Hartpury College

Continuous Monitoring for Enhancement

 This section of the Framework covers the monitoring of all taught provision.

Key reference points

QAA Quality Code especially Chapter B8: Annual Monitoring and Review, institutional strategic documents including Hartpury 2020 and Higher Education Strategic Plan.

Audience

Members of staff including Heads of Department, Programme Managers, Module Leaders and members of committees involved in the monitoring and review of academic provision.

Continuous Monitoring for Enhancement

  1. Scope and Principles
  2. Key roles and responsibilities
  3. Module monitoring
  4. Programme monitoring
  5. Department monitoring
  6. Annual higher education monitoring
  7. Annex
  8. Annual monitoring documents and templates

1. Scope and principles

The monitoring process relates to all taught programmes and associated provision. The process is undertaken at module, programme, department and institutional levels and aims to:

  • enhance curriculum provision,
  • safeguard quality and standards through self-criticality and awareness of academic risk and associated needs for enhancement,
  • identify and disseminate features of good practice.
  • Meet national requirements on standards.
  • Are academically robust.

It considers the quality of the student experience, student performance and academic standards using information relating to progression and achievement, External Examiners’ comments, student survey results and feedback from students, staff and employers.

Although reported on an annual basis, the process of monitoring is a constructive and ongoing process and an integral part of academic activity which enhances the student experience across all taught provision. Its effectiveness will be reviewed annually.

If a programme is validated by another awarding body there will be a nominated awarding body contact person and an agreed reporting line to the awarding body.

2. Key roles and responsibilities

Key individuals

a) The Associate Dean: Quality and Standards has oversight of the continuous monitoring process.

b) The Vice Principal: Higher Education is responsible for the production of the Higher Education Strategic Plan.

c) The Heads of Department are responsible for the production of the Department Enhancement Plans.

d) The Programme Managers are responsible for the production of the Programme Enhancement Reports.

e) The Module Leaders are responsible for the production of the Module Enhancement Reports.

Committees

a) The Academic Standards and Enhancement Committee is responsible for the oversight of the annual monitoring process, its schedule and for reporting any issues if applicable. It will approve Department Enhancement Plans for implementation over the forthcoming year.

b) Departmental Committees will be responsible for confirming that the Department Enhancement Plan accurately represents the Department’s activities over the previous year and that the suggested activities are likely to result in real enhancements for its curriculum, staff and students. They will monitor the progress made with Department Enhancement Plans once approved.

c) Programme Committees provide an opportunity to gather staff and student feedback on the programme and to consider the impact of activities taken as a result of the Department Enhancement Plan. This will be captured in the Programme Enhancement Report. They are also a useful forum to identify areas that require enhancement, or good practice that requires dissemination to inform the Department Enhancement Plan in between its points of annual review.

3. Module monitoring

The monitoring of modules is a continuous process which facilitates issues that arise being dealt with as quickly as possible and results in the production of a Module Enhancement Report. Any actions, including the revision and re-approval of modules, should be taken as and when required. Amendments to modules are approved through the curriculum approval process and reported upon in the Module Enhancement Report. In this way the report acts as critical evaluation which can be used for discussion within the teaching team and with the External Examiner.

The aims of the module monitoring process are to:

  • ensure that module content is current and learning outcomes are being achieved;
  • monitor student achievement;
  • ensure that student feedback is collected and responded to in a timely manner;
  • reflect upon External Examiner comments;
  • promote continual evidence-based enhancement of the module.

Whilst the Module Leader is responsible for producing the Module Enhancement Report, feedback from module team members, programme managers and students is essential for an effective module review. It is also important that students’ comments are responded to and module tutors should ensure that students are made aware of actions taken in response to their feedback. Other stakeholders may also be involved in providing useful feedback on the module, including work placement providers (if applicable), module leaders of modules where the module is a pre-requisite, facility representatives (e.g. laboratory technicians). The Module Enhancement Report will be available for students to access.

The Module Enhancement Report is considered prior to the relevant Examination Board via the module file, supporting the role of the External Examiner as a ‘critical friend’. The report will feed into programme and departmental monitoring and also underpin the future delivery of that module.

