social & Environmental Sciences‟ Plan
        as an exemplar.

        Review of Major Themes and Targets in College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching
        Development Plans

5       Ms Normand noted that the major themes and targets for College were summarised in the „Annual
        Learning & Teaching Commentary‟. As Ms Normand had only just received some of the draft school
        plans, a complete in-depth analysis of all of the major themes had yet to be undertaken fully although
        some issues raised by Schools were reported in her paper. The issue of monitoring student attendance
        was raised by the School of Psychology and Professor Whatley noted that this issue would be
        considered at a future meeting of the College‟s Deans‟meeting. Dr Francis added that he was reviewing
        this area in the light of the new Government legislation relating to the statutory requirement to monitor
        the attendance at University of international students from particular countries.




                                                                                                                24
     Matters Arising from College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching Development Plans
     Requiring Wider University Action including Areas of Good Practice for Wider Dissemination

6    Dr Weyers noted that Dr Walsh would review the Schools‟ final plans to provide a summary report of
     good teaching practice for wider dissemination. This would form part of the Group‟s final report of the
     review process for the Learning & Teaching Committee‟s meeting of 1 October 2009.

     Matters Arising in the Construction of College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching
     Development Plans for Consideration following the Review of the University’s Quality Assurance
     Framework (QAF) and Other Matters

7    While noting the significant staff effort required to prepare the first versions of the Schools‟ plans, Ms
     Normand stated that colleagues had acknowledged the value of the exercise which had raised a number
     of important issues relating to learning and teaching for consideration at both the College and School
     levels. The College had allowed Schools, on this first attempt, greater freedom than the other Colleges
     on the use of the suggested QAF template for the creation of School Learning & Teaching Development
     Plans. This approach of using the QAF template as a non-prescriptive reference point was considered
     necessary given the varied nature of the College‟s schools. The process of preparing the plans was both
     „top down‟ and „bottom up‟, from College to the Schools, and was described in Ms Normand‟s annual
     commentary. The degree of alignment between the QAF template and the final versions of the plans
     would be reviewed by the College as the plans progressed towards the final versions. The reflection on
     the outcomes of annual module and programme monitoring and recent programme reviews in later
     versions of the School Plans would be monitored. Professor Whatley noted that the College would
     arrange an „away day‟ to review this exercise and the College‟s new Learning & Teaching Committee
     also had a particular interest in the outcomes.

8    While noting the value and newness of the new QAF process including the filtering of information from
     School to College and then institutional level, Professor Whatley highlighted the need to ensure that
     actions points were clearly identified at each level together with how these points would be addressed,
     the actions monitored and by whom.

9    Professor Whatley commented that the College would be implementing a new academic business
     planning cycle for operation in academic session 2009/10. He planned to mesh the next review cycle for
     both the College‟s Learning & Teaching Strategy and Schools‟ Learning & Teaching Development Plans
     with that new business planning process. Ms Normand added that colleagues had suggested that the
     Group should review the timing of the next cycle of Review Group meetings, and proposed that these
     meetings should be held in late January rather than in May.

10   Ms Normand commented that Schools would benefit from a more systematic institutional approach to
     the reporting of student retention data and academic progression at both the School and College levels.
     The Registry already provided an annual report on student progression to the Learning & Teaching
     Committee but more could done to provide that data for all Colleges and Schools in a standardised
     format which would conform to the QAF template. Ms Potter noted that this was an area that the new
     Management Information Working Group would have a particular interest in.

11   Dr Weyers noted that all of the final versions of the College strategies and Schools‟ plans would be
     published in a secure area of the QAF website under the „Archive‟ area. The Convener added that
     following the completion of the cycle of the Review Group‟s meetings with Colleges, the section of the
     QAF providing guidance on this process would be revised and updated by Dr Weyers. Dr Weyers and
     Dr Walsh would also give consideration to the arrangement of a workshop, in line with the recent
     „ELIR‟ model which they had developed, to discuss the outcome of the process.

     Linkage of the College Learning & Teaching Strategies to the University’s Learning & Teaching
     Strategy

12   The Group agreed that Ms Normand‟s commentary on the College strategy in respect of learning and
     teaching, provided a clear indication that the College strategy was fully aligned with the University‟s
     Learning & Teaching strategy.



