Internal Periodic Review by HC121105212534

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									                                                                                                                                            Enclosure 5
                                                                                                                                  Northumbria University
                                                                                                  Learning and Teaching Programme Review Sub-Committee
                                                                                                                                        2 February 2004
Internal Periodic Review report form:

Part A – The Cooke Template
      Heading
                                          Report (see guidance notes)
1     Programme(s), subject area, or      History
      department covered by the review.
                                           th   th
2     Date of review.                     4 & 5 December 2003
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
                                              Discipline
                                           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
      conducted, who was involved, and what     In summary:
      review methods they used.

                                                A panel approved by the Learning & Teaching Reviews Sub-Committee:

                                                 Chair, from an independent School                 Mr Alastair Irons, Associate Dean for Learning
                                                                                                   & Teaching, School of Informatics

                                                 Two internal members from outside of the          Professor David Stanley, Professor of Social
                                                 Discipline group being reviewed, but at least     Care, School of Health, Community &
                                                 one with some related subject knowledge           Education Studies
                                                                                                   Dr Philip O’Neill, Head of English Division,
                                                                                                   School of Arts & Social Sciences

                                                 External subject specialist                       Professor John Belchem, Dean of Faculty of
                                                                                                   Arts, University of Liverpool

                                                 Observer                                          Clive Morphet, Learning and Teaching Support



                                                Documentation supplied in advance and on request is listed in section 5.

                                                Panel comment:

                                                The panel wish to convey their thanks and appreciation for the spirit in which the School and the Division
                                                approached the review, and the candid and open manner shown in the participation by all members of staff,
                                                students, graduates and employers that the panel met.




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5     Evidence base.                                   Supplied before the review to all panel members by Discipline
      A brief statement of the evidence which              A Discipline self-evaluation document.
      was drawn on; and specifically, what use             Programme Specifications for all Programmes covered
      was made of:
                                                           Assessment Matrix
               external examiners’ reports
                                                           Learning Outcome Maps
               reports (if any) from accrediting or
                other bodies                               External Examiners' reports, 2001-2003
               staff and student feedback                 Programme Reviews, 2001-2002
               feedback from former students              Subject Reviews, 2001-2002
                and their employers.                       History Division LTA Strategy 2003
                                                           Analysis of Student Profiles, 1999-2003
                                                           Library Stock and Learning Resources used by History Students and Staff
                                                           List of all History staff

                                                       Supplied before the review to all panel members by Registrar’s Department
                                                           Internal Review Handbook – Sept 2003
                                                           Supplementary Documentation (Internal Review) – Sept 2003
                                                           Northumbria University Mission Statement
                                                           History Subject Benchmark Statement
                                                           Northumbria Learning & Teaching Strategy 2002-2005
                                                           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 analysis
                                                           More detailed mapping of module ILOs to Programme ILOs
                                                           History Learning Outcomes rationale




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5     Evidence Base (cont’d).   Additional Documentation requested by panel during the review:
                                    Module boxes: Dissertation : HC028 : HC601 : HC363 : HC057 : HC082 : HC052 : HC567 : HC069
                                        and HC470
                                    Audit trail for exam paper, showing incorporation of external examiner comments
                                    Something rejected at School Learning & Teaching Committee
                                    Staff CVs
                                    Changes to a module as a result of module review, particularly if it incorporates student feedback
                                    Option choice handbook which describes options and explains procedures
                                    History subject guide
                                    Student Staff Liaison Committee minutes 20.11.03

                                Additional Documentation provided at meetings
                                    Learning Resources
                                            - A4 sheet explaining Liaison between Information Specialist and Academic Staff
                                            - Leaflet outlining LR at NU and what it incorporates
                                    Careers
                                            - An Evaluation Summary November 2003 on a seminar : ‘What can I do with a Degree in
                                               History?’

