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The Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) Gloucestershires Experience of the Pilot Project (so far) Professor Stephen Hill Director of Teaching and.

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Presentation on theme: "The Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) Gloucestershires Experience of the Pilot Project (so far) Professor Stephen Hill Director of Teaching and."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) Gloucestershires Experience of the Pilot Project (so far) Professor Stephen Hill Director of Teaching and Learning Innovation University of Gloucestershire

2 inde consilium mihi... tradere... sine ira et studio, quorum causas procul habeo. Tacitus, Annals, I, 1

3 Burgess Report Proposals The HEAR will be a single document, based on, and developed from, the current academic transcript, and incorporating the European Diploma Supplement. It will contain a wider range of information than the current academic transcript and will capture more fully than now the strengths and weaknesses of the students performance. It will also contain information about academic credit, which will link directly to the national credit framework for the part of the UK in which the award is made. Core content will be common to all institutions, which will be free to add additional information as they see fit. The HEAR will contain information which the institution is prepared to verify. Further work should be done on how to measure and record skills and achievements gained through non-formal learning but this, along with other student-generated/driven information, should be part of Personal Development Planning (PDP)

4 HEAR = Academic Transcript (module marks and grades). Diploma Supplement. Additional information esp. section a richer picture of student achievement, verified additional achievements recorded under one of three headings: –University, Professional and Departmental Prizes; –measured or assessed performance in non-academic contexts accredited by, or with external accreditation recognised by the University, e.g. awards concerned with employability; –additional formal roles for which no recognition is provided in terms of academic credit, e.g. Course Representatives or Students Union Officers.

5 Abolition of degree classification urged: Final grades are matter of chance, academic says JUDITH JUDD, Education Correspondent The Independent Wednesday, 30 June 1993 Degree classification faces axe as advisers label it 'too crude' By Richard Garner, Education Editor The Independent Thursday, 6 May 2004 Concern at rise in top degrees Times Higher, 12 January 2007 As 60 per cent of graduates receive the highest classification, calls for reform are growing, reports Phil Baty No more firsts? Could 'report cards' replace degree classifications? New achievement reports given to graduates would recognise hobbies, voluntary work. Jessica Shepherd, Guardian 4 November 2009 Standards criticism led to dressing-down for ex-QAA head Rebecca Attwood THE, 5 November 2009 The Government stepped in to admonish the former head of the university quality watchdog "in no uncertain terms" when he publicly criticised the system for classifying degrees, as "arbitrary and unreliable.

6 Laurie Taylor Column 6 October 2006 There they go again. More interference. The QAA inspectors. They've prepared a report for the Burgess Group that argues that we should abolish degree classifications. Yes. Apparently all those firsts and uppers and lowers don't really measure the intrinsic worth of the candidate. They're often the result of the marking practices adopted by different examination boards. I suppose they mean things like our Rule 26b, which says that a candidate with only two upper second marks can be raised to an overall upper if there is supporting evidence in any other two papers provided that the overall average is not less than five marks below that required for an upper classification. Or perhaps our Rule 53d, which says that a candidate can be dropped a class if there is one failure among the full set of marks that is unredeemed by the presence of at least a borderline upper in any two other papers as long as one of them doesn't include the project paper. Who's "they"? Abolish classifications? What marking practices? What could be fairer than that?

7 Laurie Taylor Column 6 October 2006 There they go again. More interference. Or perhaps our Rule 53d, which says that a candidate can be dropped a class if there is one failure among the full set of marks that is unredeemed by the presence of at least a borderline upper in any two other papers as long as one of them doesn't include the project paper. They end up by saying that the entire business of degree classification has the look of a game of chance. I suppose they might also be thinking of something like our Rule 86, which says that in the event of total disagreement between examiners the classification should be settled by the toss of a coin. Did we? What could be fairer than that? What could be fairer than that? That's a bit strong. But we completely overturned that last year with our new Rule 86a. Don't you remember? It's now best of three.