4. Programme monitoring

The monitoring of the programme is concerned with the review of the ongoing effectiveness of student achievement, and the quality of the student learning experience, drawing on relevant data (including from annual module monitoring) and feedback. Programme monitoring is a continuous process, but summarised annually through the Programme Enhancement Report.

The aims of the programme monitoring process are to:

  • provide a brief update of the impact achieved through implementing the suggestions from the previous Programme Enhancement Report;
  • evaluate any areas of performance, retention, progression, achievement, satisfaction and employment which may be presenting concerns and whether there are indications of any ongoing trend(s);
  • consider areas of performance showing consistently excellent results and how this could be disseminated;
  • reflect upon External Examiner comments and other external feedback (e.g. PSRBs);
  • discuss the main messages from student, staff and employer feedback and how these have been acted upon;
  • comment on any recommendations made in the approval or Periodic Curriculum Review processes;
  • promote continual evidence-based enhancement of the programme.

The report is intended to capture information in one place to support the programme manager in producing an evidence-based evaluation of the programme. This report will normally be informed by discussions at Programme Committees. The programme manager will present the Programme Enhancement Report to colleagues within their Department and use it to inform discussions around the Department Enhancement Plan and the identification of key actions for enhancement over the following year (including the sharing of good practice and areas for improvement). While timeframes will be agreed via the committee structure and associated meetings, a final draft of this report would normally be discussed at the first Programme Committee of the new academic year.

In certain circumstances, where a PSRB undertakes annual monitoring or review of a programme, the PSRB report can take the place of the Programme Enhancement Report (please see the PSRB section of the HQEF for further information as to how this will be agreed).

5. Department monitoring

The review of provision within a Department occurs on a continuous basis with the aim of ensuring that academic standards are maintained and that the quality of the student experience is good and is being enhanced. An annual Department Enhancement Plan will be completed by the Head of Department, bringing together the evidence and suggested actions from the Module and Programme Enhancement Reports.

The aims of the departmental monitoring process are to:

  • provide a brief update of the impact achieved through implementing the action plan from the previous annual monitoring;
  • critically reflect on the quality and standards of all the programmes and modules within the Department;
  • take appropriate action to further enhance the quality of the student learning experience;
  • review the extent to which programmes and modules still meet their intended learning outcomes, and revise either or both as appropriate;
  • identify factors that are constraining the operation and development of the Department’s programmes and modules, and stimulate an appropriate response;
  • identify effective practice and demonstrate strategies for sustaining and further disseminating this practice within and beyond the Department.

The Head of Department (or nominee) will organise opportunities for the Programme Managers to present the key themes and findings from their Programme Enhancement Reports to Departmental colleagues (and identified members of the Higher Education Executive (including the Associate Dean: Quality and Standards) to facilitate an informed discussion around the identification of targets and actions for the Department over the coming year (including the dissemination of good practice and identification of opportunities for enhancement).

Once approved at Academic Standards and Enhancement Committee it is intended that the Department Enhancement Plan can be updated and amended as opportunities for enhancement (including the sharing of good practice) emerge between formal annual reviews. This will be overseen by the Departmental Committees and for example may include outcomes from periodic curriculum reviews mid-year.

Monitoring across the Higher Education provision

The review of higher education provision across the institution occurs with the aim of ensuring that academic standards are maintained and that the quality of the student experience is being enhanced continually. An annual Higher Education Strategic Plan Review will be completed, bringing together the evidence and action plans from the Department Enhancement Plans and other information sources.

The aims of the higher education monitoring process are to:

  • evaluate the impact achieved through implementing the action plan from the previous annual monitoring round;
  • reflect critically on the quality and standards of the higher education curriculum;
  • take appropriate action to promote continuous enhancement the quality of the student learning experience;
  • review the extent to which the key performance indicators for higher education have been achieved and propose future key performance indicators;
  • identify factors that are constraining the operation and development of the curriculum, and stimulate an appropriate response;
  • identify effective practice and demonstrate strategies for sustaining and further disseminating this practice within and beyond the institution;
  • discuss whether higher education has made significant progress towards the goals identified in the Higher Education Strategic Plan.

Annex

Annual Monitoring documents and templates