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					Code of Practice on the Annual Monitoring
Process
                                UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW

             Code of Practice on the Annual Monitoring Process


1.    Introduction
      The continuous monitoring and enhancement of the University‟s provision is an
      essential activity and is conducted through Annual Monitoring. Annual Monitoring has
      been undertaken in the University for many years. The Annual Monitoring Process is in
      line with the Programme Approval, Monitoring and Review section of the QAA Code of
      Practice for the Assurance of Academic Quality and Standards in Higher Education and
      is an integral component of the University‟s Academic Quality Framework (see Annex
      1). The aim of Annual Monitoring is to encourage reflection on the operation of courses
      and programmes with a view to maintaining standards and enhancing the quality of
      learning and teaching. It also seeks to sift out good practice and to encourage
      reflection on local experience of strategic matters. It is carried out by Course or
      Programme Leaders1 and co-ordinated by Faculty Quality Assurance and
      Enhancement Officers (FQAEOs) who distribute the relevant proforma reports to all.
      Annual Monitoring is undertaken at the end of each session and is followed by a full
      reporting process through Departments2 and Faculties to the Senate of the University
      with responses being made, as appropriate, at each level (see Annex 2). The reporting
      procedure is designed to ensure that issues arising from monitoring are properly
      considered and responses provided and to demonstrate that quality and standards are
      assured and that enhancement and good practice are promoted.
      It is inevitable that, in a diverse institution such as the University of Glasgow, the timing
      of activities will vary across faculties and across different types of programme. The
      timescales indicated in the following document are intended as an approximate
      guide only.


2.    Initiation of process
      FQAEOs are responsible for distributing proforma reports to all Undergraduate Course
      and Postgraduate Taught Programme Leaders normally before the end of teaching for
      the session to be reported on. It is good practice to include an information sheet with
      the proforma to remind Course and Programme Leaders of quality assurance and
      enhancement requirements and deadlines for submission of reports.
      Note: while separate reports may be made for each taught undergraduate course,
      composite reports are encouraged where the course team and student cohort are
      similar, e.g. A & B courses at levels 1, 2 and 3, Honours courses and taught
      postgraduate programmes.
      The proforma report should be available electronically from an easily identifiable source
      and in a widely accessible format, e.g. Word.
      In recognition of different teaching practices across the University, the design of
      proforma reports is a Faculty responsibility. However, reports must cover the key


1
  Not all departments use the term „leader‟. In this document „leader‟ is used to signify those with
responsibility for a course or programme.
2
  There are several different structures within the faculties of the University, some of which do not use
the term „department‟. In this document, „department‟ is used to signify a sub-faculty administrative
division which may be based on level, subject or other aspect of provision.


15 July 2004; Updated October 2008                  1
     features set out below which are determined centrally by Senate and are in accordance
     with SFC/QAA requirements for public data sets. If a Faculty wishes to depart from
     these key features, prior approval should be sought from Academic Standards
     Committee (ASC).
     Separate outline proformas are available for reporting on Undergraduate Courses and
     Postgraduate Taught Programmes. The proformas have been revised in the light of
     feedback and have an increased focus on enhancement.            A section on topics of
     current importance or „hot topics‟ has recently been added with the aim of encouraging
     Course and Programme Leaders to articulate how strategic issues are borne out in
     local experience. Outline proformas are appended as Annex 3 and Annex 4.


3.   Key Features of Annual Monitoring Reports (AMR)

     The Annual Monitoring process provides opportunities for reflection on and critical
     appraisal of courses and programmes, highlighting and sharing good and innovative
     practice, and for reviewing feedback from students, staff and internal and external
     agencies and the responses to any matters they have raised. The following features
     should be considered in completing the AMR.

         Details of changes introduced during the past session - either as a result of
          previous annual monitoring reports or of other enhancement activities and
          comment on how effective the changes have been in resolving the issues.
          Details of changes resulting from Reviews of Departmental Programmes of
          Teaching Learning and Assessment (DPTLA) and visits by Professional or
          Accrediting Bodies should be included along with updates on progress made in
          responding to any recommendations that have been made as a result;
         Feedback – consideration of the main issues raised in feedback from students
          via questionnaires (including the National Student Survey, 1st Year Student
          Experience Survey, International Student Barometer), Staff-Student Liaison
          Committees (SSLCs) and other mechanisms utilised, staff (including hourly-paid
          staff) and external examiners, and details of any responses that have been
          made;
         Quality enhancement – critical consideration and reflection on the following
          points to identify areas of good or innovative practice and areas that might be
          improved:
            o   Learning and Teaching Activities and Key Learning and Teaching
                Developments
            o   Course Content
            o   Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) and associated assessment
            o   Guidance and Support
            o   Staff Development in relation to Teaching
            o   Learning Resources and Environment - to inform strategic decisions on the
                development of teaching accommodation
            o   Employability
            o   Topics of Current Importance (“hot topics”) – to advise on local experience of
                strategic issues;