                                                                                       Professor J Calderhead



                                                                                                               25
Convener




     26
                                            UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE

    REVIEW OF COLLEGE LEARNING & TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SCHOOL LEARNING AND
                           TEACHING DEVELOPMENT PLANS

     NOTE OF THE VICE PRINCIPAL’S REVIEW GROUP’S MEETING WITH THE COLLEGE OF LIFE
                                     SCIENCES (CLS)

A meeting of the Review Group was held on Wednesday 6 May 2009.

Present

Advisory Group: Professor J Calderhead (Convener), Dr I K Francis, Dr J Weyers, Mr A Smith, Mr C Ritchie

College Representatives: Dr J Elliott (Dean, School of the Learning & Teaching), Dr R Soames (Interim Dean
                                following Dr Elliott‟s retiral), Mr I Leith (College Secretary), Mrs L O‟Neill
                                (School Secretary)

In attendance: Dr E Monaghan

Apologies: Dr K Storey (CLS) and Dr L Walsh (Advisory Group)

          Introduction

1         The Group received the College‟s Strategic Plan to 2012, a College perspective on the School‟s Learning
          & Teaching Development Plan prepared by Mr Leith and a draft of the School‟s Learning & Teaching
          Development Plan drafted by Dr Elliott in consultation with colleagues. This documentation would be
          submitted to College and the School Board for approval following the review meeting.

2         The Convener summarised the following three main aims of this annual meeting with senior College
          staff:

          7        to review the outcomes of all of the College‟s programme monitoring activities, to identify any
                   priorities for learning and teaching which required action at either the institutional, College or
                   School levels and to consider the linkage of the College‟s strategy to the University‟s Learning
                   & Teaching strategy;

          8        to investigate whether this revised process for reviewing College strategies and the new School
                   Learning & Teaching Development Plans was working effectively; and

          9        to consider whether the process could be improved.

3         The University‟ Learning & Teaching Strategy would be subject to a major review in academic session
          2010/11 and the outcomes of this process would inform the drafting of the revised strategy.

4         The Advisory Group complemented the College and the School on the high quality of the submitted
          documentation.

          Review of Major Themes and Targets in College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching
          Development Plans

5         In discussion, the following areas of the School Plan were highlighted:

          o        to ensure that Honours students received appropriate access to the large pool of world class
                   researchers in the College‟s School of Research, to optimise the link between teaching and
                   research by encouraging more research active staff to become involved in teaching activities

          o        the potential of the School of Research to assist in the recruitment of increased numbers of
                   undergraduate students from the EU and international students given the large number of
                   nationalities represented in the School of Research




                                                                                                                  27
     o        to continue to seek new ways to combat a degree of inertia amongst a proportion of the
              School‟s undergraduate population that prevented them from participating actively in study to
              improve student retention and academic performance

     o        to review the staff resource that the School of Learning & Teaching currently allocated to the
              provision of service teaching to support the delivery of programmes by the Colleges of Arts &
              Social Sciences and Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing

     o        to continue to review the sustainability of the School‟s existing portfolio of undergraduate
              programmes and to focus attention on this topic during the forthcoming programme review

     o        to consider alternative institutional models for managing the delivery of its undergraduate
              programme portfolio; Mr Leith noted that the College was currently consulting Manchester
              University on this point

     o        to seek the development of new undergraduate programmes which would be of interest to
              school leavers such the Sports Biomedicine, at a time when nationally, there was an insufficient
              number of students wishing to study science subjects combined with increased competition
              amongst UK universities to recruit those students

     o        to expand the School‟s small portfolio of taught postgraduate programmes.

6    On the issue of student retention and low motivation, Dr Elliott noted a particular problem with
     students‟ transition from Level 3 to Level 4. While the School had many high achieving undergraduate
     students, it also had a significant „tail‟ of underachievers and staff had to allocate a disproportionate
     amount of their time to support them. Building upon the delivery of SPELS 1 and 2 modules, the
     planned introduction of a SPELS Level 3 module, was aimed at raising students‟ aspirations and
     motivation, to improve student retention and maximise academic performance. The School was
     reviewing the success of the SPELS initiative with staff from the Careers Service but staff believed that
     students were beginning to perceive the value of this initiative.

7    In response to Mr Smith‟s question concerning the accessibility of the School‟s staff to students, Dr
     Elliott noted that students were encouraged to use email to arrange appointments with staff to discuss
     issues. Many of the modules hosted on My Dundee maintained active discussion boards and again
     students were encouraged by staff to use this route to raise issues. In some cases, students were
     allowed to post items anonymously to encourage participation. Staff from the School of Research were
     also willing contributors to some module discussion boards but this activity was labour intensive.

