Evaluation of the Redesign of the Learning Experience (RoLEx)

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Appendix C

Birmingham City University

RoLEx Project Board – 6 July 2009

Evaluation of the Redesign of the Learning Experience - (RoLEx)

1.Aim

The purpose of this paper is to provide members with a report of the evaluation of the RoLEx process as conducted by the RoLEx Evaluation Group (REG)

2.Executive Summary

This evaluation report has as its scope the operation of the RoLEx process in its first iteration, which has taken place during academic year 2008-2009.

A RoLEx Evaluation Group (REG) was convened early in 2009 following extensive discussions between the Lead External Adviser, the RoLEx Project Manager and the Lead Academic Consultant. The Group comprised three External advisers chosen for their expertise in Quality Enhancement together with three internal staff (see Annex 1 for REG membership).

A paper concerning RoLEx evaluation and the work of REG was presented to and agreed at Senate in February 2009.

External members of REG were briefed well in advance of the main evaluation week, which took place from June 15-19 2009 at Birmingham City University. REG members were provided with access to all documentation relating to the Streamlined Re-approval Process (STRAP) in advance of this week.

This report was produced at the end of the evaluation week at the university in June 2009. It has been shaped by the three external advisers working closely with the internal members. Their sources of information comprised:

• STRAP documentation, notably Explanatory Statements for programme teams and notes from the deliberations of STRAP panels;

• Seven meetings with staff and student groups during the June 2009 evaluation week, each led by one of the external advisers and internally clerked;

• Attendance at the final meetings of STRAP panels in June

• Discussions building on the reflections of the RoLEx Project Manager and the Lead Academic Consultant to the project.

The report provides:

• Detailed findings grouped under ten themes

• A number of Recommendations (19) for the University to consider when implementing subsequent iterations of RoLEx.

The Evaluation Group concludes that Birmingham City University, through the commitment of its staff, has delivered significant and positive change by way of response to the challenge of the RoLEx initiative. The Group notes that though some anticipated progress in bringing forward change remains aspirational, this is to be expected for a project of this size.

The Group concludes that further enhancement of the students' learning experience is possible and desirable. It is the Group's view that progress on such an agenda will only be achievable though the creation of a culture in which student learning is at the centre of academic activities; but the Group has found cause, during their review, to be optimistic about the capability and willingness of Birmingham City University, through its staff, to rise to the challenge and embrace the cultural change advocated in this report.

3.Introduction

The purpose of this RoLEx Evaluation Report is to contribute to Birmingham City University’s understanding of what has worked well about RoLEx so far, and where changes and improvements would help the processes of enhancing the students’ learning experiences in the future. Annex 1 A contains details of the Evaluation Group membership.

The findings emerged from:

• Six group interviews with staff and students, held between Tuesday 16 June 2009 and Thursday 18 June 2009 (a list of the constituency of these groups is attached as Annex 2)

• Observations at each of the final University Streamlined Re-approval Process Panels, Tuesday 16 June and Thursday 18 June 2009.

• A meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, Wednesday 17 June 2009.

• Prior study of the course programme teams’ RoLEx...
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