Academic Development

Academic Awards

Two post-graduate courses accredited by the Higher Education Academy are available:

  • Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education (M01CSHE)
  • Post-graduate Certificate in Higher Education Professional Practice (PgCertHEPP)

Professional development

The focus of the courses is on the development of the professional skills and knowledge needed by those undertaking academic work within a higher education context. The courses have an emphasis on enhancing the student learning experience with the assessments focused on the professional activities of participants.

  • Enhancing the Classroom Experience
  • Academic Personal Tutoring
  • Supporting Your Students
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Internationalisation Agenda
  • Supervising Research
  • Research Development
  • Course Development
  • Professional Skills

You can find out more information and book online by sending an email to development.hr@coventry.ac uk or by ringing extension 8115.

Academic Development webpages

Student Support

Student Services provide a supporting guide for both staff and students each year.  Available at: https://staff.coventry.ac.uk/ps/ss/Documents/2012%20-%20Staff%20Guide%20to%20Student%20Services.pdf

Who is the guide for?

This guide has been produced for any member of staff who works with students on a 1:1 basis. In particular, personal tutors should find the guide useful in terms of referring students to more specialist support. This guide also forms part of the training for Academic and Personal Tutors.

What is the purpose of the guide?

The aim of the guide is to provide an overview of the wide range of personal and academic support that is available to students across the University. The guide also identifies a key contact name/number for each type of support service. Hopefully, this will make it easier for staff to signpost students to the most appropriate service.

What is the best way to use the guide?

The first part of the guide identifies the type of issues that students often experience and which support service might be most appropriate in the first instance. The second part of the guide provides more detailed information about the key functions of each support service including ‘frequently asked questions’.

Graduation and Alumni

Graduation

Graduation ceremonies take place during April (one day, open to all – usually anyone whose course ended in January), July (on one day which is only open to International and Postgraduate students) and November (during a whole week). Graduation ceremonies are normally held in the Cathedral.  A number of Academic staff attend the ceremonies so please discuss this with your line manager for local policy and dress requirements. Students must register online (even if they do not plan to attend an award ceremony, so that arrangements can be made for them to receive their award by post after the ceremony). Potentially eligible students will be sent an email with instructions on how to register. Any queries please contact info.reg@coventry.ac.uk.

Alumni

For graduates and former students the University has developed an Alumni community – Friends of Coventry University (FOCUS). This is a great community where students can relive old memories, get the latest news about the university, attend alumni events and get involved in university activities.

http://www.coventry.ac.uk/graduation-and-beyond/alumni/

 

For further information please refer to:  http://www.coventry.ac.uk/graduation-and-beyond/alumni/

 

Reviews and Appeals

This information relates to appeals regarding assessment results.  For appeals relating to extensions and deferrals please see the appropriate section.

Students can only challenge marks on specific grounds, such as inaccuracy of marks or failures in process or procedure.  Academic decisions and marks cannot be challenged by appeal.  If a student wishes to appeal please follow these steps:

Step 1:  Please question the student as to the grounds on which they wish to appeal and direct them to Appendix 2 of the Academic Regulations: http://wwwm.coventry.ac.uk/Registry/Regulations/Documents/Academic%20Regulations%202012-13/A2%20Procedures%20for%20Review%20and%20Appeal.pdf

Step 2:  Remind the student that they must appeal within ten days of receipt of their results via the following e-mail address:  argappeals.reg@coventry.ac.uk

Step 3:  On receipt of the appeal, the Appeals Officer will consider the case and if the appeal is valid refer the matter to the Academic Review Group (ARG).  Should further information or comment be required from you, you will be contacted by your Faculty Registrar.

Step 4:  On completion of the review, the ARG will notify the student of its decision and if the appeal is rejected, the student will receive a Completions of Procedures Letter to notify them that the matter is closed and should they wish to pursue it further they can do so via the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

Complaints

If a student, after having spoken with their Course and/or SU rep, remains dissatisfied with an aspect of the provision of a programme of study, support service, administration system or policy operated by the University, or has any other concerns then they can submit a complaint.

Step 1:  It is important that the complainant is referred to the on-line complaints form at: https://staff.coventry.ac.uk/sites/adhoc/complaints/default.aspx so that the complaint can be correctly logged and addressed and not directed through multiple channels.

Step 2:  The University Complaints Officer will launch an investigation via the relevant Faculties and/or Departments.  If your input is required, you will be contacted by your Faculty office for comments and/or evidence.

Step 3:  Once all of this information is collated, the Dean or their nominee will produce a response to be sent to the student.