                                Meetings with groups of staff, students, graduates & employers.
                                A report on a standard proforma
                                Report submitted to ULT Programme Review Sub-Committee. Action plan by School LT Committee,
                                monitored by LTPR




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6     External peer contributors to proc-         In line with NU policy as described in Internal Review Handbook. Professor John Belchem, Dean of Faculty of
      ess.                                        Arts, University of Liverpool, was proposed as external panel member by the School of Arts & Social
      A brief statement on how external peers     Sciences, School L&T Committee and approved after scrutiny of the University pro-forma by the L&T Reviews
      were involved, how they were selected,      Sub-Committee. Professor Belchem was involved in preliminary discussions by telephone and e-mail and
      and what their role was.                    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 History 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 following programmes were considered in the periodic review; undergraduate; BA (Hons) History (FT and
      the programmes covered by the               PT), BA (Hons) English and History (FT and PT), BA (Hons) History and Sociology (FT), BA (Hons) History
      review.                                     and Politics (FT), BA (Hons) History with French (FT, History with French minor), and at post graduate; MA
      A brief statement of the review team’s      History of Ideas (discontinued, 2003) (PT) and MA History (FT and PT). The History Division also provide
      overview of the programmes in relation to   service teaching across the University, mainly in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, providing inputs to
      content and approach, and notable
                                                  BA (Hons) English, BA (Hons) Art History and History, BA (Hons) English and Women’s Cultures, BA (Hons)
      strengths.
                                                  British and American Cultures and BA (Hons) Politics and Media Studies. Outside the School historians
                                                  provide an input to the BA (Hons) Geography and History.


                                                  The curriculum and range of modules provided by the History Division is informed and enhanced by the
                                                  research and scholarly activity, expertise and enthusiasm of the staff. The programmes in the division are
                                                  closely aligned to the relevant benchmark documents, and comply with the appropriate University policies and
                                                  strategies. Whilst there is no formal accreditation of the programmes by a professional body, members of staff
                                                  have close working links with the Royal Historical Society, Institute of Historical Research and the Historical
                                                  Association.




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8     Conclusions on innovation and                   Good practice in review is exemplified by the thoroughness in preparation and the effort that the division put
      good practice.                                  into the review process. The SED, the discussion sessions and the materials provided at the review gave an
      Identification of current aspects of the pro-   appropriate base for the panel to evaluate the provision: however, the Panel noted that the verbal evidence
      grammes which are particularly innovative       provided by the subject team during the actual review provided evidence of a considerably greater level of
      or which represent good practice.               reflexivity, and engagement with the issues than was evident in the SED. The members of the division,
                                                      students, graduates and employers engaged in a positive, open and constructive dialogue with the panel
                                                      throughout the review process.

                                                      The academic, administrative and support staff work together as an academic team and provide an excellent
                                                      learning environment for students. The support, time and care given to students showed a commitment to
                                                      helping student progress through their studies.

                                                      The programmes are well thought out and clearly documented in programme specifications. This statement is
                                                      equally true for single honours and joint honours programmes.

                                                      The positive support and guidance given to students is reflected in the high retention rates of students.

                                                      The use of BlackBoard in the division is to be commended. In particular the interactive material and
                                                      opportunities for students to obtain formative and developmental feedback on subject areas pedagogically
                                                      excellent. It was refreshing to see that BlackBoard was not used simply as a repository for lecture materials.

                                                      Providing feedback to students on performance in examinations is innovative and challenges the traditional
                                                      situation where little or no feedback on examination performance is normally provided to students.




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9     Conclusions on quality and stan-              The panel agreed unanimously on the high quality of provision within the division.
      dards.
      A brief statement of the review team’s con-   The external examiner confirms the standard of provision delivered to the students is comparable to other
      clusions on whether intended learning out-    institutions, (19, 24, 25)
      comes are being attained by students,
      quality and standards are being achieved,
      and the programme specification is being      The students are aware of learning outcomes at programme and module level. The programmes are being
      delivered.                                    delivered as specified. Module guides are of particular use in communicating intended learning outcomes to
                                                    students. Whilst there is a mapping of module outcomes to programme outcomes it was felt by the panel that
                                                    the division would benefit from making explicit which module learning outcomes aligned to each specific
                                                    programme outcome, (8, 12).

                                                    The panel would like to encourage the Division to continue with the development of good practice in using the
                                                    full range of marks in summative assessment (particularly below 40 and above 70), (16).

                                                    The peer observation (peer review in the SED) process employed by the division provides opportunity for
                                                    members of the division to share best teaching practice as well as act as a method for personal quality
                                                    enhancement of teaching, thus helping to maintain high quality teaching provision, (33).
10    Conclusions on whether the pro-               Evidence from external examiner reports, the panel’s external subject specialist, part time students (who have
      gramme(s) remain current and                  been promoted on the strength of studying at Northumbria) and first destination statistics confirm that the
      valid in the light of developing              provision is current.
      knowledge in the discipline, prac-
      tice in its application and develop-          Similarly the continuous review of the subject and the development of new modules reflecting staff expertise
      ments in teaching and learning.               and research interest help to maintain the currency of the subject.




