Internal Periodic Review

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					                                                                                                                                                Enclosure 12
                                                                                                                                        Northumbria University
                                                                                                              UNIVERSITY LEARNING AND TEACHING COMMITTEE
                                                                                                                                                 7 June 2004
Internal Periodic Review report form:

Part A – The TQI Template
                                                    Report (see guidance notes)
1     Programme(s), subject area, or                Computing and Business Information Systems
      department covered by the review.
                                                      th      th
2     Date of review.                               18 & 19 March 2004
3     Objectives of review.                         As described in the Northumbria Internal Review Handbook
                                                     Assure the quality and standards of the programmes within the Discipline and that their learning
                                                        outcomes are being delivered
                                                     Provide the opportunity for an overview of the range and nature of the programmes offered within that
                                                     Meet QAA standards of adequacy for internal quality assurance processes, including the involvement of
                                                        independent external scrutiny
                                                     Produce publishable judgements to meet the requirements of HEFCE 02/15 (a template for publishing
                                                        summaries of periodic review is included as Annex E of that document)
                                                     Lead to production of discipline level Self Evaluation Documents that are easily up-dateable at the time of
                                                        Institutional Review
                                                     Ensure that Programme Specifications are regularly reviewed and kept up to date. It should be noted that
                                                        Periodic Review is not a process of validation or revalidation of Programmes. Validation happens as and
                                                        when required and not on a periodic basis. The exception to this may be collaborative provision where
                                                        approval is time limited it may be desirable to integrate re-approval with the periodic review cycle
                                                     Ensure compliance with relevant external reference points, including Subject Benchmarks, the HE
                                                        Qualifications Framework, PSRB and employer requirements
                                                     Ensure compliance with University strategies for enhancement of quality, including the Learning and
                                                        Teaching Strategy
                                                    Be as 'light touch' as possible consistent with the above requirements

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4     Conduct of review.                            In accordance with procedures described in Internal Review Handbook:
      A brief statement of how the review was       In summary:
      conducted, who was involved, and what         A panel approved by the Learning & Teaching Reviews Sub-Committee:
      review methods they used.
                                                    Chair, from an independent School
                                                    Mrs Helen Smith, Principal Lecturer: Quality Review - School of Health, Community and Education Studies

                                                    Two internal members from outside of the Discipline group being reviewed, but at least one with some related subject
                                                    Professor Geoff Moore, Research & Consultancy: Leader, Corporate Responsibility, Accountability and
                                                    Governance – Newcastle Business School
                                                    Dr John Newton, Principal Lecturer: Learning & Teaching – School of Arts and Social Sciences
                                                    Dr Paul Oman, Head of Subject Division – School of Informatics

                                                    External subject specialist
                                                    Professor Andrew McGettrick, Head of Computer and Information Systems Department – Strathclyde

                                                    Supplied before the review (see 5):
                                                            A Discipline self-evaluation document
                                                            Programme Specifications for all Programmes covered
                                                            Annual Reviews for the last three years

                                                    Additional Documentation requested by panel before the review:
                                                    (to be added – see 5)

                                                    Meetings with groups of staff, students, graduates and employers.
                                                    A report on a standard proforma
                                                    Report submitted to ULT. Action plan by School LT Committee, monitored by ULT.

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5     Evidence base.                                  Supplied before the review to all panel members:
                                                       Discipline self-evaluation document
      A brief statement of the evidence which
      was drawn on; and specifically, what use         List of Programmes included in periodic review
      was made of:                                     Programme Specifications for all Programmes covered
              external examiners’ reports             External Examiners’ reports: 2000-2001; 2001-2002, 2002-2003
                                                       Annual Programme Reviews: 2000-2001; 2001-2002, 2002-2003
              reports (if any) from accrediting or
               other bodies                            Subject Reviews 2001-2002 - 2002-2003
                                                       Northumbria Mission Statement
              staff and student feedback
                                                       Computing Subject Benchmark Statement
              feedback from former students           Northumbria Learning & Teaching Strategy 2003-2006
               and their employers.                    Guidelines for Good Assessment Practice at Northumbria University
                                                       Quality Assurance at Northumbria for Taught Programmes
                                                       Student Written Submission

                                                      Additional Documentation requested by panel before the review:
                                                       Cohort Analyses: Undergraduate Programmes
                                                       Cohort Analyses: Postgraduate Programmes
                                                       Programme Specifications: MSc EIST/Informatics, Master of Research
                                                       2002/2003 External Examiner’s report, and Programme Leader’s response, for MRes
                                                       Updated programme snapshot that shows programme codes
                                                       Collaborative Ventures documents
                                                       School Learning & Teaching Strategy
                                                       School Assessment Strategy