8    On the promotion of research-teaching linkages, Dr Elliott noted that the School of Research staff were
     encouraged to contribute to the delivery of undergraduate teaching through contributions to modules at
     Levels 3 and 4 and through the supervision of Honours students research projects in their laboratories.
     School of Learning & Teaching staff were also encouraged to undertake research projects. While a
     significant number of the School of Research‟s staff were not funded by the SFC including staff based at
     the Scottish Crop Research Institute, there was a College expectation that they should contribute
     towards teaching related activities. This type of teaching input from world renowned researchers was
     evident in the Manchester University model referred to above.

9    One key future development which would have a particularly significant impact on the next iteration of
     the School‟s Plan was the recruitment of a new Dean of the School of Learning & Teaching. The timing
     of that appointment might alter the School‟s timetable for its next programme review exercise which
     was scheduled for December 2009. It seemed unwise to embark on this important exercise without the
     full participation of the new Dean as it would include the consideration of the sustainability of the
     School‟s future portfolio of undergraduate programmes. Dr Weyers asked Dr Soames to consult him on
     the timing of the programme review exercise in the light of the School‟s progress with the appointment
     of the new Dean.

10   The College was also involved in the drafting of the job description for its new Business Development
     Officer (BDO) and this was viewed as another key appointment for both the College and the School of
     Learning & Teaching. Mr Leith noted that the College wished to ensure that the role of its BDO should
     complement the work already done by Admissions & Student Recruitment Service on student
     recruitment and not duplicate it. He believed that role of the College‟s BDO would be quite distinct
     from his/her counterparts in the other Colleges.



                                                                                                             28
     Matters Arising from College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching Development Plans
     Requiring Wider University Action including Areas of Good Practice for Wider Dissemination

11   Dr Weyers noted that Dr Walsh would review the School‟s documentation to provide summary report
     of good teaching practice from information reported in every schools‟ plans for wider dissemination.
     This would form part of the Group‟s final report of the review process for the Learning & Teaching
     Committee‟s meeting of 1 October 2009.

     Matters Arising in the Construction of College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching
     Development Plans for Consideration following the Review of the University’s Quality Assurance
     Framework (QAF) and Other Matters

12   Dr Elliott commented that colleagues shared his view that the new QAF procedure for the development
     of College Strategies and the drafting of the new School‟s Learning & Teaching Development Plan was
     working effectively. The successive filtering of the learning and teaching related information from the
     module and programme levels through to the School and then College levels was stimulating
     discussion, debate and reflection amongst School and College staff. Dr Elliott suggested that Dr Weyers
     seek the new Dean‟s view on the new QAF procedure shortly after his/her appointment.

     Linkage of the College Learning & Teaching Strategies to the University’s Learning & Teaching
     Strategy

13   The Group agreed that the College strategy provided a clear vision of its plans for the future
     development of learning and teaching which linked effectively with the objectives reported in the
     University‟s Learning & Teaching strategy. Dr Elliott commented that one important issue for the
     future review of the University Learning & Teaching Strategy was to ensure that while that strategy
     should be aspirational, it should also be underpinned by a sound financial analysis, reflecting the
     current financial constraints on the Scottish HE sector. The definition of transparent financial criteria, at
     the institutional level, to ensure that adequate funding was available to support learning and teaching
     was advisable.




                                                                                           Professor J Calderhead
                                                                                                         Convener




                                                                                                                29
                                            UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE

      REVIEW OF COLLEGE LEARNING & TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SCHOOL LEARNING AND
                             TEACHING DEVELOPMENT PLANS

    NOTE OF THE VICE PRINCIPAL’S REVIEW GROUP’S MEETING WITH THE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE,
                                DENTITSRY & NURSING (MDN)

A meeting of the Review Group was held on Wednesday 13 May 2009.

