Responses to questions raised at academic induction events.

How do I know what I need to cover in the courses I teach?
You must familiarise yourself with the Programme Specification which outlines, amongst other important information, the modules that are part of a course. The content of the module is set out in Module Descriptor as “Indicative content”, this must be aligned to the learning outcomes so that the topics studied are assessed via the “Learning outcomes”, as outlined in the module descriptor. You can also find more information from:
Moodle / Course Director / Module Leader / Line Manager

Can I propose a new course?
Proposals for new courses would, initially, be made to your Head of Department. If your Faculty agrees to progress the proposal, you would be required to seek guidance from your Business Partner in the Group Quality Unit (GQU) on the required quality assurance processes which need to be followed in order for any new course to be approved. Your Course Administrator will also be able to give you initial guidelines through the process.

What are all the IT systems for?
UNIVERSE – student and course records system
SONIC – web interface of UNIVERSE Student Records, mainly used for paperless assessment boards
SharePoint – file sharing system used for processes such as exam paper generation
Outlook – e-mail system
Moodle – student virtual learning environment (VLE)
Blogs.coventry.ac.uk – academic blogging sites
CHRIS – HR system for payroll info, booking holidays etc.
CURVE – database for past exam papers
LogMyCall – IT issues
Locate – library system
Mahara – e-portfolio system

Do I need approval to submit a research grant application?
It is always best to confirm with your Line Manager to ensure strategically it is an area that the University wishes to pursue.

Using University systems – UNIVERSE, SOLAR etc.
UNIVERSE and SOLAR are useful systems to access as they can provide a wealth of information about students, courses and modules. Your Faculty Registry team are experts in using UNIVERSE and will be able to provide support and guidance on how you can utilise both systems.

Process of course review – how do I know when my course is due for review?
The Group Quality Unit (GQU) Business Partners will inform Faculty Registrars when courses are due for review and they will inform Course Directors.

What are and are not the responsibilities of an APT?
The role of the Academic Personal Tutor is discussed on the following Academic Development site. https://curve.coventry.ac.uk/cu/file/411221ff-6738-1b4b-28bf-9b5bc5017d8f/1/Personaltutoring.zip/index.html

Difference between research assistant and research associate?
This information will be on the relevant job description and person specification. Previous job descriptions and person specification can be found on the HR portal site under
“Staff Vacancies” – search in the “Academic Section” in the archive.

What teaching resources can I expect to have access to?
Existing modules should have learning materials generated which can be amended in-line with your requirements. These should be updated every year to take into account developments in your field. Discuss with your Line Manager as these may be in “Curve” or on the “L:Drive”.

How do I find out how to bring in new PhD students?
This is an issue that can only be addressed locally as there are different “types” of PhD students which will require varying levels of input from other University departments (e.g. supervisors from different Faculties). Every Faculty has a Research Degrees Leader who will be able to advise you as appropriate.

Why do students only get 40% if they need to do a re-sit?
Students automatically receive a re-sit if they attempt and fail an assessment. The capping is applied to ensure parity of experience and fairness to all students. If students’ second attempts (and third and fourth) were not capped, they would be benefiting from an additional attempt which those students who pass their assessment at the first time do not get.

Service Level agreements with Registry – do they exist?
No. Registry, both centrally and in the Faculties, are an integral part of the student academic journey and work as a team with the academic departments to provide Registry support (e.g. enrolment, exams, graduation, course reviews and approvals etc.) and advice (e.g. Regulations, quality assurance etc.) on issues relating to the academic journey.

Can I get free car park?
There are no free University car parks for staff (note, some are for students only). Disabled staff can get an upgraded blue badge from the Estates Department which allows them to use the allocated spaces across campus, but still have to pay. NCP and Public car parks in the city which can be used by staff with the options of season tickets.
More info at: https://staff.coventry.ac.uk/ps/estates/Pages/CarParking.aspx

Who do I complain to if I am not satisfied with my boss?
The following HR policies may be of use:
o Grievance Procedure
o Dignity and Respect Policy
o Bullying and Harassment Policy

Explain the relationship between:
SONIC: Webinterface of UNIVERSE Student Records
UNIVERSE: Divided into various sections, e.g. ‘Student Records’ system (holds info on each student’s academic journey) and ‘Infrastructure’ (holds information about the make-up of each course, module, progression and awards).
SOLAR: Student on-line academic records. Student platform to access vital information, e.g. assessment results, enrolment records, course records etc.

What do I do if a student asks me for an extension?
Advise them to speak to their Course Administrator within the Faculty Registry team as only they can approve/reject such requests. The extenuating circumstances guide for staff provides you with support and guidance on the types of circumstances which may/may not be accepted. Remind students that they need to submit supporting third-party evidence for any extension request and don’t make any promises/assumptions to the student that their request will be approved.

How do exam boards work in Coventry?
At Coventry University we have SABs and PABs:

Subject Assessment Boards (SABs):
Module marks are considered and ratified.
Programme Assessment Boards (PABs):
Students’ overall profiles are considered and decisions are made on repeats, condonement, progression, award, prizes etc.

