Learning and Teaching Matters

Archive for January 2008

EdSpace is a JISC funded Institutional Exemplar Project, managed from within the School of ECS in collaboration with ISS, the Library, Student Services and the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (LATEU).

We are looking for material to add to the EdShare resource in order to provide opportunities for educators and learners to collaborate, share and develop new ways to work across the institution.

For more information please contact Debra Morris, Project Manager.


In FESM, the Schools of Geography, Ocean and Earth Science (SOES) and Engineering Sciences have all developed web-based materials to ensure that students are actively engaging with Academic Integrity (AI) protocols. The exercises used were originally adapted by Geography from material developed by Penn State University. Students are required to indicate online that they agree to abide by University and/or School AI policies, and also accumulate 100% scores for a subject specific AI Quiz. SOES also reinforced this learning by outlining the importance of AI by delivering interactive lectures using personal response systems (zappers).
Although it is too early to determine the long term impact of this work, there are indications from Geography that this approach is more effective than previous, less student-centred approaches.

More information from:

  • Samuel Leung, Geography
  • Dr Ian Harding, SOES
  • Dr Shuncai Wang, SES

The preliminary visit by the QAA Audit team took place 17th December and we now have details for the requirements for the visit in February.

The trails that the auditors have selected affect Humanities (BA English) and SOES. In addition, they want further documentation on the approval of the BSc Management with Entrepreneurship and documentation on the addition of the fourth college to the FdA Working with Children and on the European Masters in Design and Technology.

With respect to the meetings they have asked for the following meetings:

Meeting 1 – 1 hour – Arrangements for research students and staff development

Meeting 2 – 45min – PGR students (this only involves students)

Meeting 3 – 1.5 hours – Quality processes, in particular through the trails

Meeting 4 – 1.5 hours – The education agenda

Meeting 5 – 1 hour – The student experience

The auditors have also asked us to provide updated lists (including Collaborative provision and Progression accords) and Assessment Feedback forms.

Finally, (but not least) they would like to have sight of any Minutes of meetings (including SSLCs) for this academic year that will have taken place by the time they return in February. So we ask that you ensure that your LTERAP Evidence base for 2007/8 is kept up to date.

Schools and individuals will be contacted over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, a mock audit was organised for the 9th January, everyone involved in this was contacted at the end of the last term.

Further information can be found on our website or by contacting Mary Morrison or Ian Giles.

This will be taking place in the week commencing the 31st March 2008. Professor Bob Burgess, VC of Leicester University, will be giving a keynote address on the national consultation he headed up on “Beyond the honours degree classification”.

Schools are encouraged to coordinate their own activities in this week, and any staff or students involved in learning and teaching are invited to contribute.

Further information of the event and how to contribute can be found on our website.

Full proposals for the 2007/08 project funds were considered in December 2007 and colleagues have been notified whether or not they have been funded. This year we had 30 submissions worth over £800,000. Details of projects from last year are on our website and many of these will be contributing to both Good Practice Lunches or the Learning and Teaching Week.

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LATEU supports colleagues from across the University in promoting good practice in education by hosting several Good Practice Lunches across the whole of the academic year.

The next Good Practice Lunch will be on January 22nd with a presentation from Dr Jane Seale ‘Developing participatory approaches to inclusion related staff development’.

Further information can be found on our website.


The National Student Survey for 2008 started on the 7th January. In the last NSS we did very well, coming second in the Russell Group regarding overall student satisfaction amongst those studying first degrees, and fifth nationally with respect to our learning resources.

As we want to at least hold our national position in this survey, if not improve our showing, we ask all staff who have contact with final year students to encourage their participation in this survey. It is vitally important that students provide their feedback. In previous years we’ve reached the 50% response threshold, although achieving this has required significant promotional activity by both the Students’ Union and staff; this year will be no different.

The outcomes from the survey will be published in the autumn through the Unistats website, run by UCAS, designed to help future students choose which programme at which University to study. The results are also used in various league tables and provide us with useful comparative information across the sector.

The NSS covers all HEIs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is designed to run alongside QAA institutional audit.