8 Piloting the HEAR (Year 1) Eighteen institutions (including UoG) participated in a pilot to test out the feasibility of producing a HEAR document Data to be used from 2008 graduates in at least two defined subject areas from: –English –Creative Arts –Biology –Accountancy UoG pilot using data from English and Biology

9 Piloting the HEAR (Year 2) Eighteen institutions (including UoG) are Still participating in the pilot (one new institution has replaced one which dropped out) Education added to list of subject areas to enable consideration of issues arising in professional disciplines HEARs to be produced for all full-time undergraduates (except in collaborative provision) in named subjects Real data to be included in section 6

10 Sections of the HEAR 1. Personal Details 2. Information Identifying the Qualification 3. Level and Duration of the Qualification 4. Contents of the Programme of Study and Results Achieved 5. The Function of the Qualification 6. Additional Information 7. Certification and Validation 8. Information on the National Higher Education System

11 Developing the HEAR in the 21 st Century Professor Robert Burgess Vice-Chancellor University of Leicester National Conference Mary Ward House 4 November 2009

12 Some Key Issues Move from Elite to a Mass Higher Education System. Changes in Sector, Students, Pedagogy, Curriculum. Honours Degree: Robust, International Reputation. Robert Burgess 4 November 2009

13 Higher Education Achievement Report Diploma Supplement and Transcript Builds on Existing Information Focus on Achievements Potential Robert Burgess 4 November 2009

14 Why develop a HEAR? Greater financial investment than ever before. All stakeholders should have detailed information on what is behind a particular class of degree. –Students require more than just a certificate. –Employers have clearly defined qualities they are looking for in graduates. Robert Burgess 4 November 2009

15 Over a dozen illustrative institutional HEARs produced. Institutional feedback broadly positive … –We have now produced a trial HEAR. The exercise proved less painful than we expected. We expect to be able to allow students to see on the intranet how their HEAR is developing during the course of their studies. Initial employer feedback supportive of the development. Robert Burgess 4 November 2009

16 Key Principles Simple, short, nationally comparable and easily usable = credibility. Owned by the Institution. Non-formal learning judged and evaluated on the basis of student achievement, not personal development. PDP important but complimentary to HEAR. Template needs to be simple, clear, consistent, stringently defined with core element. Electronic - allowing details to be added as a student progresses through their courses. Acceptable, Equitable, Transparent, Reliable, Administratively Manageable, Motivational and Verified. Robert Burgess 4 November 2009

17 May contain information on a student's strengths and weaknesses in particular modules, qualities relating to project work, presentations, group work, dissertations, and timed examinations. But there is scope for much more detail, including extracurricular activities, volunteering, work experience and professional recognition. Robert Burgess 4 November 2009 Key Principles

18 What will we have Developed? Fit for Purpose in 21 st Century, appropriate for Lifelong Learning, covers whole Student Experience and Motivates Students. Ensures Equality for Widening Participation Candidates. Gives Clarity and helps Employers make more Informed Judgements and Contributes to Economic Development. Brings in Line with other Countries (Bologna and Diploma Supplement). Encouraged Institutions to Review Policy and Practice – could result in greater clarity in assessment practice. Robert Burgess 4 November 2009

19 UoG situation Work on the European Diploma Supplement means that much information required for the HEAR is available Current transcripts granulate information even to assessment methodologies at assignment level At present, in addition to credit-bearing modules, we are in a position to verify: –University prizes –Period of study abroad –Additional awards (e.g. coaching, ECDL) Working with Students Union to set up shell modules which will allow for accreditation of learning from additional achievement through small experiential modules Students will present claims for non-accredited verification of achievement Need for more clarity about being a UoG graduate means General acceptance bit great concerns about equity

20 Piloting HEAR: Section 6 Section 6 of the HEAR contains Additional Information which can be verified by the institution Key issues for Section 6: –are we considering experience or achievement? –How do we secure equity of opportunity for all students? –What does verification actually look like and how does it differ from assessment or evaluation? –Who will verify?

