Academic & Student Affairs

Supporting the Educational Enhancement Process

Why this is important

The University needs to assure itself and others that the quality and standards of its educational provision are being maintained and enhanced across all awards.  The Educational Enhancement Process (EEP) is part of an integrated internal quality enhancement and review process whereby modules are reviewed after they are taught, degree programmes are reviewed every year and subjects are reviewed every six years.  EEP is an enhancement process, concerned with the identification of issues and the development of current and future provision, rather than simply an audit of current and past provision.  It can cover a School, or, by agreement with the University, can concentrate on a more limited range of subjects within a School with multiple subject areas.  The School is visited by a Panel which considers written documentation and consults with staff, students and other stakeholders such as employers before producing a report. 

EEP is managed by Academic Affairs in partnership with the School.  The Periodic Review and Enhancement Process (replacing EEP) will be piloted in semester 2, 2014-15.  It will include revalidation of programmes on a five yearly basis.  The process will not consider staffing or other resources.  The key document for the new process continues to be the Reflective Statement and the Centre for Educational Development (CED) will be pleased to provide support to Schools preparing these.

Summary

This page describes how CED supports Schools and subjects undergoing EEP/PREP.

Context

The University defines quality enhancement as ‘… the successful outcome of systematic consideration of the quality of the student educational experience which identifies opportunities for improvement and acts upon them’.

The Preliminary Meeting

Representatives from Academic Affairs and CED meet the Head of School and other appropriate staff not less than 24 weeks prior to the EEP/PREP visit.  The CED representative provides advice on the Reflective Statement and offers help with strategies/techniques for drafting the Reflective Statement. 

Reflective Statement

Most of the documentation required for EEP/PREP is already held in Schools; the only document to be written specifically for the review is the Reflective Statement in which the School reflects on achievements and plans for the future at a School level and at programme level.  Its overall theme is how the School enhances the standards of its educational provision.  It is not intended to be a descriptive document but should reflect the School’s view of its own progress and plans.  The reflective Statement for PREP should be in two parts: the first part will deal with the School at a more strategic level and the second will consist of a brief commentary on each programme to be revalidated. (A template is available from Academic Affairs).  The School is encouraged to highlight any areas of concern and issues that it would like the panel to consider.  A draft Reflective Statement should be given to CED for comment/feedback no less than 10 weeks before the visit.

The EEP/PREP Visit

The EEP visit lasts two days and the PREP visit lasts three days, starting with an initial private meeting to consider documentation and lines of enquiry and ends with a final meeting to agree feedback to the School and plan the Panel’s report.  The Panel also has a number of meetings with students, staff and other stakeholders such as alumni, graduate employers and representatives of professional and statutory regulatory bodies in the case of vocational, accredited degrees.  The Panel does not review student work, nor does it consider detailed information on every module offered by the School.

The Panel

Each Panel is chaired by an academic of at least Senior Lecturer level. The Panel also has two academics from other Schools in Queen’s, one external member from a comparable academic department in another UK university who is nominated by the Head of School (the external member may be a representative from a professional body that accredits the School’s programmes – such input avoids duplication of effort and adds value to the process) and at least one student normally from the School’s Staff Student Consultative Committee(s) (SSCC).  All Panel members are briefed by Academic Affairs.  The external member receives information on the University and EEP/PREP.  The School Manager is in attendance at the Panel to liaise between the Panel and the School and ensuring arrangements run smoothly.  The School Manager ensures that brief notes are kept of all Panel meetings. The Chair will liaise with Academic Affairs in drafting the report.

The EEP/PREP Report

The Panel’s Report will summarise findings related to the overall operation of quality procedures, the student experience, and quality enhancement.  The Report may identify gaps in standard practice, and areas where enhancement may be considered, and should highlight areas of good practice.  The Report will include recommendations, summarise issues raised by the School during the EEP and how they have been addressed, and summarise any issues/themes raised by the University during the EEP.  The Report will also identify good practice which could be disseminated across the University.

After the EEP/PREP Visit

The Panel’s Report will be considered by the appropriate School Committee and an Action Plan agreed within the School.  The Panel’s Report and Action Plan will be considered by the EEP Sub-Group of the University’s Education Committee. 

CED will help the School to implement actions required to address recommendations relating to both staff and students – this may be the provision of bespoke staff development events, help to implement initiatives related to learning and teaching, advice on models of good practice in other Schools, or signposting support for student development from the Learning Development Service and other sources of specialist help.

Good practice identified from the EEP/PREP will be disseminated through, for example, CED activities, the Education Committee, or Directors of Education meetings, lunchtime forums or the production of an article for ‘Reflections’.

A Milestone Meeting will take place approximately one year after the Panel Report has been issued to follow up actions taken in response to the Report by the School, University and CED.

Useful Resources

QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education

Higher Education Academy

Contact

Linda Ryles, Centre for Educational Development (extension 1343)