Step 4:  The student, on receipt of this response, will also receive a Close of Procedures Letter which notifies them that in the view of the University the matter is closed.  Should they wish to pursue the matter further, they must do so through the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

Transfers and Withdrawals

The purpose of the procedure is to notify the Faculty Registrar, as a matter of urgency, of any significant changes to the information given about students at enrolment, so that records may be kept up to date, appropriate internal action initiated and outside bodies informed as necessary.

Please note that it is a student’s responsibility to notify the University of their withdrawal at the point of leaving the course by completing a withdrawal form and submitting this to the relevant Faculty Registry Office.  All course and module changes must take place by the close of business of the Monday of teaching week

Transfers

Step 1:  The Course Director for the course on which the student is enrolled is responsible for checking the Amendment to Enrolment Form and returning it to the Faculty Registrar for authorisation.  In cases of internal transfers the Course Director releasing the student should obtain the signature of the Course Director of the course that the student is transferring to.

Step 2:  The student’s signature should be obtained, if this is possible.

Step 3:  The Faculty Registrar is responsible for securing the consequent modification of all central records and informing the Finance Office, via UNIVERSE, so that any financial adjustments can be made.  The Faculty Registrar also notifies, on behalf of the University, any external bodies concerned.

Permanent or temporary withdrawal

Step 1:  The Course Director for the course on which the student is enrolled is responsible for checking the Complete Withdrawal Form and sending it to the Faculty Registrar.  Overseas students MUST be referred to the International Office for guidance on the visa implications of temporary withdrawal/interruption of study. The date of withdrawal will be taken as the date when the form is authorised by the Faculty Registrar.

 Step 2:  The student’s signature should be obtained, if this is possible.

Step 3:  The Faculty Registrar is responsible for securing the consequent modification of all central records.  The Faculty Registrar also notifies, on behalf of the University, any external bodies concerned, as well as circulating confirmation e-mail notices to internal Departments

Deferrals

A deferral is permission to delay an attempt at a particular assessment until after the relevant assessment board has met.  A deferral normally involves a new but equivalent assessment task.  In the case of an unseen written examination, the deferred attempt will take place at the next scheduled examination period.  If you are asked to advise a student on applying for a deferral please follow these steps:

Step 1:  Refer the student to the guide ‘Extenuating circumstances – a guide for students’ which is available from the Registry section of the Student Portal

Step 2:  Having read this advice and if the student feels there are grounds for a deferral, please direct them to the Registry section of the Student Portal or to the Faculty Registry to obtain a deferral form and advise them of the importance of submitting this form with third-party evidence BEFORE the submission date of the assessment.  All forms with evidence must be submitted to the Faculty Registry.

Step 3:  After consideration, the student will be notified via e-mail of the decision whether or not to grant a deferral (normally within 24 hours).  If successful, they will be informed of the next opportunity to attempt the assessment.  Depending on the structure of the course, this may be at the same time in the following year or during the next semester.  When attempting a re-scheduled assessment, it will be treated as a first attempt and no penalties will be applied (unless it is a deferred re-sit whether the module mark will be capped).  If rejected, the student can appeal within seven working days, but must provide new third-party evidence which will have not been considered previously.

Extensions

An extension is permission to hand in a piece of assessed work after the published hand-in date without incurring a penalty.  If a student is granted an extension, this will normally be for a period of up to two weeks.  If their circumstances are such that an extension of up to two weeks would not be sufficient or they feel that despite being granted an extension their performance in a piece of coursework could be seriously impaired, they may apply for a deferral of the coursework assessment.

To qualify for an extension the student must have mitigating circumstances which are unexpected and/or exceptional.

If you are asked to advise a student on applying for an extension please follow these steps:

Step 1:  Refer the student to the guide ‘Extenuating circumstances – a guide for students’ which is available from the Registry section of the Student Portal https://students.coventry.ac.uk/Registry/Documents/Extenuating%20Circumstances%20Guide%20for%20students%20-%20amended%20and%20reissued%20on%20the%20web%20in%20May%202012.pdf

Step 2:  Having read this advice and if the student feels there are grounds for an extension, please direct them to the Registry section of the Student Portal or to the Faculty Registry to obtain an extension form and advise them of the importance of submitting this form with third-party evidence BEFORE the submission date of the assessment.  All forms with evidence must be submitted to the Faculty Registry.

Step 3:  After consideration, the student will be notified via e-mail of the decision whether or not to grant an extension (normally within 24 hours).  If successful, they will be given a new submission date no more than two weeks after the original submission date.  If rejected, the student can appeal within two working days, but must provide new third-party evidence which will have not been considered previously.