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11    Forward looking recommendations        The review panel agreed that there were no significant shortcomings in the provision. It was recognised that
      for actions to remedy any identified   the division have embraced the principles of review and the opportunities afforded by review in order to reflect
      shortcomings, and for further en-      on how to ensure the provision maintains its academic quality, vibrancy and currency. It should be
      hancement of quality and stan-         emphasised that the following recommendations are minor points, and are intended to help the History
                                             Division continue the work already being undertaken on enhancing the History provision. The panel
      dards.
                                             recommends that staff in the History Division consider how to;

                                             Take greater advantage of the development of the SED (and in the future similar review documents) in terms
                                             of evaluation, and such developments should reflect the openness and self reflection that was evident
                                             throughout the 2 days of the periodic review.

                                             Incorporate best practice surrounding placements, pre placement, during placement and après placement: in
                                             particular to engage the placement providers more fully in the process through discussion, documentation
                                             and review. It is requested that the University provide more detailed guidance on how to incorporate the QAA
                                             Code of Practice for Placements into a subject like History, (15).

                                             Broaden the curriculum in level 6 to align with the excellent breadth of coverage at level 5. In particular
                                             attention should be given to broadening the choice of special subjects at level 6, and thus increase the choice
                                             of dissertation topics for students, (13, 14).

                                             Discuss with the University (Registrar’s Department and ULT ) as to whether it is appropriate to only have one
                                             external examiner, straddling the breadth of subjects covered at level 5 and level 6, (19,24, 51).

                                             Give the external examiner the opportunity to approve all summative assessments at levels 5 and 6. Current
                                             practice is only to seek prior approval for examinations, (24)

                                             Consider ways to involve professional bodies such as the Royal Historical Society, Institute of Historical
                                             Research or the Historical Association with curriculum development and staff development , (5).

                                             Align MLOs explicitly (and document the alignment) to PLOs (11).

                                             Develop learning and teaching strategies which will encourage students to engage in a greater number of
                                             formative activities on order to obtain formative and developmental feedback, (20).

                                             That the School Management Team adopt a model for reviewing workloads in the context of providing an
                                             equitable, School-wide approach to workload allocation, and with the School management team, determine
                                             methods for calculating SSR, and use the SSR for strategic development in the School.



03-04 History                                                                                                                                     Page 8 of 9
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
                                               This recommendation was noted for future action.
                                               In the spring semester of 2004, a consultation exercise took place with placement providers. The
                                                appropriate module guide for 2004-5 was also amended to give students fuller instructions on what is
                                                expected of them. Our practice surrounding placements now conforms to the QAA Code of Practice in a
                                                general way.
                                               As a short-term measure for 2004-5, the choice of dissertation topics for students was increased by
                                                allowing them to nominate any appropriate topic of their choice that could be supervised by a member of
                                                the History staff. The longer-term solution is to restructure the final year of the History degree and plans
                                                for restructuring began in Spring 2004. New level 6 modules will be made available for September 2005
                                                to broaden the choice of special subjects at level 6, and thus increase the choice of dissertation topics for
                                                students.
                                               The History Division now has two external examiners in post. One has responsibility for medieval and
                                                early-modern modules, the other for the modern period. Modules without a specific chronological focus
                                                have been divided between them.
                                               In the current academic year External Examiners will be asked for comments and feedback on
                                                summative assessment titles when they scrutinise the samples of work sent to them. The advance
                                                approval of assessment titles will begin in Autumn 2005.
                                               The Division has close links with professional bodies such as History at the Universities Defence Group
                                                (HUDG). There has also been past involvement with the History Learning and Teaching Support
                                                Networks (LTSN), in connection with the Division's involvement with the successful Centre of Excellence
                                                for Teaching and Learning (CETL) bid and a project surveying the teaching of History and theory.
                                               A mapping of this kind was duly attempted for BA History modules in the Spring Semester of 2004. A
                                                more major undertaking over a longer time period is required to prove a direct correspondence between
                                                the programme and module outcomes and this has not yet been completed.
                                               History is one of the participating divisions in the University's successful CETL bid, 'Assessment for
                                                Learning'. When the Centre of Excellence comes into being on 1st April 2005, one of its key objectives
                                                will be to enhance and extend the range of formative assessment. It is anticipated that the work of the
                                                Division will be affected by the CETL and its mission to establish and disseminate best practice.




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