15 July 2004; Updated October 2008            2
            Note: Report compilers are not required to provide a full written response to all
            the bullet points above but should reflect on each in relation to their course or
            programme.
         Student results – critical consideration of enrolments, results and trends in
          progression data; the AMR should include results data and commentary on the
          analysis of data sets (eg, department‟s satisfaction or otherwise with results; any
          recurring issues identified; where fewer than 10% of the results are at A grade;
          where more than 15% of the results fall between Grades E-F), to allow the
          FQAEO to compare outcomes with the Faculty profile and alert the Faculty to
          any matters that require its attention;
         Collaborative provision – it is important to review the Department‟s contribution to
          courses and programmes offered in collaboration with others, irrespective of
          whether the Department is leading the programme or collaborating in a
          programme led by another department or institution; the Lead Department should
          discuss the AMR with collaborating departments/institutions to ensure that the
          AMR presents an accurate reflection of the course or programme as a whole and
          that matters requiring attention are directed appropriately; departments
          collaborating in courses and programmes led by another institution should
          ensure that they receive a copy of the completed AMR;
         Changes proposed in light of any issues raised under the above headings.


4.   Sources of Information for Annual Monitoring
     It is recognised that the following pieces of information will not all be available six
     weeks from the end of teaching. However, as it is important to reflect on the past
     session while it is still fresh, report compilers are encouraged to draft the relevant
     sections of their report as the information becomes available. The following are the
     main sources of information:
         Final AMR from the previous session;
         Student evaluation forms and/or questionnaires and the analysis/summary
          thereof;
         Minutes of Staff Student Liaison Committees;
         Teaching Team Meetings (It is important that the opinions and views of
          participating hourly-paid staff are not forgotten);
         Programme Specifications;
         External Examiner Reports;
         Student Success Performance Indicators* (published by the Planning Office via
          their website) and other student statistics;
         Reports of Reviews of Departmental Programmes of Teaching Learning and
          Assessment and responses to recommendations;
         Reports of Professional and Statutory Bodies                 and    responses     to
          recommendations and requests for action plans.
        *Note: Statistical data on student success and progress is a necessary aspect of
        AM reports.      The Planning Office publishes Student Success Performance
        Indicators for each department on its website. The May/June results are published
        in August and updated to include resit results in November. Report compilers
        should not delay the submission of their reports until the resit results are published



15 July 2004; Updated October 2008           3
          but should adopt one of the following strategies and indicate which they have
          chosen in their report.
             If the numbers of resits are considered to be statistically insignificant, they can
              be ignored for the purposes of analysis in the AM reports.
             If the numbers of resits are considered to be significant, the previous
              September/October results should be used as an indicator for the purposes of
              analysis.
             Report compilers may use their own or departmental data.


5.    Timetable for Completion of Reports
      As noted above, report compilers are encouraged to produce a draft report within 6
      weeks of the end of teaching or as soon after the Examination Board as is possible.
      Draft reports are not expected to include statistical data or full consideration of external
      examiners‟ reports which are generally not available at this time. However, early
      completion of the critical appraisal sections of the report allows time for reflection and
      for any necessary action to be taken prior to the start of the following session.
      Undergraduate reports should normally be finalised and submitted to the FQAEO by
      30 November of the session following that being monitored and postgraduate reports
      should normally be finalised and submitted by 31 January, or by the date advised by
      the FQAEO.


6.    Departmental consideration of reports3
      Approximately six weeks from the Examination Board, the Head of Department should
      collect and review the draft reports from report compilers. Any reports that are
      completed unsatisfactorily should be returned to the author with a view to improving the
      consistency and quality of reflection with which AMRs are completed.
      There should be Departmental scrutiny of the reports at learning and teaching
      committees, departmental meetings or other appropriate fora. The meeting should
      address any recommendations that are directed at departmental level, provide
      feedback to Course and Programme Leaders and encourage the sharing of good
      practice amongst staff.
      A departmental summary should be produced to give an overview at programme level
      and to give departments the opportunity to highlight any issues that they wish the
      Faculty or others to give particular attention to. This summary should be forwarded to
      the FQAEO as evidence of internal monitoring of the reports.