Step 4:  The Module Leader will be notified by the Faculty Registry of all successful extension applications relating to your module.  Providing the student meets the new extended deadline, they will be awarded full marks for the work submitted.  Work submitted after the extended hand-in date should receive a mark of zero.

Plagiarism and Turnitin

Plagiarism is the term used commonly across the University for all forms of cheating in assessment, including the copying of other students’ work, inappropriate collaboration etc.  The process for investigating plagiarism cases is Faculty-based and each Faculty has a number of Academic Conduct Officers (ACOs), usually one per Department, who have two main roles:

a)     to consider cases of alleged academic misconduct and either (i) determine if any academic and/or disciplinary penalties should be imposed, or (ii)  in extremely serious cases, that may involve a student being excluded from the university, refer the case to an Academic Conduct Panel (ACP) for a decision;

b)     to meet students accused of plagiarism or other forms of cheating and, in addition to discussing the alleged cheating offence, to help advise them how to improve their work, particularly in cases where students have not properly understood how to reference sources used, and also to help advise staff on how to detect and deter plagiarism.

Turnitin is an on-line service that checks if a text-based piece of coursework contains sections that are identical to work previously published elsewhere or posted on the internet or submitted by other students. However,

  • not all overlaps found by Turnitin are necessarily plagiarised;
  • work may be plagiarised even if Turnitin does not find any overlaps;
  • embedded pictures, tables and non-text objects and any textual content within such items cannot be compared or matched by Turnitin.

Nevertheless, it is still a very useful tool to help detect if plagiarism may be present. Turnitin can also be used for on-line marking of coursework, and this is now the expected norm in some subject areas. If you identify a possible case of plagiarism when marking, please contact your Academic Conduct Officer for advice.

Moodle

Moodle is the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE) and Module Leaders are responsible for maintaining a module web for their module(s) which includes:

  • names and e-mail addresses for all tutors on module;
  • teaching timetable for year with rooms  and activities;
  • assessment titles and requirements, assessment weightings and deadlines for coursework (add to calendar);
  • details of exams, length and time of year, marks for coursework;
  • Module Guide, teaching materials where possible and previous exam papers.

 

For further information on Moodle, including help guides, please go to:  http://cuba.coventry.ac.uk/moodletutorhelp/basics/

Exams

Examinations are time-limited assessments, organised and invigilated by Academic Registry.  Examinations take place at the end of each teaching cycle, i.e. each semester, however, the process of preparation of this takes place throughout the year.

Step 1:  As Module Leader you must make the format of the assessment clear in your Module Descriptor and indicate whether an examination is required.

Step 2:  In advance or at the beginning of the academic session you will be contacted by your Faculty Registry Team who will request a draft examination paper and will notify you of the deadline.

Step 3:  Prior to the submission deadline you must produce your exam paper, or as Module Leader, collect and collate all questions and ensure that the paper has been internally moderated.*

Step 4:  Once submitted, your paper will be moderated by the external examiner and you will receive copies of the external examiner’s comments for your response.  You will be required to inform your Faculty Registry Team once your paper is complete.

Step 5:  The Registry Team will duplicate and submit your paper to Academic Registry for distribution.  You must ensure that you are aware of the exam date and location and be present for the first 20 minutes of the exam to answer student queries and again at the end of the examination to collect your papers from Academic Registry for marking.

 

*This process is in transition between paper based and online using the “SharePoint” system. You may well be using SharePoint where this process is simplified using a workflow which prompts staff, via e-mail, to undertake their role in developing the exam papers.

Coursework

It is the responsibility of the Module Leader to ensure that all assessment, including assessed coursework, is clearly outlined in the Module Descriptor.  Assessed coursework normally falls into one of four categories:

  1. Assignments with hand in date;
  2. work, which is set during a scheduled class and collected (in class) normally within two weeks;
  3. in-class tests;
  4. laboratory sign-off, where class time is scheduled for laboratory/practical work to be demonstrated and signed off.

Coursework Journey

Assessment should be, wherever practicable, online with feedback online. This means that full advantage can be taken of Moodle 2, TurnItIn and the Gradebook. Marks for all assessment should be published, under provisional cover, on Moodle as soon as possible after grading. The student can then check their grades ahead of the examination board and the uploading of grades from Moodle to Universe can be done most effectively. Examination grades should not be published before the end of the examination period, but ought to be available as soon as practicable afterwards.

