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External Examiners’ Conference Context Professor Mary Watkins.

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Presentation on theme: "External Examiners’ Conference Context Professor Mary Watkins."— Presentation transcript:

1 External Examiners’ Conference Context Professor Mary Watkins

2 External Context Centrality of external examiner’s role to assurance of standards and maintenance of quality QAA Institutional Audit: confidence in our management of standards and quality

3 The institutional context Commitment to excellence in teaching and learning – ‘transforming lives through knowledge’ Teaching and Learning Strategy and Assessment Policy External examiners comment on whether assessment policy is realised in programmes

4 Future developments Induction and briefing Ongoing UUK/GuildHE review of external examining arrangements

5 The Role of the External Examiner at the University of Plymouth Jane Hopkinson

6 Role of the External Examiner assessment of standards External Examiner involvement ensures that: the University’s awards are comparable in standard to awards in other UK HE institutions standards are appropriate by reference to published national subject benchmarks, FHEQ and the University’s programme and module specifications

7 Role of the External Examiner - assessment process External Examiner involvement also ensures that the assessment process: measures student achievement against the intended learning outcomes is in line with the University’s Assessment Policy is operated fairly and equitably and in accordance with University Regulations

8 Underpinning processes Common academic regulations Two-tier assessment panels/boards: separate roles of Subject and Award External Examiners clarified in External Examiners’ Notes for Guidance: Subject external: reviews standards and achievement of learning outcomes Award external: ensures that decisions on progression/awards for students are in line with the regulations and students treated equitably

9 Rationalisation of Award Boards Strengthened oversight of standards and consistency of decision making Reduction in the number of Award Assessment Boards (and consequently Award External Examiners) To be phased in over a period of time to ensure continuity of arrangements

10 Expectations of a Subject External Examiner Agree assessments Review appropriate sample of work (and agree with subject team the means by which the sample is to be selected) Agree with subject team an appropriate method for adjusting module marks if necessary

11 Subject External Examiners are not expected to: Act as second or third markers or conduct viva voce examinations Amend individual student marks or review student profiles Consider extenuating circumstances

12 Subject External Examiner The University also expects the Subject External Examiner to carry out an interim visit to see assessment in practice, and meet with students and with the programme team submit an annual report

13 Responding to External Examiners’ Reports Sue Gregory

14 Annual Report Integral part of annual programme monitoring Available at Deadline – 31 July 2010 Shared with student representatives Formal written response Annual institutional overview report

15 How do we use reports? Institutional example 1 Strengthened briefing arrangements Institution level EE conference Subject level checklist developed Available at

16 How do we use reports? Institutional example 2 Provide feedback on progress re Assessment Policy

17 How do we use reports? Institutional example 3 Review of statistical data provided for Subject Assessment Panels/ Award Assessment Boards

18 Ongoing support for External Examiners Sue Gregory

19 Responsibilities for External Examiners – Quality Support Appointment and institutional level briefing  Letter of appointment and contract  Induction pack  Annual briefing pack Monitoring of reports and response to university issues  Summary of institutional issues Website: examhttp://www.plymouth.ac.uk/ext exam

20 Responsibilities for External Examiners – Faculties Management of their External Examiners:  Nomination  Reporting  Fee payment Support – subject level induction and mentoring arrangements


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