A SAB must take place before a PAB.

Depending on your role as an academic, you may be required to attend either a SAB or a PAB or both. Please ask your Line Manager to clarify these expectations.

Assessment Boards for undergraduate courses (not included HLS professional courses) take place in May/June and the re-sit Boards for these courses take place in July.

Am I responsible to answer student complaints?
There is a central complaints team (Policy Unit, Registry) who co-ordinates the University’s complaint’s process:

Stage 1 responses to complaints are written by the Faculty (by a Dean or Associate Dean). If the student remains dissatisfied with the response, they can lodge a Stage 2 complaint and this is responded to by the University’s Vice-Chancellor who normally nominates the University’s Registrar and Secretary to draft a response on his behalf.

Whilst you are not required to respond directly to student complaints, you may be asked to provide information or documentation to assist with the investigation. Where possible, any member of staff should ‘defuse’ a situation which could lead to a complaint. Very often a conversation with a student to discuss the issues s/he is experiencing will suffice and avoid the official complaint procedure being invoked.

What do I need to do when preparing my MSc course? (teaching)
Assuming your course exists, in order to prepare for teaching, you need to update the learning materials and prepare new assessments (in-line with the module descriptor) which will have to go through an internal and external moderation process. You will need to set hand-in dates for your assignments and update Moodle with all relevant materials. My advice would be to “buddy-up” with an experienced member of staff who will be willing to help you through the process. If you are unsure speak to your Line Manager who will be able to assist you.

What is our approach to Erasmus? E.g. if students do not necessarily need to “pass” their year abroad, do we still encourage them to take part in lectures/seminars as normal or can they do as they please?
Some courses include marked assessments which students have to pass, some do not. Consult your Programme Specification which will set out the requirements. Your Faculty Registry team will also be able to advise you. With regard to attendance please consult your Head of Department or Line Manager for local policy.

How does OMIS2 work?
OMIS2: Online Management Information System
OMIS2 allows you to:
o make purchase order requests
o submit attendance and travel authorisation/claim forms online
o access messages relating to courses, class postponements and general information
Purchases go through an authorisation process before final agreement.

What is the difference between a re-sit, a repeat and a re-take? Are they the same?
Officially, the word ‘re-take’ is not part of Coventry University’s Regulatory terminology.
A re-sit is an automatic right for any student who has attempted and failed a whole module or a module component (apart from PG Master’s project modules where the re-sit is granted at the discretion of the Assessment Board). Students are required to re-sit only the failed component.

A repeat is at the discretion of the Assessment Board who may decide to permit a student to repeat a whole module in its entirety with attendance. Both a re-sit and a repeat are capped at 40%.

Sending of grades to Faculty Registry through where? Solar/Sonic?
Please check with your Faculty Registry team for local procedures. Normally, academic members of staff upload marks to SONIC via Moodle.

Forum function in Moodle
The ITS Flying Squad, based in the ground floor of the Library are able to provide technical support and guidance on Moodle as well as your Faculty Learning Technologists.
ITS Flying Squad
For help with Moodle, Turnitin and Mahara
Location: The ground floor of the Library
Tel. 024 7688 7673 (or just 7673 if on campus)
E-mail: cuonline.elu@coventry.ac.uk

Deferral process
If a student has genuine and unforeseen circumstances that will prevent her/him from submitting an assessment or attending an examination, s/he is required to request either an extension (two weeks) or deferral (until the next assessment period). Any request must be made before the date of the assessment/examination and must be supported by independent third party evidence.

The ‘extenuating guide for students’ and the ‘extenuating guide for staff’ will provide more information on this process.

Requests are submitted to the Faculty Registry team who will consider the case and make the decision.

If a student does not request an extension or deferral in advance and does not submit or has a request rejected and subsequently does not meet the deadline, s/he will be recorded as AB and will have therefore forfeited their right to an automatic re-sit (a student has to attempt all assessments in order to qualify for a re-sit).

When a student submits a piece of work or attends an examination, s/he is declaring her/himself fit and no subsequent request for extenuating circumstances will normally be considered. If a student has an extension or deferral request approved, but subsequently submits the work/attends the examination on or before the deadline, the request voided.

Process for applying for sheltered conditions
Main Examinations:
Students are required to submit a request to access their sheltered conditions entitlement to the Disabilities Office. The Disabilities Office and Academic Registry then co-ordinate this process.

In-class tests, phase tests etc:
Faculties are responsible for providing the sheltered conditions for students.
The process and policy for sheltered conditions is currently being reviewed. Contact your Faculty Registry team for any advice you need on this matter.

Reference letters for sending – what is the procedure?
Please liaise with your Head of Department.

Where can we find the latest Regulations?
On the external facing website:

Updates to both the Academic and General Regulations are made annually. It is advisable to refer to the on-line version of the Regulations so that you can be sure you are accessing the most current version. Your Faculty Registry team are the fountain of all knowledge with regard to the Regulations so please consult your relevant Course Administrator should you have any queries before you give any advice to a student.

What is a Professor supposed to do?
It is your Line Manager’s responsibility to explain the exact role. Please also consult your job description.