7.    Dissemination of Annual Monitoring Reports
      Departments should send copies of their finalised reports to the various, relevant
      interested parties or advise them how to locate the reports on the intranet (where
      available). These are:




3
  There are several different structures within the faculties of the University, some of which do not use
the term „department‟. In this document, „department‟ is used to signify a sub-faculty administrative
division which may be based on level, subject or other aspect of provision.



15 July 2004; Updated October 2008                  4
         FQAEO – normally in electronic format, with the front page only sent in hard
          copy;
         External Examiner (as a means of providing feedback on the department‟s
          responses to issues raised in the examiner‟s report);
         Any Professional or Statutory Body that requires evidence of annual monitoring;
         Student Representatives/Staff Student Liaison Committees (although the actual
          cohort of students who raised the issues will have moved on, it is useful to inform
          the next cohort about previous issues and to demonstrate that any issues raised
          by them will be taken seriously and responded to);
         Members of the Teaching Team, if appropriate;
         Partners in collaborative provision.


8.    Preparation of Faculty Annual Monitoring Reports
      The preparation of the Faculty AMR is the responsibility of the FQAEO.
      The FQAEO will make arrangements for Faculty scrutiny of the reports. The nature of
      these arrangements may vary across Faculties. The FQAEO will independently read
      and assess all reports for their Faculty and may instruct a relevant Faculty Quality
      Assurance and Enhancement Committee or a Board of Studies to consider the reports
      and to provide assistance with the completion of the Faculty report.
      The FQAEO writes a reflective report identifying good and innovative practice and
      setting out the main issues of concern to the Faculty and the University. Report
      headings follow the main headings of the AM Report with the addition of an introduction
      and an overview.        The report should always conclude with a summary of
      recommendations identifying the relevant part or officer of the University that the
      recommendation is aimed at, e.g. the Department(s), Faculty, Committee, Vice-
      Principal, central administration offices, etc.


9.    Timetable for Faculty Reports
      The FQAEO should submit their report to a Faculty meeting for approval by February
      at the latest. Faculty should instruct action or request responses on any Faculty
      specific recommendations at this stage and, in due course, report the outcomes to the
      FQAEO.
      The FQAEO submits the Faculty report (via the Senate Office) to the March/April
      meeting of the Faculty Quality Assurance Officers Group where the main issues arising
      are discussed. The FQAEO Group will provide a summary report drawing particular
      attention to major and cross-faculty issues which require University-wide action. (Draft
      reports may be submitted to FQAEO Group where Faculty approval has yet to be
      confirmed but the FQAEO must ensure that the confirmed report is forwarded to the
      Senate Office soon as possible after the meeting.) Timeous reporting is essential as
      delays affect the timetable for forward reporting to ASC and the completion of the
      Annual Monitoring process within the academic session.


10.   Academic Standards Committee
      Formal reporting is to the May meeting of ASC as appropriate. Confirmed reports
      submitted earlier for the FQAEO meeting will be uploaded to the Committee




15 July 2004; Updated October 2008            5
      Documents Online website and drawn to the attention of ASC in the Summary Report
      from the FQAEOs Group.
      ASC will consider the recommendations made in the Summary Report and, where they
      are directed to a University wide service/office, will forward the recommendations to the
      relevant officers. ASC will then report to Education Policy and Strategy Committee
      and Senate‟s attention will be drawn to any matters of substance or concerns regarding
      process.


11.   Closing the feedback loop
      ASC will request that responses to recommendations are formally reported back to its
      October meeting from which they will be reported to the next available meeting of
      FQAEOs Group. FQAEOs will inform their departments of the responses from Faculty
      and ASC and the departments, in turn, will be asked to provide feedback to their staff
      and students.


12.   Procedural notes
FQAEOs are asked to ensure that information on their Faculty‟s practice for scrutiny of
AMRs, including the differing mechanisms for undergraduate courses and postgraduate
taught programmes, is held centrally in the Senate Office and is kept up-to-date.




15 July 2004; Updated October 2008            6