AUA Course and Module Evaluation in HE Conference

I attended this conference on 7 Feb (, here are my notes.

Opening Keynote: Professor Eunice Simmons, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Nottingham Trent University – “Using Module Evaluations to Improve the Student Academic Experience”

  • The NTU approach focused on evaluation as being an integration of the student voice.
  • Feedback from modules was included on the student dashboard – staff were required to add this
  • The system was managed centrally, but each school was able to add their own questions.
  • A set of key principles were developed and shared with students
  • Feedback took place 70% of the way through teaching to allow time for feedback to students
  • Reports sent to both teachers and module leaders
  • Developed and used a bespoke course and module reporting tools
  • Now trialling online surveys in class on devices
  • Using module reports in appraisals, but with proviso that students not always deemed to be ‘right’
  • Use of reports to support HEA fellowship portfolios

Workshop 1: Helen Dulake – Achieve More ThinkCreate Evaluation: Evaluating a Core Compulsory Module for Continuous Improvement

  • A case study of evaluating a cross-university module.
  • Part of ‘Achieve More’ project that aimed to develop transferable and employability skills
  • Use of cross-disciplinary teams to work on real-world problems
  • Evaluation used to develop and improve the module.

Workshop 2: Alastair Robertson – Purpose and Principles of Internal Student Surveys – a case study from north of the border

  • Survey integrated with MyDay student portal
  • Survey delivered mid-module and staff required to make changes before end of module

Keynote 2: Ant Bagshaw, Deputy Director, Wonkhe – Module Evaluation in the Policy Landscape; TEF, the HE Bill and other Developments in HE Policy

  • TEF data driven
  • Appointment of Michael Barber ‘Deliverology
  • But does student satisfaction equate to teaching quality?
  • TEF subject focus being developed
  • Trends = quantitative data, granularity and commercial relationship to sector
  • Use of data for social justice? The data may be more useful when looked at in detail

Workshop 3: Stefania Cassar and Nina Vangessel – Course Evaluations at Hult: Making them Fairer and More Meaningful

  • Use of NET recommendation schore in surveys – but is this an approariate measure?
  • Averaging out data produces ‘white rainbows’
  • Evaluation scores tied to promotion
  • Now developed to include professional portfolio, tutor feedback forms, formal and peer observations and SD

Keynote 3: Professor Bruce Macfarlane, Professor of Higher Education & Director of the Centre for Educational Policy, University of Southampton – How Student Engagement Policies Threaten the Freedom to Learn

  • Focus on performativity (bodily, participative and emotional) reduces trust and student choice

HEA Fellowships

By August 2016, 72% of full-time academic staff had managed to gain a HEA Fellowship (in a category appropriate to their role). Between Faculties, the percentages were as follows:

Act:     64%

BEL:    74%

CES:    66%

HS:     85%

So congratulations to everyone who has recently gained their HEA Fellowship. For those who are currently working towards achieving this, the next 2 deadlines for letting Ellen Lockett ( know that your portfolio is complete and you are ready to have a verbal reflective discussion are:

26th October 2016

29th March 29017





Teaching Excellence Fellowships

The updated brochure for the Academy of Teaching Excellence Fellows can be found via the following link m8680-teaching-academy-fellows-booklet The deadline for applications for the next round of Teaching Excellence Fellowships is Thursday 176h March 2017. Applications are invited from all staff who are engaged in teaching and facilitating student learning, and this year there is a specific focus on how this process includes all learners.



The University has now appointed the following new 10 Teaching Excellence Fellows:

Paul Biggs, Rachel Bolton-King, Lucy Brown, Ashley Gill, Duncan Hindmarch, Vicky McGarvey, Dave Tapp, Si Waite, Nia Wearn ,Phil Windridge


AUA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2016

This was the first Association of University Administrators (AUA) Conference that I had attended and I was a little apprehensive of what to expect. This year’s theme Creativity, Collaboration and Complexity explored the challenges and celebrated the initiative and creative practice of HE professionals and institutions, in navigating today’s complex landscape – and it exceeded my expectations!

There were some fascinating discussions and presentations on the skills and knowledge we need to equip ourselves with, in order to help steer our institution and the sector through these complex times.
The opening plenary about randomised trials by Dr Ben Goldacre immediately grabbed my attention, and I am pleased to say that there may be a future opportunity for Staffordshire University to be part of a joint research project with Dr Goldacre and the AUA. I was particularly interested in the sessions about the history of Universities and how some of the issues faced many years ago, can be likened to those issues facing universities today.

If you are interested – I would be happy to share my notes and thoughts of the Conference with you.

Paulette Morgan

For more details about the Conference please visit:AUA Conference 2016

Academic Leaders Forum – ALF

The next Academy Leaders Forum is on Wednesday 28th September 2016, 12.00-2.00 This will focus on the managing the inclusive curriculum (with a specific emphasis on BAME) and will be led by Dr Gurnam Singh, a National Teaching Fellow from Coventry University. Please follow this link; alf-28th-september-2016-flyer contacting Ellen Lockett ( if you wish to attend.

Other forums arranged for this year are on:

  • Managing our message
  • Managing Finances
  • Digital Leadership
  • Understanding and using learner analytics
  • Managing people: appraising staff to succeed



A small-scale qualitative research project is being undertaken in our undergraduate Accountancy and Law course as these continue to attract a high number of BAME students.

Last year, Mehwish Javid, one of the University’s BAME Advocates did some filmed interviews of a number of local BAME professionals as part of the Inspired Futures series. These 15-minute film clips are all now available via the link bame-update-report-sept-2016 and for some of you may be of use in your teaching.


BAME Posters

BAME - TAKE THE LEAP posterBeverley MaynardLouis Martin BAMEMani Das Gupta BAMEPortia Bentley BAMESara Buckley BAME

BAME-LEAP Newsletter -Sept 2015

BAME-LEAP Newsletter-Dec 2015

BAME-LEAP Newsletter-March 2016