21 Section 6.1 – approaches to verification University of Keele: institutional protocols which govern the inclusion of material. University of Birmingham: extension of an additional formal award. University of Gloucestershire: student-led approach to verification of achievement

22 Section 6.1 – KEELE The approach taken at Keele so far has been to: determine protocols for what could be included in the HEAR apply these protocols to examine what potentially could be included (i.e. generate a list of activities) identify which of the elements on the list is already verifiable and available identify which could become available consider how to verify any further activities on the list

23 Section 6.1 – KEELE institutional protocols 1.The activity is verifiable and is endorsed by the University. 2.The opportunity to undertake the activity is open to all students, in principle. 3.Information included is presented factually, not opinion-based. (I.e. can say they held a position, can t say they were good/competent at it; or can say did 15hrs of volunteering services, can t say about the quality of it). 4.The activity/outcome is a direct part of the academic programme (e.g. Placements, study abroad). 5.The role/activity/outcome is defined by regulation (e.g. prizes, sabbatical officer). 6.The role/activity/position supports a University process, which is normally determined by election (student) or University nomination (e.g. Student Academic Representatives). 7.The activity/role supports wider University policy and strategy (e.g. volunteering, associate teachers, etc). No one protocol is exclusive, although it is the intention that protocols 1-3 should all be met.

24 Section 6.1 Birmingham Extending accredited awards towards the recognition of wider achievements. The Personal Skills Award has been developed within the institutions modular framework as an optional 30 credit Employability Award, taken in addition to a students programme of study. The PSA offers approximately 300 places, with a substantial waiting list. As a consequence the scheme is expanding beyond the modular framework, particularly through the development of an Activity Pathway, which provides recognition to students involved in extra-curricular activities that develop essential employability skills. The principle behind the Activity Pathway is to enable students to develop, understand, and be able to articulate the skills gained from their participation in extra-curricular activities. Over 100 activities conducive to developing transferable skills have been allocated points using a matrix. Students are expected to claim 150 points worth of activities; undertake online skills audits; attend an Employability workshop to understand how to identify and articulate the skills they have gained; and complete a reflection exercise using competency-based questions.

25 Section 6.1 – Gloucestershire The University of Gloucestershire has adopted the presumption that students should be involved in decisions about whether they wish to have achievement verified for the HEAR, and to what extent. University and departmental prizes would be included by use of existing information sets, and a cross-university group has given consideration to processes of verification of achievement outside the formal curriculum, and two approaches are proposed. Extracted from paper for the Burgess Implementation GrouVp Verified achievement, whether accredited or not, will be entered on SITS as (ghost) modules

26 Verified but not accredited: Students complete a brief personal statement in order to claim achievement as suitable for verification. Achievement could be from volunteering, work experience, or other activities. The intention is to be as inclusive as possible in terms of types of achievement in order to provide equitable opportunities for the full, diverse range of students. It is hoped to involve the Students Union in the verification process and to train student verifiers for occasions where no credit is desired by the claiming students. Accredited: As part of the HEAR Pilot, the pilot team has worked with the Students Union to set up a shell experiential learning module which will allow for the verification and accreditation of additional achievement. This module would automatically appear on the HEAR and could contribute to the Gloucestershire Award which is being developed to cover a range of additional opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate employability skills. Section 6.1 – Gloucestershire

27 Personal statement of achievement for verification What did you do? How much effort was involved? What impact did it have? How would you do it differently next time? Confirmation be mentor/supervisor Verified by approved member of staff or SU

28 Experiential Learning Module: allows students to claim verification of achievement i. Knowledge and Understanding oUnderstand how their experience contributes to and underpins their learning. oUnderstand how to present evidence effectively in the form of a portfolio for academic credit. iii Core Skills o Description o Research o Analysis o Reflection o Presentation ii Skills oAbility to analyse and reflect upon experiential learning in order to contribute to their academic, personal and professional development. oAbility to demonstrate and present evidence effectively. oAbility to demonstrate effective communication skills (written/ verbal). oAbility to work independently