The Course Quality Enhancement and Monitoring (CQEM)Process

The Course Quality Enhancement and Monitoring report (CQEM) was introduced for undergraduate courses in June 2012 at the Leadership Conference on 28 June 2012.  This re-aligned process for course development and reporting aims to ensure that course teams are properly formed and defined and that they are afforded the space to properly reflect on issues relating to pedagogic design.  Each course team now meets at least twice each academic year to discuss the issues raised in the Teaching Learning and Assessment strategy (June/July and January/February).

 

For further information and CQEM documentation please refer to:  https://staff.coventry.ac.uk/ps/sld/Pages/CourseTeam.aspx

Unistats

UNISTATS is the official government website for comparing UK higher education course data.  It includes official data on each university and college’s satisfaction scores in the National Student Survey, jobs and salaries after study (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Institutions, DLHE) and other key information for prospective students. UNISTATS uses Key Information Set (KIS) data that the University supplies on all its courses.  Typical information required and rated by UNISTATS include:

  • Satisfaction with the quality of the course
  • Average salary across the UK after taking a similar course
  • Number of students who go on to work and/or study
  • Employment six months after the course
  • Average annual fee for students from England
  • Typical annual cost of university/college accommodation
  • How the course is taught
  • How the course is assessed
  • Satisfaction with the Students’ Union

UNISTATS allows prospective students and parents to choose a number of similar courses and compare all of the relevant information.

For more information visit – http://unistats.direct.gov.uk/

National Students Survey

The National Student Survey (NSS) is a national survey, which has been conducted by Ipsos MORI annually since 2005. It gathers opinions from mostly final year undergraduates on the quality of their courses. Aimed at current students, the survey asks undergraduates to provide honest feedback on what it has been like to study their course at their institution.

The survey runs across all publicly funded Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Additionally, Further Education Colleges (FECs) in England and Further Education Institutions (FEIs) in Wales with directly funded Higher Education students are eligible to participate.

The NSS is the opportunity for our students to ‘have their say’ and provide invaluable feedback to the institution and future students that may wish to study the same course.  The survey is widely recognised as a key measure of satisfaction and looks at a range of areas including:The teaching on the course, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, personal development, and overall satisfaction, Students ’ Union (Association or Guild).

Staff should encourage student participation as widely as possible, whilst ensuring impartiality at all times.  The survey is undertaken by all final year students, including those with overseas status.

 

For more information visit – http://www.thestudentsurvey.com/

Internal questionnaires

The University is very aware that the National Student Survey only gains the student voice at the end of their study period and we use other data collection methods throughout the student’s time with us.

You may well be asked to distribute and collect either Module Evaluation Questionnaires (MEQs) and/or Course Evaluation Questionnaires (CEQs) within your lectures.  It is vitally important that this is undertaken regularly to address any problems that arise, enabling them to be rectified at the earliest opportunity.

Attendance monitoring and Home Office (UKBA)

The University has to attendance monitor for three reasons:

1. to ensure maximum completion of all students;

2. to ensure attendance of TIER 4 (overseas) students in order to safeguard the University’s UKVI licence;

3. to monitor the attendance of any sponsored students in order to safeguard our income from sponsors.

Further processes for the academic year 2013-14 to be confirmed by the University Registrar and Secretary.

For more information contact – Your course administrator in Faculty Registry

Teaching Rooms and Etiquette

General

  • Access – Line manager needs to contact access control
  • Logins – IT user name and password/H:drive
  • Technical support
  • Registers – Contact Faculty Registry for requirements (could be on-line or paper based)
  • Etiquette – Lateness, phones, food
  • Facilities – Demonstration of teaching equipment (computer/screen/room layout)
  • ITS Emergency Contact number – if you are in a teaching and learning room and need immediate assistance with IT/AV equipment then contact ITS on ext 656667 (024 7765 6667 from outside).

Module Boxes

The systematic maintenance of a ‘Module File’ or ‘Module Box’ for each module is regarded as good practice and is particularly valuable when preparing for external discipline audits. Such files/boxes should contain copies of any information relevant to the module concerned. You may inherit a Module File/Box when you become Module Leader, in which case it becomes your responsibility to maintain it. If a file does not exist, you are recommended to start one. It is important that the Module File/Box is accessible to other staff (e.g. the Chair of the Board of Study) and you should consult with your Head of Department and/or Faculty/School Registrar on local policy for the content and location of these files (central guidance is available) – in some Faculties/ Schools electronic storage is being developed and implemented. Module Boxes may be subject to scrutiny by internal or external auditors.