Presentation on theme: "UK Quality Framework OU and ARCs"— Presentation transcript:
1 UK Quality Framework OU and ARCs Diana Stammers, Head of QualityDecember 2014
2 Coming up … UK quality assurance framework Quality Assurance Agency for HE (QAA) HE Review of OU, December 2015UK Quality Code for HE
3 Academic quality and standards – what do we mean? Academic standards: the level of achievement that a student has to reach to gain an academic award (skills and knowledge base expected of students for a particular subject area at a particular level).Academic quality describes how well the opportunities provided for students help them to achieve their award; making sure that appropriate and effective learning/programme design, teaching, supervision, other support, assessment and resources are provided. (Also known as “quality of learning opportunities”; “quality of student learning experience” etc.)
4 Quality and The Open University The OU operates within same UK frameworks for quality and academic standards as other HE institutions awarding degreesAcademic standards and attainment by students must be equivalent to that of whole higher education sectorQuality management audited by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education - external peer review, used for all universitiesThe OU is accredited by the US Middle States Commission on HE – accreditation reapproved in 2010
5 QAA HE Review – what is it? QAA’s principle review method for universities and collegesAim is to inform students and the wider public if a provider meets UK Expectations for:setting and maintenance of academic standardsprovision of learning opportunitiesprovision of informationenhancement of the quality of learning opportunitiesproviding accountability + encouraging improvement
6 ScopeAll provision leading to OU qualifications or credit at FHEQ levels 4 to 8 (+ Scottish equivalent)Taught provision and research degreesDirect provision and provision delivered with third party
7 Key elements Peer review Involvement of students (reviewer, lead rep, meetings)Management of standards, quality, information, enhancementEvidence-based – self-evaluation document supported by documentary evidenceBuilt entirely around the UK Quality Code for HEReference to (benchmarked) dataCore and themeReview team – academics, student, may include professional support staff member and international observer/reviewer
8 Outcome 7 March 2016 QAA publish Report 9 May OU publishes action plan on its public websiteReport, includes:JudgementsFeatures of good practiceAffirmations of current actionRecommendations for action -with deadlinesCommentary on a selected themeThis is where process is heading
9 Outcome Four judgements on: setting and maintenance of academic standardsmeets / does not meet UK Expectationsquality of learning opportunitiesinformation about learning opportunitiesenhancement of students’ learning opportunitiescommendedmeetsrequires improvement to meetdoes not meetUK ExpectationsCan be differentiated judgements for different provisionUK Expectations – as defined by Quality Coderequires improvement to meet /does not meet – both considered unsatisfactoryDefinitions: information about learning opportunities – general public, prospective and current students, staff. Fit for purpose, accessible and trustworthy.Before that ….
10 Review Visit9 Nov OU finds out duration; lines of enquiry; who team wishes to meet, including partners; visit timetable; further document requests (incl audit trails)7 Dec Review visit meetings startStaff (including VC; ALs)Staff from partner linksStudents: OUSA reps; other students incl students at partners; possibly alumniPossibly external examiners, employersTeam interrogate documentation further - triangulationFinal day reach judgements – team spend with QAA Review ManagerDuration will be a week (contingency to extend)Video/tele conference with partners
11 QAA HE Review of OU, December 2015 – ARC involvement Self-evaluation document (February-May 2015)Student “mini-submission”?Possible visit meetings – senior staff, supervisors, students; video or tele-conference9 Nov 15 Find out who team wants to meet7 Dec 15 Week of review visitLetter to be sent shortly
12 UK Quality Code for HE Published by QAA First section October 2011; last sections October 2013Phased in for QAA reviews; all in use from August 2014Three parts: academic standards; academic quality; published informationExpectation per chapter; indicators of sound practice; explanatory text10.30
13 QAA UK Quality Code for HE Part A: Setting and maintaining academic standardsCovers:A1: UK and European reference points for academic standardsA2: Degree-awarding bodies' reference points for academic standardsA3: Securing academic standards and an outcomes-based approach to academic awardsTo give you a sense of how the chapters most relevant to you fit into the Quality Code ….
14 QAA UK Quality Code for HE Part B: Assuring and enhancing academic quality B1: Programme design, development and approvalB2: Recruitment, selection and admission to HEB3: Learning and teachingB4: Enabling student development and achievementB5: Student engagementB6: Assessment of students and recognition of prior learningB7: External examiningB8: Programme monitoring and reviewB9: Academic appeals and complaintsB10: Managing higher education provision with othersB11: Research degrees
15 QAA UK Quality Code for HE Part C: Information about higher education provisionInformation about the higher education providerInformation for prospective studentsInformation for current studentsInformation for students on completion of their studiesInformation for assuring quality and standards
16 B10 Managing HE with others Responsibility for academic standards of awards cannot be delegated by the degree awarding organisation - OU needs to ensure equivalent academic standards (covered in Quality Code Part A)Overall responsibility for academic quality with the degree awarding organisation but delivery is shared - OU to ensure equivalence of opportunitiesProcesses for assuring quality and academic standards, at least as rigorous as for direct provision, e.g.:Approval, monitoring & review (partnership; programmes; information)Use of management information, student feedbackExternal examiners and other external inputDue diligence (regular), written agreementsRisk-based approachOU role
17 B11 Research Degrees Environment for success, quality of support Consistency while recognising diversity amongst studentsClear and available regulations, codes of practice, proceduresRobust, fair and transparent selectionClear entitlements and responsibilities of studentsSupervisor skills, time, development and responsibilitiesResearch, personal, professional skills development - aligned with Researcher Development Framework; reviewed regularlyRobust progress monitoring, review, and assessmentEvaluation and action – MI, feedback, representationRecordsCommunication and accessibility of informationLargely ARC role; OU doing some bits but largely oversight role (see B10)
18 OU and ARC Quality Code mappings Evaluating alignment with Expectation and IndicatorsPlanning actions for improvementRefreshing mappings after actionAware that ARCs have been working hard to align research degree arrangements with the new Chapter and respond to similar changes in the OU e.g. supervision policy – where need to ensure equivalence of opportunities for students. Good news for HE Review.
19 A reflective approach to quality: 6 quality questions What are you trying to do? PURPOSESWhy are you doing it? REASONHow are you going to do it? METHODWhy is that the best way to do it? OPTIMISATIONHow do you know it works? EFFECTIVENESSHow can you improve it? ENHANCEMENTWhy are we doing this? To help students achieve research goalsQuality Code is used as a reference point to help with question 4 and 6.How can you improve it – by sharing and drawing on successful practice …. Next session!