29 Context - Graduate market Graduate numbers 175,000 students graduated in ,000 students graduated in ,000 students graduated in 2008 Graduate vacancies (top 100 graduate employers) 19,900 vacancies in ,300 vacancies in 2009

30 What is employability? A modern, competitive economy needs workers who possess skills, knowledge and attitudes they can take to any work situation and have the ability and willingness to continually adapt and prosper in a changing world. Universities and employers have attempted to define a sub-set of skills, which we have referred to as employability skills as well as the specialist knowledge and skills necessary for a particular role. Future Fit CBI, March 2009, /

31 Employability skills Employability skills have been defined after extensive collaboration with business by the CBI as: A set of attributes, skills and knowledge that all labour market participants should possess to ensure they have the capability of being effective in the workplace – to the benefit of themselves, their employer and the wider economy. Self-management Teamworking Business and customer awareness Problem solving Communication and literacy Application of numeracy Application of information positive attitude Entrepreneurship/Enterprise Future Fit, UUK and CBI. FutureFit-Preparing-graduates-for-the-world-of-work.pdf

32 Employers reactions: UoG Employability Forum Keep it simple Fairly happy with traditional classification Interested in real-world, co-curricular, non-formal learning as well as academic learning Not greatly interested in drilling down into details of marks In favour of evaluation and articulation of achievement rather than bare lists of activities Want graduates who show that they can think and adapt, with transferable skills Want graduates who can articulate how they did it and why their achievement matters Want something electronic Stressed importance of information being available before graduation

33 Yes, but... Speeded up thinking about graduate attributes Productive work with SU Helped implementation of EDS Clarifying purpose and transparency of programme specifications and associated learning outcomes Re-thinking PDP Promoted understanding of the employability agenda to students, staff and employers Has already enhanced student community engagement Gave opportunity to influence process Our students still want classified degrees Very ambitious schedule Underfunded now (only £10k from HEA/CRA) and presumably in the future Our employers think its too complicated and Our employers still want references Still no template for the HEAR Worries that well become social outcasts in the sector (Dont shoot the messenger...) No pain, no gain

34 Necessary conditions Led from the top Working Group including representatives of –SMT –Academics –Support units –Students –Registry Real engagement of can-do systems magicians Lateral thinking (if weve got to do this, lets find something useful and/or exciting in it.)

35 And the big issue…. who pays …and how do we pay ??? Professor Diane Willcocks, VC, York St John Given fierce resource constraints & staffing cutbacks Strains on Registry yet capacity needed for development work Faculty pressure re programme info + development of academic tutor role Pressure on associated services - for performing verification tasks, etc Absolute costs of any new software licenses/ electronic sharing of services

36 York St John University | Student as an Active Learner Student as an Active Partner Student as an Active Citizen So, finally, HEAR: the Prize Professor Diane Willcocks, VC, York St John Despite these many and varied challenges there remains a quiet air of optimism and excitement because…. Recognition of a richer picture of student achievement can only enhance (a) Student engagement (b) Student success The student experience

37 National Issues How does the HEAR fit into MLE systems? How much detail about assessment methods can institutions produce? Some universities have plans to indicate rank orders or quartile positions of students in cohorts. Key issues for Section 6: –are we considering experience or achievement? –What does verification look like? Is it possible to scale up what we have been doing in the pilot to cover all graduates in all HEIs? Will it replace classification of degrees? Will it reduce the need to write references for graduates? What about collaborative provision? What will it all cost?

38 References Beyond the honours degree classification: The Burgess Group final report: ion-272.aspx ion-272.aspx Piloting the HEAR: Releases/Pages/HEARtrial.aspx Releases/Pages/HEARtrial.aspx HEAR Conference and presentations, 4 November HEAR_National_Update_Conference

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