                                                      Additional Documentation requested/seen by panel during the review:
                                                       Module descriptors
                                                       Programme Handbooks: for BSc degrees and postgraduate programme
                                                       Module boxes: CG099; CG098; CG100; CG110; CG118; CM055; CM147; IS344/345, CM063, CM175,
                                                      CG084/085, IS231, IS157, IS430
                                                       Interim reviews on ‘new’ collaborative venture deliveries in KL and Penang together with audit trails
                                                       Statistics relating to usage of Student Services

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6     External peer contributors to proc-             In line with NU policy as described in Internal Review Handbook. Professor Andrew McGettrick, Head of
      ess.                                            Computer and Information Systems Department, Strathclyde University, was proposed as external panel
                                                      member by the School of Informatics LT Committee and approved after scrutiny of the University pro-forma
      A brief statement on how external peers
      were involved, how they were selected,          by the LT Reviews Sub-Committee. Professor McGettrick was involved in preliminary discussions by e-mail
      and what their role was.                        and played a full part alongside other panel members in the conduct of the review, and the drafting and
                                                      approval of the final report.
                                                      The annual reports of External Examiners for the Computing and Business Information Systems programmes
                                                      were submitted as documentary input to the process, and comments of externals on individual modules were
                                                      observed in confirmation of due process of external moderation.
7     Overview of main characteristics of             The scope of this periodic Review covered two divisions, Computing and Business Information Systems, and
      the programmes covered by the                   included several overseas Collaborative Ventures. The panel noted that across both Divisions (referred to
      review.                                         throughout as the Discipline) content and approach are underpinned by Subject Benchmarks, professional
                                                      body requirements and employer demand.
      A brief statement of the review team’s
      overview of the programmes in relation to       Notable strengths were:
      content and approach, and notable                  The commitment of staff to providing a positive learning experience for students;
                                                         The mutually beneficial links with industry;
                                                         The relevance of placement learning;
                                                         Active Educational Development groups within the School;
                                                         Induction and mentoring schemes for new staff
                                                         The robust monitoring of Collaborative Ventures
8     Conclusions on innovation and
      good practice.                                  The panel found evidence of a range of good practice, as summarised in the notable strengths above.
      Identification of current aspects of the pro-
      grammes which are particularly innovative
      or which represent good practice.
9     Conclusions on quality and stan-                Overall the discipline provides a sound learning experience for students and there is strong evidence of the
      dards.                                          employability of graduates.
      A brief statement of the review team’s con-
      clusions on whether intended learning out-
      comes are being attained by students,
      quality and standards are being achieved,
      and the programme specification is being

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10    Conclusions on whether the pro-               There are existing strong links with industry as well as close co-operation with professional bodies. There is
      gramme(s) remain current and                  School management commitment for supporting learning and teaching developments.
      valid in the light of developing
      knowledge in the discipline, prac-
      tice in its application and develop-
      ments in teaching and learning.
11    Forward looking recommendations               The overall sound learning experience is recognised by the panel. Some specific recommendations have
      for actions to remedy any identified          been made to the discipline to encourage a greater sharing of existing good practice and thus to improve
      shortcomings, and for further en-             consistency in matters such as feedback to students on assessment. These recommendations are made in
      hancement of quality and stan-                the context that this is a strong provision that already shows evidence of a commitment to enhancement.
12    Year-on progress report on actions            The Discipline produced an action plan in response to the report of periodic review and subsequently reported
      taken by the discipline in response           to the University Learning and Teaching Committee on progress made.
      to the review
                                                       An action plan was created in April 2004 in response to the outcomes of the Periodic Review of March
                                                        2004. The action plan addressed recommendations raised by the Review Panel with a series of specific
                                                        activities and responsibilities aimed at resolving review objectives identified as 'partly met'. The
                                                        recommendations made have been successfully addressed, as specified in detail in the progress
                                                        response to ULT in January 2005 and as presented to the Discipline Audit Trail team as part of the
                                                        Institutional Audit in April 2005. In addition, the activities in the report, which were commended, have
                                                        also been reviewed so as to build on strengths as well as address those areas where improvement was
                                                       The main generic issue has been to ensure consistency of good practice across the discipline and the
                                                        Learning and Teaching Strategy, revised Assessment Strategy and Programme Strategy all sought to
                                                        guarantee commonality across the provision. The Periodic Review process was a benefit in allowing time
                                                        for self review and the opportunity for peer review and as such helped in formulating the review agenda
                                                        (in addition to annual programme review) in 2004/05. In future reviews it is hoped that the subject
                                                        provisions of Computing and BIS can be dealt with under separate reviews, starting with the Interim
                                                        Reviews in 2007.

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