Present

Advisory Group: Professor J Calderhead (Convener), Dr I K Francis, Dr J Weyers, Mr A Smith, Mr D MacLeod

College Representatives: Professor I Leigh (College Vice Principal), Dr L McLellan (College Head of Learning &
                               Teaching), Professor D Bearn (Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching, Dental
                               School), Dr J Dowell (Director of Undergraduate Studies, Medical School), Mr J
                               Lee (Director of Undergraduate Studies, School of Nursing & Midwifery), Mr P
                               Evans (College Secretary),

In attendance: Mrs L Jones, Dr E Monaghan

Apologies: Dr L Walsh (Advisory Group)

          Introduction

1         The Group received drafts of the College‟s Learning & Teaching Strategy and the Learning & Teaching
          Development Plans for the Medical, Dental and Graduate Schools and the School of Nursing &
          Midwifery. Dr McLellan noted that the Medical School‟s Plan was unchanged from the version
          submitted in October of last year. Dr Dowell noted that it would be revised in the light of the outcome
          of the current visit to the School by representatives from the General Medical Council. Dr Dowell
          commented that a number of key points relating to the Medical School were reported in the College‟s
          draft Learning & Teaching Strategy. These drafts would be updated and then submitted in due course
          to College and School Boards for final approval.

2         The Convener summarised the following three main aims of this annual meeting with senior College
          staff:

          10       to review the outcomes of all of the College‟s programme monitoring activities, to identify any
                   priorities for learning and teaching which required action at either the institutional, College or
                   School levels and to consider the linkage of the College‟s strategy to the University‟s Learning
                   & Teaching strategy;

          11       to investigate whether this revised process for reviewing College strategies and the new School
                   Learning & Teaching Development Plans was working effectively; and

          12       to consider whether the process could be improved.

3         The University‟ Learning & Teaching Strategy would be subject to a major review in academic session
          2010/11 and the outcomes of this process would inform the drafting of the revised strategy.

4         The Advisory Group complemented the College and its schools on the submitted documentation.

          Review of Major Themes and Targets in College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching
          Development Plans

5         Highlighting areas of significant recent developments relating to the drafting of the College strategy, Dr
          McLellan noted the College‟s move through its Steering Group, to identify areas of common interest
          across the three schools in respect of learning, teaching and research. These were reported in detail in
          the draft strategy but Dr McLellan identified five key areas:




                                                                                                                  30
     o        the decision to establish a College Learning & Teaching Development Committee (under the
              Convenership of Mrs H Marr, the College‟s Director of Quality Assurance) with a remit to take
              forward the specific set of themes reported in the strategy including the building of further
              links with the NHS

     o        the creation of the College‟s Graduate School (led by Dr McLellan as Dean)

     o        the initiation of a number of pilot projects to improve the College‟s ability to deliver effective
              inter-professional learning (IPL) at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels by seeking
              synergies across Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing and to investigate the possible extension of
              that approach to the development of new cross-College initiatives eg with Social Work in CASS

     o        the further development of the College‟s capacity to deliver professional skills education given
              the College‟s existing strengths in Clinical & Surgical Skills Training and Medical Education,
              through the establishment of the Institute of Health Skills Education, based initially in the
              School of Medicine

     o        the expansion of the College‟s existing large portfolio of distance learning provision to
              capitalize on the recent re-organisation of the Centre of Medical Education‟s Distance Learning
              Centre into the School of Nursing & Midwifery.

6    The College Steering Group would monitor and steer the operationalisation of the above developments
     in a variety of ways including the arrangement of inter-School away-days based on specific themes.

7    Following a recent University initiative, the College was also in the process of appointing a Business
     Development Officer (BDO) to seek to develop new student markets including the expansion of
     distance learning provision and consultation with the NHS on new programmes. The College would
     also consider the sustainability of existing programmes and the current audit by the Convener of the
     Distance Learning Forum of the University‟s distance learning provision was noted in this regard. The
     new BDO would work closely with the Admissions & Student Recruitment Service and the Research &
     Innovations Service. In its development of business plans for new programmes, the College would
     include consideration of the staff capacity required to deliver any new programme. Professor Bearn
     noted the current pressure on the availability of clinical academics in Dentistry and the implications of
     that shortage on the School‟s capacity to support the delivery of new programmes.

8    The impact of the recent establishment of the Graduate School in relation to the student experience was
     discussed. Dr McLellan noted that the School would make arrangements to identify a School President,
     in line with the other schools, to act as a focus for communication between staff and the student body.
     The School sought active representation from both research and taught postgraduates at all levels
     within the new School and DUSA were already represented on the School‟s Board. Student
     representation from distance learners would also be sought but it was more difficult to engage with this
     student group although the schools were well placed to create staff/student discussion forums through
     My Dundee. Mr MacLeod noted that, as a postgraduate, the School‟s new President would be a welcome
     addition to DUSA‟s Student Representative Council.

9    Professor Bearn commented that the Dental School had identified in its Plan the need to review its
     staff/student liaison structures to improve the current arrangements particularly at Levels 4 and 5 of the
     BDS programme. The Dental School‟s student society was strong but student representation could be
     improved in the later years of the undergraduate programme. Current issues of particular student
     concern included current assessment practice in the later clinical years of the BDS programme and the
     need to update the teaching facilities to provide a better learning environment. Professor Bearn noted
     that School would be reviewing its assessment practice as reported in its Plan. Mr Evans added that the
     University‟s Estates Capital Programme included provision for the improvement of the teaching
     facilities for both the Medical and Dental Schools.

10   Dr Dowell observed that the outcomes of the current GMC visit would inform the future development
     of the Medical School‟s Learning & Teaching Development Plan. These outcomes seemed likely to
     include consideration of a review of the School‟s student support networks, the evaluation of the quality
     of feedback to its students on their academic performance and a commentary on the current types of
     student assessment including the final portfolio assessment. The need to upgrade the School‟s teaching
     facilities was already noted above and Dr Dowell noted staff were still adjusting to the School‟s recent
     restructuring.



                                                                                                            31
11   On the issue of research-teaching linkages, Dr McLellan noted that while SSCs and the intercalated
     BMSc provided medical students with exposure to a research environment, the current, more evidence-
     based approach to the delivery of the MBChB curriculum did not allow medical students much
     exposure to this area. The College‟s new Educational Development Committee would review this area.

12   As reported in its plan, the School of Nursing & Midwifery continued to work to improve its student
     retention rate. In response to a question concerning retention rates on the main campus and at
     Kirkcaldy, Mr Lee commented that, to the best of his knowledge, there was no significant difference.
     However the School faced the challenge of the diverse nature of its student intake, in terms of their
     academic background, personal circumstances including family commitments and childcare
     responsibilities. Only approximately one third of the current student intake comprised traditional
     school leavers.

13   The School continued to liaise with DUSA and Student Services on improving student support for
     Nursing students at the Kirkcaldy campus and both DUSA officers and staff from Student Services had
     visited the Kirkcaldy campus to seek students‟ views. Mr MacLeod commented on the need for the
     development of mechanisms of student support including DUSA input. Mr Smith added that during
     his visit to the campus, Kirkcaldy students had raised concerns over access to social activities and to
     support services. It was important to ensure that Student Services student support information was
     kept up to date and that an adequate stock of that material was maintained and that students could
     access a personal approach to support. Mr Lee commented that School‟s current student School
     President was based in Kirkcaldy and he had provided as a key source of information on students‟
     views and had also suggested practical measures to improve those students‟ perception of the support
     available to them.

     Matters Arising from College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching Development Plans
     Requiring Wider University Action including Areas of Good Practice for Wider Dissemination

14   Dr Weyers noted that Dr Walsh would review the School‟s documentation to provide summary report
     of good teaching practice from information reported in every schools‟ plans for wider dissemination.
     This would form part of the Group‟s final report of the review process for the Learning & Teaching
     Committee‟s meeting of 1 October 2009.

     Matters Arising in the Construction of College Strategies & School Learning & Teaching
     Development Plans for Consideration following the Review of the University’s Quality Assurance
     Framework (QAF) and Other Matters

15   College and Schools‟ representatives agreed while they were at a very early stage in the process, the act
     of compiling the College draft strategy and the School Learning and Teaching Development Plans had
     proved useful in encouraging reflection and constructive debate amongst staff on the University‟s
     Learning & Teaching strategy and their responses to it. The plans had provided a tool to drive change
     forwards and to make that process of change more transparent to staff. The early stage of development
     was reflected in the differing formats of the Schools‟ plans.

16   On the issue of new programme and module approval, Dr Weyers asked whether the QAF required a
     new policy and process to permit the „fast tracking‟ of new programmes and modules to allow the
     University to respond quickly to emerging student markets where there was an external sponsor for
     taught provision in defined subject areas. There was general agreement that this was an area that
     would benefit from further development.

     Linkage of the College Learning & Teaching Strategies to the University’s Learning & Teaching
     Strategy

17   While acknowledging the early stage of development of both the College and School plans, the Group
     agreed that these documents were in broad alignment to the objectives reported in the University‟s
     Learning & Teaching Strategy.



                                                                                       Professor J Calderhead
                                                                                                     Convener



                                                                                                             32
33
                                                                                                   Appendix 6


                                             University of Dundee
                                         Institute of Sport and Exercise

                                         Excel Scholarship Programme
                                                Academic Policy


Introduction

There are a number of high performance student athletes who are currently engaged in a course of study at the
University of Dundee. These students are supported by the Institute of Sport and Exercise Sport Scholarship
Programme (Excel) which provides financial assistance, coaching, facilities and sport science support for these
students during their time at University. The Excel Scholarship programme has been running for 10 years with
funding in excess of £50k which has been provided by ISE for talented students at the University hoping to
compete (or already competing) on the world stage. The demands of high performance sport include a
substantial commitment to training, competition, travel and coaching which has to be combined with the normal
requirements of academic life. Occasionally, athletes may be required to compete in an international event, or
attend a national training camp during semester time that would prevent them from attending classes.

To help support these talented athletes realise their academic and sporting potential there is a need to develop
flexible study and support mechanisms that are appropriate and practical. The purpose of this support is to help
the athletes with the additional demands they face as a result of training and competing at the highest levels and
not to dilute the rigour of academic study.


Guidance Statement

Through its commitment to excellence and raising student aspirations, the University of Dundee recognises that
the primary purpose of the talented athletes at the University is to pursue an academic course that has academic
rigour and career potential, and that a pro-active approach, wherever practicable, will be adopted towards
supporting talented athletes to manage these academic commitments alongside significant training and
competition commitments.

Guiding Principles and Actions

University of Dundee:

   Mechanisms of support will only be made available to talented athletes who meet academic criteria –
    academic standards will not be compromised in any way
   The University, through the Excel Sports Scholarship Programme, will assume responsibility for
    determining the mechanisms best suited to supporting students, replicating examples of good practice
    where appropriate
   Good practice would involve a system whereby staff have an appropriate level of awareness of the
    University‟s support for talented athletes and the various mechanisms of support available to them
   The University will endeavour to manage athlete expectations at the outset by providing a realistic outlook
    of the level of support and flexibility available given their academic course and sport commitments.


Athlete :
   Talented athletes should understand at the outset that any support and flexibility on offer has limitations
    and that normal academic standards must be met
   To receive support, prospective and current students have a responsibility to engage with the University as
    early as feasible regarding their sporting status and training and competition commitments
   Talented athletes are responsible for fulfilling their academic obligations and agreed support plans. Failure
    to do this will jeopardise the support they receive in managing their academic commitments
   No high performance sports student may be absent from more than a third of prescribed classes. It is
    envisaged that on going communication and the creation of an attendance plan should allow such instances
    to be highlighted at the start of semester in order for informed decisions to be made.




                                                                                                               34
   Classes designated as compulsory cannot be missed except „in exceptional circumstances‟, such as
    representing ones country in an international event. The student should discuss this eventuality with the
    module co-ordinator but be aware that failure to attend a compulsory class may automatically lead to no
    award being made for the module.

General Principles:
High Performance „Excel‟ Scholarship students are required to:
   Submit to the Excel Scholarship Co-ordinator at the beginning of the academic semester details of their
    programme of academic study, academic tutor and relevant module co-ordinators.
   Submit to the Excel Scholarship Co-ordinator, an annual training plan at the start of the academic year,
    highlighting major competitions/training camps and discuss in detail the length of time to be spent away
    from the University (for reasons of competition or training) and the level of academic flexibility required.
   Communicate in person with Module Coordinators about absences in advance, providing where possible at
    least two weeks notice of any non-attendance at classes due to competition or training commitments.
   Consult with the module co-ordinator when non-attendance affects seminars, making alternative
    arrangements where possible to attend another class in the same week such that the work is covered. If this
    is not possible the module co-ordinator has the authority to make alternative arrangements to ensure that
    the learning objectives from the seminar are achieved.
   Understand that they are responsible for fulfilling their academic obligations and agreed support plans.
    Failure to do this will jeopardise the support they receive in managing their academic commitments




                                                                                                   Mr B Ewing
                                                                                                   Director ISE
                                                                                                 November 2009




                                                                                                             35

				
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